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Rays Notes: Stadium Situation, Sam Fuld, Fernando Rodney, TV Ratings

Last week, the develop CityScape presented a proposal for a new Rays stadium in the Carillon business park in St. Petersburg. Now St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster wants to find out immediately whether the proposal is something the Rays are interested in, requesting a meeting with Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg. The Rays have never been in a rush to deal with their stadium situation, stating previously that they want permission consider sites around the Tampa Bay metro area before they will consider any particular site. Foster and the city of St. Petersburg have staunchly refused to give such permission as the Rays’ lease of Tropicana Field runs until 2027 and Foster refuses to allow the Rays to consider leaving St. Petersburg to move into the actual city of Tampa. CityScape’s proposal, which we discussed in detail here, was intriguing, but will the Rays agree to a meeting to seriously discuss it knowing that they haven’t been able to consider all their options? Agreeing to a meeting would be an admission of defeat by the Rays and imply that Tropicana Field is so bad that they have to get out and get a new stadium by any means possible. We’ll have to see whether such a meeting happens and what it will mean for the future of baseball in Tampa Bay.

On a related note, the Rays’ saw their TV ratings increase by 28% this year up to 4.9 according to Jason Collette. The Rays are an exciting team with passionate and dedicated fans, and it’s unfortunate how between its amenities (or lack thereof) and location how the Rays’ attendance is so low at Tropicana Field. People have wondered whether a new stadium would even make a difference as the Rays seemingly have so few fans, but it seems clear that the public’s perception is wrong and that Rays fans are just waiting for a satisfactory stadium for them to go watch games in person as often as they tune in on TV.

Shifting to a much lighter story, the Rays have announced per a press release that Sam Fuld is set to host the Second Annual Sam Fuld Diabetes Sports Camp from February 2nd to February 3rd at the University of South Florida. Fuld talked about the details.

“This camp will provide a great experience for type 1 diabetic kids from all over the state of Florida and from all over the United States,” said Fuld.  “It will give them the chance to share stories with other diabetic kids, learn how to deal with being a diabetic athlete and gain inspiration from peers and coaches.  Counselors from all sports being offered are type 1 diabetics themselves, and each has college or professional experience in their respective sports.  Last year’s camp was a huge success, and I’m confident this year will be even better.  I’m excited to make this camp an annual tradition in the Tampa Bay Area.”

Always incredible everything that Fuld does in the community and the camp will provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for every child that attends.

Per Baseball America, the Rays will draft 23rd in the 2013 MLB Draft. They drafted 25th in 2012. We’ll have to see what direction the Rays go with that pick this coming June.

To close with the closer, Fernando Rodney had an unbelievable season this year for the Rays, managing a 0.60 ERA, the best in major league history for any pitcher who threw a minimum of 50 innings, and 48 saves, and after such a historic season, the Rays sent Rodney’s cap to the Hall of Fame. Marc Topkin had to good quip about it.

Tags: Fernando Rodney Rays Stadium Sam Fuld Tampa Bay Rays

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