Henry reportedly back in Red Sox talks with local businessmen
Saturday, January 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
BOSTON (AP) _ John Henry, the winning bidder for the Boston Red Sox last month, is talking once again to two former rivals for the team about joining his investment group, according to published reports.
Henry is again trying to bring Boston Concessions owner Joseph O'Donnell and developer Steve Karp onto his team, The Boston Globe and Boston Herald reported Saturday.
A previous attempt at an alliance between Henry's group and Karp and O'Donnell fell apart early in the morning of Dec. 20, reportedly because the parties couldn't agree on who would run the team. O'Donnell and Karp then withdrew their independent bid, while Henry's group went ahead on its own, and a few hours later won the bidding.
This time, the Globe reported, Henry's group is not asking for nearly as much money as the previous deal would have entailed and a dispute over control would be unlikely to arise.
Bringing in O'Donnell and Karp could assuage concerns among some fans about out-of-town ownership and allow Henry to build a new stadium downtown.
Henry has continued to work on assembling an investment team even after the Red Sox announced that his bid, for $660 million plus $40 million in assumed debt, was the highest qualified offer.
A bid by New York lawyer Miles Prentice was $90 million higher, but the team rejected it, saying it violated Major League Baseball rules and did not have secure financing.
Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly is investigating whether Major League Baseball manipulated the sale to make sure the team ended up in the hands of Henry, who is selling the Florida Marlins.
On Friday, Reilly's staff interviewed Major League Baseball general counsel Robert DuPuy by telephone. DuPuy and the team strenuously deny the allegation that the sale was manipulated.