Rays' Stu Sternberg, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speak as Owners' Meetings wrap

5:52 PM, Nov 18, 2010   |    comments
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Stuart Sternberg (Photo by Matt May-US PRESSWIRE)
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ORLANDO, Florida - Bud Selig and Rays' owner Stuart Sternberg had an opportunity to catch up Thursday at the MLB Owners' Meetings... but the rest of the world may never know if they did. 

When asked how much face time Sternberg got with specific individuals during the meetings, he quickly answered, "whatever's needed."

Previous Coverage of the Rays' Stadium Saga

And Selig, who had indicated in October that he planned to talk to Sternberg this off-season about the Rays' attendance, steered clear of specifics when 10 News asked him about the topic.

"I think, when you look at the attendance this year, it was amazing, given the (economic) environment," Selig said of the league-wide numbers.  "Yes, there some owners that are disappointed or clubs that are disappointed.   I'll deal with that on a case-by-case basis."

Selig also quickly dismissed a question about the Oakland Athletics' search for a new ballpark.

But six weeks ago, Selig told ESPN Radio the Rays "have produced a remarkable organization... the average Major-League club in this year drew 2,436,000 people. And so, for those clubs that are winning whose average is consistently below that, you always have to wonder why and there has to be concern."

On Thursday, Selig said a political briefing was part of the league's presentation to owners.  Considering the rampant anti-tax sentiment right now, it's possible some of the stadium/relocation pressure could be tabled for now.

Prior to the start of the two-day event, Sternberg told 10 News that now is not the right time for him to be discussing the stadium issue, but wouldn't elaborate on the team's next move.

Selig also briefed owners and the media on the business of baseball, saying the sport has thrived even as the economy has faltered.

"I was really concerned," Selig said of entering the 2010 season.  "(But despite) unemployment at 10 percent (and) a lot of people really struggling...these may have been our two best years, given the environment."

"It's good to get everyone in the same place," said Sternberg after the meeting.  "We're competitors (as well as) partners in the business...this is all for the good of the sport and (we) try to do the right thing for baseball."

Follow 10 News reporter Noah Pransky on Twitter at www.twitter.com/noahpransky, Facebook at www.facebook.com/noahpransky, or on his Sports Business blog, Shadow of the Stadium.

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