Thursday, July 22, 2010

Look Who Wants A Baseball Team

Dateline Forth Worth:

FORT WORTH, Texas – A bankruptcy judge has ruled that the Aug. 4 auction of the Texas Rangers won't be delayed, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may be among the bidders.

Angry creditors argued Thursday that other interested buyers would not have time to secure financing and suggested a Sept. 30 auction.

The starting bid will be from the group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg. Major League Baseball endorsed the Ryan-Greenberg group after it was selected in the original bidding process last year, but the $575 million deal has been stalled by creditors.

Cuban's attorney said his client has been approved by MLB and hopes to submit a bid.
Creditors forcing an auction? A high net worth guy rushing to take advantage to bid? Courts all over this?

There's no way anyone could have predicted this!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You Have Been Banned from MSNBC

We haven't discussed much in the way of current events around here of late. Hell, we haven't discussed much of anything. But there was a story that caught my eye that is certainly worth commenting on.

It seems Markos Moulitsas, one of the founders of the SBNation blog sites, had a dust-up with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" anchor Joe Scarborough. The details are not overly clear, but it seems that Scarborough and MSNBC got mad at Moulitsas for bringing up an old point of contention. This led both sides to descend into name calling, the end result of which is that Moulitsas was blacklisted from presenting his views on MSNBC.

So, let's see here. Moulitsas was banned for making snarky comments? Where ever would MSNBC get the idea to react like that?

Cubs Are Interesting Again... At Least For A Day

In a move that was only unforeseen by people who fail to see winter coming every year, Lou Piniella announced that he will not return to the Cubs as their manager next year.

A few words about Lou. He was exactly what this organization needed in 2007. When Carlos Zambrano lit into Michael Barrett back on June 1st of that year, it was Lou that made sure that it was Barrett who was traded and not Zambrano. That event started the most successful season and a half the Cubs have had since the 1906 to 1908 seasons. He set a tone for a moribund franchise.

Granted, this current season, Lou has seemed asleep at the switch. The view here is that is largely due to Lou knowing what most of us knew: This year was going to be a washout. The roster was loaded with overpriced, aging talent and new ownership was locked into hundreds of millions in debt that would eliminate Jim Hendry's most consistent way of improving a team - massive spending.

As Andy Dolan wrote today, Lou's successor will probably be worse at the job than Lou was. But the 2010 Lou is not the 2007 Lou. This team needs the original Lou and not the one that's here today.

Thanks for the effort Lou, but it's time to go. Thanks again, and see 'ya.

What was very interesting was the varied reactions to Tom Ricketts words:

"Jim is our general manager full stop," said Ricketts, whose ambiguous statements on the last road trip led to speculation about Hendry's future. "He will be leading the effort to find our new manager and will be our general manager going into next year, yes."
What does this mean? Dave Kaplan, Bruce Miles, ESPN and Comcast took that to mean that Jim Hendry is back for 2011. Phil Rogers, Terry Boers and Dan Burnstein saw plenty of wiggle room in that.

Miles does have a point on his blog that it would be a bad idea to have Jim Hendry help hire the new manager only to replace Hendry as GM soon after. A GM should pick his manager and they work together over the next several years to build and maintain a major league roster.

What's confusing is that a new manager is going to expect a contract of three to five years. Jim Hendry only has a two year contract.

If Tom Ricketts and his siblings have decided to retain Hendry for 2011, doesn't it make sense that they would also have decided to extend Jim Hendry's contract to match that of a new manager? If so, why the phrasing "going into next year"? Why not announce today that Jim has a new, 3 year extension. Lou's leaving isn't a surprise and the Ricketts have had plenty of time to discuss an extension with Hendry if they desired to keep him. That this hasn't happened just suggests more and more ambiguity where there should be none.

The more and more you hear from the Ricketts, the more and more you fear that these kids don't know what they are doing. The fear of the Ricketts coming in as owners always was that they didn't have a record to review as owners (which is why Don Levin was always the preferred choice of this page).

Hope is held out that Tom was just parsing his words carefully and that Hendry will indeed be gone before the new manager comes in. Because if Tom and his family really think that Jim Hendry is good at his job, then these people are really idiots when it comes to running a professional sports franchise.

This has all the feel of the McCaskey's and the hiring of Jerry Angelo when they told him that he had to retain Dick Jauron.


Friday, July 09, 2010

Well, Looks Like The Owners Are Interested

With the Cubs irrelevant to the sports conversation, Tom Ricketts has finally shown up and told everyone where ownership stands on this season: is expected that the team's ownership will address the media soon to assess the club’s direction, especially if the team continues to struggle before the trading deadline.

"It has been very difficult for the family and the team the first half of the season," Tom Ricketts told season ticket holders Thursday at Wrigley Field. "This is not where the family wanted to be in the first half of the season"
That's terrible that it's been hard on his family. Musta put a damper on that photo safari in Africa.

And, frankly, the fans don't want to hear platitudes about "making it better," and "creating the best franchise in major league baseball." They want results.

Hey, Tom. How many press conferences did Rocky Wirtz between the time he took over the Black Hawks and the time he hired new management?

Moreover, just how long did Wirtz take to hire new management?

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