St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum

printer version

Naimoli on LaMar: 'He's here'

Rumors to contrary have cropped up again, but the general manager's status is said to be solid.

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 23, 2002

DENVER -- The Rays' performance through 4 1/2 seasons has been disappointing to everyone, especially managing general partner Vince Naimoli. But Naimoli said he remains committed to general manager Chuck LaMar and his plan to build the team with young players.

"Chuck has two years remaining on his contract and we talked about this being a five- to seven-year plan," Naimoli said Saturday. "The direct answer to your question is that we have not considered any changes."

Questions about LaMar's job security have surfaced before, specifically at the end of last season when John Hart resigned from the Indians and there was speculation he was interested in coming to Tampa Bay.

In recent weeks there has been increasing talk in baseball circles that LaMar could be in trouble.

Naimoli dismissed the talk as rumor and said he plans for LaMar to remain on the job for the final two seasons of his contract. "He's here," Naimoli said.

LaMar joined the Rays in July 1995 and has had his contract extended twice so that it runs through the 2004 season. LaMar will make about $600,000 this year, $700,000 in 2003 and $800,000 in 2004.

But Naimoli also said he expects to see success at the major-league level by the end of LaMar's current deal.

"I think we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," Naimoli said. "You know what we have out there now youth-wise and you can see the positions we have to fill in with the youth, but you can see the youth coming.

"Whether the youth is going to be here this year or next year, but for sure by the following year. So the five-year plan, maybe it's a five-year plan, maybe it's six-year, maybe it's seven-year. But I wouldn't say anything more than seven at this point."

The key to LaMar's plan is the development of young prospects. Some, such as Joe Kennedy, have reached the major leagues and done well. Others, such as Toby Hall and Jesus Colome, have been sent back to the minors for more development. Others are still on the way up, including outfielder Carl Crawford, who is at Triple A, and outfielders Rocco Baldelli and Josh Hamilton, who are in Class A. Some, such as Matt White and Bobby Seay, have been stalled by injuries and inconsistency.

LaMar has made questionable acquisitions at the major-league level, such as signing Juan Guzman and Wilson Alvarez and trading for Vinny Castilla.

He since has been severely limited by a lack of money to add players, and has been under orders to reduce payroll, making it more challenging to improve the team.

Back to the Rays
Today's lineup

  • Naimoli on LaMar: 'He's here'
  • McRae mulls options after latest collapse
  • Rays squander another late-inning lead, fall 6-5
  • Rays player, coach offer fond memories of pitcher
  • A pitching prospect carries dad's memory
  • Rays tales

  • Bucs
  • Southern Fryed

  • Lightning
  • Wilson: Local presence is welcome
  • Feaster continues to shop
  • Fans gather to (mostly) cheer

  • Other sports

    World Cup soccer
  • South Korea sends another favorite home
  • Turkey's goal in OT ends Senegal's run
  • Italian fans deluge FIFA with wrathful e-mails

  • Soccer
  • Pro soccer teaches Wegerle tough lessons

  • Baseball
  • Cardinals mourn again
  • Pair of aces: Braves' winning hand

  • Tennis
  • Williamses knew it was coming
  • Drop shots

  • Et cetera
  • Highs and lows

  • NBA
  • You can't go wrong with Ming

  • Motorsports
  • A vagabond's shot at glory

  • NFL
  • Batch, back home, now backs up

  • Colleges
  • Texas wins 5th CWS title

  • Preps
  • Wildcats share learning load
  • Land O'Lakes holds off Pinecrest
  • More than good grades, awards motivate Stargel

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Mets play vs. Yanks class act
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week