Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 3:11 pm
By Evan Brunell
Mark Cuban is fresh off winning a NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks but still casts an eye toward owning a baseball team one day, and may have interest in the Los Angeles Dodgers, as TMZ reports (with video).
Cuban (photo, left) has tried and failed to own a baseball team before, falling short in a bid for the Cubs as well as losing an auction to run the Rangers. Cuban has been linked to purchasing the Dodgers because of his interest in owning a team plus the stature of the Dodgers' brand. Currently, Frank McCourt is fighting to retain the team after using it as his personal piggy bank, with a well-publicized divorce sapping much of his funds to run the team.
Cuban is afraid the Dodgers are "such a mess" that it wouldn't be worth the investment to buy the team. Indeed, not only is McCourt scraping money together to meet twice-monthly payrolls, but the team is set up with multiple companies holding different rights to the Dodgers that could create a legal quagmire to work through.
Appearing on TMZ Live Tuesday, Cuban said "if they're fixable and the deal is right, then I'm very interested."
It has long been believed that Cuban is being blackballed from baseball due to being an outspoken owner, and baseball likes its owners to toe the line. After the McCourt debacle, however, commissioner Bud Selig may be enticed by Cuban's clear commitment to winning and investing funds to make it happen. After all, if Cuban is not good for baseball but McCourt was, there's something wrong going on here.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 3, 2011 7:28 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Every time a sports franchise comes up for sale, its fans want Mark Cuban to buy it.
The website is little more than fans begging Cuban to buy the Dodgers. When asked about the site by Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers on Monday, Cuban said, "Just make up something that you want me to say," Cuban said, "and then put my name to it."
Simers did just that -- writing exactly what Dodger fans would like to hear Cuban say, that he'd spend more money than anyone, assemble a winning team, lower the price to games and he'd boo Jonathan Broxton.
Of course, if this whole mess with the Dodgers and Mets has taught us nothing, it's that Bud Selig plays favorites and only wants his folks in charge of baseball teams -- that's why McCourt is out and the Wilpons are still in. It's little secret which side of Bud's naughty and nice list Cuban falls, but what would fans be without unrealistic expectations?
Dream on Dodger fans, but Bud doesn't like mavericks -- or their owner.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 11:47 pm
By Evan Brunell
Ever since Bud Selig announced a hostile takeover of the Dodgers, speculation has run rampant on who the next owner of the Dodgers would be if Selig is successful at pushing Frank McCourt out.
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner already flatly denied rumors and two other current owners have joined him.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, who is from Los Angeles, said he has no interest in taking the Dodgers over. "It's great to be here. My wife and my family just moved into a new place in downtown Milwaukee, and we're excited to be part of the city and building what we hope is a championship team here," he told MLB.com.
Attanasio was available to reporters Wednesday as news broke that the club signed Ryan Braun to a five-year extension covering the years 2016-2020, which Attanasio also pointed out should be proof positive of his commitment to Milwaukee.
Oakland owner Lew Wolff joined Attanasio in giving a flat no when asked if he would take on the Dodgers. Wolff has been battling for over two years to move to San Jose, with the Giants resisting as is their right given S.F. holds territorial rights to San Jose. Although the deal is expected to eventually be pushed through by Selig, Wolff has grown frustrated by the endeavor.
That doesn't mean he plans to abandon the A's, though, as the Los Angeles Times reports.
"My focus is deep into getting us a new venue for the A's," Wolff said. "That's where my long term is."
There is one other name inside baseball that could end up with the Dodgers -- White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert tried and failed to get the Rangers last year and could cast his aspirations on the Dodgers. Given his stature in the game, Gilbert would likely find an easy road toward taking over L.A. and may have an investment group lined up, ready to go.
