Never, ever gonna happen
Never, ever gonna happen
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain
Mum Cuban sits with Trib execs at Wrigley
May 1, 2008
BY CHRIS DE LUCA
News flash: Mark Cuban didn't want to talk during his visit to Wrigley Field on Wednesday. Talk about trying to win over Major League Baseball.
''I'm here as a Cubs fan,'' Cuban said, waving off a group of reporters as he took his front-row seat -- one chair from the Cubs' dugout -- before their game against the Milwaukee Brewers. ''How can I enjoy my beer if you guys are around?''
Cuban, braving the 47-degree weather wearing a long-sleeve shirt, signed autographs before the game and sat with Tribune Co. executives in their premium seats.
It's no secret Cuban is among the six to 10 groups ready to make a formal bid for the Cubs, who have been put on the block by Tribune chairman and CEO Sam Zell. As Cuban continues to clear hurdles in MLB's tough weeding-out process, the less that the usually talkative -- and controversial -- owner of the Dallas Mavericks says, the better for his bid.
And those with an insight into the proposed sale indicate Cuban is no longer the dark horse he once was considered when he initially expressed interest last year.
Cuban became a billionaire with his innovative Internet ventures and is believed to have the resources to swing a quick deal for the Cubs. Zell -- the profanity-spewing billionaire who bought Tribune Co. last year -- certainly would have no problems doing business with Cuban.
The stumbling block always has been MLB's stodgy owners approving the next owner of the Cubs. Commissioner Bud Selig has taken a special interest in the Cubs and would seem to clash with Cuban.
But Zell, who is reportedly $12.8 billion in debt, almost certainly will insist on getting the highest bid for his team, and Cuban appears poised to spend what it takes.
Insiders believe Cuban could put together a package with more available assets quicker than the group thought to be the leading contender. That group, headed by private- equity mogul John Canning Jr., also has several deep-pocketed investors and has close ties to Selig.
Before there is any movement in the sale of the Cubs, the team first must provide its financial books to the approved bidders -- a pool that includes Cuban and Canning's group. Though Zell recently indicated that might happen by this week, a team source said the Cubs still are working to get those books in order, and they likely won't be delivered to MLB until the end of May.
Zell is facing a Dec. 4 deadline to pay a $650 million debt obligation. Despite widespread speculation Zell is in a tight squeeze, a source close to Zell said there is no danger of that payment not being made.
As for braving the frigid temperatures at Wrigley on Wednesday, Cuban was spotted slipping into a just-purchased Cubs jacket by the second inning. His next purchase that inning: a beer.
Signing autographs? Who would want Mark Cuban's autograph??
I am a long time Dallas Mavericks fan who loves Mark Cuban as an owner, for all his faults (and there are many) he consistently shows he is not afraid to do what is necessary to make his team successful. WHen looking at this deal you must look past some of his antics and focus on his skills as a buisness man running a team. He is not afraid to spend money on free agents, nor is he against adding payroll in a trade if it helps his team. He has done a lot to make Dallas an attractive team to potential free agents (private jet, revamped locker room, new facilities). If this deal goes through it spells trouble for the rest of the NL.
If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.
In the last 6 months, Mrs. fan and I had occasion to dine with one of Zell's top level executives. After a few drinks, I asked about the reported strategy of selling the Cubs and Wrigley Field independantly of each other.
(I'll be the first to admit that mergers & acquisitions are not my forte, but I like to think that I have a basic understanding of the way that business and corporate America operate.)
Didn't really get much of an answer, other than the standard - maybe the entities are worth more individually than they are in combination - response. It left me thinking that either Zell is brilliant with respect to thinking ahead/outside the box (as evidenced by his estimated net worth of $6 billion according to Forbes in 2007), or that he's looney.
I can see the rationale for buying the team as a stand-alone entity: You can then threaten to take your team elsewhere for a better deal unless the local/state government puts you in a sweet new facility with generous financial terms.
At the other end of the spectrum is owning the team/park/media outlet in combination. Transfer pricing, taxation, etc all come into play.
But why just buy the ballpark? That's the part I just can't get my brain around. You're either going to (1) put the tennant(s) over a barrel (and thus speed up their move or new facility), or (2) lose money, especially on an old facility which likely has some pretty hefty upkeep costs.
Only other thing I can think of is that you buy the stadium because you have way too much money, and an ego that needs stroking. Maybe being able to simply say, "Hi, I'm _________ and I own Wrigley Field" at cocktail parties is what motivates you.
Maybe that's where Cuban comes in?
But if you've got that kind of $$$, why buy just the park? Why not buy the team, too?
My brain hurts from trying to figure this out.
You mean the Cubs might actually spend money? I guess the Trib never thought of that when they signed Soriano, Lilly and Marquis to those deals or extended Lee and Ramirez. Maybe Cuban will hire a big name manager who has won elsewhere. Man, it'll only be a matter of time before he gets a World Series trophy to put on his mantle next to his NBA Chamoionship trophies.
