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Mark Cuban calls A-Rod’s suspension “horrible,” and “disgraceful,” says MLB is “Bud Selig’s mafia”

Aug 9, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

Mark Cuban horizontal

Mark Cuban tried a couple of times to get into the MLB owners’ club. He was rebuffed in his initial efforts and then outbid when he had a chance to purchase the Rangers in a bankruptcy auction. After that he seemed to wash his hands of the idea of buying a baseball team.

But he’s still a bit bitter about his dalliances with MLB. Last night he went on “The Tonight Show” and the topic of Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension came up. Cuban, while acknowledging that A-Rod should be suspended, believes that MLB is changing the rules in midstream to give him too harsh a penalty. He went on to say that this is baseball’s M.O., as evidenced by how they treated him. And he didn’t mince words about it. Video below. Here’s the money quote, transcribed by The Honest Brew, who alerted me to all of this:

It’s basically become Bud Selig’s “mafia.” He runs it the way he wants to run it… When I was trying to buy the Rangers, it was an open auction. And I sat in there with my good hard-earned money trying to bid and they did everything possible to keep me from buying the team. They had lawyers in their trying to change the rules, they had people trying to put up more money… it was horrible!

I’ll defend MLB this much: the whole idea of an open auction is to get the most money, so the idea that they “had people trying to put up more money” comes off as a bit of a hollow complaint. Maybe there was a sense that the league was ganging up on him, I have no idea, but at the time Cuban was quoted as saying, basically, that he walked away from the auction because the money got too high for him.

The overall sentiment, though? Maybe “mafia” is too strong a word, but when you’re armed with an anti-trust exemption and your entire reign is built on the idea of building a consensus among mostly compliant owners, I have little doubt that Selig and his crew worked extra hard to make sure that Mark Cuban didn’t join the club.

  1. jarathen - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    I like Mark Cuban as a non-owner. It allows him to go off without repercussions.

    Selig’s final legacy will be as both complicit and then overreaching on PEDs. Quite a way to build a legacy.

    • dan1111 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      As for the “too much money” complaint, he isn’t just complaining that others bid more; he is suggesting that MLB helped put together rival bids for the express purpose of keeping him out.

      If true, it seems like a legitimate complaint to me.

      • baseballer28 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

        He got outbid by someone else with more money. End of story. Cuban is just stirring things up, which he has a long history of with David Stern and the NBA. He is one the most whinny, little bitches in sports and has some sort of paranoid delusional problem. He acts as though everybody is always against him or out to get him. And he’s a fucking moron to boot.

      • dan1111 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        @bballer, I don’t have the knowledge of Cuban that you apparently do. But when it comes to team ownership, Selig and co. have taken a very active role in deciding who is in and who is out. This has been clear in all of the recent ownership changes. So I doubt that Cuban’s complaints are completely unfounded.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        Which makes it all the more galling that they allowed Frank McCourt and Loria to actually own baseball teams.

    • apkyletexas - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Selig has his mafia, but Roger Goodell is King, Judge, and Executioner.

      I think Cuban would really hate owning a team in God-ell’s league.

      • mybrunoblog - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        Great point. Goodell’s power and authority almost remind me of when baseball was ruled by guys like Landis and Chandler. NFL would never take a guy like Cuban. I think MLB was right to keep Cuban out. He’s a royal pita.

      • paperlions - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        Nonetheless, the NFL isn’t wasting it’s time trying to get around its own CBA and simply penalizes anyone who tests positive for PEDs without leaks, fanfare, or hyperbolic moralizing.

        The NFL also just had their HOF inductions which were a celebration of the history of football and some of its great players, whereas the recent MLB HOF ceremony was a rather pathetic exhibition.

      • apkyletexas - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        @paperlions – “The NFL also just had their HOF inductions which were a celebration of the history of football and some of its great players”


        Warren Sapp and Chris Carter? Loudmouths – yes. Great? Highly questionable.

