Private businesses in Tampa are going to look into a new Rays ballpark in 2011

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The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is going to spend much of 2011 looking at new stadium options for the Rays.  The key: they’re going to focus on private, rather than public financing options.

My observations of chambers of commerce closer to my own home suggest that when a group of private, up-by-their-own-bootstraps entrepreneurs get together and talk about big plans they usually end up asking for government handouts anyway, but let’s leave that cynicism for later. For now, let’s just be happy that it’s not a city council or county commission putting this on their agenda.

My favorite observation from the article:

Much has been made of a Trop contract provision that forbids the team from negotiating with third parties about leaving the Trop before 2027. But the contract does not prevent the team from discussing generalities.

So what the hell would the owners of the Trop do if the Rays did discuss specifics about leaving?  Find the team in breach of its lease? Evict them?  Oh, please, don’t throw me into that brier patch!

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.