Mark Cuban Won't Be Buying An MLB Team, And Likely Never Will

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who's been rebuffed in his efforts to buy the Cubs and the Rangers, isn't going after the Mets, the Dodgers, or any other baseball franchise.

It looks like Major League Baseball won't have Mark Cuban to kick around any more:

Mark Cuban is a big baseball fan with a lot of discretionary income who would love the chance to own a major league franchise. But not now and not the Mets.

"I'm not chasing any more baseball teams," Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said Wednesday before his team played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

For Cuban, this is a case of been there, done that - twice. Over the past four years, he has entered the bidding for the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers, only to walk away frustrated each time.

Cuban said he had "learned my lesson," which was, simply: "Not to be everyone else's stalking horse. Just using me to drive up the price."

Think about it. When is the last time somebody bought a baseball team and you'd heard of him before he bought the baseball team?

I'm probably forgetting someone, but I can't think of anyone at all. I'm talking about actual people, not corporations. (Fox bought the Dodgers and Disney bought the Angels, and didn't those work out well?)

Major League Baseball prefers - and maybe requires, unofficially - prospective owners with plenty of money but very little public credibility. That way, they're more likely to be grateful for being allowed into the club, and willing to (mostly) take their marching orders from the Commissioner's Office. Go along to get along.

Mark Cuban never really had a chance, for the simple reason that his money is largely irrelevant. Baseball teams are worth what they're worth. You might figure they simply go to the highest bidder, but that's not really how it works. Essentially, MLB decides how much the team is worth, three or four ownership groups put together financial packages for that amount, and MLB chooses one of them. In that scenario, Mark Cuban's going to finish last every time, because MLB doesn't need his money and MLB doesn't want an owner who's already famous and won't keep his mouth shut.

I can imagine a couple of scenarios in which Cuban might be allowed in. One, if a team went up for sale and there weren't any serious bidders. Which is highly unlikely. Or two, a team went up for sale and he publicly announced that he would massively overpay, which might leave MLB with little choice. But he's been pretty public about his unwillingness to overpay. So that seems highly unlikely, too.

Maybe the Pirates. In 2037.

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