If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.
I used to be a big Cuban fan. I hate the NBA but have always liked the passion and energy he put into being the owner of the Mavs. Now I root for Cuban to lose in everything he does (it is over a movie that he produced or financially backed). If he buys the Cubs it would be one more reason for me to root against the Cubs.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
Cuban still believes he has a shot at Cubs
June 7, 2008
Mark Cuban addressed several subjects today while guesting on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM (1000).
Where are you on this whole thing about buying the Cubs:
Cuban: The books hopefully will come out today, Monday or Tuesday. Who knows, and then I'll get to work. All the accountants will start doing their things. Hopefully I'll be in the mix. I think I have a shot.
Are you an approved buyer in MLB:
Cuban: Naw, I'm gonna sneak in. I'm like, you know, I got a billion bucks, maybe I can sneak in. … Yeah, I'm approved and that's why I'll be able to get a copy of the book and so hopefully I have as good a shot as anybody.
On Jerry Reinsdorf:
Cuban: Actually Jerry and I get along pretty well. I think we've grown used to each other, and I have nothing but enormous respect for Jerry in what he's done, and you know if you talk to his son or if you talk to any of the folks at the Bulls that I have to deal with in the NBA, we're actually on the same side of issues probably 99.99 percent of the time. So we get along really well. I think if you talk to any of the folks in the NBA, they'll tell you that I'm a great partner, that I bust my butt to try to do what's best for the league and, you know, that's not always what's portrayed in the media, but those who know know and I think that will pay off and if I can come up with a competitive bid for the Cubs then I think I've got a shot.
Will you call Reinsdorf to get him to back you?
Cuban: There's a process involved in all this stuff and, you know, I've been through it before and I'll go through the process again and so if talking to Jerry is something I need to do then certainly I will and, you know, knowing Jerry he'd be wide-open to it, he's just that good of a guy.
Does Sam Zell owning the Cubs help your bid?
Cuban: Well it really depends on what the other bidders do. You know, Sam's obviously a smart businessman and he's gonna do what's best for him. Major League Baseball has survived a long time without Mark Cuban and they can survive a long time without me and so they'll do what they think is best for them.
And my job is to convince everybody involved that not only is it a good financial move to sell to Marc Cuban but it's also, you know, a good partnership move that I can add value beyond just my checkbook to not just the Cubs, to not just the city of Chicago, but also to Major League Baseball. Because to me one of the thing's I've learned with the Mavericks is when I thought I bought the Dallas Mavericks when I wrote the check eight years ago, and in reality even though I wrote the check the city of Dallas and Fort Worth still own the Mavericks and it's about being a good citizen, it's about contributing to the community and to me that's viewed to be just as important as Major League Baseball or the Tribune company, you know, what can I do for Wrigleyville, what can I do for the community, and what are the ways that I fit in and add value.
Because, you know, part of the issue that's been apparent to me in looking at all this is that, you know, the previous owners before Sam Zell bought the Tribune, you know, the Tribune and the Wrigleyville area around Wrigley Field didn't always get along so well and so I think there are a lot of things we can do community-wise that can enhance my chances and so, you know, I'm gonna pull out all the stops, that's about the best way to describe it.
Cuban: Well, I mean, you know, the Cubs experience in Wrigley Field is what it is. I mean, there's nothing more special in all of sports than going to a Cubbie game. You know, it's more in terms of you've got to be a partner with the people that live around you. And there's peoples live who don't go up and down based off of the Cubs, they have to live in that area and how can you be partners with them so schools, and community centers and the rest can benefit from the Cubs and Wrigley Field and, you know, those are would be some of the things I'm including on my list.
Would you want Wrigley Field to be part of the deal?
Cuban: Absolutely. Definitely would want Wrigley Field to be part of the deal because you have to protect the experience. The state's job is to look out for the citizens of the state of Illinois, not just for Cubs fans and that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a good match and, you know, separating the two, again, it's Sam Zell's final decision, but it'd be important to me to own Wrigley because you want to protect Wrigley. You know, a lot of people question whether a new owner is going to come in and change it and change the ivy and change just the feel of it and the experience of it, and that's something I would not want to do.
Beasley or Rose?
Cuban: You know, it's one of those things: it's like saying Jessica Biel or Jessica Alba. You try not to think about it because you know you got no shot.
On Avery Johnson, are you surprised he didn't get more of a look in Chicago:
Cuban: Well, I don't think he's out of the running yet. You know, until they pick somebody you never know and, you know, you can't always believe all the speculation you hear and read in the media. I know, when we've gone through processes or trades or coaches or whatever, you know, good organizations are pretty quiet about it and you certainly can't always believe, especially when you've got guys like Sam Smith up there. There's always going to be crazy speculation, so I wouldn't say that Avery's out of the running, and he's a good coach it's just that we needed a new voice, but with the young guns that you guys got up there, the first pick, you know, he really could be somebody that helps you.