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  1. The Maverick team that Cuban purchased also had a Hall of Fame coach in Don Nelson, along with a young Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, and Steve Nash on the roster.

    Comment by Lone Star Ball — June 23, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  2. Haha, I stopped reading once you compared my beloved G.A. to the Garbage Man Cedric Ceballos!

    Comment by Anthony — June 23, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  3. I’d instantly become a LA fan. <3 Mark Cuban.

    Comment by Jason — June 23, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  4. That had still managed to win only 40 % of it’s games.

    Comment by Alec — June 23, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  5. Did you read the rest of the article? I noted Dirk, and that they had Nash, then opted not to keep him.

    Comment by Jonah Keri — June 23, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  6. “the center fielder’s a pending 40/40 machine who has flings with Rihanna”

    Matt Kemp is not a centerfielder.

    Comment by D4P — June 23, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  7. I think the more interesting question is would the other owners and the commissioner actually let Cuban buy the team. Baseball owners as a group seem averse to change, averse to new blood, and averse to much of what Mark Cuban is and stands for.

    Comment by Pjmcnally — June 23, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  8. Absolutely — certainly a topic for another post.

    I do think it’s conceivable that MLB might have seen what happens when someone puts $0 of his own money into a team (while promising to be a good soldier). Perhaps a more controversial (but potentially better capitalized) owner could become more palatable here.

    Comment by Jonah Keri — June 23, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  9. You mean besides him playing 527 of 679 games in CF?

    Comment by somedude — June 23, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  10. I mean he’s one of the worst defensive outfielders in the league, and is clearly being put in a position that he’s incapable of playing.

    On a related note regarding the type of manager Don Mattingly will grow up to be, it’s not particularly encouraging that he puts Kemp in center and Gwynn in left.

    Comment by D4P — June 23, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  11. Well said, Jonah.

    On behalf of Larry, thanks for the link and the kind words about a truly awesome article.

    Guessing the McCourts left the extra 2% for the team, taking 98% for themselves.

    Comment by Jason @ IIATMS — June 23, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  12. From his foreword to your book, you know Cuban would ante up and provide all those amenities and more if he were to take control of the team. His name has been tossed around for years with the Cubs and Mets, but I think there’s only so many times the MLB Owners say no before he just buys a hockey or football team and makes the owners look silly.

    Comment by Mike — June 23, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  13. Focusing on Strickland, Bradley and Ceballos as key parts of the team that he bought, while not mentioning Dirk or Nash until several paragraphs later, is somewhat misleading, though. Cuban bought a team with a quality nucleus and a great coach already in place.

    Comment by Lone Star Ball — June 23, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  14. “Mark Cuban for Dodgers Owner”

    Yes please

    Comment by filihok — June 23, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  15. Isn’t that pretty much what he’d be doing with the Dodgers too? Buying a team with a quality nucleus, at least. I honestly don’t know enough about Mattingly as a manager to say if he’s a great one or not though.

    Comment by KyleL — June 23, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  16. As a Dodger fan, I would be thrilled to have Cuban as our owner. Too bad Bud will never let it happen…..

    Comment by Chris — June 23, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  17. What KyleL said

    Comment by Jonah Keri — June 23, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  18. As a fan of another National League team, the thought of Mark Cuban owning a team terrifies me.

    Comment by Sean — June 23, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  19. “Matt Kemp is not a centerfielder.”

    This is the worst kind of commenter I see on FanGraphs.

    Metrics may not be kind to Matt Kemp’s centerfield…ness, or whatever, but fact of the matter is, he plays centerfield.

    Remember how tiresome it was up until Adam Dunn went to an AL team, when folks like yourself would say, “He’s not a first baseman/left fielder, he’s a DH.” Well, no he isn’t. In a perfect world full of sabermetric-minded people and their sexy, sexy robot wives he would be, but he’s just not, and based on his caliber of stardom, probably won’t be for some time.

    The sooner you can accept that– the fact that he’s a BAD centerfielder– the sooner you’ll be much less annoying.

    Comment by LexDiamonds — June 23, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

  20. @Jonah

    Have you ever called him Cubes before?

    Comment by Ryan — June 23, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  21. I’m not a bankruptcy guy, but isn’t what the Dodgers need is someone who is willing to get most of these conveyances of assets to side entities set aside for fraud? Or can this sort of asset stripping down to a shell entity be impossible for even a court in equity to disrupt?

    Comment by JCA — June 23, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  22. It’s like Selig thinks Cuban is the American Mikhail Prokhorov. Certainly, the guy occasionally comes across like a jackass on the sidelines — something he didn’t do during the playoffs by the way — but at least he’s clean. He’s also exactly what baseball and the Dodgers need. Over the last year, Selig has watched three different ownership groups run their respective franchises into the ground. If I were in his shoes, I’d be dying to get an owner with the business acumen of Cuban involved in my game.

