Two St. Petersburg Times staff writers, David Decamp and Michael Von Sickler, reported today that St. Petersburg mayor, Bill Foster, made very Stu Sternberg like comments (read: those of a petulant teenager) regarding the Rays marketing, or shall I say lack there of (according to Foster), in the area.
According to the article, Foster was implicated by Pinellas County commissioner, Susan Latvala, as having said, “I believe that they are deliberately trying to hurt the team financially by not promoting it adequately” in a phone conference Friday. Foster categorically denies that those statements were uttered and responded by saying “That’s stupid, that’s ludicrous.” According to Latvala, Foster also went on to say that the Rays organization spent only $500 thousand on marketing in the 2011 season; an accusation that was denied by the Rays spokesman, Rick Vaughn, who said the Rays spends “far in excess” of $500,000 on marketing, and “Our budget for giveaway items alone exceeds that amount.”
The article can be read in its entirety here. I highly recommend opening the link, and taking the opportunity to read it.
As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, Stu Sternberg brings up legitimate points, but does so in a mind numbing “Silver Spoons” Rick Schroder kind of way. In this case, I can’t help but feel that mayor Foster is acting in a similar manner. Does he have a valid concern? Of course. However, his manner of working that concern through, in a very public fashion at that, is not doing anything to bolster the desire of the organization to work with good old “Open Door” Bill Foster. On the contrary, it wreaks of back tracking an damage control.
Allow me to get on my righteous high-horse for a moment and reiterate the importance of us Rays fans having our say in this ongoing, urm…narrative. It doesn’t matter how you do it, people. All that matters is that you do it.