I fully acknowledge that the Rays’ stadium situation is terrible, but I don’t get this at all. Last month, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said that St. Petersburg is “not viable” as a home for the Rays, that he wanted to be in Tampa and, at the very least, wanted the entire region to woo his team as if it were a gift from the heavens above.
In light of that, if you’re the mayor of St. Petersburg, how don’t you simply not say “good luck, Stu!” and see what happens? The Rays are locked in their lease. They have absolutely no leverage to extract anything out of you. Sure, it might be nice if they stayed, but as the mayor of a city with unemployment problems and other priorities, how do you spend even an ounce of time on the Rays’ problems?
Don’t ask St. Pete’s Mayor Bill Foster, because he’s in the paper today talking about various options that might make the Rays happy. He’s submitting them to the city council and then will seek the Rays’ OK.
Look, I don’t for a moment pretend to know the ins and outs of Bay Area politics, but can someone explain to me why cities routinely bend over backwards to make sports franchises happy like this?
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.