    Also, if Cuban thinks the Dodgers are a good deal, he’s going to get involved. At some point, he is going to force the issue with Selig.

    Comment by Logan Burdine — June 23, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

  23. As said in Keri’s forward of 2%, Cuban understands what it takes to win. He takes it personal. For a game where the publics eye has strayed, Cuban’s enthusiasm and vigor for winning would be a much needed boost to not only the down grossing Dodger organization but MLB as well.

    Comment by Ryan Frontz — June 23, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  24. “You know what you get when you combine aggressive spending with an organizational culture that would foster innovation and constantly look for competitive advantages? The Boston Red Sox. That’s the upside here for Dodgers fans. ”

    Watch out Jonah, you’re gonna upset the natives. “Oh yeah, every baseball fan can only pray that their organization can become as good as the precious Red Sox! Did you type this sentence from your knees?!”

    Comment by Bill — June 23, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  25. Um, you’re getting pretty upset over semantics dude. They don’t literally mean that he is not a CF, because, as you so brilliantly pointed out, that is the position he occupies. It’s a hyperbolic way of saying that he sucks as a CF.

    Comment by Bill — June 23, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  26. Not to mention that if Cuban became owner, he would hire a GM that would probably make it his first order or business to slide Kemp over to a corner.

    Comment by Bill — June 23, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  27. Please!!!!!!!!

    For the love of god!

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) — June 23, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  28. Yes the court can, except two problems: 1) the Dodgers haven’t declared bankruptcy yet; and 2) the other “entities” aren’t worth jack either, from the Dodgers perspective (they are all heavily leveraged), so it wouldn’t do the team any good to go after those in a bankruptcy proceeding.

    Comment by Phillie697 — June 23, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  29. Yeah, this sounds absolutely crucial. If this can’t be done, then the Dodgers have no assets and no source of income, just debt and obligations. Pillaged, stripped, and eviscerated as they are, they have no chance of purchase by Cuban or anyone else. They’re dead as a going concern, a zombie ballclub shambling through a lat apocalyptic season in a sad, decaying imitation of life.

    I mean, even someone with infinite assets isn’t going to both retire all that debt and pay McCourt to re-acquire the now-separate pieces of the Dodgers (stadium, tickets, parking) that are essential to its on-going survival as a business. If MLB (or the Dodgers’ other lenders) can’t get those pieces returned, the Dodgers are finished as a business, leaving the Angels as LA’s one and only MLB team.

    Comment by joser — June 23, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

  30. Nah eventually it will all get worked out. Stadiums and parking lots and all those concrete things don’t disappear because they are heavily leveraged. The problem is no one will touch them if they come with debts attached to them. At some point this will all get sort out, either the debtors agree to a deal to take pennies on the dollar since the alternative is get nothing, or bankruptcy proceedings on ALL the entities come to a conclusion. Or someone with a boatload of disposable asset comes along and pays CASH for everything, which is probably unlikely either.

    Comment by Phillie697 — June 23, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

  31. Back when some were looking to Cuban as a white knight for the Mets, he said (3:25)

    I’ve been through this before, but call me crazy: When I write an $800 million check, I want somebody to kiss my ass. I don’t want to have to beg and grovel to write that check.

    Since the owners and commissioner pretty much require ass-kissing as part of the process of joining their little clique, I don’t see that happening. They may be averse to everything Mark Cuban, but he’s averse to everything about them, too.

    Of course, considering that this is the group of owners who not only allowed McCourt to join, but helped finance his acquisition (and did the same for Loria), they seem averse to sanity itself. I’m not sure Cuban would even want to associate himself with that kind of company, let alone submit himself to their scrutiny, but given their bizarro-world sensibilities, he might consider it something of an honor to be rejected.

    Comment by joser — June 23, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

  32. Might make better sense for him to buy the Pirates or Royals instead…as a businessman they have the best model whereas they have talent but milk the system (revenue sharing, etc).

    Pirates are his hometown team and the Royals are closest to where he has made his money…if he took over either of those teams he could have them in the playoffs within a year versus having a team of lawyers and accountants fight over the details.

    I feel the Dodgers could spend the next 2-3 years under MLB control until the mess is resolved and the league can get a decent return. Plus, the new Fox deal can be reaped by the owners in 2013 or parcelled out to the new owners just prior and driving up the fee.

    Comment by CS Yankee — June 23, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

  33. The Dodgers are valued at almost a billion dollars and you, Mr. Keri, see major problems with the company paying its “board” what looks to be around $10 million a year?

