The Sporting News’ Craig Custance interviews new Tampa coach Barry Melrose and covers a variety of topics, including Melrose’s alleged slight of Tampa Bay fans in 2004.
SN: What was the reaction in Tampa from fans when you were hired?
Melrose: A lot of people there were still mad at me for 2004. Supposedly, I made derogatory remarks about Tampa Bay. If people remember you saying it, it doesn’t matter if you said it. That was fun. We were doing autograph sessions and stuff and people said, “Barry I hated what you said in 2004.” It’s really funny these people think it was personal, what I say on TV is personal. All in all, I think it’s been very favorable, but it’s a wait and see. They’re waiting to see the ownership, but (they) liked what they did. It’s wait and see; the last few years have been tough on them.