Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Sternberg talks attendance, Kazmir
Posted Sep 2, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Sep 2, 2009 at 06:07 PM
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg addressed the media this afternoon, touching on the hot topics of the moment—primarily attendance and the team dealing away Scott Kazmir last week.
Sternberg didn’t seem too interested in latching onto last night’s seemingly iconic 17,692 attendance figure for the Red Sox series opener, and this is about as far as he would go in response to the low number:
“It’s unexpected. I’m not a person to give explanations. I’m very proud of the job we’ve done this year, last year, since I’ve come in here. I give an A-plus to the entire organization. We’re throwing everything we can at it. I love the game of baseball and I can only believe that others love the game as well, enough to take the time and come out and see us whether we’re playing the Red Sox or the Royals or the Angels or whoever it happens to be.”
On the Kazmir front, Sternberg fielded several questions about the trade and the perception among some that is signaled the Rays were giving up on this season—a perception he doesn’t share.
“I would like to think people know me and know us better that we’re not rolling up any carpets and that we have at least enough of a track record that we have a sense of what we’re doing,” he said. “I think any real fan who looked at it could clearly see that it’s not a salary dump. As a casual fan you want more, more, more – ‘Why didn’t you get this guy? Why didn’t you sign this guy?’ We live within our means. It’s a reallocation of resources.”
But does he understand why some fans might be upset?
“If I were a casual fan or a real fan of the team, I’d feel the same thing,” he said. “People love Scott. He was a great Ray here, he did a lot of tremendous things. This is what we do. This is who we are and this is what we do. People better get used to it, because it’s going to continue.”