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 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Devil Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg needed just one word to describe his team's record this season.
``Unacceptable,'' Sternberg said Friday night before the Devil Rays played Cleveland.
``I have to accept it because I have no choice. Each person in the organization has to look at themselves in the mirror and say what can they do to contribute to the success of this organization on a daily basis.''
The Devil Rays, who have never won more than 70 games in any season, started play Friday night with the worst record in baseball at 46-74. Tampa Bay also has the league's lowest payroll, at around $24 million.
``I know we're going to be spending more money,'' Sternberg said. ``There's a large pool of money. We don't say we're going to spend 'X' on major league payroll and 'Y' on signing bonuses. I'm comfortable that we've got the resources and we're spending and using it in a very wise fashion.''
Above all, the team could use to improve its pitching. The Devil Rays went into Friday night with a 5.78 ERA, the worst in baseball by nearly a run.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon is in the final season of a two-year contract. The Devil Rays have a two-year option for 2008-09.
``Joe is our manager,'' Sternberg said. ``I don't make any decisions before I have to.''
The Devil Rays have talked with baseball officials about hosting a future All-Star Game, but Sternberg doesn't believe the contest will be played at Tropicana Field in the foreseeable future.
``Right now there are a number of new stadiums online, so I think that the docket is sort of full,'' Sternberg said. ``Relative to important things ... I think the All-Star Game is sort of a dead issue for the near future.''
Tampa Bay played three regular season games this season against Texas in Orlando, which is something Sternberg didn't rule out happening again next year.
``I'm still thinking about it,'' he said.
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