Since Stuart Sternberg purchased the Rays in 2005, the franchise has “lost money from every point in time you can pick,” he told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. In spite of that, Sternberg has no interest in selling the team and is optimistic about keeping it in Tampa Bay with a new stadium to replace Tropicana Field. “If we are going to propose it, it will be because we believe it works for generations,” said Sternberg, who is encouraged that local politicians – including the mayors of both Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg – have been cooperative in the process. Sternberg & Co. are working on cutting down a half-dozen potential stadium sites to a “pin-perfect” choice. He’s also looking to land a new TV deal sometime in the near future, but he admitted it could be years before that comes to fruition.
More from around baseball:
- As a result of his December DUI arrest in South Korea, Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang has agreed to enter a voluntary treatment program, reports Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. By doing so, the 29-year-old Kang could lessen any potential punishment from Major League Baseball. A joint panel agreed upon by the league and the players association recommended treatment for Kang, who has three DUI arrests to his name. The league’s prior collective bargaining agreement stated that “participation in any Treatment Program shall be considered as a mitigating factor in any discipline imposed by either the Club or the Office of the Commissioner.” That likely remains the case in the newly minted CBA, per Brink.
- MLB and the MLBPA are amid talks centering on pace-of-play issues, commissioner Rob Manfred told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Introducing a pitch clock to speed up games doesn’t seem to be on the table, relays Davidoff, though cutting back on mound visits – at least from teammates – is under consideration. However, there’s “still a ways to go” before that becomes a reality, a source informed Davidoff.
- ESPN’s Keith Law (subscription required and recommended) has released his annual list of all 30 teams’ best sleeper prospects, noting that six to eight of these players typically crack his top 100 the next year. Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty and Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto are among those who have recently become quality major leaguers after Law rated them as sleepers.