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ST. PETERSBURG - Stuart Sternberg took control of the Devil Rays and the title of principal owner on Thursday. But the man responsible for the team on a daily basis is Matt Silverman, a 29-year-old Harvard economics graduate who was named the team's first president.
"He's going to be the person on the ground leading the charge," Sternberg said.
Silverman has spent the past two years with the Rays, serving most recently as vice president of planning and development. But he was able to spend much of that time in the background.
With his new title, he is going to be front and center, the chief executive on the scene dealing with a myriad of issues that come with running a major-league team, along with the additional complications of one in transition.
"I think we're going to be making a lot of decisions," Silverman said. "We need to coordinate those decisions so we all have to communicate to make sure we're on the same page."
Silverman, a native of Dallas, first met Sternberg about five years ago when both worked at the Goldman Sachs investment firm in New York and found they shared a love of baseball.
Silverman also co-founded a real estate software company - which didn't survive the dot-com boom - and has dabbled in writing, included a half-finished novel about a father-son relationship. He also likes to run.
While his duties as team president can be extremely broad, his focus is sharp. Sternberg said Silverman is the one who usually does the deep thinking in the group of top team officials.
"Our twin priorities are addressing our baseball needs, especially with people who can make decisions, and then our outreach in the community, letting them know what we're about, who we are, and why we're excited about the future of the Rays, and hopefully get them excited about it, too," Silverman said. "They're equal. Twins. If you don't have success in both, success in one will be hollow."