Mark Cuban struck out twice when he tried to buy a Major League Baseball team. His chances for a third at-bat didn’t improve when he ripped Commissioner Bud Selig over the suspension of Alex Rodriguez and for running the sport like Tony Soprano.
“Horrible,” the Dallas Mavericks owner said when asked on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” about the 211-game suspension A-Rod is appealing. “I think it’s disgraceful what Major League Baseball is trying to do to him. Look, it’s not that he doesn’t deserve to be suspended. He does. They have policies in place: A first-time offender is 50 games, and a second time is 100. [Two hundred and eleven games], that’s personal.”
Cuban, who failed in attempts to purchase the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, proceeded to verbally bludgeon Bud and deliver talk-show gold, with Leno and Robin Williams bearing witness.
“I’ve got to tell you, with my experiences with Major League Baseball — and after all of this, there’s no chance I’m getting to buy a team — it’s basically become Bud Selig’s mafia,” Cuban said. “He runs it the way he wants to run it. They don’t want me to own a team. When I was trying the buy the Rangers, even after the Cubs, when I was trying to buy the Texas Rangers, it was an open option.
“I sat in there with my good, hard-earned money trying to bid, and they did everything possible to keep me from buying the team. They had lawyers in there trying to change the rules; they had people trying to put up more money. It was horrible.”
A-Rod, who continues to play while his appeal of MLB’s punishment proceeds, will make his return to New York tonight, when the Yankees host the Detroit Tigers. Cuban went on to add that “obviously, Bud Selig does not like to be tested” and said that making an example of elite players who cheat isn’t the way to go.
“It shouldn’t be that way,” Cuban said. “That’s one of the poor things about sports. How much money a player makes should have nothing to do with the way you treat them.
“The reality is the guy broke the rules. He basically admitted that he had broken the rules before. But to come out and try to give him [what, at 38 amounts to] a lifetime ban, that’s just wrong.”