MLB misses out on Cuban
Early (and I mean early) Thursday morning, the Texas Rangers bankruptcy auction in Fort Worth Texas was settled, with former Ranger and Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorny Chuck Greenberg winning over Dallas Mavericks owner and .com mogul, Mark Cuban.
The price landed at $608 million, which was more than what Ryan-Greenberg, and then Rangers owner Tom Hicks had agreed on last year ($525 million). The reason that that offer was rejected was due to the creditors (who control these kinds of decisions for companies in bankruptcy) believing that there was a high offer out there, and that too much of the money would go to Mr. Hicks.
We can relish the poetic idea of the greatest player in the franchise’s history and truly one of the greatest baseball players of all time (come on, Nolan did throw 7 no-hitters!) becoming owner of the team he played for, but what we miss is the opportunity for Mark Cuban to put his hands in and all over Major League Baseball.
Mr. Cuban who bought the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million, pushed the players and the fans to make the team relevant. He tirelessly entrenched himself in the ways of the NBA and found multiple avenues to connect with fans, even those sitting in the cheap seats. No one can call Mr. Cuban unenthusiastic, whether it be calling out referees following a tough loss, or his preference to stand up and yell at the refs while sporting an oversized Dirk Nowitzki jersey. But they can question his ability to annoy league officials, just ask NBA commissioner David Stern, who’s given Mr. Cuban a total of $1.5 million in fines over the past ten years.
The fact is, Major League Baseball has missed out on an opportunity here, an owner who likes to be vocal and isn’t just a shark in a suite, or a shady figure that no one sees much like 98% of MLB’s owners. He has shades of the late George Steinbrenner who shook up the whole city of New York to make the Yankees relevant and winners again… and again… and again.
I am quite sure that MLB will be very pleased to have Nolan Ryan and I am sure he will do well for the Rangers, but it is incredibly saddening is that MLB is without a true revolutionary leader who could only help energize the game rather than hurt it.
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