It Starts From The Top , On Down ………

It’s Starts From The Top , On Down ……………

I think that we can all assume that for any organization the success attained usually comes by way of ownership in terms of a professional sports’ franchise and the lead executives within that organization. Within the area of Major League Baseball (MLB) I think that we can surmise that there are some damn good owners as well some very bad ones amongst the bunch . The same can be said for the general managers and managers themselves . If there’s leadership from up above as well a high degree of intelligence then it usually bodes well for a team .

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Slide show for your perusal .

In recent years and it would be fair to say that the Tampa Bay Rays have had a reasonable amount of success within the AL East and the postseason as an organization. Team owner Stuart Sternberg along with his managing partner , Matthew Silverman and general manager Andrew Friedman have been the mainstays of upswing in the fortunes of the franchise. But undoubtedly it has been the boldness Friedman and his personnel decisions that cannot be underestimated . The hiring of Joe Maddon as the team’s manager and his subsequent hirees as coaching assistants have simply genius in its strategy and simpleness . And one cannot say enough about the draft choices made by the general manager over the last five years . Suffice to say that those players who have made it to the majors are the envy of the teams around the league .

Undeniably the heroics of this team this regular season brought about a great deal of excitement for the fans within the Tampa Bay area and that loyal following in attendance at Tropicana Field , St Petersburg , Florida got the chance to cheer on their heroes during the postseason . Short-lived as that was anyone who would have suggest during mid August the Tampa Bay Rays would end up being the AL wildcard representative at the end of the regular season may well have been laughed at . The team’s postseason foray for 2011 ended up rather abruptly with the Tampa Bay Rays being summarily dismissed by the Texas Rangers (3-1) in the ALDS . With that loss the front office now looks to next season and what changes they may well deem prudent to become more competitive . What has and will always be the biggest concern for the organization are the financial constraints that they are placed under . When adjudged against other teams around the league the Rays’ situation is not necessarily viewed as an enviable one . But they have managed to survive and be competitive in a league that has now become more to do with spending for the large part rather than genuinely developing talent .

Fortunately for Joe Maddon and his coaching staff with the natural maturity and the progress shown in the development of players such as David Price , Evan Longoria , Alex Cobb , Jeremy Hellickson and B J Upton the organization has been extremely lucky . It has been this sort of development of talent this has made this ball club the envy of the league . The credit for this must undoubtedly go to Andrew Friedman , Joe Maddon and the coaching staff.

The issues that the Tampa Bay Rays face concerning their dire need for a new state of the art facility with Tropicana Field not being viewed as fan friendly have been well chronicled . The issue is treated as a hot potato by the league hierarchy and it has gotten to the stage where MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has berated the organization as well the politicians of both the cities of St Petersburg and Tampa as well Hillsborough and Pinellas County , as to their inaction, in getting a new ballpark for the team. Someone should remind Selig that just because New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg allowed the commissioner to ” fist “ his sphincter and it doesn’t mean that the politicians within both municipalities or for that matter the ownership group of the Rays will allow the same thing to happen to them ! Bloomberg under the subterfuge of seeing two multi million dollar ballparks ( Citi-Field & Yankee Stadium ) built within the city of New York suddenly feels that the municipality becomes the epicenter of the baseball world . That clearly is not the case but you would be hard pressed to convince a New York Mets or Yankees’ fan of that !

This off-season the Tampa Bay Rays will have to contend with the fact that they have yet to reach an agreement with their general manager concerning a contract extension. We know that the Chicago Cubs’ vacancy has now been filled with Theo Epstein accepting the offer from owner Tom Ricketts . Meanwhile , with Los Angeles Angels’ general manager Tony Reagins having resigned his position , it leads to a vacancy within that organization . The team’s multi dollar billionaire owner Arte Moreno is no slouch and will look for a high profiled and competent replacement for Reagins . Moreno , it has been reported , has met with Andrew Friedman twice within the last 48 hours to discuss the Angels’ vacancy with the Rays’ general manager , to gauge his interest . At the same time laying in wait observing this hall has been the ownership group of the Houston Astros . I somehow get the feeling that if Friedman is made an offer that he simply cannot refuse then he will undoubtedly leave this organization and make his way to the West Coast , into the more than welcoming arms of the Angels’ front office .

In spite of the friendship between Andrew Friedman and Stuart Sternberg , the mutual respect between the two will remain. But it can’t have been easy for the Tampa Bay Rays general manager having to cut costs in terms of the player personnel simply to make this ball club not only competitive but also profitable from a financial standpoint. No such hindrances for the organization’s two biggest divisional foes the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees with their multi million dollar payrolls as well having at their disposal as a treasure chest their respective sports programming cable network providers NESN and the YES Network .

As I alluded to earlier the situation facing the Rays become more dire with each passing moment as to their future and that of a new venue. Entering now into the fray is the city of Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer offering up his own assessment of the baseball team’ future. The mayor has let it be known that he feels that the cities of St Petersburg and Tampa have ill served the organization . Either Dyer is a complete asshole or this is simply nothing more than a political ploy on his part . If he feels that luring away the team from Pinellas County to Orange County and the city of Orlando will serve his municipality city well , then so be it . But given the fact , that both the city and county are at this moment struggling to literally stay afloat due budgetary shortfalls speaks to the stupidity of the mayor . If he firmly believes that fawning over sports’ franchise owner and using taxpayer’s monies to fund stadiums as a means of initiating an upturn in the city’s infrastructure while teachers , city employees and first responders are either furloughed or “pink slipped” indicates to that he is simply another political crony willing to prostitute himself out to the highest bidder ! I can only surmise that Bill Foster of St Petersburg and his city of Tampa counterpart Mayor Bob Buckhorn will have a few choice and pointed responses for Dyer when they see fit respond to his comment publicly !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit . Thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/tophatal

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Rays’ manager Joe Maddon is seen here alongside GM Andrew Friedman during the 2008 MLB Playoffs . AP Photo / Chris Howard ….

