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Q&A with

I had a Q&A with Mike from the new site

If you have not signed the petition on the VinceMustGo web site, I encourage you to do so to show your support. There are Vince Must Go T-shirts you can buy at the website, proceeds of which will go towards the Multiple Sclerosis Society for research. Now, on to the program...

Tell me about and how you got started with this site? When was the site started, etc?

I was listening to a local radio station, 620 WDAE, with host Steve Duemig and he was ranting about how the press was fed up with Naimoli's lack of spending and such. I started to think if there was a way I could get involved.  Over the weekend I registered the website name and worked on getting it on on Monday the 18th.

For the people who are not familiar with Vince the owner, can you give me some background on some of the history about what has transpired since he was awarded the team in Tampa?

Vince Naimoli was instrumental in getting the franchise secured in Tampa, ironically. In 1996 Vince Naimoli and St. Petersburg Mayor David Fischer preside over the official groundbreaking ceremony for the 15- month, $63 million Tropicana Field renovations.  Each year he has continually spent at or near the lowest payroll dollars in the entire league.  Fans are fed up with the lack of positive spending.

I am told the fans of Tampa are dedicated fan like you can not find anywhere. To me I have not seen an owner that seems to have this bad a relationship with the community since George Shinn and the Charlotte area. What do you think the major issues are?

lack of sympathy for the fans perspective. The fact is that Naimoli makes money whether the fans show up or not thanks to revenue sharing. He made $27 million last year in his pocket.

What is your understanding about the new owners, is Sternberg taking over the fans wish or is this a reality, would Vince have to step down?

I believe it's in Vince's contract that he can not be pushed out. He would have to quit.

Anything you tell me about anything not fan friendly as far as going to a game the the Trop? I know when I visited for a Spring Training game, one thing that seemed odd to me was that you could not reenter the stadium if you left  the stadium for anything...

Ushers are the big complaint. with 8,000 fans a night, why can't they let fans move down closer after the 7th inning? It'll look good for the tv broadcast. A friend of mine went once and we were cheering loudly for the Rays and booing the other team. The usher came over and told us we had to be quiet or leave. This is NOT the way to treat fans if you want them to

I know being a long time Bucs fan, that a regime change was necessary for the franchise to break out of its image. Other than winning, how else can they change their image.

Showing fans that the ownership is dedicated to the team and the fans by spending more money would be a start.  While it does not guarantee a win, it certainly gives the team more talent to have the opportunity.

Why do you think a GM like LaMar would stick around this long given the financial constraints placed on him?

I do not honestly know. I do believe he is dedicated to the team and the fans. He's in a tough position because he has to do what Naimoli tell him to do, yet I feel like he knows what he is doing it wrong.