The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

by: Thomas Stinson

…This cautionary tale is presented [as] word broke that the Atlanta Braves were for sale…

“The best I think you can hope for is you get somebody almost as good,” said Sal Galatioto, who sells sports teams for a living. “And maybe you won’t. Look, everybody who buys one of these things thinks they’re smarter than the seller, clearly. Or else they wouldn’t buy it. But oftentimes, they find that they’re not.”

A veteran who has helped broker 60 pro franchises transfers in all four major pro sports, Galatioto, of New York-based Galatioto Sports Partners, is amused by how gladly the news of Time Warner’s selling has been received here. If anything, he sees any potential new owner taking on a serious potential for failure.

“It’s not as if they’ve mismanaged the team,” he said. “Why is everyone so happy? How much better is a new owner going to do than winning 14 years in a row? What are the odds that a new owner is not going to win 14 years in a row? The odds are better that he’s not.”…

…Galatioto, who most recently worked on sales of the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Angels, predicts interest in the Braves will be vast and numerous. He also has a warning for those who welcome the forthcoming change: remember the 1980’s.

“People forget what it was like before this run. The team was terrible,” Galatioto said. “And there’s no guarantee that you can’t go back to that. See, that’s what people don’t get. Somebody’s got to finish last. There’s no God-given right that the Braves are going to be on top of the division every year. It’s just hard work and good management.

“We’ll see. Anybody who buys this team is going to have significant financial wherewithal. But having the money just makes you rich. It doesn’t make you smart. You have to hope for someone who is rich and smart.”

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