Dolan Still Swinging for Red Sox

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Cablevision Systems Corp. chairman Charles Dolan's late bid for the Boston
Red Sox was rejected by team officials, who stated that the revised offer was
too little, too late.

But according to published reports, the fight for the Major League Baseball
team is far from over.

The club decided to stick with the bid it accepted Dec. 20 -- a $700 million
offer from a group including John Henry, owner of baseball's Florida Marlins;
television producer and former San Diego Padres owner Tom Werner; and The New
York Times Co.

Dolan had submitted a $700 million bid before the Dec. 20 deadline, but he
upped that offer to $740 million last week for the Red Sox and its 80 percent
interest in the New England Sports Network cable channel.

Red Sox CEO John Harrington said in a prepared statement Monday that the team
was standing by its decision to go with the Henry group.

Harrington said in the statement that there were many reasons for rejecting
the bid: Dolan's new offer was past the Dec. 20 deadline; Henry had already made
a $66 million deposit on the team; and despite the higher price, the Dolan offer
was less valuable because of the delays it would present in being approved by
the 23 other MLB team owners.

All MLB franchise sales must be approved by a majority of team owners.

'Finally, only the Henry group offers the prospect of having new ownership in
place before Opening Day,' Harrington said in the statement. 'Given Mr. Dolan's
cross-ownership of other professional-sports teams, his media holdings and the
conflicts presented by his brother's ownership of the Cleveland Indians, as well
as the absence of any proposals by Mr. Dolan to solve these issues, the
conclusion of Dec. 20 about the risks and delays inherent in his bid remain
unchanged.'

But according to a report in the Boston Globe, Dolan is not yet ready
to lie down.

'Mr. Dolan has yet to receive a credible explanation as to why his initial
offer and his current high-bid offer were not accepted,' a Dolan spokesman told
the paper. 'We do not think the matter will be settled until Mr. Dolan's high
offer is properly presented and considered by all appropriate parties.'

Dolan's revised bid came a few weeks after another group -- led by New York
lawyer Miles Prentice and including Philadelphia-based MSO Comcast Corp. -- bid
$790 million for the team. The Red Sox rejected the Prentice bid because of
uncertainties about financing.

In late December, Massachusetts Attorney General John Reilly also entered the
picture, stating that he was 'concerned' that the Red Sox dismissed a higher
bid.

However, although Reilly has jurisdiction over the state's charities -- which
would include the team's majority owners, the Yawkey Trust -- it is unclear
whether he would have any say in how the privately held baseball team is
sold.

Harrington seemed a little perturbed about the controversy surrounding the
sale of the team.

'We always knew people would fight very hard to own the Red Sox, and that
emotions would run high,' Harrington said. 'But enough is enough. It is obvious
that there will be another round of criticism from the disappointed. So be
it.'

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