Manfred said the Rays are in great need of a "major league-quality facility" (to which I ask, when did it stop becoming one?), and said talks needed to be put on "the front-burner" (to which, I ask, have they not been?!?).
In fact, Tom Jones penned a column this morning asking the same rhetorical question, "Wait, it hasn't already been on the front burner?"
"Manfred said a new stadium needs government support, which sounds an awful lot like, "Hey, don't expect my buddy Stu to pay for this thing." Manfred also said he has no preference where the stadium is built.And that's why this thing is taking so long. The Rays have refused to talk money for nine years. Despite promising transparency. And it has halted any real progress.
After all, the whole conversation about the perfect site is a big ole distraction to the real issue: funding. And its a way for the Rays to pit Hillsborough against Pinellas, which is already happening. I mean, how do you go shopping for a home without knowing if you're working with a Hyde Park budget or a Pinellas Park budget??Prez Auld paused when asked what #Rays will do to prevent a "Miami Marlins situation" in Tampa Bay - said they'll be nothing but transparent— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) December 9, 2014
Not much has changed in terms of transparency over the years:
#Rays Prez Auld: no comment on how much team will contribute - "we don't know what kind of park we're looking to build."— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) December 9, 2014
Meanwhile, back to Manfred, his comments yesterday weren't any different than what he said a month ago at the All-Star Game, where Field of Schemes summarized, "I think we may need to just admit that Rob Manfred is not very good at this move threat thing...Rays and Oakland A’s fans should be grateful, I suppose, since they don’t have to wake up to “Manfred says [your team here] could move without new stadium” headlines today.Sternberg said ownership does not know how much they will contribute to stadium. Says it depends on the site and what is offered— Justin Granit (@JustinGranit) August 23, 2017
Well, here in Tampa Bay, we woke up to headlines today of more Manfred non-threat threats, even though his most recent comments were really no different than any others.
In 2016, he said relocation was "possible" if the situation reached a point of "desperation"...but they weren't there yet. In 2015, he suggested it was time for Tampa Bay to step up its stadium game. And earlier that year, he basically said local taxpayers needed to be prepared to cough up some dough to keep the Rays long-term...or else.
Nine years after all the Stadium Saga fearmongering started, whattaya know - the team is still here...and we aren't really any closer to building a new stadium in Tampa Bay.
Unless, of course, you count the fact that politicians like Commissioner Ken Hagan, who once campaigned on "no public dollars" for a stadium, have warmed the public up to the idea of spending hundreds of millions of public dollars to make a deal happen.
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