Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City's Major League Viability Debated

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City's Major League Viability Debated

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

The hot topic on The Dan Sileo Show on WFXJ (930 AM) on Friday was whether Jacksonville could or would support a major league baseball team.

The idea came out of a comment by Andrew Friedman, vice president of baseball operations for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, following the team's three-game series with the Texas Rangers at the Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista this week.

On Sileo's morning show, which airs in Orlando (6-9 a.m.) on WQTM (740 AM) and Tampa on WDAE (620 AM), he asked Friedman if he would be moving more Devil Rays games out of St. Petersburg in the future, taking them to other parts of the state.

"I think it's too early to say," Friedman said. "The business folks will sit down and do a postmortem on these three days. It's as [Devil Rays principal owner] Stuart [Sternberg] said publicly, it's something we'll consider, and whether it's back to Orlando or on to Jacksonville or somewhere else. ... I know a lot of people have put a lot of thought into it, but right now it's too early to say definitively."

Sileo made it a topic on his 10 a.m.-to-noon show on WFXJ. While most of the calls to the show favored major league baseball coming to Jacksonville, Sileo took the opposite viewpoint.

"I don't think this city could support 80 games a season," said Sileo, who spent one season in the National Football League as a defensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "This town won't even support the Jaguars when they lose. Why would they support someone like the Devil Rays, who have never won?"

Suns president and part-owner Peter Bragan Jr. said he's had discussions with Devil Rays representatives in the past about bringing the team here for a preseason exhibition.

"Sure, we'd be willing to talk to them about an in-season game or a series here at the Baseball Grounds," Bragan said. …

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