At a time major league baseball teams are giving richer and richer contracts, Rays’ owner Stu Sternberg feels more and more at a disadvantage.
Sternberg, speaking to the Tampa Bay Times at the winter meetings in Nashville, looks at the situation through the eyes of a baseball owner who spends $70 million dollars a year. That’s barely more than the Cubs spent to sign ex-Ray Ben Zobrist ($54 million over four years) and nowhere near what the Red Sox paid former Ray David Price ($217 million over seven).
“We’re getting left on an island,” Sternberg said. “A smaller and smaller island.
“We’re not going to be on a level playing field. I’d like to at least be in the outfield, but it’s like we’re outside in the parking lot.”
The Rays may be closer to being able to shop around for their new stadium soon, although Sternberg says he has no idea just how much that would help.
“I do believe,” Sternberg said. “I’m confident I’ll find a way. I’m an optimist at heart. I don’t want to speak for any owners in baseball, but I don’t know how many would trade their last 10 years for mine.
“I don’t mind a fight with a hand tied behind my back. I don’t mind a fight going in if I don’t have enough sleep. But it’s tough when the other guy is driving a tank and I’m sitting here on a three-wheel bicycle.”