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Selig has faith in Rays

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000


NEW YORK -- Commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday that he remains concerned about the Devil Rays' attendance figures. But he also remains confident they eventually will be successful.

Selig said he has spoken with managing general partner Vince Naimoli several times about the issue and is pleased with the Rays' efforts.

"I have every confidence their team will get better and so will their attendance," Selig said. "Put it this way, I'm not having a lot of sleepless nights over what's going on there, and I can't say that about all of the 30 franchises."

Selig said the Rays are being "very aggressive" and "innovative" in trying to boost their attendance. The Rays drew 1,549,052 for 80 home games this season, about the same as 1999, when they attracted 1,562,967 for 81 games.

"When you own a franchise for a long period of time you have a lots of ups and downs," Selig said. "Expansion franchises always have cycles of difficulties. I don't think one should overreact to the situation."

Selig was apparently in a feel-good mood. Talking with several reporters, he also said he didn't have "any concerns at all" about the Diamondbacks, who said they lost more than $10-million this season.

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