Far be it for me to defend Kevin King, the Chief of Staff to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, but here goes…
King recently committed what Michael Kinsley described as a gaffe.
A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, remarked Kinsely. And while King is not in elected office, he is in politics and he did tell the truth.
About what you ask? About the remoteness of Oldsmar in relation to St. Petersburg and Tampa and the Tampa Bay Rays search for a new location for a stadium.
“If the Rays want to alienate St. Petersburg and Tampa, it may be ideal. To me, Oldsmar’s like Georgia,” King told Charlie Frago of the Tampa Bay Times.
King’s so right, he doesn’t even know it. I reckon the kind of folks who buy season tickets for a baseball team are as likely to visit Atlanta as they are Oldsmar. I know I’ve been in Georgia more during the last five years than I’ve been in Oldsmar.
But don’t tell that to the uber regionalists, like my friends Sen. Jack Latvala and Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, who sound surprised that the Mayor of St. Petersburg and the staff which works for him have a St. Pete-first mentality.
“It made me furious,” Long told the Times. “It set a tone that went in the opposite direction to what so many of us have been working so hard to get beyond.”
I’m sorry, Commish, but what do you expect? For the City of St. Pete to sit quietly while it loses a baseball team to, um, Oldsmar.
Losing the Rays to Bob Buckhorn and Tampa is one thing, but to lose it a town out in BFE is another.
The Rays might as well move to Georgia.
P.S. Apparently Some in Oldsmar doesn’t think too highly of St. Pete, either.
Councilmember Jerry Beverland remarked during a recent meeting, “I don’t give a rat’s rear end about St. Petersburg, because it is like a rat’s rear end, and you can tell him that because I don’t really care. That man can go to Hades.’’
For the record, Beverland is old enough that he was around when Hades was still under construction along the River Styx.