    You know what that amount of “pilfering” really is, comparative to other large companies? Chump change

    This is a witch hunt by sports reporters who fail to realize that the Dodgers are a profit generating company first and foremost, and a sports team also. The fact that the Dodgers are in financial trouble should be attributed to poor investments by the McCourts, but that just means that MLB welcomed financially unstable owners into its fraternity, not that the McCourt’s did anything particularly wrong.

    If I invest 500 million for a company? Yeah, I’m going to get paid. Damn sure I am.

    Comment by Not a Socialist — June 23, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  34. I will also add that Mark Cuban is only as good as where his money is invested too.

    Comment by Not a Socialist — June 23, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  35. That has got to be the first time someone has rationalized a crook as a dunce. I guess one has jail time associated with it and the other doesn’t. The Dodgers may have had a ‘billion’ dollar valuation based mainly on brand value, but currently, as an income or cashflow generator, it doesn’t. Currently, as a statement of ‘futures’ value, stub hub is selling tickets for coming games that book at ~$70.00 for $2.50.

    Comment by channelclemente — June 23, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  36. As a SoCal native, I’d be thrilled to have Cuban buy the Dodgers. Next to Dr. Jerry Buss, I think he’s the best owner in sports. He’s a guy that cares about winning and will do anything possible to win. Can’t ask any better from your owner.

    I think his embrace of advanced analytics will actually help him MORE in baseball than basketball, because baseball is more individual and therefore can be quantified easier.

    Here’s to hoping that Cuban buys the Dodgers and pays Friedman whatever it will take to lure him from Tampa. That would be a scary sight for the rest of the league.

    Comment by EDogg1438 — June 23, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  37. Dad can you get off the computer and send Stanford my next tuition check?!

    Comment by Drew McCourt — June 23, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  38. Problem: The Pirates (and the Royals I think) aren’t for sale. In fact, since their owners have decided to let their GMs try to win by developing young talent and living within their means, they aren’t even in violation of the MLB debt-equity limits, unlike 9 of the 28 other teams.

    Comment by matt w — June 23, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  39. Cuban wants to win, and tries to win. He’d be an amazing owner of any team. I wish he’d buy just one MLB team. Preferably a team that hasn’t been good in forever like the Royals, Pirates, or Orioles. The Royals seem to be turning it around, the Os seem to actually be trying, the Pirates are good (.500ish) but I doubt it’ll last. their ownership has seemed content on running low operating cost and leaching off MLB.

    Cuban and the Dodgers would be potentially dangerous for the rest of the NL. A huge market and an owner willing to spend.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 23, 2011 @ 10:31 pm


    Comment by Xenophanes — June 24, 2011 @ 1:11 am

  41. What, six hundred large isn’t enough for tuition?

    Comment by Jaime McCourt — June 24, 2011 @ 1:39 am

  42. MLB could do a lot worse than Cuban. He even wrote the foreword for this awesome book I read a couple months ago:

    Comment by MudvilleNine — June 24, 2011 @ 2:08 am

  43. Holy shit, the McCourts are the Bluths!

    Comment by Ivdown — June 24, 2011 @ 3:26 am

  44. So why cant a new owner just find a way to finance a NEW stadium and build his own parking lots? Let McCourt keep that steaming pile of shit in Chavez Ravine. Nobody can get to it anyway in that lousy location.

    Then the only thing that would need to be resolved is the ticket sales issue.

    Comment by cs3 — June 24, 2011 @ 3:45 am

  45. God you’re an idiot. Dodger Stadium, despite being as old as it is, is still a great stadium. What will be the point of a new satdium? To spend pointless amounts of money to get a generic new stadium much like a lot of the new ones when the old one is historic and great anyway? No thanks.

    Comment by Ivdown — June 24, 2011 @ 4:13 am

  46. For an owner with Cuban’s ego, I would think that LA would be much more appealing. Plus, if run well, the Dodgers could become the Yankees of the west. He could spend boatloads of money on the team and still make a larger profit than he ever would in Pittsburgh or KC. Chicago would be more appealing to him for the same reason.

    Comment by Bill — June 24, 2011 @ 7:45 am

  47. Yeah the guy spending 100k on flowers is going to listen to examples from the guy on the baseball nerd website… COME ON!

    Comment by GOB — June 24, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  48. And even when he does come across as a jackass, he comes across as my kind of jackass. See his latest court filing in response to Perot, Jr. on the Mavericks ownership thing.

    Comment by jorgath — June 24, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  49. The Dodger’s may be a “profit generating business”, but they are bunch of guys in pajamas without MLB. The parking lots and stadiums will be vacant most of the time without MLB. And, MLB has a right, and a duty to protect the league. McCourt has essentially borrowed money against the Dodger brand name and used that borrowed money to finance his lifestyle. By law he may be able to do this, but the league considers the Dodger brand as a subset of the MLB brand. McCourt’s actions have seriously devalued his brand which, in turn, has devalued the MLB brand.