He'll have some competition as former All-Star Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey is throught to be trying to assemble a group. And of course, whenever there's a baseball team available for sale, one must bring up basketball owner Mark Cuban. Cuban didn't respond to an e-mail from the Times for a statement, but has expressed interest in the Dodgers previously. However, after losing out on the Rangers, Cuban said he would no longer participate as the active owner for purchasing a club; rather, he would have to be approached. It appears Cuban is growing frustrated with MLB's gambit to keep him out of the league after also falling short for the Cubs.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: February 5, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 10:15 pm
There are plenty of things this writer would change if given the powers of Commissioner for a day.
But among one of my first things to do would be to fire up an e-mail to Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner (that's basketball, folks), and put a subject header of "Please buy a baseball team."
That's because right now, Cuban owning a baseball team looks dead.
"I'm not going to -- whether it's [New York] or the Dodgers, for that matter -- I'm not going to put myself in a bidding situation," Cuban said in response to an ESPN New York inquiry as to whether the billionaire would be interested in buying a share of the Mets.
Cuban is talking about his failed attempts to buy the Cubs and Rangers. Cuban submitted a bid of $1.3 billion to add the Cubs to his portfolio, but did not make the final cut as the Ricketts family won out with a bid of $900 million. Cuban then famously sparred with Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan in winning the Rangers franchise. Cuban fell just short in an auction in bankruptcy court, and the whole experience has proven enough for Cuban to throw up his hands.
"I'm done chasing and bidding on baseball teams," he told the Los Angeles Times, although he left the door open to possible acquisitions or partnerships but not as the front man. "I've just come to the conclusion that if I'm going to write a huge check, I'd rather have my [butt] kissed than have to chase."
Why has Cuban, who has a pedigree of success in turning around the sad-sack franchise of the Mavericks and with near unlimited funds at his disposal, had such trouble getting a baseball franchise?
Simple: think of Cuban as the George Steinbrenner of basketball. His competitive fire runs deep and he has had numerous run-ins with other owners, referees and players. He will spend to create a winner, but baseball doesn't look kindly upon owners who don't toe the company line. Commissioner Bud Selig and baseball tend to pick those owners who won't make waves and will fall in lockstep with other owners.
That's not Cuban, but that's exactly why I'm e-mailing Cuban in my position as Commissioner for the day. Baseball needs passionate owners, and what it might need most of all is an owner that is a media story in and of himself. These days, football is clearly king in America, and basketball has its own legion of loyal fans. Baseball needs a way to get headlines and Cuban owning a baseball team would accomplish that.
Make no mistake about it, though: that's not the only reason why Cuban joining baseball would be a boon. All this headline-making stuff is just a side benefit, even if Selig considers it a side negative.
Unlike George Steinbrenner, Cuban actually knows what he's doing. Dallas missed the playoffs from 1991-2000, but Cuban came in with an influx of cash, upgrading both the quality of players and the amenities. Now, Dallas is considered a model franchise. Isn't that what any sport Commissioner wants for an owner of a team? Forget about David Glass or Drayton McLane, what baseball needs more of is owners like John Henry and (so far) Chuck Greenberg.
Oh, and how about the benefit of an owner with new ideas? Surrounding yourself with "yes men" has never been the way to go. Consider how slow baseball has been to move on issues like steroids and instant replay. Not that Cuban would hurry these issues along, but having an owner who would bring innovative ideas to the table is always a good thing.
Cuban's stature and funds mean that if he landed with the Mets or Dodgers, he would be able to restore these franchises to the pinnacle of baseball. The fan base would immediately be excited about the future and if his history in Dallas is any indication, baseball would gain a superpower in a a major city with loads of baseball history. Ask the NBA how well its doing with a reinvigorated Celtics and Lakers brand, plus an up-and-coming Knicks team.
If the Dodgers or Mets aren't available, Cuban should be steered to a mid- or small-market team with a history steeped in baseball. We're talking destinations like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Kansas City... franchises that could be revived back to their glory days, but are also franchises in desperate need of help.
Unless I suddenly become the surprise pick to be the next Commissioner, however, it looks like Cuban will have to content himself with basketball.
