Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer sent a letter to the Phoenix Coyotes Booster Club yesterday, shortly after pulling his bid to buy the team from the NHL, and urged fans to "keep the faith." Hulsizer's letter reads in part, "There is a lot of time and a lot of interest in the club and all the potential owners are counting on your continued support. While I am sorry that it didn't work for us, I am certain that hockey can work in Arizona" (AZCENTRAL.com, 6/28). In Phoenix, Dan Bickley writes while the Coyotes "are in flux once again," this may be "a good thing." NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said that the "structure of a new deal will not include a municipal bond offering." Bickley writes, "Taxpayers win. So does the Goldwater Institute." But he adds, "The Coyotes remain a rudderless ship. If they don't complete a sale before the start of a third consecutive season, weary customers can't be expected to spend a dime on the product" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/29).
IT DOESN'T ADD UP: Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg last night said attendance at Tropicana Field this season has been "well below expectations," and as a result it will be "more difficult" to add to the payroll for a playoff run. Sternberg said that "he 'cannot imagine a time' they wouldn't be in position to make trades that add payroll, but they have to factor in the costs in terms of dollars spent and players traded." He added, "Any time we consider adding payroll, it comes at the expense of the future. And adding payroll is more difficult this year given the reality of our attendance" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/29).
GROWING PAINS: In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes the Padres' management plan "is going to work in spurts, as it did in 2010, and not during other seasons (2011)." Canepa: "But why? Spend a little money until you can get back on your feet, when the minor leaguers become ready -- if at all. Right now, this major league roster is far from stable. It changes daily, out of necessity. The current establishment isn’t responsible for what it inherited. But it is responsible for now. This is not a good product. ... I like the people in charge of this organization. They’re smart. But they’re in the entertainment business, and as entertainment, sellable baseball folly went out with the Amazin’ Mets" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/29).