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How Many Times Does a Guy Have to Say "No," Anyway?

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At this moment, 836 people want Mark Cuban to own the Chicago Cubs; it's science, you can look it up. Now you can add to that list Alan Schwarz of The New York Times, who this morning goes where Radar Online's has gone before: to the Cuban's buying the Chicago Cubs well. See, yesterday the Tribune Company announced that it's selling the Cubs as part of the company's overall sale to the Chicago billionaire Sam Zell, who's forking over a meager $8.2 billion for the lot. So now it comes time to speculate about to whom they'll offload it -- and, ta da, it's Cuban. Well, Cuban or Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Phoenix Suns. Like, maybe.

A baseball economist -- which is a job I would totally do, if I knew anything about numbers -- estimates the team's worth about $50o to $600 million; throw in Wrigley Field -- which no owner would want, as it's a landmark to which you can't do squat without city approval -- and the price climbs another $100 mil, more or less. The Chicago Tribune doesn't have Cuban among its list of potential buyers; well, they oughta know, right? And last I looked, Cuban told Unfair Park on February 28: "Not buying the Cubs. No offer made." But it's fun to speculate. Don't cost nothin'. Or maybe Cuban could just buy the Rangers, who, last night in California, suggested the Ron Washington Era will be a lot like the Bobby Valentine Era and the Kevin Kennedy Era and the Billy Martin Era and the Whitey Herzog Era and the Ted William Era and the Frank Lucchesi Era and the Doug Rader Era and the Buck Showalter Era. Too early to knee-jerk? Maybe. Probably not. --Robert Wilonsky

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