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Volume 24 No. 155
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Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg Has Some Fun In A Lighthearted Q&A

Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg recently sat with the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES’ Marc Topkin for their annual lighthearted Q&A session. Below are excerpts from the interview:

Q: Since there's now a book out about the Rays, let's go ahead and cast a movie. Who plays you?
Sternberg: I've been told I look like Tom Hanks, or Martin Hewitt, who was in the movie "Endless Love." 

Q: Manager Joe Maddon?
Sternberg: How about (late longtime comedian) George Gobel?

Q: Team president Matt Silverman?
Sternberg: (After some talk of Anson Williams, who played Potsie in "Happy Days") Let's go with Steve Carell, from "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."

Q: Executive VP Andrew Friedman?
Sternberg: Jesse Eisenberg.

Q: In your five-plus years of ownership, what is the decision you are most proud of?
Sternberg: Hiring the senior executives that I did, specifically Andrew, Matt, Brian (Auld, VP business operations) and Mike (Kalt, VP development and business affairs).

Q: And what has been the worst?
Sternberg: Trying to keep signing a designated hitter. It's always going to come back to that. Also, we had key night, where we made up Rays keys with a burst on them and people could take them and get their house keys made. I was the lone wolf on that, and it didn't go over well.

Q: How do you respond if someone says, "You're a rich guy, why did you cut the payroll so much?"
Sternberg: It shouldn't have been that high in the first place (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/1).

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Rays announced Thursday that their home opener Friday against the Orioles will be a sellout. A ST. PETERSBURG TIMES editorial notes the crowd “will find new food choices, a new playing surface and plenty of new players,” but what the franchise “needs to ensure its long-term future in the region is a serious conversation about a new stadium.” The editorial: “The more time passes, the less leverage the region has, the more discouraged the Rays get and the more likely Tampa Bay fans could wake up one day without progressive team ownership or even a baseball team to cheer for on opening day” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/1).