SBD/October 15, 2012/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: John Henry Reportedly Looking To Sell Stake In FSG

A Red Sox official said the rumor that Henry would sell a piece of FSG is false
FOXBUSINESS.com's Gasparino & Egan reported Fenway Sports Group Chair John Henry is "seeking a minority owner" for the company. Sources said that Henry is "entertaining the idea of selling a minority stake, or what’s known as a 'limited partnership.'" Rival MLB owners said that FSG is "weighing selling a chunk of the holding company to potential investors." But Red Sox Corporate Communications Dir Zineb Curran said, "There is absolutely no truth to any other sale or claim that John Henry is selling the team or a piece of FSG" (FOXBUSINESS.com, 10/12).

THIS IS BIRDLAND: Orioles Owner Peter Angelos said that he was "exceptionally pleased" with the '12 season. Angelos said, "Especially for the Orioles, which we all know is an institution in Maryland. And for a long period of time, as you gentlemen and ladies have stressed frequently, there was a long, long arid period. … I hope this will be the case, this year, that we mean business. And in the future you can depend on this kind of a performance and hopefully much better" (Baltimore SUN, 10/13). Orioles Exec VP/Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said, "We took a giant step forward this year, and we re-energized the fan base, improving the number of games we won was significant." Duquette: "I've said all along the way to build a good ballclub is from the ground up. It's not from the top down. Having said that, we signed a couple free agents last year that did a good job. ... So, we are always looking for opportunity, but I'm going to tell you this: The core players are going to come from our minor league system" (Baltimore SUN, 10/14).

FEDERAL RESERVE: Vince Gennaro, author of "Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning In Baseball," estimated that the Nationals "would have seen at least" $25M in incremental business had the team won the '12 World Series. Univ. of South Florida Sport & Entertainment MBA/MS Program Dir Bill Sutton estimated the value of a championship or "even a World Series appearance" at $35-40M. Consulting firm the Aspire Group CEO Bernie Mullin "thinks the potential loss is closer" to $65-75M (ESPN.com, 10/13).

CUDDLY CUBBIES? In Chicago, Rick Telander wrote, "I found it interesting that in an essay in this newspaper, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts described his team’s 2012 season as 'disappointing.' Kind of like describing the Great Chicago Fire as 'warm.'’’ Ricketts' essay Thursday "mainly describes the charitable work the Cubs do." Telander: "Aren’t the Cubs a major-league baseball team? When did they become a stadium-owning, TV-revenue-producing, third-highest-ticket-price-in-baseball-demanding Mother Teresa in pinstripes?" Ricketts' article is "all PR." It is "hearts-and-minds propaganda ... A load of crap." It is "simply a way to soften up the city and make it easier for Ricketts and Co. to float devious bonds to rebuild Wrigley Field at citizens’ risk." Telander: "The Cubs are turning into a vicious, soul-free, corporate monster that already has conned the public into paying for a defective product. And apparently it’s just beginning" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/14).

A ROCKY ROAD: In Denver, Woody Paige wrote, "The Rockies' monarchy has replied insensitively to season-ticket holders hungry for quality baseball." The "rock-headed ownership and management sent out letters to thousands of the team's most loyal fans stating that if their season tickets are renewed for next season, cards will be issued for free food and merchandise." Paige: "How about starting pitchers and new ownership/management instead of hot dogs and ice cream? When are you going to stand up, speak up and get fed up? ... When are you going to demand that [Owner Dick Monfort, GM Dan O’Dowd, Assistant GM Bill Geivett and General Partner Charlie Monfort] step aside and let someone else run this franchise right, rather than run it into the ground?" The Rockies "stink like sewage sludge" (DENVER POST, 10/14).
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