• Bud Annoyed That Rays Don’t Draw

    Posted by on July 17th, 2013 · Comments (15)

    Via the T.B. Times

    Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said his patience is running thin in his latest ominous-sounding assessment of the Rays’ ongoing attendance and stadium issues.

    “It is beyond disappointing,” Selig said Tuesday. “You cannot ask a franchise to continue, when they have been so competitive and really, really done a marvelous job, in a situation that is economically not tolerable.”

    Selig offered no solutions or deadlines, saying he will continue conversations with Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, but took a double-barreled shot at the Tampa Bay situation.

    He called the Rays’ attendance “very disappointing and very worrisome,” citing their average 17,791, which ranks 29th in the majors (ahead of only Miami) and well below the overall average of 30,268.

    “Look at their club in the major leagues and it’s competitive, and is averaging 18,000 people a game,” he said. “That may have been okay in 1956, but it’s not okay today.”

    And Selig said Tropicana Field, where the Rays are in the 16th season of a 30-year use agreement, is a major issue.

    “There’s no question there’s a stadium problem,” Selig said. “There’s no debate about it. The question is what to do about it and when to do it and where, and those are conversations Mr. Sternberg and I will have.”

    Selig, speaking to the Baseball Writers Association of America, made it sound as if those talks with Sternberg will become more urgent.

    “I have a very high level of frustration,” Selig said. “I think my patience is running as thin as his, if not more so. I don’t know what will happen with that; he and I need to have a lot more conversations.”

    Selig said he would discuss with Sternberg the possibility of a visit to talk with Tampa Bay area officials.

    How annoyed is Bud? Is he annoyed enough to tell the Yankees and Mets (and Phillies) “Suck it!” and then allow the Rays to move to New Jersey?

    Comments on Bud Annoyed That Rays Don’t Draw

    1. MJ Recanati
      July 17th, 2013 | 9:12 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      How annoyed is Bud? Is he annoyed enough to tell the Yankees and Mets (and Phillies) “Suck it!” and then allow the Rays to move to New Jersey?

      It would be a pretty funny thing to do, considering the fact that the existence of a franchise in Tampa Bay was Selig’s own doing in the first place.

      The Yankees and Mets (and Phillies, depending on where in New Jersey the Rays might be situated) would get something out of it if Tampa is relocated to this area. Selig couldn’t just do it without making a concession or two to each affected club.

      And if he does do this, he’ll get sued by the Oakland A’s for infringing upon the territorial rights of some clubs (Yankees/Mets/Phillies) but not on others (Giants) since the only holdup to the A’s getting a new deal is San Francisco’s invoking their territorial rights claim to each and every site the A’s have tried to purchase for a new stadium.

    2. July 17th, 2013 | 9:41 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      And if he does do this, he’ll get sued by the Oakland A’s

      And, then, the owners of the A’s will be kicked out of baseball. Don’t forget – the whole owners circle is MLB, and, it’s a country club. You have to be invited/accepted to join. And, if you mess with the group, you will be cast out.

    3. MJ Recanati
      July 17th, 2013 | 10:51 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, then, the owners of the A’s will be kicked out of baseball. Don’t forget – the whole owners circle is MLB, and, it’s a country club. You have to be invited/accepted to join. And, if you mess with the group, you will be cast out.

      The A’s ownership group was hand-picked by Bud because they went to college together and were in the same fraternity.

      Bud isn’t kicking out an ally of his that he’s strung along for years unless he wants two lawsuits instead of one.

    4. July 17th, 2013 | 11:11 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The A’s ownership group was hand-picked by Bud because they went to college together and were in the same fraternity.

      So, then, why would the A’s sue Bud, ever?

    5. MJ Recanati
      July 17th, 2013 | 11:17 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      So, then, why would the A’s sue Bud, ever?

      They’ve already threatened litigation if they can’t get their stadium issue resolved.

    6. Evan3457
      July 17th, 2013 | 12:24 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      And if he does do this, he’ll get sued by the Oakland A’s
      And, then, the owners of the A’s will be kicked out of baseball. Don’t forget – the whole owners circle is MLB, and, it’s a country club. You have to be invited/accepted to join. And, if you mess with the group, you will be cast out.

