deadlines amuse me

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Mr. Cub buying the Cubbies?

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There it was, a small summary item on Romenesko this morning — Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub himself, wants to buy the Chicago Cubs.

I clicked to the Crain’s Chicago Business story. Banks, the team home run recordholder with 512 dingers, told Dennis FitzSimons, the CEO of team owner Tribune Co., he wanted to buy the Cubbies. He was, the story says, “gently rebuffed.”

The team, experts say, could fetch $500 million. And given the new pressures on the Tribune Co. (remember what happened to Knight-Ridder?), we might see the same fate ahead for the Tribsters.

But the Crain’s story (and a short rewrite in the Chicago Trib) didn’t clearly answer my immediate question: How the hell could Ernie afford it?

True, the Crain’s story mentioned a few investors’ groups had approach Banks. But why didn’t a reporter simply ask Ernie: Ya gots the dough, Mr. Cub?

If this had been Michael Jordan buying the Bulls, you can get his finances would be reported on at the very faintest whiff of interest. Why not Ernie?

Prediction: The Cubs will be sold sooner rather than later. Newspaper chain assets are being put in play by unhappy major stockholders. So maybe Ernie’s dough (or lack of it) will eventually become reportorial fodder.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 12, 2006 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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