Remember last week how the Mayor of St. Petereburg was reported to have some mysterious plan to save the Rays and keep them in town? It was all rather strange, actually, with the mayor playing it close to the vest as if he was guarding the schematics of nuclear warheads or something. I was excited!
Well, so much for that. Today, in an editorial, he has released his plan. The short version: “we’re gonna make sure the Rays honor their lease and, if they don’t, we’re gonna make someone reimburse us for it. If they do stay, though, we’re gonna help ’em advertise!” It was filled out with hundreds of empty politician words about “strategic partners” and cooperation between the public-private sectors and blah, blah, blah that stuff is so weightless it ought to be bottled and used to fill balloons at a used car lot.
There’s no plan there. There’s a politician telling voters that he’s not going to give up several million bucks on the next 16 years of the Rays’ lease on Tropicana Field and a lot of rah-rah, it-won’t-be-so-bad rebop.
If I’m the Rays I start doing everything I can to trick the city into defaulting on its obligations under the lease somehow, skip town and then hope I can win the ensuing litigation. Cynical? Sure. But it’s a better thought-out plan than the Mayor of St. Petersburg just trotted out.