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Mark Cuban speaks about the Rangers auction

Aug 5, 2010, 5:36 PM EDT

Mark Cuban — as is his wont — took to his blog today to give a very long and very detailed explanation of his involvement in the Texas Rangers auction.  There’s a lot of play-by-play of how he got sucked into the whole crazy business. And it’s all very interesting, so you should definitely read it if, for no other reason than to realize that Cuban is a businessman and not a psycho.

But maybe the best parts come toward the end when he takes on two big criticisms he’s been getting lately: (a) that he would not be approved by Major League Baseball; and (b) that he was really only in the auction in order to bid-up the value of $2 million worth of Rangers bonds he happens to own:

Now lets talk about MLB.  It seems to be a fun media sport to talk
about how there is no way i will ever get approved  buy MLB to buy a
team.  At the hearing yesterday it was mentioned that our group only had
a 50/50 chance of ever being approved.  I tend to never look at the
glass as being half empty or half full. I look to see who is pouring the
water and to deal with them. Not the media.  I am pretty confident we
would have been approved.

Finally lets talk about finances. Lets talk about the bonds I own. I
have been getting a bunch of emails from reporters asking how much money
I made on the bonds I own. Suggesting that I bid up the price of the
Rangers in order to increase the value of the $2mm i spent on bonds. To
all of you I offer a lesson in economics.

It is NEVER a good idea to risk hundreds of millions of dollars on
the purchase of a team AND to spend what could come to more than a
$1million in professional fees in order to increase the value of the
$2mm you bought in bonds. I know its something for the media to talk
about. But if any of you out there think it through, I dont want you to
think i was stupid enough to do something that stupid.

The real reason he even bought those bonds, Cuban says, is so that he could be an insider and do some better due diligence on the Rangers when the notion of him buying the team first came up last year.

Seems plausible to me, as does most of what else he says.

The biggest takeaway here: Cuban was really in this for the opportunity
to create a regional sports network on which he could broadcast Rangers
and Mavericks games.  Contrary to the reputation he has in some quarters, that’s not nuts at all.  That’s really good business.

  1. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    What I have learned in 11 years in the sports business is that the dumbest guys in the room are always the media guys. Some do a decent job of reporting, most just spew opinions. And those opinions change more often than they brush their teeth. So what the media was saying was of zero impact or influence on what i was going to do.
    Couldn’t have said it better myself

  2. John_Michael - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    I’ve never really understood the bad reputation Cuban has received. Does he act like a crazed, rabid fan in support of the team he owns? Sure. Is he willing to take a NBA fine to make a point. Absolutely. But isn’t that what you want from an owner? Engagement. Passion. And the willingness to write the checks necessary to put a winner in contention.
    The flip side, what many seemingly want Cuban to be, is more so like the invisible investor that owns a team just for the ROI and net cash flows. If you think that’s preferable, just ask Old Gator how it’s working out for the ‘Feesh.’
    I’ve always liked Cuban because if I owned a team, I’d be wearing my teams colors, just as proudly, everyday. Just like Mark. While I previously knew he was a shrewd business man, this just makes post makes me like him even more.

  3. SDelMonte - Aug 5, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Nothing to stop him from forming a partnership with RyanBerg on a network, though that wouldn’t be as big.

  4. doctorfunke - Aug 6, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    @John; very well said.
    He is a rare commodity in the sports world – the combination of a savvy businessman with the passion of a great fan(and cash). He has done a good job with the Mavs, and it would have been interesting to see what he would have done to the already pretty good Rangers.
    I’m sure that as fans, we would all love to own a team, but not all of us possess the business smarts(or the cash) that it takes to actually do it. Although I don’t have much of a vested interest in the Rangers, I was still rooting for the Cuban group to win the auction because I think that it would have been good for baseball overall.

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