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Opinion

Twins fan ready for a change in owners

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October 12, 2007

The Minnesota Twins have problems. Can they re-sign Justin Morneau, Johan Santana, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Nathan and Torii Hunter? Where will they get the offense to fill voids in left field third base and designated hitter? Will the Twins spend money? All of these problems have one easy solution: Mark Cuban should buy the Minnesota Twins.

For those who don’t know, Cuban, currently owner of the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA, is trying to buy the Chicago Cubs. He wants to reserve a couple seats in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, drink beer and play fantasy baseball with an actual baseball team. Cuban is a fan at heart who is living the dream. Tell me, if you had billions of dollars and a passion for sports, wouldn’t you do the same thing?

The sale of any baseball team can do wonders for that team’s popularity. However, Cubs fans want nothing to do with Cuban because of his off the wall antics such as sitting courtside and screaming at officials. If the Cubs don’t want this, why not bring Cuban here? If Cuban owned the Twins, there would be no budget for new Twins General Manager Bill Smith to work with.

Cuban would spend the money necessary to field a winning team. This would mean that Torii Hunter wouldn’t even have been close to filing for free agency.

Also, there would probably be no talk of trading Santana or Nathan because we could afford them. The words “eligible for free agency” would no longer scare Twins fans.

Another reason this would work is that Cuban is into the game. As I mentioned before, Cuban sits on the sidelines for every Dallas Mavericks game, home or away. Some may even make an argument that he’s the biggest Mavericks fan there is. It’s refreshing to see a billionaire whine and cry like I do at a game, instead of sitting up in a press box counting his money.

Compare this with the current owner, Carl Pohlad. Pohlad is a tightwad owner who only has an interest in how much revenue the team is making.

Pohlad is so disconnected from the team he thinks that the center fielder who is filing for free agency is not Torii Hunter, but instead, Kirby Puckett. This could actually help the Twins on the field as Cuban would yell at Joe Mauer to stop complaining about the tweak in his hamstring and start playing.

Finally, Cuban knows about the game. Contrary to Cubs fans, Cuban grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1970s. That was when Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bert Blyleven and others won the World Series for the Pirates with the “We Are Family” team. A championship by a hometown team in any sport will hook a lot of people into the sport. Cuban is a byproduct of this.

With the Mavericks, Cuban made sure that the right players were signed so he could put the best product possible for his fans. Cuban would do the same here. That would mean no lame signings such as Rondell White, Tony Batista, Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, Jeff Cirillo, Juan Castro, etc. Cuban has already transformed one of the worst franchises in sports into one of the best franchises in sports.

The Twins already have a good franchise, but if Pohlad sold the team to Cuban it would become a great franchise. If only Cuban could buy those Vikings too…

Chris Schad is a student at UW-River Falls.