Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on Thursday was not in a combative mood when talking about the future of baseball in the Tampa Bay area. He is in the Orlando area for the first of two Winter Meetings covering a number of topics. However, look for the meeting in early December at Disney World to be the more exciting get together.
Don’t expect the commissioner to stay silent for long but for now he is willing give the area a chance to work things out but he has told everyone where he stands. He thinks that something has to be done soon but for now he will be patient.
There is no doubt that both Major League Baseball and the Rays owner Stuart Sternberg are both waiting for a chance to speak to St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman but at the moment no date has been set. If there is the chance of a fair but reasonable buyout of the Tropicana Field lease before 2027 then talks will start for a move to Tampa.
If the fair but reasonable threshold can be crossed and then both the Rays and Major League Baseball can begin to talk about a new ball park in Tampa. Sternberg is a realist and he knows that the Rays will have to pay their fair share for building a new ball park.
When there is a clear path to create a new stadium in Tampa then Major League Baseball can help Sternberg he needs to get a new deal done with the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County. Rest assured that this is still a long way from a done deal but for at least a while Commissioner Selig will pick his moments to take up the future of the Rays in the Tampa Bay area.
When asked about the stadium issues in the Bay area it was a brief answer “Let’s see where it unfolds,” Selig said of stadium discussions.