Cub Fans May Have Tribune Company to Kick Around Some More

Two developments on the ownership front:

As reported by Chris de Luca in the Sun-Times and noted by a reader under the previous post, there is z-e-r-o chance that MLB owners will approve beer-drinkin' regular guy/billionaire Mark Cuban as the next owner of the Cubs. According to de Luca, this seems to place "the group headed by John Canning, Jr.—(Commissioner Bud) Selig's personal favorite—back as the frontrunner."

On a related note, Friday's Wall Street Journal reports that Tribune Company may retain 50% ownership of the team anyway.

In recent weeks, an early plan to sell a 95% stake has fallen to about
half as suitors' ability to buy the team and its landmark stadium on
Chicago's North Side waned, according to two people involved in the
negotiations. On Thursday, bidders were preparing to receive a request
to submit new purchase proposals with financing details, those people
said.


The shift in strategy is a result of the tight credit market and a
heightening fear that few, if any bidders, would be able to complete a
transaction once valued at more than $1 billion. Under the new
scenario, the windfall to Tribune would be far less.


"This will still generate substantial cash," said one person with
knowledge of the sales process. "We're talking hundreds of millions of
dollars."


While the Cubs and Padres dance around a possible deal for Jake Peavy, there was another bit of Padres news this week that is very loosely connected to the Cubs.

Matt Vasgersian, who has done TV play-by-play for the Pads since 2002, is leaving San Diego for the job of lead studio host with MLB Network. Vasgersian, who worked Brewers games before heading west, was mentioned as a candidate for the Cubs job when Chip Caray left and was ultimately replaced by Lenny Kasper.

The greater connection between Vasgersian and the Cubs, however, lies in the fact that it was Vasgersian on the mic during a Padres game in May, 2006, when former Cub great Rick Sutcliffe stumbled into the booth (literally) and made his infamous drunken cameo appearance. (Kudos to Gaslamp Ball for retaining this unforgettable piece of baseball history.)

 

Comments

Sorry, I messed up the link to the Sutcliffe audio initially, but you should be able to hear it now...in all of its drunken glory.

You remember that?

~hiccup~

I heard Cuban was close to closing on some property in the northern burbs. Perhaps that's just a tool of his to show Selig that he's going to be around.

Someone may have posted this already but these are the Cubs minor leaguers who filed for free agency yesterday.

Mike Burns (AAA)
Hector Carrasco (AAA)
Adam Harben (AAA)
Billy Petrick (AAA)
Carmen Pignatiello (AAA)
Jason Stanford (AAA)
Matt Craig (AAA)
Robinson Chirinos (A)
Bobby Scales (AAA)
Andres Blanco (AAA)
Luis Figueroa (AAA)
Doug Deeds (AA)
Jason Dubois (AAA)
Josh Kroeger (AAA)
Andres Torres (AAA)

I wonder if AZ Phil can tell us who of these guys he thinks the Cubs should be most interested in bringing back.

I'd think Kroeger, Andres Blanco, Carmen Pignatiello, and Billy Petrick would be toward the top of that list.

I'm sure at least a few of those guys will be back as that was essentially half of the Iowa roster. Piggy and Petrick probably at the top of the list. Kroeger may want to go somewhere where he'll at least get a shot to break as a 4th/5th OFer.

Doesn't Zell have some ownership in the WSux? If a sale doesn't happen soon or if Tribune retains 50% of the Cubs, Isn't it time for them (who ever the powers that deal with this stuff) to force Zell to get off the conflict of interest throne.

Of course, if I'm getting my conflicts wrong then nevermind.

Latoya Hawkins signs 1 year deal with Asstros.

So much for 2009... guess Hendry will have to build for an eye on contending in 2010.

I wouldn't give up just yet. Greg Maddux is still out there, and he would make a great converted closer. Bullpen problems solved!!

Recent comments

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  • BILLY BUCKS: As things stand right now, Dylan Cease will be in the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL season begins play in June, and if he peforms well there he could perhaps move up to South Bend toward the end of the minor league season or for the MWL playoffs (if South Bend qualifies). 

  • i'm more "wtf?" about him hitting 2nd than playing LF...especially since zobrist exists.

  • Soler's primary position is suppose to be in left for this season so technically he is not out of position. Although I agree, it does seem weird given their histories.

  • Thanks Phil.

    Any idea of where/when Cease will head for the season?

  • Over/under on HBP tonight?

  • Yes, I know KB played LF and Szczur played RF last night, but there's a legit case that RF is the easier draw at PNC.

  • Seems an odd lineup -- Soler in LF and Bryant in RF? Two guys out of position? I guess Fed has to catch tonight so All Star Gramps can catch Lester tomorrow. Or maybe Joe just wants somebody else to catch a no-hitter. Would love to see KB get the power turned on. C'mon Jorge -- channel your playoff self!

  • All it took was Schwarber, Heyward, and Szczur getting hurt for him to get to play again. Let's go ahead and call this little stretch your last real chance to prove you belong on this team, Jorge.

  • soler hitting 2nd...didn't expect that one.

  • tonight: Fowler, Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrisjt, Baez, Russell, Federowicz, Arrieta

  • roster shuffle official per Sun Times, Gordon Wittenmeyer on twitter...Szczur to DL with minor hamstring strain, Chris Villanueva to 60 day DL, Ryan Kalish to 40 man roster and gets the call-up.

  • There's an interview with Heyward up on ESPN where he says the wrist thing has been lingering and he just brought it up with the team as it didn't go away. So that could very well explain why he hasn't had the same hard contact recently.

  • Ryan Kalish writeup (by Peter Gammons last November):

    ~snip~

  • Villanueva goes to the 60 day DL.

  • Peter Gammons just tweeted that teammates are tweeting Kalish is getting recalled. Not sure which ones and what they'll do with the 40 man but there we go.

  • Jesee Rogers just said he thought Ryan Kalish would be the call up.