Monday, December 01, 2008

Only Three, Or Are There More?

The Tribune is reporting that:

At least three prospective buyers have submitted a new round of bids to Tribune Co. for the Chicago Cubs, one of professional sports' trophy franchises.

Chicago real estate investor Hersch Klaff; the Ricketts family, founder of online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.; and a group led by Marc Utay, a New York private equity investor, delivered their proposals by the Thanksgiving deadline, according to sources involved in the negotiations.

Sources declined to comment on the size of the three bids, which include the team, Wrigley Field and Tribune's 25-percent stake in Comcast SportsNet, a regional cable sports network.

It was unknown at the time this report was filed whether two other prospective buyers -- Houston businessman Jim Crane and Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team -- had submitted new bids.

While it's disheartening to not see Cuban's name as one of the confirmed bids, that negative is more than offset by not seeing John Canning's name among the bidders.

While Cuban should remain the horse all Cub fans are backing to win because it's possible to project how he might be as an owner based upon his tenure with the Dallas Mavericks, fans might want to place their show bets on Tom Ricketts. Ricketts is a younger guy who would have the wealth, and ego, to run the Cubs like his personal yacht.

Canning-type guys want the team as part of a portfolio acquisition strategy. We've seen that over the last two-plus decades under the Tribune.

'Tanks, but no 'tanks to that bridge to nowhere.

Bux and ego are what we want to see. It may be one of the three mentioned, it may be someone not mentioned. The guy that finally wins with the Cubs will get his ego filled in a way no one ever has in the history of Chicago. Regardless, may that guy be 30 days away from owning the Cubs.

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