Now, Manfred's Telling the Rays' Stadium to Speed It Up
And to think this dump was once considered a des res for MLB owners looking to blackmail their local cities and fans.
Somehow, St Petersburg's city fathers never realized that Field of Dreams was fiction.
Build it and they will come?
Did MLB see this city coming, or what?
- The White Sox saw St Pete as a convenient tethered goat in 1988.
- The Giants threatened to move outta San Francisco for St Petersburg in 1992.
- The Mariners were also damn near packing up the moving vans for Florida's Gulf Coast in 1992.
After the tethered goat thing wore off -- and three owners were enriched in one way or another -- all St Petersburg got was:
- a carbuncle of a stadium (great word, Prince Chuck},
- a team that didn't even use its name (Tampa prevailed again}, and
- a mascot that somehow got equated with the Mark of the Beast.
And from the rubble of eternal darkness, beams of sunshine pierced their abbreviated name.
The club did find smart people to guide them all the way to the 2008 World Series. Then, when those dudes left for bigger brands in Los Angeles and Chicago, they found other smart people to replace them.
So they're getting stuff figured out down there.
But not fast enough for the Stopwatch Commissioner.
Does Rob Manfred really think current Rays owner Stuart Sternberg isn't trying to get a new facility sorted every day?
The fact is, despite stopwatches on pitchers, games are longer this year than last year.
If players were egregiously stalling in games, that'd be one thing.
If a local owner is being as proactive as possible to make his team's situation work in his area, that's the same thing.
Fans often get accused of spending other peoples' money when it comes to their favorite teams. Manfred may be a fan, but he's also inside the game enough to know better.