25 July 2008

...And then, there were three!

Or ARE there??

Although the Cubs didn't publicly announce it, three finalists have emerged for the purchase of the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball Franchise. But it seems that the Tribune Co. is now fielding calls from those who DIDN'T get chosen and are encouraging them to partner up possibly to put together an offer.

As of last night the rumor mill had a group supposedly containing HR King Hank Aaron, and Senator and former NFL'er Jack Kemp as one contender, however, the paper today has that the Trib asked them to group together with someone else. Also in the running is a group led by Thomas Ricketts whose family founded TD Ameritrade (online training company) and who is a graduate of the University of Chicago. Lastly is Mark Cuban, the guy I think all of Chicago would like to see be the eventual winner. He publicly has proclaimed that he will NOT be outbid, but as we all know, the evil-doers who are the other MLB Owners have final approval over new ownership groups for fellow teams. I'm all of those old farts have already been called by the NBA brass to see to it that Mark's attempts are made very difficult.

But with all of these rumors now that the seven who failed are being encouraged to combine has this all a bit fishy. I mean, from a business perspective, I understand that the Trib wants to get the most possible, but clearly, if there was a clearly outlined process, than it really should be stuck to.

Separately, the Trib has 3 credible offers for the "property" of Wrigley Field. They didn't mention if any of the 10, including Cuban were part of that 3.

On another note, with Kerry going on the DL (not really a BAD thing at this point, if you ask me), the Cubs have decided to bring up Jeff Smardzija from a short 3-week stint in AAA-Iowa where he's 4-1. However they are going to bring him up as a reliever, so that'll be an interesting thing. What I'm most afraid of is that Jeff is one of the leading pitchers in our farm system and they've really moved him through aggressively. I just don't want them blowing his arm. He's one of those local kids, done good and it would totally suck if they blow him out. It'll be interesting to see how he can do coming in during the 7th or 8th and having to hang on to a lead.

Clearly he's played in front of huge crowds. Playing in South Bend will do that for ya', but that was more of a team sport versus being the ONLY guy the crowd is looking at to perform miracles. Don't get me wrong, he's going to be better suited than anyone else, but alas, when the Cubs have the bases loaded and all 41,083 are standing....well, it really IS different.

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