Jeff Harrington of the Tampa Bay Times wrote an interesting column on Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and the possibility that he might invest in the Channelside entertainment complex near the Tampa Bay Times forum.

And in his column, Harrington brings up an old rumor with a new twist…

One recurring rumor is that a dual sports deal could occur, whereby Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg would buy the New York Mets and sell the Rays to Vinik, who would then relocate the Rays from St. Petersburg to his newly acquired Channelside territory.

So far, the Wilpon family has successfully held on to the Mets, and speculation that they will be forced to sell has quieted down. But that possibility still looms. And as we have mentioned on this site (and elsewhere), Stuart Sternberg is a favorite of Bud Selig, and would be an ideal choice to replace the Wilpons if they are forced to sell.

But selling the team to Vinik would certainly ease the blow of losing Sternberg, and would be a much better alternative to losing the team to another market.

In an attempt to downplay the rumor, a spokesman for the Bolts said the two teams have “a strong friendship,” and that any speculation that the Lightning are interested in more than friendship is “unfounded and untrue.”



  1. Still [I HAVE A POTTY MOUTH] to your own completely unfounded rumor I see. When are the Bucs moving to Los Angeles again?

  2. J 2.0 says:

    Cork can you delete that post? I don't want to read it.

  3. Don says:

    I think he has enough problems with his own team....what? playoffs to last place, see if he wants to spend another $800 mil.

  4. Alex says:

    If this happened and he can hold onto Friedman and company I'm all for it. Vinik is an awesome owner

    • Ken says:

      Freidman has such a close friendship with Stu. I can't believe that AF won't go back to NYC to do his thing for the Mets. However, I agree with you that if we can keep AF and company, they would make a great team with Vinik.

  5. Burrellfan1 says:

    Why would Sternberg sell the Rays when they are so well organized and the Mets are a mess? Sternberg moving the team to Brooklyn makes way more sense than him buying the Mets.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      There was a time 15 years ago when a third team in NY might have worked. But baseball right now is driven by the huge television money and networks owned by the teams.

      Both the Yankees and Mets own their own networks and would NEVER allow another team into their territory. Unlike MLB writing a check to the Orioles to allow the Nationals into DC, there is no amount of money that would convince the Mets and Yankees to give up one-third of the biggest TV market.


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