My dream for the Houston Astros was destroyed very, very early on Thursday morning when Nolan Ryan and his business partner, Chuck Greenberg, won the bankruptcy bidding for the Texas Rangers. I've written before that I was hoping Ryan's bid would lose, and that with this loss, Ryan would set his sights on purchasing the Houston Astros away from Drayton McLane.
But from the death of that dream arises another. This is why I'm addressing this to Mark Cuban, the loser of the bidding over the Texas Rangers. Please, please, please, put in a phone call to McLane and see just what it is he'll take to sell you the Astros.
I'm sure that there are many of you uneducated fans who don't want Cuban to have anything to do with the Astros. And this is something I just can't figure out.
Sure Cuban is rich, loud, and flamboyant. He likes to speak his mind, and if he's pissed off about something, he'll let you know. He's been through a few coaches and front office people with the Mavericks, but since he's purchased the team, the Mavericks have become one of the best-run franchises in the NBA, and the team is a consistent winner. And Cuban has been willing to spend his money to keep the team a winner because he has realized that a winning franchise means more money.
There were some who accused Cuban of getting into the mix for the Rangers only at the last minute, and he was portrayed as a villain for attempting to keep Ryan from gaining the team. Cuban has written a long blog post detailing his interest in the Rangers, going back to last year when he was contacted by Tom Hicks. Cuban details the shady deal that Hicks was trying to pull off, explains why he backed out, then explains how it was he got back in on the bidding.
Cuban alleges that everything he did was with the backing, and approval, of Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig. That should, hopefully, do away with the discussion that baseball wants nothing to do with Cuban.
That brings us to Cuban and the Astros. McLane has stated that he's attempting to sell the team. He even had it sold several years ago, only to have Houston businessman Jim Crane back out on the deal after they had agreed to terms. Unfortunately, Cuban's business partner on the proposed Rangers deal was Crane, so it's possible that McLane might be a bit leery of getting involved again in a deal with Crane. But hopefully Cuban would turn McLane around and get a deal done.
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And let's face it; Cuban would be a great owner. This is a guy who does his research and his due diligence. There would be no Carlos Lee contracts with Cuban as owner. Nor Kaz Matsui or Brandon Lyon deals -- he might sign Lyon, but not at the outrageous terms the Astros inked him for.
And while people might object to Cuban's ego, ask yourself, is it any worse than McLane's? Cuban sits courtside for every game. But when's the last time that anyone turned into an Astros game and Drayton McLane's mug wasn't smack center in the middle of the home plate camera shot? Cuban has his blog and twitter, but McLane seems to constantly be on the radio or TV or giving a quote to a reporter. And while McLane likes to give his opinion and thoughts on baseball, it's often obvious that he has no clue as to what he's talking about. Whereas Cuban speaks a lot, but you always get the feeling that he knows the ins-and-outs of everything he discusses.
Plus, I don't know about you, but it would be nice to have an owner who made his own decisions and didn't let Bud Selig dictate decisions like who the manager should be or how much a draft choice can be paid.
Cuban's probably not interested in the Astros. But here's hoping, for the good of the team, that someone can convince him to give McLane a phone call. Better yet, knowing that McLane wants to sell the team, maybe he should call up Cuban.