      What mechanism allows a commissioner of baseball to “kick a team out” of MLB? I daresay such an edict from Selig, or even from the other 29 teams, would result in a massive decade-long lawsuit…one that MLB would probably lose, possibly along with their long-cherished antitrust exemption.

    7. July 17th, 2013 | 12:35 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What mechanism allows a commissioner of baseball to “kick a team out” of MLB?

      Well, he can make their life miserable, where they would want to sell.

    8. Raf
      July 17th, 2013 | 1:13 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Is he annoyed enough to tell the Yankees and Mets (and Phillies) “Suck it!” and then allow the Rays to move to New Jersey?

      I doubt it. Especially when you consider all that went on last year with the Yankees wanting to move their AAA team to Newark while PNC was being renovated.

      So, then, why would the A’s sue Bud, ever?

      For the same reason Angelos and the O’s would, to protect their self interests.

      I think the Rays have a better shot of going to Montreal than they do to NJ, and we know the unlikeliness of MLB ever returning to Montreal :)

    9. MJ Recanati
      July 17th, 2013 | 1:42 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Well, he can make their life miserable, where they would want to sell.

      He already has. He’s choking that A’s franchise slowly with every passing year that he refuses to force a settlement with the Giants (as he did with the O’s and Nationals when the Nats were relocated in Baltimore’s territory).

    10. LMJ229
      July 18th, 2013 | 10:20 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      How annoyed is Bud? Is he annoyed enough to tell the Yankees and Mets (and Phillies) “Suck it!” and then allow the Rays to move to New Jersey?

      I can’t see that happening at all. With long established teams like the Yankees, the Knicks, and the Rangers New Jersey fans are too invested in those teams to support a team of their own. Just look at the Nets and the Devils.

    11. Raf
      July 18th, 2013 | 11:37 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I can’t see that happening at all. With long established teams like the Yankees, the Knicks, and the Rangers New Jersey fans are too invested in those teams to support a team of their own. Just look at the Nets and the Devils.

      I think the Nets’ attendance in Brooklyn was better than it was in E. Rutherford and Newark. I think the Devils’ attendance has been better in Newark than it was in E. Rutherford. I wonder how well the Islanders will do once they move to Brooklyn.

      To be fair, the Devils kept up with the Rangers in terms of attendance this past season (Rangers outdrew them, but not by much). We’ll see if they’re able to keep it up.

    12. MJ Recanati
      July 19th, 2013 | 7:55 am

      Raf wrote:

      I wonder how well the Islanders will do once they move to Brooklyn.

      It’s a very good question, especially since I don’t perceive too many hockey fans around the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn…

      That being said, the point for the Isles was to earn more revenue from a better facility in that the rent they pay to the Nets will yield more revenue than the rent they were paying to Nassau County. It’ll be a good move for them financially but it probably won’t result in a dramatic increase folks that call themselves Islanders fans.

    13. July 19th, 2013 | 8:12 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I can’t see that happening at all. With long established teams like the Yankees, the Knicks, and the Rangers New Jersey fans are too invested in those teams to support a team of their own.

      If it’s affordable major league baseball, in a nice ballpark, the Rays would draw in NJ – of that, I have no doubt. At the least, they would double what they are doing now in Tampa.

      The BlueClaws and Patriots are kings at the box-office in their respective leagues. And, the fact that anyone goes to see the Jackals is amazing. There’s a ton of baseball fans in NJ who would love to have an option other than the Bronx and Queens.

    14. Raf
      July 19th, 2013 | 11:48 am

      @ Steve L.:
      I think a distinction should be made between those leagues and MLB.

      Also, even though the BlueClaws and Patriots are doing well, the NJ Cardinals and Sussex Skyhawks failed. The Bears are struggling in Newark. Jersey City had a few teams that failed.

    15. Raf
      July 20th, 2013 | 10:14 am

      Of course, there’s the logistics of where you would put a team if they were to play in NJ. I can’t imagine that NJ would want to pony up to build a new stadium, what with 3 recently built facilities, MetLife Stadium, Red Bull Arena (2010), and Prudential Center (2007) recently being built.

      But here is a link to NJ baseball photos
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/njbaseball/sets/72157626032342732/with/5439269802/

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