An hour and a half before Hillsbourough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan joined the Ron and Ian show on 620 WDAE, St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster made a case that the battle between St.Pete and Hillsborough County for the Rays isn't about money, but about the Tampa Bay region.
Hagan immediatley responded that he disagreed.
"It's always about the money," Hagan said. "I find it hard to believe it's not about the money."
Yesterday, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and members of his upper management met with the Hillsborough County Commision and addressed the franchise's future in Tampa Bay.
Sternberg went as far to say that "Major League Baseball does not believe anymore in the Tampa Bay region."
That claim was substantiated later in the afternoon as MLB Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement in response to inquiries Thursday. Selig praised the Rays for success on the field and contributions to the community, but said that he "is disappointed with the current situation in Tampa Bay,'' the statement said. "The status quo is simply not sustainable.''
Hagan reiterated several points made yesterday during the meeting with the Rays front office, when he came on WDAE and the full audio can be found below.
In regards to MLB stepping in and forcing the Rays out of Tampa Bay all together if the "status quo" continued, Hagan said that is was a possibilty and that he directly asked Sternberg that very question the previous day.
"I think it's a certainty," Hagan said, later adding that the Rays "are losing $5-7 million per season."
Ron Diaz extended an invitation to both Foster and Hagan to sit down for an hour and discuss the entire Rays situation. Hagan said barring any concerns from legal counsel, that he was willing to do so.
"I'm all for getting together."