Originally written on Reading Between The Seams  |  Last updated 11/12/14
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

Marcus Allen sounds off on Raiders for sack celebration

Report: Doctors found mass on Eric Berry's chest

Jay Gruden: RG3 to remain starter against Colts

LeBron James on four-game losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Johnny Manziel and his entourage involved in brawl

Report: Mariners sign Kyle Seager to $100 million extension

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Reports confirm Ryan Mallett is out for the season

Golden Tate: Loss to Patriots was 'embarrassing'

Pete Carroll: Beating Cards ‘best feeling we’ve had all year’

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola over cheap shot

Tom Brady: ‘It’s fun going to Lambeau’

Anquan Boldin after exchange with Jim Haslett: He’s irrelevant

Ohio State students covering every 'M' on campus

Tampa paper wants the Bears to take Josh McCown back

The top 25 greatest rivalries in college football history

WATCH: Tom Brady sits down for interview with Randy Moss

UNC vandalized Duke locker room with spray paint after win

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez highlight Hall of Fame ballot

Sales of Odell Beckham Jr.'s jersey on the rise

RG3 struggles again, Redskins offense stuck in neutral

12 amazing stats from Week 12

Hockey Fights of the Week

Three head coaches who won't be with current team in 2015

Katy Perry confirmed as Super Bowl XLIX halftime performer

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

Boldin on Haslett: He's irrelevant

Pablo Sandoval signs with Red Sox?

Beckham makes the catch of the season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 12

WWE Survivor Series results

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

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.