Rays owner out to win, but not 'all-in'

Rays owner out to win, but not 'all-in'
February 1, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Stuart Sternberg is at the final table. He likes his cards. So he’s going to go …

Don’t say it.

"I don't believe in the phrase, 'all in,' " Sternberg, owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, recently told the Tampa Bay Times. "I've heard it, and I don't care for it.”

Sternberg’s issue with the phrase is that it implies a one-year, this-is-our-shot approach. That’s not the Rays way. They have been consistent contenders in the American League East over the past several years.

However, observers have seen the club’s payroll head toward a most un-Rays-like $80 million, noted the addition of closer Grant Balfour, retention of first baseman James Loney and not dealing away ace David Price, and drawn the conclusion that Tampa Bay is making a push this year.

“We are feeding the beast,” Sternberg said. “That usually comes with very successful teams who have to keep throwing money into an incinerator to keep things going. This is a beast that has been very successful for a number of years now. And we've come to the understanding that we're going to do everything in our power, if we have a chance to get to the World Series, to try to get to the World Series.

"In for a penny, in for a pound a little bit, I guess. We want to give this organization and teams like this the best chance to compete and to win.”

But that’s not all-in.

" 'All-in' means there's no next year," Sternberg said.