The Chicago Cubs are for sale – asking price, about $1 billion – and among those who have expressed interest is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
One Chicago newspaper reported last week that, according to an anonymous source, other MLB owners had determined Cuban was n ot their kind of fellow and had "zero chance" of being approved.
Among the 30 big-league teams, baseball would be hard-pressed not to find horror stories for each if it looked into past owners. And Cuban? His sins in the NBA include marketing innovations, a willingness to invest in his team and – this is where it gets touchy – a heavy dose of color.
Cuban has yelled at referees and paid more than $1 million in fines.
That's not like dancing on the dugout roof after April victories, which Mariners owner George Argyros did. Nor is it like displaying a Nazi flag in your livingroom, which Cincinatti's Marge Schott did.
Cuban is, like his basketball team suggests, a Maverick. He has money and doesn't mind spending it. He loves sports, which puts him a step or two ahead of a third of baseball owners.
Asked to comment on his "zero chance" of buying the Cubs, Cuban hit it out of the park.
"There's no reason to comment on anonymous comments from unsolicited sources. I mean it's ridiculous," Cuban told the Chicago Tribune.
As an industry, baseball has been peopled by owners who ranged from bizarre to the merely odd – Seattle's Danny Kaye, afor instance, would sit in the Mariners dugout before games eating tootsie rolls by the handful.
Cuban? The game needs more like him, not fewer.