STAMFORD, Conn. - Is Bobby Valentine looking to buy a piece of the Mets? The usually talkative former Mets manager declined to discuss the topic Monday, but indications are Valentine will not be occupying the owner's box at Citi Field anytime soon.
Approached by a reporter outside his 10th-floor office at the City of Stamford Government Center, the tie-and-suit-wearing, fast-moving Valentine would only repeat a statement that said he has "talked to a number of people interested in purchasing part of the New York Mets, but I'm not formally with any group that is actively pursuing this venture."
Valentine, who is Stamford's director of public health and safety, as well as an ESPN baseball broadcaster and analyst, repeated several times during a one-minute elevator ride that he did not wish to discuss his reported interest beyond the statement.
The Mets are seeking investors to buy up to 25 percent of the franchise. Valentine, who managed the Mets from 1996-2002, long has been intrigued by the idea of being part of an ownership group. An ESPN report Sunday said he was lining up investors.
But a person familiar with Valentine's interest in buying part of the Mets said "there's not much to it."
An ESPN spokesman, responding to an e-mail inquiry, wrote: "Bobby V. said he has not been involved in any formal discussions to pursue ownership opportunities."
A Mets spokesman declined to comment.
Much of Valentine's day Monday was spent in meetings in his office, which is just down the hall from that of Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia. Valentine, 60, was appointed to the position in January; later that month, he was interviewed by a local TV news crew while directing traffic near I-95 in the aftermath of a snowstorm.
Valentine also owns a popular sports bar and restaurant in Stamford, his hometown, and is slated to be an analyst on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" telecasts in addition to his work on the "Baseball Tonight" studio show.
Many Mets fans hoped Valentine would be a candidate for the team's managerial opening this past offseason, but he was not interviewed by new general manager Sandy Alderson.