ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 03: A general view as pitcher David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches in the first inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 3, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
A big thanks to Josh (EmFront) for passing this along: in today's St. Pete Times, they're reporting that Tampa has said they can contribute around $100 million for a new stadium for the Rays. That may only be a portion of what would be needed to fund a new stadium (most run around $500 million), but heck, it's still a lot better than $0. Up until now, it was my understanding that Tampa's budget was so tight, they weren't willing or able to contribute anything toward a new stadium. This news obviously changes things.
The article goes on to mention a few other signs of hope:
The city's debt on the Tampa Convention Center is scheduled to be paid off in 2015. Then the city expects to have about $12.5 million a year available for downtown improvements, and that money could be used to repay stadium-related bonds. But here's a big caveat: Tampa hasn't said it would put the money toward a stadium, only that it could.
This news only further fuels my gut feeling: if the Rays can get out of St. Pete, the funding will be doable. Challenging, mayhap, but doable. Sternberg was willing to contribute money to the sail stadium proposal, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's willing to put in a chunk of his own money to make something happen. But the Rays still need to find a way to deal with Bill Foster.
Jason is once again on the road, but while he was in Minneapolis, he joined Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports/AaronGleeman.com and John Bonnes of TwinsGeek on their "Gleeman and the Geek" podcast to talk about the Rays and how they and the Twins have a rather intertwined history.
Over at Grantland, Chris Jones took a look yesterday at the use of "we" in sports. I get it, obviously us fans are not actually a part of the team and have nothing to do with what's happening on the field. But at the same time, I can't get annoyed at fans identifying with their teams, considering the amount of time and energy they invest in following them. Obviously writers shouldn't be using "we" to refer to teams, but if a fan wants to use it, I'm not about to judge them.*
*Full disclosure: I may have been know to drop "we" in conversation when talking about the Rays on occasion.
Satchel Price put together an AL East All-Star team yesterday, and I can't take much offense to it; I'm disappointed Zobrist didn't get at least mentioned as a backup at second base, but that's my only quibble. It is impressive how the Rays can be so good, yet have so few players rate out as best in the division at their position.
Umm, a YouTube video entitled The Real Housewives of South Boston? I couldn't resist.