tampabay.com

Faceoff

By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published June 25, 2006


THIS WEEK'S FACEOFF QUESTION

Have you seen a difference in the new Rays ownership compared to the old one?

When you look through the smokescreen of free parking and other minor amenities, there is not much difference. This is the first ownership change that I can recall where the new ownership group did not spend to improve the team and demonstrate the desire to have a winning program. Instead, we have the same "building for the future" line that we were fed by the previous owner. The Rays need to compete in the AL East. If the new ownership is not willing to invest the capital to do that, then the purpose of this ownership group is the same as the last - a quick, easy buck, just like it's done on Wall Street.

FRANK GRANDE, 61, TAMPA I am an ardent baseball fan and a supporter of the Rays. Yes, yes, I see a big difference. There doesn't seem to be the pressure, the strain, the oh-well-what'll-we-do-now attitude. Joe Maddon is a much lower-key manager (I love Lou, though), which is good for these younger players. The Trop is improved and the atmosphere is fun and light, a big improvement. No more gloom and doom. No parking fee is great, of course, and the staff and owners are taking the time to interact with the fans. It's all a plus. SALLY G. YODER, 62, ST. PETERSBURG