Word on the street today is that Mario Lemieux may be interested in buying the Pittsburgh Pirates. Does this guy like a challenge or what?
From the Post-Gazette:
Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, co-owners of the Penguins, recently made an unsolicited offer to buy the Pirates in a face-to-face meeting with that team's owner, Bob Nutting, but the offer did not receive a response.
Sources on the Penguins' side last night described the offer made by Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle as "very serious," without divulging a dollar figure, and said they remain interested in following up.
It's hard to say what exactly is going on here because Pirates owner Bob Nutting is insisting the team "has not been for sale and is not for sale." The PG article claims that all of this is stemming from a meeting four months ago that suggests Lemieux and Burkle put up an offer for the team. So Penguins sources are saying an offer was made. Pirates sources are saying it was about a different matter all together. In the end we're all confused.
There's some speculation that the Penguins and Pirates may try to combine forces in a way, or "synergize," as they like to say in the business world. That doesn't mean Marc-Andre Fleury will be the Pirates' starting catcher next season (although he'd probably be pretty good at it), but it does mean they'd keep each other afloat financially.
I find it odd to think that Nutting has spent so much time and effort buying out minority owners over the years just to turn around and sell a huge chunk, if not all, to Lemieux and Burkle. Then again, economically speaking, he may not be content with money lost, low attendance or 17 straight losing seasons. This is merely my speculation here, so take it with a grain of salt.