-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: February 2, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 11:17 am
Since the Wilpons announced they're looking to sell part of the Mets, speculation has connected just about everybody with a fat wallet to the story. It was inevitable that the name of billionaire and spurned potential baseball owner Mark Cuban would come up, and he talked today with Newsday columnist Barbara Barker. She passed along the following quotes via Twitter.
"I will not chase after it. If someone sees me as a potential owner, I will take their call."
"I feel l I would be a good owner in baseball, but I'm not going to go thru same process I did with Rangers and the Cubs."
"If they want to sit down and sell me on it, I can be a willing buyer and willing customer."
Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was shut out in an attempt to buy the Cubs in 2007, then finished second in bidding on the Rangers last summer.
It doesn't seem like "silent minority partner" is a role that particularly suits the outspoken Cuban, but if the Bernie Madoff lawsuit is damaging enough to force the Wilpons to sell controlling interest, it could be quite a circus to see him in control of a New York team. That's if he were approved as an owner by the other owners, which still seems like a big if.
UPDATE: Cuban was asked whether the availability of a controlling interest would change his position and said this to ESPN:
"It's all hypothetical. I don't know. I don't know enough of the details. I certainly haven't looked at their books or anything. But it's a great franchise in a great market. So I'm sure there's going to be a whole lot of interest. But I'm not going to, whether it's here or the Dodgers for that matter, I'm not going to put myself in a bidding situation. I did that twice and learned my lesson."
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: November 19, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 3:16 pm
Having been thwarted twice in attempts to buy major-league teams, including a court battle this summer over the Rangers, it would be natural to assume Mark Cuban's ears perked up at the news Drayton McLane has enlisted an investment firm to begin earnest efforts to sell the team. Jim Crane, Cuban's partner in the Rangers bid, nearly bought the Astros in 2008.
Cuban has told several reporters today, however, that he has no interest in buying the Astros.
A Houston TV station reported that the asking price will be $800 million. The latest Forbes valuation of the franchise was $453 million, but the sale would also include some portion of the new regional sports network CSN Houston, which has the contract to air Astros and Rockets games.
McLane has scheduled a news conference at 3:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss the sale.
-- David AndriesenFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 11:59 am
One of the reasons many fans love Mark Cuban is that despite his bank account, he's more like a regular fan than most owners.
While he didn't win in his bid for the Rangers, he's talking like a Rangers fan. He didn't like the Rangers' two daytime starts. Why? Not enough time to get drunk, he told the Dallas Morning News .
"Obviously, I'm like everybody else – I hate the day-game starts," Cuban said Thursday. "It's hard to get drunk, then watch the Rangers game, then go back to work. Not impossible. And not as hard for me because I have a driver. Or I can get one if I need one. Taxis, people. Taxis."
And there you go, responsibility from Mark Cuban. And the more you know...
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: August 5, 2010 6:42 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 8:25 pm
Mark Cuban went to his blog to put out his side of losing the auction for the Rangers.
There's not too much exciting -- Cuban is happy for fellow Pittsburgh native Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, he wanted to bring those guys in -- especially Ryan -- if he won the bid, the media is dumb and, finally, he thinks he'd have been approved by baseball's owners.
It seems to be a fun media sport to talk about how there is no way i will ever get approved buy MLB to buy a team. At the hearing yesterday it was mentioned that our group only had a 50/50 chance of ever being approved. I tend to never look at the glass as being half empty or half full. I look to see who is pouring the water and to deal with them. Not the media. I am pretty confident we would have been approved. So could he look into buying a team? He was interested in the Cubs, now Rangers -- hey, how about his home-town team? The Pirates could certainly use ownership that gives a crap.
Cuban didn't win this time, but it certainly won't be the last time he goes for a baseball team.
Anyway, it's an interesting read from Cuban, whose blog is always worth checking out. I enjoy just seeing his thought process.
(FYI, Cuban also did a Q&A with a "dumb" media member -- the Dallas Morning News ' Brad Townsend .)
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.