The Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated from the MLB Playoffs on Tuesday afternoon at the hands of the Texas Rangers. Unfortunately for Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, insult was added to injury when a less than optimal number of fans showed up for the game.
The Rays announced an attendance of just 28,299 for Tuesday's game. Considering the loss ensured the elimination-game would be the last of the year at Tropicana Field, Sternberg lashed out at those who aren't supporting his winning ballclub.
"When I came in here in '05 and '06, I saw the stars, and I was confident that we could put a winning product on the field -- and I was told by you guys and others that all we needed was a winning team," Sternberg told the Associated Press. "Well, we won. We won. We won. And we won. And it didn't do it."
The Rays made it to the World Series in 2008 and have reached the playoffs three times in the past four seasons, but declining attendance has continued to be a problem. It doesn't seem like Sternberg will stand for it too much longer.
"We replicated last year and our numbers were down," Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg said. "The (television) ratings were down. The rubber has got to hit the road at some point. We're four years into winning. We're getting to the point where we don't control our own destiny. This is untenable as a model."
I'm no expert, but when an owner turns on the fans, it probably doesn't make it more likely for them to show up to his team's games.