Friday, January 23, 2009

Crazy Cuban Would Have Made it Fun

The Cubs are being sold to some billionaire family of Cubs fans headed by Tom Ricketts. No word if they made their money by discovering a cure for the disease that could now be named after them. Apparently one of the family members even met his wife at a Cubs game. Awwww.

You can bet baseball will try to sell that story to every fan in a P.R. attempt entitled "See, our blackened ash heart still beats occasionally." The problem is, the Cubs already had a billionaire baseball fan who was interested in the team. And the inflexible baseball owners refused to call Mark Cuban out from the bullpen. In fact, I'm pretty sure they cut the phone line, so Cuban couldn't even get a call from the dugout. And the Cubs fans will probably lose out yet again.

As a Dallas Maverick fan, I can tell you this with certainty: Mark Cuban is 4-alarm crazy nuts.

He's not in the Scarface realm of crazy Cubans, but he's definitely in desperate need of attention at all times. And he's exactly what baseball could have used for a team like the Chicago Cubs.

Even though his act has worn thin in Dallas, think how much media attention the Mavs have gotten because of their owner. For better or worse, the Mavs became an NBA storyline.

Then you have the Cubs, a baseball team whose fans consider themselves the most damned in sports despite a network dedicated to the team and enough merchandise to make a blip on the Yankee radar.


It was a perfect marriage: Cuban gets tons of the media attention he so desperately craves since he clearly wasn't shown enough love as a child, and the Cubs fans would get an owner that wanted to win as desperately as they supposedly do. They could even make up catchy nicknames for the team and new owner since the names are so similar.

But the b
aseball owners stepped up and proved yet again that they are scared to death of change and can't handle anyone who might actually think differently. It's like a giant pro-sports boarding school. Dead Owners Society.

He drives me bonkers sometimes, but before Cuban arrived to Reunion Arena, the Mavs were a joke. One of the worst franchises in all of sports who were lucky to make the local news let alone any kind of national sports story.

Then comes this giant Maverick fan who happened to make a gazillion dollars in the dot com boom. He purchased the franchise from joke
owner Ross Perot Jr. who was holding the team hostage for a real estate deal. He overpaid for a crap team. That's how much he wanted it.

Then he added video games and televisions to every locker. Suddenly, players were digging Dallas. Cuban copied the trick that old San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo used: treat players well and they will want to play well for you.

You know the rest, the Mavs went from the toilet to the top and were a Dwyane Wade from the NBA Championship. Not bad for a team without a sure-fire superstar draft pick leading them. Along the way Cuban was out on the floor yelling at refs and serving soft ice cream at a Dairy Queen. It was too much sometimes, but a Mavs game was never boring.

The Cubs have infinite more exposure than those Mavs did. They would be the premiere team to see in the National League with Cuban running the show. And Cuban would be right there in the front row screaming at umpires and doing somersaults on top of the dugout. You might love
him, you might hate him, but he would make the Cubs relevant.

I know nothing about Mr. Ricketts and his family, but I can guarantee you that he doesn't have a Mark Cuban personality or he wouldn't have been allowed to buy the team. If he helps the Cubs reach the Fall Classic, all will be wonderful. If he doesn't, he will just be another boring owner who couldn't help the Cubs.

At least Cuban would have gone down in a blaze of crazy.




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