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Former DRay minority owner goes on record

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Bill Griffin's perspective:

Last year, he was one of six original investors who sold their shares to New York investor Stuart Sternberg.

Sternberg paid about $65 million to buy out the six partners. He now owns 49 percent of the Devil Rays, though Vince Naimoli continues to serve as managing general partner.

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There have been rumors that Naimoli will step aside after the 2006 season and Sternberg will take over.

This is where the hope part comes in. Sternberg would increase the payroll to a point where the Rays could at least be competitive. Behind the scenes, Sternberg was believed to have played a big role in the recent contract extension of Carl Crawford, one of the most important moves in team history.

On paper this guy's a heavyweight," said Griffin of Sternberg. "I don't know if he'd put his toe in the water if he weren't prepared to go all the way in.

This year is definately a transition year for the Devil Rays, and we can expect to see more of Sternberg's touch from this point on. The Devil Rays have a long way to climb in their voyage, but the Yankees are not getting any younger. Keep in mind it was the Yankees farm system that brought them back. Its easy to forget that Don Mattingly played on alot of bad Yankee teams, and unfortunately did not get to taste much post season play.