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Imagine if the Tampa Bay Rays were the ‘I-4 Rays’

The ‘I-4 Rays’

MLB kills Rays’ split-city plan with Montreal | Jan. 20

The other Major League Baseball owners appear to have recognized the terrible precedent the Tampa Bay Rays proposed “sister city” plan with Montreal would set — not just for MLB, but for all professional sports leagues. This precedent would encourage the more aggressive owners to lock up two markets instead of just one. Now that this flawed plan has been rejected, the Rays should continue to work with the city of Tampa and the state to build a retractable-roof stadium. And if they feel that they need to expand their market reach to be successful here, then they should look no farther than Orlando.

Every year there are hundreds of thousands of theme park tourists who would gladly travel to east Tampa to see a MLB game. In addition, there are several MLB-caliber spring training stadiums in central Florida, and the Rays could even play some early season games there. There is a wide open opportunity for the Rays to become the “I-4″ team. It’s probably time for the Rays and St. Petersburg to divorce, but the Rays can absolutely be successful in Tampa Bay area by consolidating the broader central Florida market.

Doug Robison, St. Petersburg

Put your name on that Ray’s stadium

It’s now up to Tampa Bay to keep the Rays here | Editorial, Jan. 21

Time for Tampa Bay companies to step up and help support our Rays. Stadium-naming rights and the like are a major way to help offset a part of the billion-dollar price tag. C’mon, Outback and Mosaic, step up to the plate. Publix, just think how many chicken tenders or subs you could sell at “Publix Park”! Yes, we need more fans in the stands, but when push comes to shove, the big bucks will have to come from corporations. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, it’s time to make some phone calls.

Rich Lynch, North Redington Beach

Raise the cap

Here’s the high cost of doing nothing to fix Social Security | Column, Jan. 21

The column by Brenton Smith regarding the need to do something to curtail the demise of Social Security benefits rekindles a question that I have asked for many years. Why do we continue to increase the cap on Social Security deductions? More importantly, why is there a cap at all? In 2022, the cap for Social Security deductions of 6.2% increased to $147,000 per individual employee. It seems reasonable that if someone earns greater than $147,000 per year that they can afford the 6.2% deduction from their paycheck for every dollar earned.

Charles Gonzalez, St. Petersburg

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