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  1. I would bet a case of beer that any Cuban owned team would be in the top third, payroll wise, within 5 years.

    Comment by don — July 27, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  2. Being in the “top third” is not “Steinbrennerish” … Still, for discussion purposes, the Twins had the 10th highest Opening Day payroll this year at $97,559,166…. Talk amongst ya selves…

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  3. HDNet is a national broadcaster – those rights have been sold, so they wouldn’t be eligible until bidding came back up. WGN is the only local station still on national carriage last time I looked, but the Cubs have been shifting games from that to their O&O anyway so there’s likely no advantage. I think you completely missed it on this. As for Cuban, Selig’s never going to approve him as an owner, so the entire article is pointless.

    Comment by LJ — July 27, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  4. Some people think that if Cuban gets the team they will keep Cliff Lee. Even if Cuban comes on board, he isn’t going to suddenly overmatch the Yankees.

    Comment by Jeff — July 27, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  5. A) HDNet was never mentioned as a “It’s gotta be happening right now!” factor, so any businessman worth their weight in salt would say, “At some point at sometime, an asset I have could be leveraged here.” B) As to never being approved…

    I have long said this, but if you have been following the proceedings you’ll find that Judge Lynn has made it clear that MLB’s process isn’t as important to him as getting skin back to the creditors. It’s also why I mention Cuban as a backseat partner in the Jeff Beck group (wait a sec… wasn’t that a killer band out of the early ’70s?). Approving “Beck” is different than having Cuban a minority owner of his group. There’s a difference between that and Cuban going solo.

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  6. Maury Brown will be a great asset to this site. Welcome aboard.

    Comment by Alan — July 27, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  7. Welcome to Fangraphs, Maury. Always been a big fan.

    Comment by James Feldman — July 27, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  8. Maury,

    Do you think the MLB would dare block the winning bidder? I would think that they just want this mess over with and will accept whoever wins the auction.

    Comment by RG — July 27, 2010 @ 11:36 am

  9. @RG…. Kaplan at the SportsBusiness Journal wrote a while back that Bob DuPuy met with Jim Crane and that it was possible — repeat possible — that the league might be willing to accept his group, should they win the auction. League would say, “well, the auction process didn’t drive us to accept him. We think, on his own merits, Jim will be a fine owner.”

    If it were Cuban, by himself, that won outright, I say the league goes to the mat and says, “No way. We have a right, just as all sports leagues do, to determine who is part of the ownership brethren.”

    There is a solid case to be made that just because you have the most money to buy a franchise, you may not be a good owner that pushes a league’s agenda. And make no mistake… the league is all about pushing their collective agenda.

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  10. Considering the size/population of the DFW area, the Rangers should be having a top third payroll more often than not.

    Comment by Chad — July 27, 2010 @ 11:53 am

  11. Yeah, I can see that (regarding the league pushing their agenda and stopping a solo Mark Cuban bid).

    At this point, though, I just wonder if they would be willing to accept him rather than keep financing the team and watching the bankruptcy debacle continue to unfold for who knows how many more months.

    Last winter, Cuban was in the news about buying a minority share of the Stars (at the time, he said he was waiting for the Rangers sale to wrap up). Have you heard anything about this? I’m wondering if he is trying to put himself in position to eventually hold controlling interest in Mavs/Stars/Rangers. Then he could do something with the TV rights to all three down the road (and who knows what else). Seem possible?

    Also – if Cuban is part of another group and doesn’t hold a majority share, would he require league approval down the line to buy out a larger percentage of the team (thereby winding up with majority ownership down the line)?

    Thanks, Maury!

    Comment by RG — July 27, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  12. Oh so the MLB will approve Cuban to own the Rangers but not the Cubs? WTF???

    Comment by Jeffrey Gross — July 27, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  13. ah and welcome aboard

    Comment by Jeffrey Gross — July 27, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  14. @Jeffery Gross… Cuban was flying solo on the Cubs… If he does the same with the Rangers, the reaction would be the same. It’s why I mention in the article marrying up with Jeff Beck as a minority partner. Makes it much harder in Chapter 11 for MLB to disapprove a legit bid by Beck, if Cuban is simply listed as a minority partner.

    Which goes to @RG’s question… Yes, the league (by 75% vote) must approve all ownership transfers, even if it’s “in-house” such as a minority owner purchasing majority stake.

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  15. Why not? It’s Texas.

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — July 27, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  16. To all that are wishing me a warm welcome, I’m exceptionally flattered. Hope to bring you good stuff each week.

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  17. Oh, and welcome, Maury. Glad to see you hear at Fangraphs.

