Tampa Bay Rays Fan Pledge: It's Time to Step Up to the Plate

John GreggContributor IIIOctober 6, 2011

Tampa Bay Rays fans. - I've had it. I really have.

I'm tired of being an apologist for our fan base and the Tampa Bay area.

Articles in local and national media have again begun surfacing about the lack of fan support that the Tampa Bay Rays get at the gate and on television. 

Two of them you can read for yourself here: Rays Can’t Relocate, But That Doesn’t Mean Fans Deserve Them & Stagnant attendance means Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg can't buy the bats the team needs

I encourage you to read both articles yourself, but here are the quotes from Stuart Sternberg in Stagnant attendance means Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg can't buy the bats the team needs piece.


 "It won't be my decision, or solely my decision. But eventually, major-league baseball is going to vaporize this team. It could go on nine, 10, 12 more years. But between now and then, it's going to vaporize this team. Maybe a check gets written locally, maybe someone writes me a check (to buy the team). But it's going to get vaporized."

"If I had $80 million to put out there, we'd be moving along in life," Sternberg said. "We just don't have $12 million to put into a hitter."

• "When I came here, I was confident we could put a winning team on the field, and that would do it. We won, and we won, and we won and we won ... and it didn't do it. Whatever it is, there are 29 other teams passing us like we're going in reverse now. Except on the field, and at some point, that changes."

 "As the owner, I could have affected things today. Today, and a couple of games where a thumper would thump. I could decide to mortgage the future and trade all the young guys, but the truth is that we would only get $9.82 extra at the gate. So what's the sense?"

 "These guys deserved better. They deserved better. We need some horses."

"I'm not going to say I let them down," Sternberg said, "but what's been done over the last few years has dramatically affected our ability to compete this year. We lost this game in '08, when our attendance didn't move, and in '09, and in '10, and this year when it went down."

"If we won the World Series this year, I wouldn't think my attendance would get higher. It didn't go up in '09 when we got to the World Series (in '08)."

Sternberg is clearly frustrated and though is comments are ill-timed, he does have a point. What else can the Rays front office do?


So instead of writing another article about how great Rays fans are, and that the media has it all wrong,