    • arrackis - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Kudos to Mark Cuban to say what he needed to.say about King Selig and his Monarchy. Its really refreshing to finally Listen an non owner verbalize his thoughts and feelings with out feeling fhe reprisals. I bet their are a lot of owners who really can’t say with out fear.

      Good comment Jarathen

  2. Jonny 5 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    I see Cuban had his hand hair recently removed instead of using extra long sleeves to cover it like Joe Rogan…. Oh, was I thinking and typing at the same time? SMH, I must stop doing that…

    • jarathen - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      The first thing to stop is saying “SMH.” And work from there.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        Well, that’s not going to happen.

    • indaburg - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      SMH? tsk, tsk, Jonny. All I have to say to that is…

      I’m up all night to get lucky… I’m up all night to get lucky…I’m up all night to get lucky…

  3. adenzeno - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    I wish Cuban owned the Mets, or any MLB team……

    • indaburg - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      He’s my dream co-owner for the Rays.

  4. tigersfandan - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Well, that’s certainly going to help his chances of getting an MLB team one day.

  5. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Quotes of the day:

    Cuban: Selig is the Mafia
    Calcaterra: At least I am no longer the craziest one

  6. misterj167 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    The only positive thing I can say about Selig is that he’s not David Stern.

    • classicrocktennisfan1977 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      I agree with that.I’ll give MLB some credit in dealing with the HGH problem. What has the NBA done lately about their HGH problem? Too many of David Stern’s ratings meal tickets might get pinched? Selig’s mafia. Funny he mentioned that. Cuban and his brethren will roll over and accept David Stern’s puppet, Adam Silver as the next commissioner without going through other viable candidates.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        Catching anybody using HGH requires either dumb luck or a tip off. It metabolizes within just a few hours of use, thus, the blood testing programs are basically just for show, with sports governing bodies simply hoping it deters use.

        The biggest HGH problem, however, is for the athlete dumb enough to take it thinking it will enhance his performance somehow. Excerpt from the article “Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Does It Slow Aging?” Which can be found at “Studies of healthy adults taking human growth hormone are limited. Although it appears that human growth hormone injections can increase muscle mass and reduce the amount of body fat in healthy older adults, the increase in muscle doesn’t translate into increased strength. It isn’t clear if human growth hormone may provide other benefits to healthy adults.” HGH is the snake oil of PEDs.

      • forsch31 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Medical research on how much effect HGH has on athletic performance is fairly limited, and tends to come to different conclusions. A recent study in Australia partally funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency, for instance, found that while HGH does not affect strength, aerobic capacity, or jumping ability, it did seem to increase sprinting ability by 4 percent after 8 weeks, but even the researchers of that study caution that it had limitations:

        “Researchers could not say with certainty whether the athletes improved sprint ability because of HGH or because they trained harder during the 8 weeks of the study. And many athletes take HGH believing it will boost endurance, strength, power and other physical abilities — effects the study did not find.

        “Athletes may be taking HGH as a means of trying to improve their performance, even though there is some concern about whether it really does that,” Frankel said. “If it does, and that is a big ‘if,’ it is certainly in the class of enhancement drugs that change the playing field.””

        Read the article here:

        The performance enhancing benefits of HGH are very much in dispute. However, the side effects are not, and in light of the level of abuse by athletes believing it does help, the World Anti-Doping Agency has banned HGH more for those health concerns than anything else.

    • jarathen - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Or Roger Goodell.

      Bud is probably the best of the big three, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

      • nofunleague - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        First, most owners of the big three are pompous A-holes, so any commissioner must be the A-hole-in-chief. He has to out a$$ the owners who would run amuck. BUt no one is more hated than Bettman when it comes to the commish role.

    • southpaw2k - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      How can anyone claim any sports commissioner is worse than Gary Bettman? Forget PEDs, the work stoppages in the NHL prevent it from becoming much more than a red-headed stepchild in professional sports.

