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Rays cast dissenting vote against CBA to protest their plight

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The need a little help. They didn’t feel they got it.

Hence was Stu Sternberg’s lone dissenting vote as MLB owners ratified their new labor agreement by a vote of 29-1.

The Rays have long felt that the gap between large-market and small-market teams was widening, and they viewed the new labor agreement as a chance to address their concerns.

“I am thankful for the hard work, leadership, and spirit of compromise that were essential to this agreement coming together,” Sternberg told the Associated Press in an e-mail. “However, twice a decade, the bargaining process provides an opportunity to address the extraordinary and widening competitive gap that exists on-field between higher and lower revenue clubs. I feel that opportunity was missed here.”

The Rays wanted changes in the draft, for instance, that would give small market teams additional picks.

“Lower revenue clubs face a lot of obstacles, especially when it comes to talent acquisition,” baseball operations president Matt Silverman said last month. “We can’t go out and spend like other clubs so we need to find other avenues to be able to acquire that talent. We’ve looked for additional access on the amateur side, on the international side, and there haven’t been any major changes in the last 10 years, and in fact the revenue disparity between clubs has grown by an immense amount.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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