Tales of the Bizarre – the Rays
Tampasphere still wants to hold off on an in depth discussion of the Rays. However, strange things keep happening, unusually revolving around the Mayor of St. Pete.
This week, the Times tells us that a Pinellas County Commissioner said that the St. Pete Mayor was complaining about poor marketing by the Rays:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/are-the-rays-deliberately-dogging-marketing-of-team/1198662 The Mayor’s response was just as odd:
Told of Foster’s denial, Latvala stood by her recollection of what he said Friday. Foster was “very concise and clear” that the Rays weren’t “putting all the resources they really could because they want it to fail,” she said.
She said Foster told her the Rays spent about $500,000 on marketing, and it was on the low end of Major League Baseball. She said he also told her that he had people close to him researching the issue, but did not identify them.
There is no way to know who is being more accurate, though we cannot think of a motive from the County Commissioner to make it up.
Why would the mayor start talking about marketing, especially when he told the city council later in the week:
If he questions such a role, why is he discussing the team’s marketing? Why does he consider it his business? It could be just another odd event in a series of odd events. Or it could be the Mayor, confronted with an issue in which he is putting himself in a box, looking to shift blame for the Rays’ attendance issues away from the stadium and its location. (Unless he likes these kids of lists where Tropicana Field seems to be very common, see here and here.)
At least the Mayor agreed to go meet the Rays, even if it means going to New York. Hopefully, he will follow through.
We agree with a St. Pete City Council member:
So true. However, nothing positive will happen until St. Pete, including its mayor, finally admits that there is something wrong about Tropicana Field and its location – not that a new stadium has to be outside St. Pete – but there is the possibility it does. Work out a price for letting the Rays look all over the region, and let’s get on with the obvious task.