      • misterj167 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        I’ll give you that, though Stern caused a lockout last year for no reason other than to boost his own ego. What they wound up settling for could have been agreed to months before the lockout happened.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Hell man, Major League SOCCER has had less work stoppages than the NHL.

      • basedrum777 - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        In the US there is no such thing as Major League Soccer.

      • b453841l - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        NHL is also hurt by not being promoted by ESPN

  7. officialgame - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    If the Cuban had even a semblance of the history of MLB he would know that commissioners have always been ruling Kings.

    • stevem7 - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      With very few exceptions, the Commissioners of MLB have always been “PUPPETS” of the owners. Why do you think Fay Vincent got shivved in the back? He wouldn’t play their game. Actually, if you had even a semblance of the history of MLB you would have known that and not made some ridiculous remark about Kings.

  8. 1historian - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    you can’t buy class

  9. yahmule - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    One asshole I can’t stand with a petulant complaint about another asshole I can’t stand.

  10. metitometin - Aug 9, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Cuban should keep his moronic comments to himself. He has it backwards. It’s terrible the way A-Rod has treated baseball. It’s terrible the way he lied to baseball and basically took steroids his whole career. It’s terrible the way A-Rod hindered and obstructed the investigation into Biogenesis. It’s terrible that while every other player took their punishments like men, A-Rod had to be a little girl and appeal his punishment.

  11. baredon - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    What’s really sad with this whole thing…. A Rod is guilty….He took the drugs….

    • indaburg - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      He did take them. As did others. Why is he being punished worse? Because he’s not liked. I don’t like him either.

      Being punished unfairly is sad too.

      • tominma - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        ARod is being punished worse because 1) he took the PEDs 2) he lied to the MLB investigators while others cooperated 3) he tried to recruit other to take advantage of the “help” Biogenesis can provide. We have no idea how much of ARod’s career is a drug tainted fantasy!

        Selig should have bitten the bullet and banned ARod for life. Rose never tried to recruit other players or managers to join in betting on baseball!

      • indaburg - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        But… the punishment for betting on baseball is banishment from baseball. It is in the rule books.

        Rule 21 MISCONDUCT, (d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES, Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

        Whether we like the rule or not, Rose broke that rule. Whether or not Rose tried to recruit other players doesn’t matter. The rule states simply. If you bet on baseball, you are banned. That is what Rose did.

        A-rod, on the other hand… basically, he’s an asshole. But, he is a first time offender. Baseball wasn’t smart enough to catch him the other times.
        (Why wasn’t Braun punished for much longer? He lied too. Destroyed a man’s reputation while he was at it too. If you ask me, and you didn’t, but I’ll tell you anyway, that is worse.)
        Whether we like it or not, he is technically a first time offender, asshole or not. That is what he is. He should be punished like other first time offenders. Color me cynical, but I can’t help but think this is some kind of ploy to assist the Yankees get out of that idiotic contract and put them under the salary cap.

  12. thumper001 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I’m a surprised, as a former lawyer, you didn’t pull up the rules for this auction before commenting one way or the other. Without those, it’s impossible to determine if Cuban has a legitimate beef or not (note: the rule set for a complex auction would be closer to a regulatory document, size and scope-wise, than a typical court brief).

    What I gather he’s trying to say here; “other people trying to put up more money”, means the auction agent was arranging syndicates “on the fly”, forming aggregate bids to overcome Cuban’s bid (“other people” meaning someone other than one of the counter-bidders. One would have to assume Cuban was stupid to not understand active counter-bidders can, and will, up the current bid at an auction. And a self-made billionaire is anything but stupid). That’s a questionable behavior in most auctions, as typically all transactions must be completed at the point of sale in an auction (but we would need the rules for this auction to know if the agent forming bid syndicates “on the fly” is allowed, or how long the buyer(s) is given to complete the transaction, or if they allow syndicates to use multiple instruments to complete the sale).

    note: typically, a “whale” would represent a properly formed syndicate, and put forth an instrument capable of swallowing the whole bid. The individual syndicate members would then pay the “whale” outside of the auction transaction, making them, legally, a non-factor in the auction transaction.

