St. Petersburg gives the Rays a chance to leave town. But only a tiny one.


The central fact of the Rays miserable stadium situation is that they are contractually bound to St. Pete and the mayor there has threatened suit if the Rays even talk to anyone about a possible stadium in Tampa.  But there is now a glimmer of hope:

City Council member Charlie Gerdes placed a proposal on Thursday’s council agenda that would give the team three years to investigate new stadium sites in either Hillsborough or Pinellas counties in exchange for a payment equal to the city’s annual operating subsidy on Tropicana Field, currently about $1.42 million.

But it’s not much of a glimmer, as no one gives the amendment a great chance of passing.

But it’s something. It’s evidence that least someone on the St. Pete city council is amenable to letting the Rays out of their lease. Maybe, eventually, more people will come around to a negotiated solution.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.