Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Cuban can't buy the Cubs? Major League Baseball doesn't get a say

Recently, the Chicago Sun-Times released a story saying that Bud Selig would stop at nothing to prevent Mark Cuban from owning the Cubs.  The term "zero chance" sprang up, and Cub fans everywhere concluded that, well, maybe it just wasn't meant to be.

Problem is, Selig doesn't get a say.  As far as I know, he doesn't own a single share of the Chicago Tribune, he does not sit on the board of directors, and he is not going over the numbers with Sam Zell in trying to determine the best offer to purchase the team.

The best offer.  That phrase is important.  While Selig has played a role in the sale of other teams in the past, particularly the Marlins, Red Sox, and perhaps the Expos/Nationals, the Cubs are a different situation.  They are property of a multi-billion dollar corporation which was hemorrhaging money long before the rest of America started to feel the bleed, and a corporation's top obligation is to make the best deal for its shareholders.  That means that if Fidel Castro suddenly outbid the field, the Tribune would be obligated through its shareholders to sell the team to Cuba's former president.  Selig can probably weigh in before the decision is made, but this will not be a situation of the team going to the second or third highest bidder.

Regardless, what remains clear is that the sale will not be completed any time soon.  The financial crisis has seen to that.  But Bud Selig is not all powerful, nor is he all knowing, and if Mark Cuban makes the best offer to buy the Cubs, then Mark Cuban will be the next owner.

Owners Approval

Any sale would require the approval of the rest of the club owners, would it not? Selig has those guys sewn up.

Isn't Chuck from Ivy Chat

still contributing here. He's a financial guy if I'm not mistaken. I would tend to decide on Kurt's point of view as I can't see the favored tax status the government grants MLB would trump the issue of shareholder rights. Especially in this financial climate.

Chuck is considered a Goat

Chuck is considered a Goat Rider, but he doesn't contribute a ton.

That's a great thought and

That's a great thought and one that makes sense, Kurt, but Zell also has a responsibility to sell to an owner that will get approval by MLB and Cuban will not. There has been speculation all along that Cuban was part of the bidding to drive up the price as a favor to Zell and while that may not be the case, Zell probably cannot sell to Cuban. Whether that's right to the shareholders or not is another discussion, but Zell needs cash and he needs it fast. He'll sell to the highest bidder that can get approval.

I understand what you are saying Kurt...

The problems over at Tribco are munumental. The fact that they will have loans coming due this coming season (and may default), makes this thing seem to be that much more important. The trouble at this point comes down to financing. But let's not take Selig and his band of merrymen out of the equation. The way the league is setup, it is their right to approve or disapprove of any owner. While I have no idea if the reports on Cuban not passing MLB mustartd are correct, at this point there have been enough of them (the where there's smoke there's fire theory) that it begins to look like this thing is cooked for Ricketts or Canning to get the team.

and the stupidest part...

Canning and the rest of the bidders don't have the money to buy the team outright. From what I've heard, Zell and Tribco would still have an interest in the team unless those that are Selig/Owners approved can come up with more money.

All the while here sits a multi-billionaire ready to shell out for the team, but he can't because the other owners are afraid that he would spend whatever it costs to win. Can't have that, not in baseball anyway.

Anti-trust laws

MLB is exempt from anti-trust laws.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2001/1205/1290707.html

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