Last month, I opined on Rays owner Stu Sternberg’s public comments on the environment of the Rays front office. In response to the departure of former front office employee Andrew Friedman, Sternberg said,
The level of confidence wasn’t that great to begin with. Year to year, it’s not that great. Given the hand that we’re dealt and how we go at it, it’s half a miracle that we get done what we get done and get to where we get to. Having said that, if Andrew were here and we weren’t having this phone call today and the Rays were just moving along, I wouldn’t have a lot of confidence that we were going to become a 90-win team next year like we had been for a period of time, either.
My opinion of these comments were that they were terribly timed and that saying the front office isn’t confident does not give a warm and fuzzy feeling to a fanbase that is sometimes tepid. Especially with the stadium and relocation clouds swirling overhead.
Fortunately for the fanbase, we get a reading on the Rays front office via an article by Richard Justice on MLB.com.
“New challenges are invigorating, and I feel invigorated,” new team president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. “I think our entire department feels invigorated by this opportunity.”
That’s a word the fanbase needs to hear. Invigorated is a positive word. Fans want to hear positivity, optimism, hope, and potential. Those are ideas that sell tickets. Fans can rally around the idea that despite the setbacks, the team and the organization is still positive.
Yes, they still play in Tropicana Field. Yes, Tropicana Field is not perfect. Yes, there is hope in that department as well. But the reality is the Trop is home for the next few years at least. It is what they do despite their obstacles that gives hope.
And if the level of confidence drops again, maybe it is time to get some fresh blood in the system. Someone who will set up to the challenges and not get frustrated by realities that aren’t going to change any time soon.
Maybe the change that happened was a change that was needed.