Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sternberg, Silverman React to Friedman's Departure

After learning Andrew Friedman would head from the West Coast of Florida to the West Coast of the continent, Stu Sternberg & Matt Silverman held a conference call.

Sternberg - as quoted by Josh Vitale of the Charlotte Sun - still kind of mopes a bit about the "challenges" he accepted when he purchased the team.  But he struck a fairly up-beat tone by the end of it:
  • “From Day 1 when he came in here, when we all came in here, we knew what challenges we had. Obviously we would have liked to have been further along in that area, but Andrew has lived through that and worked through that as well. But at the end of the day, whatever happens with our attendance and as far as our stadium is concerned, it has an effect on everything that’s done in the organization. We work around it, we work hard and we try to work smart, but when you finish last in attendance or near the bottom consistently, it permeates throughout the organization.”
  • “I don’t expect anyone to be joining him in Los Angeles.”
  • “The level of confidence wasn’t that great to begin with. Year to year, it’s not that great. Given the hand that we’re dealt and how we go at it, it’s half a miracle that we get done what we get done and get to where we get to. Having said that, if Andrew were here and we weren’t having this phone call today and the Rays were just moving along, I wouldn’t have a lot of confidence that we were going to become a 90-win team next year like we had been for a period of time, either. Now, having said that, you go through the offseason, you get to spring training and you have some expectations. We certainly had some expectations coming into last season where a lot of people on this call said we were as good a team as anyone in baseball. So I never really have a lot of confidence in these things. The games have to be played. But I do have confidence in the process, and I’m very confident in the process we’re going to have in doing all the things necessary to make certain that we put us in the best position to win.”
Vitale also quotes Silverman, who will be taking over his friend's position:
  • “Personally, this is a very difficult day for me. It’s one filled with sadness, as one of my best friends in life has moved away and taken a different job. That’s the primary emotion. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel differently a couple days from now or a couple weeks from now, and I’ll be invigorated by the challenge we face, just like I am every October when we turn the page and look toward the next season. But now, I’m dealing with a lot of sadness, a lot of reflection, as well as a lot of good wishes for Andrew.”
  • “I have a lot of familiarity with the operations of our baseball department, and I’ve worked very closely with almost everyone in a leadership position. In terms of the ins and outs of trades, it’s something that we approach as a group, not just in baseball operations, but also with Stu and with me. Andrew has been the one executing those, but that will be different going forward, obviously. But I’m very familiar with it, and I’ve had a unique vantage point for nine years watching Andrew, observing and pitching in when necessary. I’m prepared for the challenge.”

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