Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fallout from 14,827 at Wednesday Night's ESPN Game

As predicted, there was plenty of Trop- and Rays-bashing last night as fewer than 15,000 fans took in the nationally-televised Rays/Rangers game with huge playoff implications.

But who would have thought the Tampa Bay Times editorial board (link to would have fired off its second Mayor Foster-bashing editorial in two weeks?
This situation is not sustainable. But for nearly four years, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has ignored the obvious.  Now he has brokwn off talks with the Rays about letting the franchise look for potential stadium sites in Tampa.
Correction, Times, talks don't actually appear to be broken off.  Nor does the lack of progress appear to be Foster's doing, according to even some of his biggest critics on city council.

The editorial board goes as far as calling Foster a liar for claiming the Rays don't want to compensate the city for breaking its contract early.  Of course, they still give the team a free pass, despite the lack of any tangible evidence a new stadium is a real "need," rather than a "want."

It's also worth pointing out Foster's years of "stonewalling" have resulted in zero negative repurcussions so far: St. Pete continues to enjoy the benefit of the Rays; the team is still winning; taxpayers aren't paying anything extra out of pocket yet; and there's no sign any of those things are about to change in the near-future.

Other Times' Foster-bashing: Sept. 2013
Feb 2013 | Feb 2013 | Jan 2013
Jan 2013 | Oct 2012 | April 2012

Meanwhile, columnist Tom Jones writes (link to Tampa Bay simply is not a baseball market and a Tampa stadium wouldn't make a difference.  He blames apathetic fans:
...from those who can afford to go and choose not to, preferring their HD TVs instead, there are two things I never want to hear.  One, I don't want to hear you complain when ESPN or anyone says this is not a baseball market.  And, two, I don't want to hear you complain when the vans back up to the Trop and move this team to Portland or Northern New Jersey or Brooklyn.
Jones' contends the team is destined to ultimately leave Tampa Bay and "the only outrage will be locally...the Tampa Bay area has no allies."

And FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal writes "no one could blame the Rays if they ordered Mayflower moving vans and snuck out of town, Baltimore Colts-style" and "the Rays’ problems, however, are long past the point of absurd":
Imagine how far attendance might fall if the Rays ever stop winning. Imagine how difficult it will be for them to sell out the 34,078-seat Trop if they host the American League wild-card game on Wed., Oct. 2.
“We stopped worrying about that a couple of years ago,” Maddon said. “We thought after we went to the World Series in 2008 that there would be a paradigm shift regarding the attendance. But it hasn’t occurred.

“You stop talking about it. We know we have a very supportive following; the Tampa Bay area is very supportive. We know that they’re not going to show up – we know that. So, we just appreciate the group that does.”
“This is what we play 162 games for, this block of games that is going to determine our season. It is what it is. But if you’re a baseball fan, I don’t know how you can not want to show up.” 


  1. How do they know that the situation is "not sustainable"? Not a single fact to back up that assertion.

    Clearer than ever before that the Times is merely the Rays version of Pravda.

    1. Well, it's like they always say "drama sells", and the drama of attendance & a 1980's dome seems to be compelling, though if the Rays weren't good would anyone even care(?), they would simply say the reason is because no one wants to go see a loser. Though everyone wants to blame anything but the obvious. St.Pete is like a few thousand miles to the people in Tampa, coupled w/ being a city of a lot of snow birds (or people that can't afford to go or simply don't like baseball) are go up north during the baseball months, and being basically a tent surround by water leads to weekend warriors, and big TV & radio ratings. Tampa is the market the Rays needs, lots of big businesses, lots of visitors for many different reasons that look for stuff to do on a Wednesday night, it's 50 miles (tr) closer for people towards Orlando, Lakeland, Wesley Chapel, Riverview, Brandon, the Villages, Ocala, etc., Tampa has a large Latino population that loves baseball, Tampa & it's surrounding areas have a better economy, and so on, it is what it is...
      Now, I know Noah's going to defend St.Pete, and say the Rays are profiting, so what's the problem like most other ducks say, but it's not about the situation being acceptable or sustainable or not, it's about taking something great, and making it greater, or the greatest. Though with Noah being a Red Sox fan rather not think about this, but imagine the Rays having the extra money for big free agents, imagine Tampa having a World Series winning team downtown drawing 30k strong 90 days a years, imagine Tampa having a venue that they can promote along with all the other smaller but as important economical benefits...
      Other cities have it & do so, why not us? (while we wait for the small town digressives to jump on the question which will answer why it hasn't happen yet, stay classy citizens of Tampa Bay, stay classy...)

