THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Heartless: Mark Cuban can't have the Cubs!
According to the old adage, everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor, but not everyone could possibly have good taste and a sense of humor. Mark Cuban thinks he has both and that money is enough to buy the Cubs, but that's impossible too.
As a dedicated Cubs fan, it's not the postseason that has me worried; I'm far too jaded. It's Mark Cuban who has set my stomach to churning. With Cuban the highest bidder for the Chicago Cubs, I'm scared stiff. Seeing as how I've no investment in the NBA, I've found Cuban entertaining. So what if it's bad taste to rack up $1.6 million in fines? NBA referees could do with a few more insults anyway.
The Chicago Cubs are not the Dallas Mavericks, but I'm not sure Cuban knows that. To hear him tell it, the Cubs aren't his concern anyway. In an email to the New York Times, Cuban wrote, "The Cubs are an amazing franchise and brand."
The quickest way for an owner to cultivate fans' animosity is talk about the Cubs as a business and not a team. Nike is a brand, Sony is a brand: the Chicago Cubs are a baseball team.
We know there's business in baseball. For decades Cubs' fans watched helplessly as owners refused to spend money on good players. For years we watched two perpetually injured pitchers earn more than the rest of the Cubs combined.
But with Mark Cuban, it's business first, baseball second. The ivy at Wrigley Field has to go: think of all the money to be made from selling advertising for the outfield wall. Cuban would rip down the ivy straightaway.
So what if it's been Wrigley Field since 1916? It's bad business to not sell the name to Halliburton. That's millions of dollars. And the location. Anyone who's been to Chicago knows there's no parking at Sheffield and Addison. A new stadium outside the city with thousands more seats and a hundred-acre parking lot would be a cash cow.
That's good business to a man who hates the Cubs.
And Mark Cuban does hate them.
When he sang at Wrigley during the stretch, Cuban left the booth and told reporters, "I'm a baseball fan. I'm a huge Pirates fan. I'm a Pittsburgh fan. It absolutely killed me to sing 'Root, root, root for the Cubbies.'"
As far as this fan is concerned, Mark Cuban can shut his yap and his billfold. Let him wait around until the Pirates need a buyer. Then he can sing at PNC Park every week, and I'll laugh every time the Pirates get fined.
If Cuban were even the least bit familiar with the Cubs, he would have kept his mouth shut until after he'd cut the final check. Maybe he should have had a sit-down with Steve Bartman so he'd know how even the most dedicated Cubs' fan can be run out of town on a rail.
Remember Bartman? Remember 2003 when the Cubs were five outs away from their first World Series since 1945? Bartman was sitting in the first row in the left field corner and interfered with a Marlins' foul ball, possibly preventing Moises Alou from making the out.
The Cubs didn't make it to the World Series.
Bartman was led away with a police escort for his own safety. He has since lived underground and even considered joining the witness protection program. And Bartman loved the Cubs.
Any team would benefit from pockets as deep as Mark Cuban's, but it takes more heart than money to own the Cubs. Look through your bank vault, Mr. Cuban, and see if you can find your heart. It's usually right next good taste and a sense of humor.