Editor’s note: The follow is cross-posted with permission of the Shadow of the Stadium blog.
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano writes this morning that the writing is on the walll for Friday’s Bill Foster/Stu Sternberg meeting.
The only good that will come out of this meeting is the acknowledgement that further discussions are unnecessary. Foster ain’t budging, and neither is Sternberg.
It’s a well-written piece about why neither of the Stadium Saga’s major players has any reason to budge right now: because St. Petersburg stands to get a nine-digit payoff for a broken lease that the Rays are trying to bargain down through public opinion.
It’s the same explanation for the Stadium Saga I gave two years ago in a pair of posts:
6/23/11 – “What Stu Sternberg is Thinking.”
6/24/11 – “What Mayor Bill Foster is Thinking“
However, at that time, Romano was a much fiercer critic of Foster:
This story will not have a happy ending if the final chapter involves Mayor Bill Foster blocking the front door with a lease in one hand and a campaign button in the other.
For what relationship ever works when one person refuses to let the other leave?
One thing Romano has always correctly maintained (when he wasn’t suggesting contraction) is that the Stadium Saga could hasten Sternberg’s possible sale of the team. Relocation and contraction are Bud Selig’s pipe dreams, but the biggest nightmare possibility of inaction is the exodus of Sternberg, Matt Silverman, Andrew Friedman, and Joe Maddon.
As I bantered recently with 98.7 The Fan’s Todd Wright, no Rays fan wants to think about the possibility of someone new – someone not as successful and/or as patient – buying the team.
Romano concludes today’s column with little expectation of progress, but indications new politicans (possibly mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman?) could change St. Pete’s strategy:
That’s where we’re at today, that’s where we will be after Friday’s meeting and, I expect, that’s also where we will be at this time next year.
Eventually talks will resume, new voices will be heard and progress will be made.