(2) Arte Moreno (left) is seen here with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the Angels’ former general manager Tony Reagins (right). Moreno has met with Rays’ general manager Andrew Friedman to gauge the executive’s interest in joining the Los Angeles Angels in a similar position . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved MLB.com …..

(3) Mayor Bill Foster (R) speaks to the media regarding the two St. Petersburg, Florida police officers killed during a shootout on January 24, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. A deputy U.S Marshal was also wounded. The suspect, 39-year-old Hydra Lacy, Jr., was later found dead in the home where the shootout took place. Getty Images / Tom Boyles …..

(4) Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks Tuesday about the teamwork of the many law enforcement agencies, many with representatives behind him, during the four-day hunt for Dontae Morris. Skip Rourke / St Petersburg Times ….

(5) City of Orlando Mayor,Buddy Dyer, looks out from his office unto the horizon of the downtown Orlando area. Dyer was one of the main facilitators in getting a new arena built for the NBA franchise, the Orlando Magic . picture appears courtesy of orlandosentinel/ Jason Arnot ………..

(6) Tropicana Field home to the Tampa Bay Ray since the team’s inception and now viewed an archaic edifice by a number of players and teams around the league . Bud Selig has been highly critical of the ownership group of the Rays . But the commissioner has done little to assist the organization and their ambition of getting a new facility. However , he was front and center in dealing with the Boston Red Sox ownership and the of the New York Yankees’ front office in making sure that there would be no problems in their dealings with the New York City Council (members) by holding countless private meetings with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. St Petersburg Times / Collin Walsh ….

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Tampa Bay Rays schedule & results 2011

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

12 thoughts on “It Starts From The Top , On Down ………”

  1. The troubles in Tampa Bay do begin at the top, but one problem runs deep…you just can’t have 15,000 empty seats at a playoff game.

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    1. I have to agree to an extent. Even in Oakland if they were playing as well as the Rays have over the last few years, there’d be people in the stands like when they were relevant back in 06. I agree it would be a big blow to lose Friedman though…

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      1. chappy

        I know for a fact that the Rays’ situation is just as dire as what the A’s fans in Oakland face with the Coliseum and the lack of attendance and that just doesn’t concern the play of the team and their standing in the league . People can blame the economy all they want but this goes way beyond that ! You have owners who simply are too fucking stupid for their own good and then you idiots like a certain patron of yours who claims he has insight into the game . From a business standpoint this is all of the baseball’s own making and it starts with the complete lack of ethics and amenability of Bud Selig in not helping the small market teams . He’s only interested in helping the big money and big market teams . As far as Selig is concerned , the rest (small market teams) ought to be left to fend for themselves . The revenue sharing scheme has been a complete joke and it is really no different to the stimulus package that we’ve seen come from this administration but also its predecessor !

        Stimulus’ only work when there’s due diligence being used and the recipients stick within the parameters . In baseball that hasn’t happened at all .

        tophatal …………

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      2. chappy 81

        At what point will Selig actually address the issue of the A’s and their situation concerning a new ballpark ? That’s been an ongoing saga with no end in sight but yet in the space of a mere 18 plus months both the Mets and Yankees had their stadiums fast tracked with the NYC Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg simply bending over backwards with regard to the financing of Citi-Field and Yankees Stadium . How come none of the other team owners questioned that ?

        Selig and Bloomberg ………. two peas in a pod filled with shit !

        tophatal ……….

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          1. chappy

            Selig is about as helpful to the teams in MLB as the federal government have been in assisting the public in getting back to work . Fu##ck him and the horse he rode in on and the same too with the US government by enlarge !

            Bud Selig would rather kiss the ass of big time owners in baseball with money to burn rather than deal with the owners of the small market teams !

            tophatal ………………

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    2. JW

      The problem I have with the ownership group is their total naivete’ and the sheer stupidity of the fans within this locale. 15,000 fans at the Trop is a damn joke and for the league hierarchy of baseball to continue to feed the line of bullshit that the team averages 24,000 a game shows how damn stupid they are to begin with ! Baseball from top to bottom is one big charade !

      The only time that venue is ever filled to anywhere near capacity is when either the Red Sox or New York Yankees or during their last couple of forays in the postseason .

      tophatal ………

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      How many times have I repeatedly said to you that Sternberg and his partners should either spend money on this team or take in a partner with deep pockets ? The template of the ownership isn’t working with from a financial standpoint in making the Rays a viable entity from an economical perspective . The organization barely has eked out a profit on annual basis and this is how these idiots within the locale and baseball as a whole feel that the Rays can exist in this area ? What the fuck are they drinking and smoking ?

      NBPA (union) Executive Director is Billy Hunter is correct when he says that should their stoppage be a prolonged one of over 12-15 months then quite possibly one or two NBA franchises will either fold or seek bankruptcy protection (Chapter 11) .

      tophatal ……….

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