Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have been one of 2011’s great sports stories. Cuban purchased the Mavericks when they were nothing. When Cuban took over, he completely rearranged the way the franchise did business and has subsequently turned them into one of the most successful franchises in the NBA.
Two years ago, Cuban tried to purchase the Cubs (He also tried to purchase the Texas Rangers but was outbid by Jim Crane). Bud Selig and MLB did not allow the purchases of the Cubs-even though Cuban made the highest initial bid-and instead allowed an out of touch old fart to pay the bills. Consequently, the club is still terrible (no offense) and no one goes to the games (attendance is at an all-time low). There are several reasons why Selig and baseball did not allow the transaction but I am going to be real blunt about this: Those reasons are stupid.
ESPN baseball analyst Jayson Stark recently wrote a column on Selig’s opinion of Cuban:
“Bud does not have any interest in an owner who wants to be The Story. … Also, Bud’s not interested in owners who are going to overtly challenge him publicly.”
So this much is obvious: Cuban has the cash but he doesn’t have the votes to own a team (he needs 23 of 20). The reason, in my personal opinion, is that baseball ownership is an ‘old boys’ club.
You see, baseball has a little problem. On the one side we have the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Phillies (maybe add the Angels and the Cubs to that list). And on the other side, we have pretty much everyone else. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ and the Kansas City Royals’ of the world cannot afford to ‘stay competitive’ with these teams and therefore, in my opinion, the quality of the game overall is compromised.
When I said baseball had one little problem, I meant it has two. The other problem is that they need a little make-over. I LOVE baseball and I love that it is a little “slow”, that is considered to be a more “intellectual” game and that it is rooted in tradition but it’s 2011 and it’s time to enter the modern era. Baseball needs to get hip. At the risk of once again sounding agist, this is never going to happen if all the dudes making all the decisions aren’t hip. No offense (oh god, I can only imagine the kind of nasty comments I am going to get from this..) but it NEEDS. TO. HAPPEN. I’m not asking for the sport to change; I am asking for it to evolve. Like everything else.
(I could go on and on about this but why don’t I save that for another post on another day?)
Where was I?
News broke earlier this week that Cuban was “very interested” in purchasing the Dodgers, “if the deal is right and they’re fixable.” I’m sorry Bud, but you have to suck it up and let him in. The McCourts have royally messed up a beautiful thing in a relatively big market. Obviously, Frank’s gotta go. It’s time for a change and it starts with you, Bud, yes YOU letting it happen.
If Cuban were to purchase the Dodgers-or any other “struggling” baseball team-it could only mean good things. Cuban would not be afraid to take risks and he is not afraid to the spend money necessary to make improvements to the club and the roster. He would acquire exciting players and bump up the visibility and overall quality of the franchise. Sure, maybe he can be a little much at times (and I have heard the Steinbrenner comparisons and frankly, I don’t buy it) but I don’t think anyone in Dallas is complaining about Cuban and although they might be afraid to admit it, I don’t think anyone in the NBA is either. His ownership has benefitted the entire league.
So yes, I think someone like Mark Cuban should own a baseball team. Yes, I think he would be good for the Dodgers. I can also see that perhaps he would be even better for a number of other teams and I can see why he might not be exactly right for the Dodgers.
I, for one, wouldnt mind seeing someone like Cuban purchase the Mets. That might sound insane coming from a Phillies fan, but so what? Mark Cuban wouldn’t just be good for the Mets, he would be good for baseball and baseball needs it. At a time when the parody in baseball is at an all-time high (and the NFL and NBA are fighting over billions of dollars and pissing off fans left and right) why not improve the game and the business of baseball for the good of the league? That is what Mark Cuban would do.
Let him in guys. Let. him. in.
Do you think that Mark Cuban should make a move to purchase the Dodgers?