What a nightmare this is turning into for Tampa Bay. Last week it was announced that they would be hanging up a sign in the right field foul area advertising that the team is planning on splitting time between Tampa and Montreal. They wanted to show love to their sister-city and get people excited for the move! What a dumb idea that was. And this may come as a shock to you, but it didn't go over well with the fans. The team said they didn't want it to take away from the product on the field, guess what it did? Took away from the product on the field. This move was hit with nothing but negative reactions, and how could they think anything else would come from it? It was a terrible idea. Like I wrote last weekend, this is a team that has a very good chance of reaching another World Series, and you want to unveil this sign at the first playoff game? How tone deaf can this management be? Why would the fans and players want to see a sign that says they're going to split time between two cities? It made no sense.
Principal shareholder Stuart Sternberg was quoted from a radio interview in the Tampa Bay Times as saying “I made a big mistake, a real mistake, in trying to promote our sister-city plan with a sign right now in our home ballpark. I absolutely should have known better. And really, I’m sorry for that. I’m here to tell ... the fans that the sign is not going to go up.”
Of course it was a big mistake! This was an awful move that I'm surprised got the go-ahead in the first place. This team on the field does it as well as anyone. Their scouts are the best, they can develop homegrown talent, they draft well, they make all the right moves and always field a competitive team. But this move by upper management is mind bottling. This is a Mets move, not a Rays move. Thank god they came to their senses and decided to not post the sign, that thing would have been egged during the playoff games. If that sign went up I'd root for the Rays to win it all just so in the background of the players celebrating was a sign saying they'd be moving to Montreal for half their home games. Disaster avoided for now, but lets see if they still plan to go ahead with the move.