Homers in the Gloaming

Baseball, statistics, and the Chicago Cubs

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Cuban defectors?

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Chicago Sun-Times/John J. Kim

Chicago Sun-Times/John J. Kim

There is a good article about Mark Cuban, one of the billion dollar men, and the Cubs in today’s New York Times.

‘The Cubs are an amazing franchise and brand,’ Cuban wrote in an e-mail message. ‘I think the owner of any major sports franchise has two jobs: first, it’s to work hard to win a championship year after year, and second, to be the caretaker of the franchise in the community.’

Also, some input from the Sox:

But John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and a Cuban booster, wrote in an e-mail message, ‘The commissioner’s office abhors owners who speak their minds and fight for the rights of their respective franchises.’ He added that he could think ‘of no one better suited to reverse the fortunes of the Cubs for the long term’ than Cuban.

Written by ollie

3 August 2008 at 1:10 pm

The billion dollar men

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Five groups have made the Tribune Co.’s cut to continue bidding on the Cubs and Wrigley Field.  All groups remaining have bid at least $1 billion.  The heads of the approved groups are:

Mark Cuban. Billionaire entrepreneur, often-controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks, founder of HDNet.  Attended University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University.  Keeps a wonderful blog here.  Was once on Dancing with the Stars.  He got eighth.  Personally, I am all for Cuban becoming the owner.  He is clearly smart, and would no doubt be passionate and knowledgeable.  Also, he is by far the easiest to obtain information on, so it is easiest to picture his ownership.  He supposedly matches all fines levied on him by the NBA with a matching charitable donation.

Tom Ricketts. Chief executive of investment bank Incapital, AB and MBA from the University of Chicago.  Greatest accomplishment?  “Starting Incapital from scratch, and being back in the market as a major underwriter of bonds in a very short period of time. What Incapital’s done on a relatively small budget is unprecedented. Small investment banks don’t underwrite $40 billion in debt and open European offices. It’s unique, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”  Fascinating.

Michael Tokarz. Chairman of business development company MVC Capital, BA and MBA from the University of Illinois.  Joining Tokarz’s group is a group led by New York City taxi mogul Andrew Murstein, Sports Properties Acquisitions Corp.  SPA includes Hank Aaron and Jack Kemp.  Also part of Tokarz’s group is “private equity investor and Republican operative” Fred Malek, who in the past has bid on the Nationals and owned a piece of the Rangers.

Hersch Klaff. Real estate investor in Chicago, born in South Africa, “in 1982, his first big deal was arranging (with partners), to buy the old Marshall Fields men’s building in downtown Chicago and redevelop it into a multi-tenant retail, office and medical complex.”

Leo Hindery. Media investor, runs New York-based InterMedia Partners, used to run the Yankee’s YES network.  He was presidential candidate John Edwards’s Senior Economic Policy Advisor 2006 to 2008, supposedly there was talk of him becoming the head of the Democratic National Committee in 2004, and he is currently an advisor to Barack Obama.

The stated goal of the Tribune Co. is to maximize revenues from the sale.  Reports from Comcast SportsNet say that Cuban’s bid was highest, at $1.3 billion.  There are also tax issues, which may eventually determine the winning bidder, aside from the size of the bids.  Here is coverage in the Sun-Times as well as as Crain’s.

Sadly, dreams of a Bill Murray ownership don’t seem likely to be realized.  But seriously, how cool would it be if this guy owned the Cubs?

Written by ollie

29 July 2008 at 10:36 am

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