July 18, 2007
Mark Cuban and the Cubs

For the good of baseball, I wholeheartedly endorse this possibility.

Add Internet billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to the list of potential Chicago Cubs buyers.

"I submitted an app," Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

I love Mark Cuban as a franchise owner because he cares about putting together a winning team more than anything else. That makes him the exact antithesis of the Cubs' ownership, where the quality of the product takes a backseat to the bottom line. The Cubs have never needed to put a good team out on the field, because their long-cultivated reputation as America's Most Lovable Losers has made them into a perennial moneymaker. You may say that as a business, that's all they need to care about. I say as a lifelong sports fan that the diehards deserve better.

It's a bit of a paradox, isn't it? Fans that demand a winner, and who show their displeasure with poor results by not going to the games, get a reputation for being "fair weather" supporters, and are looked on with disdain. Yet the true diehards, who show up every year regardless of how crappy the team is, are often rewarded with indifferent management, since the nut is guaranteed to be covered. You have to wonder what the team's fortunes would have been like had the Cubs faithful been a bit more willing to say "We're not gonna take this any more!"

Cubs manager Lou Piniella seemed impressed with Cuban's credentials.

"I don't know him, but the guy basically, he's a winner. He's a character. He has obviously got the resources," Piniella said Friday.

"I do know that he's got a lot of charisma. He likes the competition and he likes to win. So he's certainly a very viable candidate to buy the club. But there are going to be a lot of people that want the club."


Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, whose negotiations for a multiyear extension were shelved after it was announced the team would be sold, said he would welcome Cuban buying the team.

"I think he would bring whatever it takes to win the World Series," Zambrano said. "Plus, I can be signed by him. You know, I know he has the money for me. Hopefully he can buy the Cubs."

That's exactly right. He'd do what it takes to win. Isn't that what the fans deserve? Link via Joe Sheehan, who sees it the same way.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 18, 2007 to Baseball