Still not sure how commissioner Rob Manfred confused getting encouragement about the team’s future from talking with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (which makes sense) and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (which would have been bigger news).
There really isn’t much to speak of with this being the All-Star Break, and me being on vacation. Still a few nuggets of Tampa Bay Rays related news and updates follow.
― Marc Topkin writes that Chris Archer is expected to take the mound in the fourth and/or fifth innings in tonight’s All-Star Game, while Brad Boxberger is likely to pitch in the sixth or seventh.
― MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred met with the media during a q-and-a session with members of the Baseball Writers Association of America for his annual discussion of all things baseball at the midway point of the season. The topic of the Rays Stadium Saga invariably came up.
Manfred said that he is encouraged by the political support for the Rays ― including Tampa Mayor Buckhorn ― and got a sense that the area politicos want to get something done to keep the team in the area. There was no indication that he made an effort to speak with the mayor of St. Petersburg or the city council.
I find encouraging the fact that it seems that politicians in the area (broadly defined) are interested in getting something done and keeping the Rays in St. Petersburg-Tampa or Tampa-St. Petersburg, which ever way you want to say it. I find that to be encouraging.
The attendance problem continues to be a big concern for Major League Baseball, although he sees it as an indictment of the facility (Tropicana Field) and ― per Marc Topkin ― location, not the viability of the market. Manfred reiterated that Major League Baseball “absolutely feels the (Tampa Bay) market is viable.”
MLB is not yet at the stage of considering relocation for the Rays, nor will they unless Manfred and Stu Sternberg conclude a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area is “not possible.” The commissioner, however, is “open to the idea” that expansion may be possible, and they (MLB) have a list of viable cities ― including Montreal.
― Brad Boxberger with his daughter Ava Marie on the All-Star red carpet:
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 14, 2015
― The fine folks at Mitchell & Ness wanted to honor this great pastime by finding the longest home run hit in each of the current MLB stadiums then plotting the flight path of each ball at this year’s All-Star venue, Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The interactive graphic portrays some of the most iconic home runs in the game.