SUNDAY ST. PETERSBURG TIMES:
If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press time for Marc Topkin's weekly column. This week's headlining topic is MLB Commissioner Bud Selig weighing in on the Rays' plans for a new $450 million waterfront stadium in St. Petersburg. Essentially, Selig just babbles on about how proud he is of the Rays' success, that they are a prime example of improved competitive balance in Major League Baseball, but that they need a new stadium to produce the revenues necessary to be competitive. This is Bud Selig. We've heard the same song and dance from him in about a dozen other cities.
Elsewhere, Topkin goes on to provide some interesting little tidbits on the draft, and the brawl gets its own section too. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick of discussing that brawl already. Nonetheless, the brawl talk did give Topkin an excuse to call Kevin Youkilis a whiner, which was spectacular. He further goes on to talk about various things in his "Rumblings" section. Here are the two tidbits I found the most interesting:
Not to get too far ahead of things, but the Trop might be booked in October, with a home show tentatively set for Oct. 3-5 and an RV show Oct. 17-19.
Nationals OF Elijah Dukes has irritated someone else, as umpire Doug Eddings took exception to Dukes looking back at, then gesturing toward him (thumping his chest), after hitting a walkoff homer Thursday, and again as he neared the plate. Dukes didn't like a strike call earlier in the at-bat.
File those two under "the more things change, the more they stay the same".
Although not in Topkin's actual weekly column, he indicates that the Rays have begun "preliminary discussions" on a contract with No. 1 overall pick SS Tim Beckham in his notebook. Says Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman:
Per our policy, we will not provide a blow-by-blow account of the negotiations. We are hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement in the near future so Tim can start on his path to the major leagues.
The other interesting tidbit from that column was a report that television ratings from Rays games on FSN Florida are up 18% from a year ago. We don't often hear too much about how the Rays are doing on the TV side of things, but it's good to hear that they are seeing progress as well.
And lastly, John Romano weighs in with a good column on LHP David Price's performance in Vero Beach and his standing developmentally.