    If the auctioneer was intentionally slowing the “countdown to sold” to allow for others to form syndicates to overcome Cuban’s bid, then there really is a problem here, as that is a rotten practice that threatens the integrity of an auction house; especially if the auctioneer is extending time in an abnormally long manner AND the auction agent is actively forming syndicates during the delay; then what you have is a corrupt auction.

    So, Bud messing with the rigging just to get his way sounds about par for the course, as professionalism has never been his strong suit.

    OBI WAN’s Observations on the Internets: Why is it, young Skywalker, the masses always assume the speaker is stupid, first, going off on an outrage to pillory the speaker, before even trying to understand the context of what the speaker is saying? Sadly, the Force is not strong with them. Obi-wan loves him some Emily Litelle just as much as the next Jedi, but come on, her stuff is comedic gold, and there is nothing fun about that sour puss Darth Selig. Shall we now name this phenomenon; The 2nd Law of Litelleism (a law relating to the conservation of outrage; the new energy)? Surely, that would lead to more violins on TV, wouldn’t it?

    • thumper001 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      ESPN 30 for 30 did a really interesting piece on how the University of Kansas bought the original James Naismith’s Rules of Basketball, using a “whale” to lead a bidding syndicate for buying the rules at open auction. The individual alumni who organized the syndicate, filmed the entire thing. It’s a really fascinating look into the efforts needed to participate in the preservation of American sports history.

      But, it’s an even more fascinating look on how “whale driven” syndicates operate at high value auctions. Here’s the link:

      Notice how during the live auction, the Jayhawk “whale” puts serious back-pressure on the auction agents for delaying the bidding to allow other syndicates additional time? And we’re talking mere minutes here before he began to pressure them to move the thing along. Also, notice how the auction agents did NOT get directly involved in the formation of the syndicates; they merely tried to buy each syndicate more time to up the final sale price.

      That’s how it’s supposed to happen. What Cuban is talking about is something entirely different.

  13. ashtongronholz8 - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Seems like a case of I didn’t get what I want and since I’m a spoiled brat I’m gonna complain to my daddy. Hard earned money? Ha nobody with that much money earned it with good morals

    • indaburg - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Hard earned and good morals are two totally different things.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Ask Donald (mother’s an orangutan) Trump. He’ll tell ya.

  14. The Grand Occident - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Cuban thought Selig would welcome him with open arms since they’re both Jews. Didn’t happen. Maybe they’ll work it out at the next meeting of the Learned Elders.

  15. jfk69 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Again..Bud Selig and former IRS agent Jerry Riesendorff COLLUDED with the other owners to freeze and or limit free agent pay. When the Government was about to step in. The owners coughed up 290 million dollar to make the problem go away. If that wasn’t enough. Selig personally destroyed the Montreal franchise for his buddy and then owner Loria. When Montreal looked like it has a chance to keep the team Selig then tells them their home games will be played in Mexico. The same Loria who recently gutted the Marlins for a second time while getting the idiots in Miami to approve and help pay for his new stadium.
    CUBAN..You are too much maverick for Selig. Plain and simple…He couldn’t control you.

  16. ctolv111 - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    He going to bat for one of his buddies!!!! What a surprise!!!! With all this back-end kissing going on I sure hope these people brush their teeth.

  17. apmn - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    A-rod. Mark Cuban. Bud Selig. Jay Leno. Try adding a protagonist to your posts, Craig.

  18. smillr58 - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Cuban is a world class ASSCLOWN!

  19. yowillie12 - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Selig and Bettman sail similar ships. They both bs the owners and contol who is able to buy the teams. Look at the mess in Phoenix.

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