Rays Life is not always Mosaic
How is it these same intelligent and resourceful Rays front office gurus got turned sideways and ultimately blindsided to the true life exploits by the world’s phosphate heavyweight, the Mosaic Company. Sure, on paper the deal look incredible for Charlotte County to get $ 75,000 each year for the next 15 seasons to help supplement their county-wide budget shortfalls. On paper, the entire deal might have looked like a total “W” for the Rays, but instead, it quickly became a localized fire storm of public concern and controversy with maybe a few misguided intentions.
I would have thought that the Rays would have had a team of public investigators, or at least economic or political renegades out in front of any type of naming rights agreements to fully dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” with total airs of confidence about any possible business misalignments with Mosaic. It took me only a short Google search on the subjects of “Mosaic Company” and “Charlotte County” to dig up a report filed by official of Charlotte County on a past Peace River pact and subsequent dealing with Mosaic and Charlotte County for “minor modifications” to their Old Colony Wetlands Resources Permit (146465-001) back in early 2009.
Or how local neighboring county, Manatee County filed civil suit after suit trying to protect the watersheds of the Peace River and their county from the possible potash pollutants produced by the strip mining of phosphates by the Mosaic Company.
Or maybe they could of just pulled up a web listing of an old Lakeland Ledger article dated 12/12/2008 that showed just how ruthless and to what lengths Mosaic would go to get its way in this region of Florida. If the Rays had seen in advance the past civil dealings of Mosaic when they planned to “indirectly” extract their company will upon regional county governmental agencies by filing a supposed $618 million lawsuit over the action of the Manatee County Commission after they denied a 2,000 acre Peace River Basin project.
In December 2008, Because of the clout and possible fiscal damages that could be endured by Manatee County, the collective majority of Manatee County attorneys was trying to convince the MCC to accept a settlement deal provided by Mosaic, and re-enter into public hearings to determine the feasibility of Mosaic’s proposed mining activities on the 400-acre Altman tract, which was located in a North Manatee tract of high quality wetlands that was eyed by the world’s phosphate giant for possible mining operations.
It is rare that you find a team like the Rays looking like a total stooge in a situation, but in this case……….the shoe fits, and it is might tight too. And I am not proud of the fact that a Rays management team got so turned around by the supposed huge dollar figures over the next fifteen years and might have been blinded by the process of gaining another Corporate heavyweight in their corner as a possible ally.
And it is great that the Rays would have lifted up this deal and shown that they have the backing of one of the world’s leaders in an industry to boost their Corporate credibility among the Tampa Bay region by the collective thinking of infusing both Charlotte County and their own coffers with a giant in their industry. The problem is that it directly insulted their Spring Training host county, and the cities surrounding it. And the stink from that meshing might take a while for everyone involved to forget totally about down in Charlotte County.
And you can bet there is definitely going to be a corporate “cleaner” or a nice team of spin doctors assigned to make this naming rights agreement not only disappear, but fade from public view and scrutiny as swift as corporately possible. Some had to have misplaced an Email or even misdirected a report for this to explode like this in the Rays faces. And you can be sure there will be someone within the Rays organization that is going to have to sacrifice himself for this error of corporate judgment.
Sure most of us north of Port Charlotte and Charlotte County were not as extremely effected by the news as the locale itself, but they are our neighbors, and for that we have to throw a bit of empathy their direction.But it is going to be a week of walking on eggshells for Rays officials down in Charlotte County before all of the stench begins to fall away from this dealing. With Rays staffers already hard at work down in Charlotte County, hopefully none of them will suffer or feel any of the fallout from this naming rights deal.
Hopefully the community will see it as a simple error in judgment, or maybe even a “business deal gone wrong” and let the dealings repair itself in time. But no matter what the outcome down in Charlotte Country from all of this, to what extent did the Rays damage their own reputations.
Major League Baseball hates controversy, and maybe with the Rays able to dodge the bullet a bit here and get the situation handled before it really hit the fan hardcore, they might have saved face within the community both with fans and the corporate world. I do not write a lot of political or business based blogs, but in this case I felt it was needed to provide an outlet and a chance for the air to clear.
With the Rays requesting the removal of any naming rights discussion of Charlotte Sports Park off the Charlotte County Commission’s agenda today, it was the right and first step to rectifying a huge wrong to our neighbors to the South of Tampa Bay. Maybe if the Rays had meeting with the Charlotte County head honchos this mud would have never hit the fan and all would have been avoided with any damage control.
And this is an issue I think will die down fast to us up here in Tampa Bay, but I have a feeling it will still sting and stink in Port Charlotte, Florida for a bit longer than Spring Training this year.
Maybe if the Rays had meeting with the Charlotte County head honchos this mud would have never hit the fan and all would have been avoided with any damage control. And this is an issue I think will die down fast to us up here in Tampa Bay, but I have a feeling it will still sting and stink in Port Charlotte, Florida for a bit longer than Spring Training this year.