Ricky Romero still can’t solve the Red Sox

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Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero has been one of the AL’s best pitchers over the last year and a half… except when he’s facing Boston.

Romero just gave up six runs over 4 1/3 innings in his start against the Red Sox tonight.  He’s faced them twice this year and allowed 11 runs over 9 1/3 innings.

Assuming that he takes the loss tonight, Romero will fall to 2-6 in 11 career starts against Boston.  He’s given up 52 runs — 47 earned — in 52 1/3 innings in those games, leaving him with a 8.08 ERA.

Against everyone except the Red Sox, Romero is 32-20 lifetime with a 3.28 ERA.  This year, he has a 2.45 ERA in his 16 starts versus other teams.

To look at it another way, 22 percent of the runs he’s allowed in his career have come against Boston, compared to just 10 percent of his innings pitched.

Rays stadium project dead, team stuck in Tropicana Field until 2027

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LAS VEGAS — Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg appeared at the Winter Meetings a few minutes ago and said that the project which was intended to result in a new ballpark for the team in Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa has fallen apart. No new ballpark will be built and the three-year window granted to the team by the City of St. Petersburg to negotiate for a new ballpark will come to a close without any deal. The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be stuck in Tropicana Field through 2027.

Sternberg’s statement came mere hours after it was reported that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred sent a sternly-worded letter to Hillsborough County officials, blasting the framework for the deal for the new stadium in Ybor City, saying it lacked specifics and criticized “the actual level commitment” from the public side. It’s not unreasonable to read that as the Commissioner’s dissatisfaction with how much public money the County was pledging to complete the project. Sternberg said just now that “we were not close to a workable framework.”

In his comments this morning Sternberg noted that the Rays had worked “for ten years” to get a new stadium and that they’d continue to try to work to that end, but the team’s options are extremely limited. The Rays are party to what has been described as an iron-clad lease for Tropicana Field, lasting through 2027. Until three years ago the Rays were  prohibited from even talking to anyone about building a new ballpark outside of St. Petersburg. In December 2015 St. Pete granted the team a window to negotiate with Hillsborough County which Sternberg called “very generous.” It is now closing, however, and Sternberg said that there are no plans to ask St. Petersburg officials for a new one.

Which means that the Rays are likely stuck in Tropicana Field through 2027. While Sternberg talked of being creative and searching for any and all available options, he likewise said that “we need to figure out where the 2028 season will be played.”