As his last days in office tick away, Mayor Bill Foster on Thursday issued his most pessimistic declaration yet on the future of the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg and the Pinellas peninsula.Not sure that comment is any more pessimistic than the one he made in September:
"I don't think there's anything in the equation that causes Major League Baseball to want to stay in Pinellas County," Foster said.
"It has become apparent to me that Major League Baseball has no intention of assisting the city and Rays in reaching a mutually beneficial solution," Foster wrote in a memo to the council. "Nor does Major League Baseball seem interested in a cooperative effort to keep the Rays in the Tampa Bay Region for the long term."Foster was villinized during his unsuccessful re-election campaign for not being able to strike a deal with the Rays, but it's clear he's still trying to explain the stalemate: the team and league want to be let out of their contract, but may not be willing to compensate the city for it. That's why incoming mayor Rick Kriseman is about to enter some very difficult negotiations.