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Fay Vincent wouldn’t want any Mark Cubans if he were commissioner

Jun 15, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Mavericks Clippers Basketball

Sometimes it’s tempting to look back at former Commissioner Fay Vincent and think about what things would be like if there still were a fully independent Commissioner as opposed to one who came up through ownership like Selig did and one who truly sees the best interests of the game as his highest duty as opposed to the best business interests of the owners.*

But then Vincent — who is always available for an interview, it seems — says stuff like this when asked about what he’d think of Mark Cuban as a baseball owner:

“I don’t think Mr. Cuban’s been an easy partner or owner for David Stern, and that would put me on my guard if he were to come to baseball … The rules are the rules. I think this enormous criticism — the screaming about officials, the kinds of things that got him fined by David — those are not actions of a sensible, responsible owner. I mean winning is not everything, and I’m afraid for some of these owners they get so carried away with winning they believe that’s the objective.”

Whatever, Fay.  While troubling on some level, Cuban’s antics are basically a p.r. problem, not a threat to the game.  And I would suggest you ask Mavericks fans — or Dodgers fans or fans of other poorly run teams — what, exactly, is more important to them than winning?  And then ask yourself where the game would be if every owner had as his first loyalty the kind of harmony you’d like to see rather than putting together teams that win championship  hardware.


*Though, to be fair, that approach is not necessarily bad even if it sounds like it is. There’s nothing written in stone that says the Commissioner has to be a statesman. He merely has to keep the game healthy, and Selig has done that, mostly because the best interests of owners have a lot of overlap with the best interests of the game. But now we’re getting into another conversation.

  1. paperlions - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Fans wouldn’t want any Fay Vincent’s as owners of their team.

    • cur68 - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:58 PM

      ‘Lions if I could remember what my stupid crack about apostrophes was from yesterday I’d use it on you right now just for beating me to it yesterday. I do believe you meant “Fay Vincents” up ^ there ^ but my dubious grasp of syntax prevents me from going off all smarmy like at you. Damn my shaky grasp of the apostrophe anyway!

    • paperlions - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:42 PM

      No, I didn’t mean to do that….speed typing as usual…at least I didn’t totally leave out any words this time. As soon as I saw that I thought about the Rollins’ thing and prayed you wouldn’t see it or notice. Freaking no edit button.

      • cur68 - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:37 PM

        No worries. If you read down you’ll see where I did much the same thing. I concur; freakin’ no edit button.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    “I mean winning is not everything, and I’m afraid for some of these owners they get so carried away with winning they believe that’s the objective.”

    What kind of a spineless putz actually says something like this? No Fay, winning is not the objective? Then what is? You stupid, moronic old man. Thank You God that you are not the owner of MY team because if you were, I would be stuck with a guy running the show who does not view winning as the “objective”.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      The objective he is implying that is more important than winning is: $. Not money in general, money in his own pocket. Putz indeed (no offense to JJ).

    • po8crg - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      What’s more important than winning? Playing the game the right way. I’m certain that Faye Vincent would expect being polite and respectful to officials to be more important than winning. It’s that old-fashioned attitude to sports that you do your best within the rules, but you don’t break them – not the official ones, but the unofficial ones too.

      “The most important thing . . . is not winning but taking part” (de Coubertin) “it’s not that you won or lost but how you played the game” (Grantland Rice).

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        I don’t buy it. Old-fashioned folks like money just as much as the new-school folk. Many of which like money more than winning or putting a good product on the field.

  3. poorwalt - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I really don’t understand the criticisms of Cuban. Yes, he may be outspoken and critical in many areas where it’s not convenient for him to be so, but overall he has to be a help to the NBA. His team loves him, his fans love him, and he’s committed to competing at the highest level each season.

    Yes, there will be some mild headaches cause by him along the way, but the NBA is a more entertaining and therefore more profitable league because of Cuban. Selig would be lucky to have Cuban pick up a small market team and help make them relevant again.

    • tadthebad - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      Well, more entertaining for sure. And there are some profitable teams, but I think the league as a whole, as it currently stands, is the opposite of profitable… not that that is the sole responsibility of Cuban.

      • paperlions - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:24 PM

        Couldn’t one argue that the league is having problems, at least in part, because they have too few Cubans? The fan base is young, the players are demonstrative self-promoters who are at least as much entertainers as athletes. A more progressive ownership would have probably figured out ways to properly market their product rather than be in constant conflict with it.

