In news that prompts an initial reaction of “Why, oh, why couldn’t it be Tom Hicks?”, Mark Cuban’s interest in buying the Chicago Cubs has escalated from superficial to serious. Cuban has filed the official paperwork with Major League Baseball, joining a prestigious pile of prospective buyers for the fabled franchise. Having denied it earlier this year -- he told Unfair Park in February, "Not buying the cubs. No offer made" -- after reports of his intense interest surfaced, this time around it appears to be the real deal. And, for whatever reason, it has some in the Chicago media terrified.
Look, if Cuban can turn the Mavericks -- clearly professional sports’ worst franchise of the 1990s -- into elite, championship-flirting winners, maybe he can do the same for a Cubs outfit approaching the 100th anniversary of its only World Series. We sometimes rip Cuban for his silly sideshows ranging from in-huddle inclusion, feuds with the commissioner and even a silly, superfluous legal battle with former coach Don Nelson, but really now, would we trade him for any other owner on the planet? He’s got the mind, the money and the moxie to deliver something priceless -- hope.
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Fingers crossed that the Mavs don’t fall between Cuban’s cracks -- can you imagine us complaining he isn’t being hands-on enough? -- as he trades barbs with Donald Trump, fiddles with HDNet, ponders starting a professional football league and pencils in Chicago’s five-man rotation in between e-mails. If he buys the Cubs, Cuban would run a three-ring circus of ownership in basketball (Mavs), baseball (Cubs) and football (United Football League franchise). Expect those Pittsburgh Penguins rumors to re-surface any day now. -Richie Whitt