Why is everyone afraid of Mark Cuban?

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I have no idea what kind of baseball owner Mark Cuban would be, but if Tim Cowlishaw thinks he’d be a bad one, he had better bring stronger arguments than this to the table:

Cuban is a lightning rod. Those Mavericks fans who love him do so
unconditionally and pay little attention to the fact that the team is
not fundamentally better off than it was a decade ago when he purchased
it from Ross Perot Jr.

I’ll leave the hardcore basketball analysis of Cuban’s tenure as Mavericks owner to Kurt Helin over at PBT.  But even this novice realizes that Cowlishaw is out to lunch here.

The Mavericks were a laughing stock for most of their history before Cuban came. They have been a playoff team for a decade since he came. Cuban may have made all manner of mistakes over that time that kept the Mavericks in the category of “really good team” and cost them a championship or two, but to suggest that the team is not “fundamentally better off” today than they were before Cuban bought them is ridiculous.

I don’t know if Mark Cuban has a chance in the August 4th auction for the Rangers. And I don’t know what his intentions would be with respect to the Rangers if he bought them.  But why anyone expects that he’d be a disaster as an owner is a mystery to me.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.