BOSTON - Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg reacted before Tuesday's game at Fenway Park to baseball commissioner Bud Selig's latest public comments concerning how disappointed he is with the low attendance figures at Tropicana Field. "Bud was very pointed," Stenberg said. "I believe he's spoken in years past about the disappointment and concern. The verbiage within baseball, which I probably first brought public about in spring training (2011), there was talk back then, and it's been ratcheted up dramatically, and there is pressure coming from other owners, as well, who are not pleased with the situation and the (revenue) money they are sharing with us and the extent of (the revenue sharing)." Sternberg said he has spoken with St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster numerous times about receiving permission to look for a stadium location outside Pinellas County. "I would like to believe that that's going to bear some fruit and allow us the opportunity to put this franchise on great footing for generations to come," Sternberg said.
As for the current state of his team, Sternberg couldn't be happier. On June 21, he said the Rays were beginning a crucial part of the season, with the stretch of games against the Astros, White Sox and Twins leading into the All-Star break. The Rays responded by winning 21 of 25 games to move to within half a game of the Red Sox heading into Tuesday's game. "We took care of business and then some, to say the least," he said. As for the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Sternberg noted the Rays' history of not making trades. He also added that the Rays don't have any glaring weaknesses. "Unquestionably, we will do what we can to make the team at least as good, if not better, this year and anything we can do to make the team better in years to come is always on our minds," he said. [email protected] (813) 259-7227 Twitter: @RMooneyTBO