04/30/08 8:20 PM ET
Sternberg satisfied with Rays' progress
Principal owner so far has no complaints with team's fast start
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
The Rays lost, 7-4, to the Orioles on Tuesday night to snap their winning streak at six games and bounce themselves from a tie for first place in the American League East.
"If we were still in first place, I would have stayed in New York," Sternberg said. "I didn't want to jinx us."
The Rays' principal owner seemed pleased with how the team is getting along. When first asked if he would open up the checkbook later in the summer if the team remains in contention, Sternberg smiled.
"I think we've got all the parts out there," Sternberg said. "I'm pretty happy with all the parts. Come Sunday and the week after, we've got a couple of more parts coming back. I think it's unfortunate we only have 25 spots right now."
But if the Rays were still in contention and identified a need, would they address it?
"No question," Sternberg said. "We said it before the season. If we identify a need and it's there, we'll do what's necessary to fill a gap.
"We felt we had a need and we filled it with [Gabe] Gross out in right field. He's a left-handed bat who can catch the ball and throw the ball. We've filled that need."
Sternberg maintains that he believed all along that the Rays could get to their current standing.
"Nobody else believed it, but I did," Sternberg said. "It's nice that it's coming together, because things do happen. A lot of guys got hurt at the beginning. Actually, we were very fortunate, because who knows what could have been with [Scott Kazmir] until we get him back. And we could have seen something else happen with [Cliff] Floyd and any number of things."
Sternberg said that it's "way too early" in the season to get too excited, though he does catch himself occasionally jumping up and down like a fan. Which, he explained, is why he watches at home most nights.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.