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Thinking It Through....

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When Stu took over the Rays 13 days ago, a few pessimistic Rays fans(who shall remain nameless) told us not to be overjoyed by the takeover and we definitely should be wary of our new "outsider" owner.

Promises were made, good ones and very optimistic ones. Free Parking, a progressive/gradual increase in payroll and a more fan-friendly regime. The idea of the Rays replanting their "roots" in Florida.

"Stu hasn't SHOWN us that he's gonna do what he promises, we whouldn't go crazy for him", the pessimist fans say,"he's no better than Naimoli or Loria when he took over the Expos."

When I hear things like that, I'm starting to think that some of the pessimist fans actually were closet fans of the Naimoli/LaMar regime and are filled with hatred in their hearts that they're gone. Continuing with a well-known and oft-used phrase, Rome wasn't built in a day.

As an organization, I think of the Rays and their players as sketches in sketchpad of a famous painter. They're not the finished product, they're full of minute flaws and a few extra parts or lines....but you're getting the idea of what they're supposed to be and you're excited on what they could be.

On my AIM, I currently have a "2006 Rays To-do List" and it lists things that I THINK that the Rays should do this offseason to make it as successful as possible, it reads as follows:

  1. Get Rid of Lou Piniella, Chuck LaMar and Vince Naimoli: DONE
  2. Sternberg takes over team, Friedman and Silverman take IMPORTANT positions in the front office: DONE, DONE AND DONE
  3. Hire GM(or advisor for Friedman):
  4. Hire Best Possible Manager out of around 10-12 Candidates, without any biasness towards any of them:
  5. Get WORTHWHILE Free Agents with the 10-20 MIL alloted towards this year's payroll:
  6. Trade Aubrey Huff and Danys Baez For Veteran Starting Pitchers, Catchers and Third Baseman or Blue-Chip Prospects who are "Close to being or are MLB-Ready" in WINTER MEETINGS:
  7. INVITE DELMON YOUNG, JASON HAMMEL, BJ UPTON and WES BANKSTON to Spring Training with starting jobs on the line for them:
  8. KEEP JONNY GOMES ON THE 25-MAN ROSTER:
Optional Items:
1. Resign Rocco, Gomes, Cantu and Kazmir to LONG-TERM DEALS: