Originally written on Reading Between The Seams  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Dueling press conferences and statements today indicate that Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays ownership are either violently agreeing or subtly playing chess against one another with regard to the franchise’s future on the gulf coast of Florida. Quotes via Adam Berry (mlb.com): Principal Rays owner Stuart Sternberg stated today that it is his full intent to keep Tampa in the metropolitan area (which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater…good for Rays staying in Tampa).  He has stated in the past that “I intend to. I expect to” when asked about the keeping the franchise there (good for Rays staying in Tampa) “But as time goes along, the decision slowly and surely gets taken out of my hands.” (bad for Rays staying in Tampa).  He then added today that MLB “doesn’t believe anymore in the Tampa Bay area” (bad for Rays staying in Tampa). The commissioners office of Major League Baseball (that’s code for Bud Selig) retorted that Selig “is disappointed with the current situation in the Tampa Bay market” and that “The status quo is simply not sustainable” (both bad for Rays staying in Tampa). So here are the observables: The good: 1) The Rays have been successful on the field in recent years. 2) The Rays have done extremely well at competing with bigger markets by developing internal talent (are well managed). 3) The Rays ownership is relatively strong and cares about the franchise. The bad: 1) The Rays stadium (Tropicana Field) is widely regarded as the worst in baseball. 2) The Rays attendance has been extraordinarily below expectation. 3) The local TV market is weak and funding from that market will not be significant. People that buy baseball teams were usually successful in business before and should be able to see that this venture is not in a good place. I’m not sure who is threatening whom in terms of relocating, etc.  I think the adjective “unsustainable” is appropriate here. To stay in Tampa (and the surrounding area), it is clear that a new stadium is a must.  That’s what Miami realized, but now, with an extremely unsuccessful product on the field, there are  a lot of questions being raised about that franchise’s future (pretty much locked in now with new stadium).  Tampa needs to be careful about making the same mistake.  Tampa is unique in that the New York Yankees have spring training there (right across from Raymond James Stadium).  The New York Yankees have a minor league team there.  A lot of people that live in Tampa are retirees from New York and many of the Yankees players own large property there for living off season. I personally don’t see the Tampa area as viable beyond the near term.  So where might they move?  I think the answer is Round Rock, Texas, where you would find no shortage of fans and potential owners.  But Nolan Ryan might rally the owners against, and, other than that, I just don’t see any other viable markets.  Contraction anyone? -Dave (@lhd_on_sports) Follow us on Twitter @rbts_sk The post Tampa Bay owner and MLB at odds over future of Rays appeared first on Reading Between The Seams.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: Blue Jackets player takes skate across the face

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.