Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg Says Team's Payroll Too High Based On Attendance
Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg said that the team's $60M payroll is "well higher than it ought to be" after the team ranked last in MLB attendance last season, according to Marc Topkin of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Sternberg: "We really don't have any goals, we don't try to set any goals. We wanted to be average in attendance and well above average in on-field performance, and we're right now settling for well-above average in on-field performance, and that's the most important thing." Sternberg said of the team's payroll, "It ought to be commensurate with what our business can handle. But we've had a couple years since we started back in '06 ... when it was lower than it could be and we've had a number of years when it was higher than it should be, and this is one of those years" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/11). In Sarasota, Dennis Maffezzoli wrote Sternberg "changed the way things were done, not only in Tampa Bay, but in all of baseball." The team formerly called the Devil Rays "went from a rag-tag bunch to the Rays, a solid contender the past five years." Rays Exec VP/Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman and the front office worked "under budget limitations, drafted well, found players with high ceilings who have not reached their potential, all while keeping an eye on the future." Manager Joe Maddon has "meshed personalities on the field and in the clubhouse with a quirky, no-rules policy." He also has "remained loyal to the people who gave him his first opportunity to manage at the big league level." Maddon said, "When you have an owner like that and can communicate between texts or phone call whenever you want with that owner, it's kinda nice. ... His hands-on approach with us is felt. You feel like you are part of this larger family" (Sarasota HERALD-TRIBUNE, 3/12).