Common sense finally prevailed.
Last week we received word that Major League Baseball said that they were not about to approve the split season plan that the Tampa Bay Rays had been pursuing the last two years, to split the season with Montreal.
You had a feeling it was going to happen sooner or later. There was no way the Players Association, was going to sign on to this half-baked idea. I thought the players association would be the first to say no the idea. So it was surprising that MLB was the first to give this idea thumbs down.
We assume that Stu Sternberg the owner of the Rays is a smart person, But this was one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard.
Speaking after the announcement from MLB, Rays president Brian Auld said, “We put everything we had into this effort because we truly believed in it. We thought it was great for the Rays, for our players, for Major League Baseball, for Montreal and Tampa Bay. And to have the rug pulled out from under us like this is extraordinarily disappointing.”
It is now back to square for the Rays as they will now continue to revisit those talks with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County on a new stadium.
There is still a lot that has yet to be determined. Where will the new stadium be located? How much will the city and the county contribute towards a new stadium?
Is relocation a possibility? I think it is just as a negotiating tactic. Sternberg could threaten to move the team to a new city that will give him the sun, moon, and stars, if he will move the Rays to their city.
However, when the Rays and Sternberg first approached the city of Montreal about splitting the season with Tampa, Sternberg told the Montreal group that he wanted the Rays to remain in Tampa. From the very beginning Sternberg said, “I am not going to take this team out of Tampa. I am not.”
The good news is there will be no sharing of the Rays with Montreal. That is the good news. Now, the real work begins of getting a new stadium built in the right part of Tampa for generations of Rays fans to enjoy for years to come.