Good thing for him that Fay Vincent is no longer in charge.
The former commissioner told ESPN Radio that Cuban's past run-ins with NBA commissioner David Stern should be enough to make other baseball owners wary about letting him into their fraternity.
"The rules are the rules. I think this enormous criticism -- the screaming about officials, the kinds of things that got him fined by David -- those are not actions of a sensible, responsible owner," Vincent said. "I mean winning is not everything, and I'm afraid for some of these owners they get so carried away with winning they believe that's the objective."Wait...what? Winning isn't the objective? Then what is? That's a quaint notion that Vincent is expressing. Yes, it's nice to sit in the sun and enjoy a beer and a ballgame during the summer. But not everyone can be a Cubs fan. Winning ain't just a tired Charlie Sheen catchphrase. It bring fans to the ballpark. It brings free agents to franchises. Vincent's logic makes him fit to be a little league commissioner where everyone can get a trophy at the end.
But Vincent wasn't finished. He went on to compare Cuban to former Yankees owner, the late George Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner was to Vincent as Cuban is to Stern. Vincent banned Steinbrenner from baseball for life after an investigation revealed the Yankees owner paid a gambler to dig up unflattering information on Dave Winfield. Steinbrenner was reinstated after Vincent left office, but according to the commish, the game would have been better off without him.
"I think it's more important for owners to be gentlemen, play by the rules, respect the authorities, do what's good for the sport, than it is to manage his franchise into total success," he said. "The subtleties make the difference. George Steinbrenner was a real problem in baseball, and I think Mark Cuban is a real problem in basketball."Steinbrenner was such a problem for baseball that his Yankees have been and continue to be the sport's biggest draw - both on television and at the box office. It certainly would be nice for all team owners to be wonderful, philanthropic stewards of their local communities and the game at-large. But at the same time, people don't buy sports teams to not win. Except for Donald Sterling, of course.
Sadly, this kind of logic still seems prevalent among MLB owners and is probably the biggest reason Mark Cuban will never be allowed to own a team. Steinbrenner rankled people all throughout baseball, with his brash personality, bombastic statements and overheated emotions. Cuban would do the same. But they have also been people that you had to pay attention to. With the NFL squabbling over labor negotiations and the NBA soon to follow, this was baseball's big chance to grab a bigger portion of the spotlight by breaking out of its traditionally stale thinking. Instead the powers-that-be seem content to plod along on the status quo.