    And thanks for answering questions…

    Comment by RG — July 27, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  18. er, “here”

    Comment by RG — July 27, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  19. Has anyone put a $ value on MLB’s “anti-trust exemption”?

    “If it were Cuban, by himself, that won outright, I say the league goes to the mat and says, “No way. We have a right, just as all sports leagues do, to determine who is part of the ownership brethren.” “

    Comment by DaveP — July 27, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  20. FYI… Breaking news…

    Judge Orders Aug. 4 Date for Auction of Texas Rangers

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  21. Tuesdays with Maury… really?

    Comment by TheSportsBanter — July 27, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

  22. Tuesdays with Maury… really?

    Jeez, I hadn’t thought of that! Priceless. Maybe I should check with Lupica first?

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  23. Try Albom, you hack.

    Comment by LJ — July 27, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

  24. Mitch Albom… Mike Lupica… You can see how I get the two confused. Thanks for slapping me around on the gaffe

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 27, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  25. Personally, I am in favor of Nolan getting control of the team. Under his watch, the team has steadily improved where it never has before. Pitching. Plain and simple, they arent afraid to pitch there anymore. Nolan knew how to pitch when he “just didnt have it”, and he is getting it into the philosophy there, how to pitch. Both when you DO have it, as well as DONT. It isnt a 5-inning and then go sit down for half the game anymore. Its go for 7-9 for all. Thats Nolan’s doing. Cubans doing would be.. Jumping out of the box seat right along the baseline to argue with the umpires, beating the manager to that.

    Comment by Cidron — July 27, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

  26. Maury,

    While Selig and Major League Baseball may have a legitimate argument in terms of Cuban’s possibly negative impact of the sport, is that enough to overcome the financial aspect? If Cuban pays the highest price, will Judge Lynn force MLB to accept it?

    It seems that the bottom line here is not who Selig thinks should be part of the ‘ownership brethren,’ rather who will do the best job at paying back the creditors. The judge overseeing that bankruptcy probably factors in who Selig likes, but it would appear that’s secondary to repaying the debt.

    Comment by Avi — July 28, 2010 @ 12:06 am

  27. By all accounts, Mark Cuban is only “the crazy owner” in the sports media, which as we know likes to amplify the behaviors they disagree with (LeBron “can’t win titles,” Ichiro is disliked by teammates because he stretches by himself, etc.).

    Behind the scenes by all accounts he’s worked with the NBA to implement systems and rules to help the sport, and isn’t an outcast of some kind at owners’ meetings. He has ideas and isn’t afraid to talk about them, but that’s good for baseball. He also lets his people run his team, in much the same way Steinbrenner finally did when he wanted to actually win championships again.

    Comparing Cuban to Peter Angelos does yourself a disservice as a journalist by suggesting you haven’t done full research.

    And on that subject, maybe you’re saying that if Loria had won the Birds over Angelos, we’d only be stuck with one incredibly bad ownership group instead of two, and MLB would never have made the incredibly bad and taxpayer-screwing move of sending the Expos to DC? Because that’s the only way I’d agree that picking either one would conceivably be a good thing.

    Comment by Michael — July 28, 2010 @ 1:40 am

  28. Comparing Cuban to Peter Angelos does yourself a disservice as a journalist by suggesting you haven’t done full research

    Well. I’d say, “I hear you!” if that’s anywhere near what was said. The context was in regards to the last (and only) open auction process MLB has witnessed. Cuban or Crane, or Greenberg and Ryan, whomever… As the article states, it’s hard to judge the future based on one’s past.

    In other words, Cuban could be great or a failure. The fans thought Angelos was their savior over Loria, and look what that got them.

    Have no idea where you got me comparing Angelos or Loria to Cuban. It was a point about how the fans were rooting so hard for an owner that, in the end, didn’t exactly turn out that great.

    Comment by Maury Brown — July 28, 2010 @ 2:15 am

  29. I’d still be cheering for Angelos over Loria. Jeff Loria has to be the worst owner in baseball.

    Comment by Richard Gadsden — July 29, 2010 @ 9:10 am

  30. Exactly what I thought. I doubt there’s an Expos’ fan alive who wouldn’t take anyone, including Angelos, over Loria. If Joe Giardi lost his job with the Yankees do you think he’d be willing to go back to the Marlins if the Orioles job was open instead? Loria is an evil genius as a businessman, but from a fan’s perspective he’s easily the worst owner in baseball. Sometimes I think the other owners bend over for him so often (taking the Nats off his hands, arranging loans to buy the Marlins, etc) just because having him around means they all look better in comparison.

    Comment by joser — July 30, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

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    Comment by Augustus Gillstrap — August 1, 2010 @ 2:14 am

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