Friday, March 19, 2010

The NY Times' Rich Sandomir replies

As luck would have it, I finally found out how to get in touch with Rich Sandomir, the lead co-author of the article suggesting that the Columbus Blue Jackets are potentially for sale.  Here's his response to the text of my "open letter" (which I had to cut and paste with minor edits into a direct email to him). Note that I'm not editing a bit of his note, including the typos and lack of line spacing...
We rely on impeccable sources in the league and the financial industry who say authoritatively that the Blue Jackets are a "potential" candidate for sale. Sorry I can't be any more detailed about it. The fact that they could "potentially" be for sale, as we wrote, doesn't mean that anyone wants to buy them. Mr. Belson and I didn't mention every team that might be for sale but trustworthy people who know about teams that are potentially for sale say the Blue Jackets are on that list.
Richad Sandomir

An interesting reply, wouldn't you say?  I suppose my question is now, "If the Jackets might be for sale but that doesn't mean that anyone wants to buy them, why publish the Jackets' name when just about ANY team could be potentially for sale?"  For example, if I owned the Anaheim Ducks and someone offered me a billion dollars unsolicited, would that make the team potentially for sale?  Sure would.  (And I'd sell!)

Also, he "didn't mention every team that might be for sale" but did mention the Jackets.  Why?  What makes the Jackets' position so special as to place them in the front of the line on this list of pie-in-the-sky possibilities?

Again, another unsatisfying answer.  Perhaps that this whole dialogue centers around a rumor rather than a fact makes it doomed for a non-satisfying resolution.  I am heartened, though, to know that people like Sandomir and the Jackets' Todd Sharrock dignify serious questions with replies.

UPDATE: I tossed those followup questions at Mr. Sandomir, and his answer was pretty straightforward....
the Blue Jackets name came up constantly.
So there you have it.


  1. I interpret this and the official comment from the CBJ together to translate roughly to your comment regarding Anaheim. If the right kind of offer came along, of course the ownership would be willing to listen. I also think that Mr. Sandomir's sources frequently mention the Blue Jackets specifically because they're upside-down on the current Nationwide Arena lease. My guess is that if a combination of good lease terms and wins occurred next season, those same sources would stop mentioning the CBJ "constantly".

  2. I'm thinking that the combination of the arena mess and the change in ownership from Mr. Mac The Elder to Mr. Mac The Junior probably has those in the know thinking that the franchise is 'saleable' (my term).

    Agreed that if things turned positive on the business and on-ice performance front, the team would probably stabilize.


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