Saturday, November 8, 2008

What Mark Cuban's ownership of the Cubs would look like

Hey, thank God MLB doesn't really and truly care about the fan as there is "no chance" that Mark Cuban will own the Cubs.

So let's look Cuban's business model with the Mavericks under his watch as owner/booster....

1. Complete connection with the fans. To my knowledge no owner had ever put his e-mail address on his website to allow fans to contact him.

2. Total attention to the running of the team. With the Mavericks, Cuban hired special coaches for offense, defense and shooting.

3. Revenue actually gets put back into the team. No using revenue to improve the owner's quality of life, Cuban puts everything back into the team.

What this would mean for the Cubs:

1. The Cubs have dealt with a faceless corporation as their owner (this mythical, Hearstian "Tribune.") Having a very public, very charismatic, very transparent owner would only energize their limping, devastated fan base.

2. Remember Don Zimmer in a Cubs uniform? That was funny. You can bet there would be specialists and coaches for starters, relievers, infielders, outfielders and catchers. The coaches might even get coaches, who would then be coached themselves. The Cubs would be transformed into a sleek, aerodynamic machine.

3. The Cubs' revenue stream - which is massive - would no longer be solely devoted to Jay Mariotti's eyebrows (I actually can't remember if Mariotti was with the Sun-Times or the Tribune. It doesn't matter - that was funny) and keeping the dark specter of bankruptcy off of the media giant's doorstep. Cuban would sink all profits back into the Cubs, not into buying a plane, and I'm talking to you, Kansas City Royals. Which would be scary.

So what does this mean for the Astros and the rest of the National League? It would be bad. Under Cuban, the Mavs have managed to fill needs, not just get guys because they're (a) available and (b) expensive. We don't need to go in to how basketball is different than baseball (three guys can dominate a basketball team, the Cubs know that three pitchers can't help a baseball team when they can't hit (see: Playoffs: 2008). However, rather than throwing money at anybody available, you could count on the GM Jim Hendry having all resources at his disposal.

Now I thought that this might be the year the Cubs actually did it. What you're seeing from Cubs fans, for the first time, is fear of next season. They don't want next year because this postseason was devastating for them. Not that I mind. But Mark Cuban buying the Cubs would energize that fan base so that they could actually look forward to next season, rather than wish they had never been born.

So, thanks Bud!