  4. bklynbaseball - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    As a life-long Yankees fan, I ALWAYS defended George H. Steinbrenner III as an owner – not necessarily all the moves he made or orchestrated – but as Yankees fans and New Yorkers, we all KNEW that he loved the Yankees, loved the city of New York, and tried to bring a championship to New York City EVERY YEAR. And isn’t that what every sports fan wants in the person or group that owns their favorite sports team?? Somehow, I always got the feeling that all those fans of other teams that constantly hated on George were just simply jealous that their team’s owners didn’t care as much as George did.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      There are an awful lot of welfare queens posing as baseball owners waiting for their checks to come, so they can pad their bank accounts. That’s what they call winning, duh.

  5. phukyouk - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    ‘”You play to win the Game”

    or something like that

    • raysfan1 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:39 PM

      “If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?”

      -Vince Lombardi

  6. spudchukar - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    The owl-like countenance of the Dallas owner should be viewed as a refreshing reminder to the authoritarian oligarchy that there are more than one way to lead your team to a championship, but will undoubtably be frowned on by the current ruling class as an anomoly and an unwanted intruder. Hats off, to the self-made billionaire, and one-time Pizza Hut manager for his devotion and love to an organization that finally made it to the hilltop. Baseball sure could use an infusion of Cuban.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      Well said. I present you with today’s “I won the internet” trophy.

      • cur68 - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:01 PM

        soon as I get done with my thesaurus I may or may not agree…

      • spudchukar - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:55 PM

        Dude, I take that as an unwarranted compliment. I only wish I had your brains.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Who really cares if the 30 bazillionaire owners and the bazillionaire commissioner all get along? I don’t care if they hate each others guts. In fact, it might be more interesting if they hate each others guts. Nobody is paying to watch those guys make smalltalk about their yachts and race horses.

    Winning should be first and last on the owner’s priority list.

  8. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I would venture to bet that if Cuban took over any of the struggling teams in baseball he would have them turned around in less time than almost any other owner could.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      P.S.- I would love for him to buy the Royals!

      • cur68 - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        Ah but would he trade or keep Frenchy? That is the true test of a dispassionate, observant, objective party; how you regard Frenchy. Hate him for being unable to live up to his hype? Fall for his little boy smile? Or like/dislike based on current play and leave all personal opinion out of it.

        Jeff Francoeur; baseballs judgement-dipstick.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        Cur, my lovable Canuck friend, Frenchy isnt in the long term plans for the Royals and he is just a stop-gap. Whatever he gives the Royals this year is a welcome benefit to the team, but I hope there are no long term contracts coming his way from Dayton Moore.

      • cur68 - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:36 PM

        royals’; I predict Frenchy goes 3 – 4 with a homer and comes within a hit of the cycle tonight against the A’s. He’s been sitting on fastballs (or he was against the Jays) and killing them, not only the mistakes but also the gooders too. If this pans out even remotely I wonder if you’ll reconsider your position on him? He looks like a solid Longoria-style hitter to me these days.

        At some point we’ll have to re-evaluate our position on this guy and what I’ve seen of him this season leads me to believe that he’s got the makings of not only a solid season but a solid ballplayer in general.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM

        Cur, he is only 27 and everywhere he has gone has included high expectations. His signing with the Royals produced no expectations from the fan base and I think he is comfortable with that. That being said, i wish he would grow the beard back!

  9. scatterbrian - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Boy I sure would hate it if Cuban bought the A’s. Lew Wolff is a sensible, responsible owner who doesn’t get carried away with that winning malarkey.

    • ditto65 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      I wish I could “thumbs up” that more than once. Thank goodness Fay Vincent is not commissioner. I mean, really, if winning is not the objective of playing a game, than why play?

  10. natstowngreg - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Baseball survived Bill Veeck.

    Baseball survived Ted Turner.

    Baseball survived George Steinbrenner.

    Baseball would survive Mark Cuban.

  11. dogsweat1 - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Yes –because Mark Cuban would actually spend money and build a winner, and give the fans something great to cheer for.

    Yes- because Cuban actually cares about the fans and has a passion for sports…..

    Yes—you are right Faye!!!

  12. bigtrav425 - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    As a tribe fan id Kill for Cuban as our owner!

  13. mgflolox - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    K. M. Landis was the only truly independent commissioner in MLB history and didn’t cater solely to the owner’s wishes. After that experience, the owners made sure every successive commish knew who his bosses really were. They have just been middle-aged white men from (mostly) privileged backgrounds representing other middle-aged white men of privilege. The whole office has been a complete joke. At least with Bud, he’s been honest about who’s interests he’s looking out for.

  14. deathmonkey41 - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Cuban looks a little like the cold miser in that pic.

  15. danberman4 - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Ridiculous but typical of the arrogant baseball establishment.

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