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Hank Aaron, Cubs owner?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

While I was in Brazil, prospective bidders for the Cubs submitted their bids for the franchise, the ballpark, and a portion of Comcast Sports Net. It's been widely reported that there were 10 groups that submitted bids, and the Cubs have now whittled that down to 6 (or 3) groups (reports haven't been the most consistent).

There have been two large surprises so far. The first surprise is that the group led by John Canning Jr. has apparently been eliminated. (Canning's group was supposedly favored by MLB.) The other major surprise is that Mark Cuban's bid came in at a whopping $1.3 billion!

Details are still sketchy, and I can't wait to read John Helyar's tell all book, Barbarians at the Bat. (Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco), but here's what we know so far:

• Mark Cuban's first round bid was the highest at $1.3 billion.
• The Cubs have eliminated all bids that came in below $1 billion
• The remaining groups are Cuban's and:

Others cleared to get a closer look at the Cubs' finances include Thomas Ricketts, who runs a Chicago bond-trading business and whose family founded Ameritrade; Sports Acquisition Holding Corp., a publicly traded company formed this year expressly to buy a sports team and whose board includes Hank Aaron and Jack Kemp; and Michael Tokarz, chairman of Purchase, N.Y.-based investment fund MVC Capital Inc. Tribune's investment bankers urged Mr. Tokarz to team up with Sports Acquisition to make a single bid. Real estate exec Hersch Klaff and investor Leo Hindery also made the cut, a published report says.
Source: Crains Chicago Business

• Canning's bid was rejected, but he's being encouraged to submit a much higher bid if he's interested in staying in contention.
• Sam Zell and Crane Kenney are still considering selling the park separately from the team.
• The general conclusion that Mark Cuban would be unpalatable to other owners is being re-thought.

Finally, I went to the game yesterday. Cubs pictures from the Marlins game are in the photo gallery.

Cubs Media Guide Trivia tid-bit: Jim Hendry turns 53 today. He was born on July 27, 1955. He happens to share a birthday with my father. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Posted by Byron at July 27, 2008 12:01 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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