    Comment by Bill — June 24, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  50. I’m looking for the source, but I believe MLB can take control over all the assets that were apart of the original sale. It will be decided by lawyers, but as Jonah mentioned, MLB has friends in high places; they will likely win.

    Comment by Bill — June 24, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

  51. my god…as a fan of the Padres I say please please please no not ever do not let Mark Cuban buy the Dodgers…please no. We wouldn’t win a division title in the next 20 years.

    Comment by mike savino — June 24, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  52. Dodger Stadium is a great ballpark, but it’s costing the Dodgers an arm and a leg to stay there. At this point, you can either build a new ballpark and focus on winning, or you can be stagnate in the standings but have a “historic” stadium. I think the money is in the winning part myself.

    Comment by David — June 24, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  53. Where in Los Angeles do you suggest the new Dodgers’ owner buy and build a new stadium (presumably with their own money)?

    Comment by Liem — June 24, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  54. You guys just spent twelve hundred dollars on eggs.

    Comment by mike savino — June 24, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  55. Yeah, that is awesome. While he does come across as an ass, it’s almost always in support of his team, something I believe any team’s fans would stand behind.

    Comment by boogie down — June 24, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  56. I see the situation as you do. As a Giants fan, I still recognize the innate institutional requirement a healthy Dodger franchise represents. The never ending PR disaster that McCourt represents for MLB in general is a brewing disaster. Owners like Wolfe, McCourt, and Wilpon need to be purged from MLB, if for no other reason than to erase the impression that the ownership ranks are made up of either blood sucking ticks or morons.

    Comment by channelclemente — June 24, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  57. You won’t anyway, look at your own ownerships installment/credit card purchase of the team. Not a perscription for success, unless your in KC. There success is defined as having a ballgame to go to, winning is a pipe dream.

    Comment by channelclemente — June 24, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  58. McCourts plan was Playa Vista or something like that. Anyway, it was the realestate playground his 2nd in command just developed down near the water.

    Comment by channelclemente — June 24, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  59. Remember when Cuban was high bidder for the Cubs? Didn’t work out so well.

    Comment by Nagurski — November 1, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  60. Don Nelson is NOT a great coach. He;s a Johnny Damon-esque compiler.

    Comment by jake — November 2, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  61. You mean GOLD GLOVE centerfielder!!!! I hear people say how bad he sucks, and I’ve seen him play a lot as I’m a Giants fan, but he did just win the Gold Glove.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 2, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  62. this is a great day! McCourt is actually accepting ‘defeat’ and getting the team sold. He’ll get tons of money out of it, but hey, it’s a win for Dodger fans.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 2, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  63. Damn for a minute i thought Jonah was back to writing for FG……

    Comment by Ben — November 2, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  64. would it be possible to work some kind of ownership sign (buy) and trade with the giants? say yes. please oh please oh please say yes.

    Comment by joebananas — November 2, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  65. This is a pretty interesting perspective. If you believe in capitalism (not being a socialist) than you agree that capitalists should have the right to operate their possessions as they feel best for their interests, including paying themselves as much as they like and the company can afford.

    But then you ignore the fact that the capitalists who form the MLB also have the right to ensure that their possession, the league, is operated in the manner that they feel is best for their interests, which includes requiring owners to stick to debt limits, pay revenue sharing, luxury tax, follow league rules on hiring/firing, etc.

    When you pay yourself so much the member team you own can’t afford to make payroll, yes, there is a problem with how much you are paying the “board” *.

    I mean Frank would probably be welcome to run the Dodgers in any way he sees fit if he leaves the association of Major League Baseball teams known as the MLB. He can schedule the Dodgers for games vs. independent league teams while the MLB sells another franchise in LA that plays in a new stadium.

    But obviously Frank doesn’t want to do that. He wants to strip his franchise of all it’s ready cash, while forcing the league to allow him to pocket as much of the future TV revenues as possible, and then flip the worthless shell of what’s left of the Dodgers back to the league.

    *(Frank and Jamie were owners and executives, I’m sure the Dodgers has a board of directors as well and that Jamie and Frank were on it, but referring to them as the “board” is improper and imprecise).

    Comment by ValueArb — November 2, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  66. Ding dong the witch is dead! Dodger fans rejoice! Best day since Gibby’s HR!

    Comment by Tommy Lasordas Pasta — November 2, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  67. Then BAMMMM ..

    Kemp wins a gold glove.

    Comment by Nick Lindner — November 2, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  68. can’t beat that Gold Glove outfield of Kemp and Ethier.

    Comment by Matty Brown — November 2, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

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