Monday, April 02, 2007

Cubs Lose Opener; Trib Co to Sell the Team

The Cubs lost today 5-1 to the Cincinnati Reds. Oh well. It was not the opening day I had hoped for, but it’s just one game. Remember, the Cubs won the first game of the year last year and then look what happened. Maybe today’s loss is a good omen.

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The Tribune Company announced today that they will be selling the Cubs at the end of the 2007 season. The announcement came as part of a larger announcement involving the sale of the media company to billionaire investor Sam Zell. Zell did not indicate why he did not want to also purchase the Cubs, although he already owns a stake in the Chicago White Sox and that may have played into his decision.

The Cubs are expected to sell for in excess of $600 million. I believe the sale will include ownership of Wrigley Field, WGN television and radio stations, and a stake in Chicago’s Comcast Sports Network, although the linked article does not comment directly on that.

So who will be the next owner of the Cubs? I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that my vote would go to Mark Cuban. For all of his self-promotion, I like the way he has run the Dallas Mavericks and believe he would be an owner that the fans would love and appreciate. Cuban is commited to winning, but knows how to run a business as well. It would be interesting to see what he does running a team in a league that does not have a salary cap.

Other people who have been rumored to have an interest in the Cubs include former owner of the D-Backs Jerry Colangelo, conservative newspaper columnist and TV political pundit George Will, actor and minor league team owner Bill Murray, and Don Levin, owner of the Chicago Wolves minor league hockey team.

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By the way, if you read yesterday's post and took my advice to read Transmission's excellent article at TCR, then I only have one thing to say: April Fools!


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