Our friend Bud Selig, ever the Consensus Man, never the dynamic leader, has effectively put Mark Cuban's bid on ice. No matter that he might be the high bidder. No matter that he might be able to complete the transaction most expeditiously. No, Bud & Co. don't want the high profile, opinionated, progressive-thinking Cuban as part of their fraternity.
Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks' owner, was the fan favorite, the guy who liked to drink beer, watch the game from the bleachers and spend money. He was the most appealing bidder to Zell's group, who knew Cuban could swing the quickest transaction for a team and ballpark that at one time figured to fetch $1 billion.Absurd and lame. And not surprising. Cubbies fans, I feel for ya. This is gonna take a while. It smells like a higher rent holdup than what Selig & Co. did with the Expos/Nationals. Kept them in limbo for years.
Global financial crisis or not, baseball's old guard plans to stand firm against letting Cuban into the club. ''There's no way Bud and the owners are going to let that happen,'' a Major League Baseball source said this week. ''Zero chance.''
On Opening Day 2007, the Cubs officially went on the market. Zell's group was hoping for a quick transaction, certainly before Opening Day 2008. That same MLB source promised a deal won't be done by Opening Day 2009.Now, if Bud had a visionary bone in his body, he'd welcome Cuban. But that's not Bud. Never has been, never will be.
''We'll be standing here at next year's GM meetings,'' the source said, ''and this will still be unresolved.''