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Why is everyone afraid of Mark Cuban?

Jul 23, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

I have no idea what kind of baseball owner Mark Cuban would be, but if Tim Cowlishaw thinks he’d be a bad one, he had better bring stronger arguments than this to the table:

Cuban is a lightning rod. Those Mavericks fans who love him do so
unconditionally and pay little attention to the fact that the team is
not fundamentally better off than it was a decade ago when he purchased
it from Ross Perot Jr.

I’ll leave the hardcore basketball analysis of Cuban’s tenure as Mavericks owner to Kurt Helin over at PBT.  But even this novice realizes that Cowlishaw is out to lunch here.

The Mavericks were a laughing stock for most of their history before Cuban came. They have been a playoff team for a decade since he came. Cuban may have made all manner of mistakes over that time that kept the Mavericks in the category of “really good team” and cost them a championship or two, but to suggest that the team is not “fundamentally better off” today than they were before Cuban bought them is ridiculous.

I don’t know if Mark Cuban has a chance in the August 4th auction for the Rangers. And I don’t know what his intentions would be with respect to the Rangers if he bought them.  But why anyone expects that he’d be a disaster as an owner is a mystery to me.

  1. CJ - Jul 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    I’d think the opposite. With no cap, he could be this generation’s Steinbrenner. A lot of the big pieces are in place if he can keep them ( an ace in Lee, a cleanup hitter in Hamilton, etc.) and he’s not one to back down from spending. If it weren’t for the cap, there’s no doubt in my mind the Mavs would have won a championship already.

  2. Ditto65 - Jul 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    It would be nice if a free-spending loud-mouth came into the league and distracted all the Yankee haters for a while. Of course there would be all the comparisons to the Yankees – Cuban doesn’t fire managers enough; Cuban doesn’t waste money on over-the-hill veterans; and Cuban doesn’t ruin baseball as well as the late GMS did.

  3. Utley's hair - Jul 23, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Can the owner be ejected for arguing balls and strikes from the stands? Or would he have his own spot in the dugout?

  4. JBerardi - Jul 23, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    I do worry that Cuban would be the type of guy to meddle with his GM/Baseball Operations staff, which pretty much never works out well.

  5. Scott - Jul 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Die-hard NBA fan, and can tell you some of what he WILL do: Spend money, hire lots of smart people so he makes informed decisions (scouts and quantitative analysts), berate his team in the media when they play poorly over a long stretch, and remain fiercely loyal to those who play hard/play well for him.
    Oh, and he’ll criticize league officials, i.e. Bud and ESPECIALLY the umps. I’d love it, and I see Bud hating it.
    Aside from that point, he’s gotta be a net positive. He’ll spend a lot and field a competitive club. He’ll be a net positive for the league while being a headache for the commissioner’s office. I call that a win-win.

  6. RichardInBigD - Jul 23, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    His ownwership, if nothing else, would bring a whole new group of money spending people in to the Ballpark. Hordes of $30,000.00 millionaires in Dallas LOVE this guy and will support whatever he does. A new generation of baseball fans will be indoctrinated. There will be legions of people wearing the T-Shirts they got on Opening Day, proclaiming “RFFL” (Rangers Fan For Life). He MIGHT even do something like have Dirk Nowitski go and pitch a game for the Rough Riders (AA affiliate just up the road a piece). There’s even the possibility he will be ejected from the park for being the loudest heckler in the stands. But most importantly, people will come, Ray. They most certainly will come.

  7. Utley's hair - Jul 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    “A new generation of baseball fans will be indoctrinated.”

    See, Craig? The Hall of Fame will be saved after all.

  8. Kevin S. - Jul 23, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    When Cuban was bidding on the Cubs, he said he’d sit in the right field bleachers.

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