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Sternberg confident in Rays' chances in 2013

Sternberg confident in Rays' chances in 2013

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Sternberg confident in Rays' chances in 2013

NEW YORK -- Stu Sternberg was at Yankee Stadium with his family on Thursday night, which is usually the case for the Rays' principal owner when the team plays in New York, since he lives in the area.

However, what was unusual was that Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also was at Yankee Stadium.

It's no secret that Sternberg would like a new stadium for the Rays, and Tampa is seemingly a possible location for said stadium. Countering that hope is St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, who has been adamant about the city having a binding lease with the team through 2027.

But apparently there was no stadium talk on the agenda on Thursday night as Buckhorn attended the game with a group from the Tampa Economic Development Corporation, which was in New York on a business trip.

"It's unusual. I'm here, and he's here," Sternberg said.

Sternberg did speak with Buckhorn and his group on the field, and eventually he got around to talking about his team a little bit, too.

And everybody's talking about Wil Myers these days, so why should Sternberg have been any different?

"It's great we had the opportunity to bring him up," said Sternberg, who noted that seeing such young players as Scott Kazmir, Evan Longoria and Matt Moore come up through the years has brought special times to the franchise.

"It's always a really exciting time for a few days, then it's like they've been here a while."

His gut feeling about this year's team?

"Before the season I thought we could count on our defense," he said. "It's been there. Everything else has been topsy-turvy."

Nevertheless, Sternberg believes that the Rays will be playing meaningful games in September, but added, "We have to start replicating on offense what we did in May, and start pitching better."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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