Sources both close to the commissioner and within three of the groups bidding for the Chicago Cubs tell us press reports eliminating Mark Cuban as a potential owner were largely incorrect, though as with every connected with baseball there are shades of gray.
Sources both close to the commissioner and within three of the groups bidding for the Chicago Cubs tell us press reports eliminating Mark Cuban as a potential owner were largely incorrect, though as with every connected with baseball there are shades of gray. Last week the Chicago Sun-Times reported owner Sam Zell won’t be allowed to sell the Chicago Cubs to the flamboyant Cuban under any circumstances, quoting sources in the commissioner’s office. And yes, there are those in the commissioner’s office and among MLB owners who dislike Cuban and his high-profile way of doing business. (Hell, there are those in baseball who still bear a grudge about the way Ted Turner ran his baseball team.) Those people will try to steer the process to reward anyone but Cuban with the Cubs, Wrigley Field and a stake in a Chicago cable-sports network. But we’ve been assured Cuban is not out of the running at all. He will, however, be held to a slightly higher standard when it comes to the final sales price. Basically, if Cuban’s bid comes in $50 million or more than the next-highest bidder, he’ll land the Cubs. If all things are equal, there will be enough opposition to scuttle his bid.
Now, we’re not naive enough to deny some of our sources didn’t have an ulterior motive or three, and there’s enough misinformation out there as it is. But our well-placed sources were independently quick to take the report to task. Behind the scenes, there’s plenty of jockeying as the bidders try to figure out what it will take to land the team, and the full rosters of all the potential groups still has not been announced. (Some of the investors may surprise you.) The bottom line is that no one has been eliminated as a potential owner of the Cubs by Bud Selig or Sam Zell — but it’s clear Cuban will have a hurdle or two other potential owners won’t face.