  2. Low class st.pete is a joke to the entire country. Come on foster give up on your dirtbag city. The rays belong in tampa. Accept it or just shut up!!!!!

  3. I'll keep it short and to the point, Jones is just running off at the keyboard bringing up Portland or Northern New Jersey or Brooklyn
    as places the Rayz will be spirited off to. Move to ANYWHERE in the northeast would require the Phils, Mets, Yanks and Sox to ok a competitor into their territories, THEY WON'T ALLOW THAT.
    Portland can't even hang on to a MiLB franchise, MLB is far beyond what that market can handle.
    Stew is using his proxies (puppets) in the local media to stir up the local "OMG! IF WE DON'T GIVE THEM WHAT THEY DEMAND, THEY'LL LEAVE!!" frenzy.
    All goes back to the hick-town image that those in the MLB power
    structure have of the region.

  4. Bottom line to anyone that thinks it's all good, that the Rays just needs to do a better good getting people to St.Pete, and that playing in Channelside won't work, just compare attendances to the Rays game Thursday tonight that was basically a playoff game to the Lightning's preseason game where the Rays only had 3k more people...
    And before people make excuses to defend the status quo because you think the Rays will be taking money out of your pay checks if they move to a newly built ballpark in Tampa, know that the Rays are one of the most popular pro teams in all of Florida, and hockey is probably the 7th most popular. The saddest part is that the Lightning had only 3k less w/out the snowbirds, so what would the Rays of drawn playing across the street???

  5. B. Dufala,

    If the Tampa stadium location is so important, how come the Bucs are plagued with blackouts?

    1. Scott, why be dumb, and argue apples & oranges just for the sake of arguing? The Bucs play over 6-7 miles away only 10 days a year, the Lightning play across the street from the planned site, plus there's is a reason why ESPN ranked the Lightning the #7 franchise in ALL of sports with the Rays #16, and your Bucs #97!
      But, to answer your question considering it's obvious you don't know much about sports (like most commenters on here), it's ownership! Plan & simple, the Glazers aren't even close to being as good of team owner as Jeff & Stu. Which is more reason to give the Rays the benefit of the doubt, and wait-n-see what the Rays plan on doing before making all these dumb-ass assumptions about a new ballpark ONLY based on hear-say situations like Raymond James Stadium or Marlins Park...

    2. B. Dufala,

      You can save alot of keystrokes if you strip out your insults and personal attacks.

    3. I'm sorry, maybe you wasn't trying to smart alec, and really didn't know the difference in our pro sports teams...

    4. I'm sorry, maybe you wasn't trying to smart alec, and really didn't know the difference in our pro sports teams...

  6. Anyone else getting a link to an article about Desmond Jennings, rather than the attendance talks?

  7. The difference is Tropicana Field is not seen as a "cool" place to hang, while the Forum is. Credit Vinik:

    1. Yup, your right Noah, it's the ONLY reason?! LOL, the things you people say on here to back your beliefs, regardless of how far of a stretch it is. Though I guess you are right in a sense, it is a "cooler" temp. inside the Forum then it is in the Trop...
      I guess Noah, if YOU write & post it, it must be true, huh?! lol
      Question Noah, knowing from what you said before that you live in Tampa, besides maybe for work, how many times a year do you go to central or south Pinellas county?

  8. Noah, what do you expect the attendance at the trop to be during a 4 year rebuild? Hypothetically, Price makes it rain and goes off to greener pastures. A couple of the Rays young replacements bomb.

    If we're looking at .450 win team from 2016-2019. What kind of attendance would you expect? 12k?

  9. They are not going to rebuild the trop david. Common sense dude!!!!