Sternberg, speaking before Friday's season opener, said it wouldn't be long, perhaps within months, before MLB and commissioner Bud Selig get involved.The article was written on April 1, 2011 - four years ago today. On that day - just as today - the sportstalk lines were lighting up with concerned Rays fans proclaiming, "the end is near!"
"It's imperative that we get this thing moving," Sternberg said. "The can has been kicked down the road and the road is not much longer … But there needs to be some progress. … And I think my patience is greater than Major League Baseball's."
Foster said the city has no concerns about the team leaving and isn't too worried about increased threats.
Well, four years later, the Rays haven't yet moved to Charlotte, San Antonio, or Montreal...and they aren't anytime soon either.
ALSO READ: Tampa Bay fears stadium stalemate "crisis" (Pt. I)
This is a two-way street; as I wrote yesterday, we shouldn't assume the stalemate is due to St. Pete leaders being stubborn; it's due to St. Pete and the Rays failing to meet in the middle.
And since it's the Rays asking for help (albeit nicely), it's up to them to step up their game.
ALSO READ: 3 things the Rays can do to break the stalemate
It's also worth revisiting this 2011 advice from the Times' editorial board:
Sternberg should make a reasonable offer to St. Petersburg after the season and ask the City Council to vote on it or make a counteroffer. He also should open the Rays' financial books to confirm that the franchise is not making mountains of money.Key word: reasonable. Is only $2M/yr from the Rays reasonable? Is agreeing to simply vacate the city's ballpark land reasonable?
Who's to say what's reasonable? For the people of St. Pete, it's their elected leaders. And the majority of those leaders have decided the current offer is not reasonable.
So as the stalemate drags on, the next editorial from the Times should echo their 2011 statements: the Rays should bring a more reasonable offer to the table; and the team should open its books.
Oh, and while we're at it, can we stop fretting about this being our "last chance" to keep the Rays in Tampa Bay? Don’t believe the hype.
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