Vin Scully was on the case last night when Jim Tracy came out to argue the catch/trap play on Shane Victorino’s drive to center. Go to around the two minute mark of this video to see his valuable translation services of Tracy’s tirade:
“He caught the blinkin’ ball … he caught the darn ball … THAT IS BLINKIN’ FERTILIZER … you gotta be blinkin’ me … blinkin’ unbelievable.”
The best part, though, is Scully noting that this whole sequence took way, way longer than any sort of replay procedures would have, thereby undermining the only argument against replay that Joe Torre and Bud Selig ever manage to muster.
Which, even though the umps got this call right, is another argument in favor of replay: it eliminates extended manager arguments. At least if you make a “no arguing replay calls” rule and enforce it with fines and auto-ejections.
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.
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.”
That window is closing without us achievable goal. We’re not close at all to