Cub Bidders Shuffle

The Chicago Tribune supplies an update on the state of the bidding for the Cubs. A couple of the competitors are looking shaky, but Mark Cuban could face a battle with Thomas Ricketts, the son of Ameritrade founder J. Joseph Ricketts:

Forbes magazine estimates the family’s war chest at $2.6 billion. The Ricketts’ bid matches the league’s preference for deep-pocketed owners and family control, making the clan a strong candidate.

It’s not clear, though, if Ricketts made the highest offer in the first phase of the auction that was completed last month.

That would be Cuban, by all other reports. He bid $1.3B.

Cuban Slide

Peter Gammons over at ESPN has backed up his on-air comments about David Stern, Mark Cuban and Cuban’s bid for the Chicago Cubs with a column explaining why he thinks Cuban would be good for the game. Unfortunately, it’s pay-walled, so we only get tidbits. The most interesting:

There is increasing speculation that Sam Zell, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Tribune Company, is not going to allow the Commissioner’s Office to puppeteer the sale, and that Mark Cuban is in this thing far deeper than Selig and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf want to believe.

Indeed. The Tribune is a publicly traded company and has a pretty strong obligation to maximize shareholder value in any deal. If as others are reporting Cuban has put in a $1.3 billion offer that tops all others, what Selig & Co. want doesn’t necessarily matter.

David Stern Backing Cuban’s Cubs Bid?

Just now on ESPN’s Sunday night baseball telecast, Peter Gammons said that NBA commish David Stern has told various folks with the Chicago Cubs and/or Major League Baseball that Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been good for the NBA. That’s counterintuitive given all the fines Stern’s hit Cuban with over the years, but it shows that Stern has an eye firmly on the bottom line. No question Cuban’s been good there. The real question is whether MLB commish Bud Selig is running a business or a club. Running MLB as a business means Cuban’s in, assuming his bid to buy the Cubs has the necessary dollars behind it. Running it as a club, not so much. I don’t doubt that Cuban would quickly join the Steinbrenners, Arte Moreno in Anaheim and John Henry in Boston as a guy who shows it’s possible to win, cater to fans and make a ton of money all at once.