The Brewers were off on Thursday, and after getting stomped by the Cubs the previous day, there wasn’t much to talk about in Brewerland. There was one bit of baseball news that came out yesterday that did catch my eye, however. Nolan Ryan’s ownership group was awarded the Texas Rangers in bankruptcy court, beating out a group being led by Mark Cuban.
While it’s nice to see the Rangers legend now owning the club, I have to say that as a baseball fan I’m a little disappointed. I really want to see Mark Cuban own a Major League Baseball franchise.
It’s not because I think he’d say some wild and crazy things that would make the dog days of August a bit more interesting (although I’m sure he would). I want to see him own an MLB team because he would be the best bet to break up the “old boys club” of baseball owners, buck conventional wisdom, and be great for the game of baseball all around.
Is he known for being outspoken and criticizing officials? Sure. But he’s also known for being the ultimate player’s owner. When he took over the Dallas Mavericks, they were a pitiful franchise — probably the worst in all of professional sports at the time. Since taking over the team in 2000, the Mavs are now one of the league’s most successful franchises and Cuban goes out of his way to make his players comfortable. Compare this to Major League Baseball, where most owners know their players’ salaries better than their personalities, and Cuban would be a breath of fresh air.
He’s one of the most progressive minds in the sports world, and if he did have a majority stake in an MLB team, you can bet he’d be on the front lines fighting for things like total instant replay, umpire accountability, and leveling the playing field between the haves and the have-nots. Not only does he expect the best from his players and coaches, but he expects the best from the league as well. When he thinks the league isn’t doing its job, he speaks up.
It’d be great to see, but at the same time, it’s why he’ll never get the chance to own an MLB team. As commissioner, Bud Selig works for the league’s owners. The league’s owners don’t like anyone who would cause that many waves. It’s why his offer for the Cubs was passed up despite being the highest bid, and I’d be shocked if the unlikelihood of Cuban’s bid being accepted by the league didn’t factor into the court’s decision to award the Rangers to Ryan.
Cuban would be one of the best things to happen to the league in awhile, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.