Speaking at the annual owner/GM meetings in Orlando, Boras suggested the Rays would be better off playing in New Jersey:
“I think there’s a lot of cities that may attract them, but I don’t know…maybe…maybe New Jersey would like their win percentage,” Boras said, completing his takedown of the Tampa Bay market in the JW Marriott Lobby at the GM Meetings Wednesday.It's actually tough to find fault with Boras' suggestion - other than the fact that Boras and MLB are directly at fault for the salary boom that makes 20k fans a game "unacceptable." But yes, it would probably make everyone except perhaps the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies more money.
“The Tampa Bay market, both in what they provided for a stadium and what they provided for the attendance for the quality of the play, has not been consistent with what we’ve seen from other major league markets. Because when you have a team that successful — there are teams that are drawing two-and-a-half to three, over three million for that kind of performance so it’s just really something for the fans of the Tampa Bay area…They need a new ballpark, they need to address that, but certainly the bell’s been answered by the organization as far as putting a product on the field that would normally attract fans.”
Asked whether he absolved Rays ownership, led by New York City native Stuart Sternberg, for not expanding the payroll despite a recent influx in money from a new national television contract, Boras defended the Rays.
“I think retention of their players is key to the building of a franchise,” Boras said. “But what also have to understand is that, that’s probably true of a true grade of an ownership that has had support of the fan base when winning. They have not.
Actually, the most appropriate quote was in the Tampa Bay Times, with Boras saying other teams are shopping for steak while the Rays are shopping for Snickers. Appropriate, because neither the Rays - nor the Stadium Saga - are going anywhere for a while.
More fun to ensue Wednesday, when Selig meets with Stuart Sternberg again.