We'll find out today if Mark Cuban is in on the Rangers

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Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that we’ll know today whether Mark Cuban is in or out of the August 4th auction of the Texas Rangers.  The bidders are meeting today, Shlachter reports, and he has all the details in the increasingly technical and slightly boring sale of the Texas Rangers.

Not boring is Cuban, however, and today Maury Brown has a look at Mark Cuban: potential owner over at FanGraphs.  It’s well worth a read, though I think Maury is being way too hard on Cuban here, and far too credulous of Major League Baseball’s assertions regarding the desirability of the Chuck Greenberg Group as owners.

Maury talks about how Cuban would be a distraction as Bud Selig focuses “on growing MLB’s business instead of chasing maverick owners around,” but that ignores the fact that Selig and his gang have always put provincial and clubby loyalty concerns above business considerations when it comes to choosing ownership groups. It also ignores the fact that the biggest “maverick” of an owner baseball has ever seen — George Steinbrenner — is probably more responsible for “growing MLB’s business” than Bud Selig and the types of owners he has favored in recent years put together.

Not that Cuban is any sure-fire MLB savant.  I just think that his track record — which Maury accurately notes — entitled him to a little more deference than the “crazy Mark Cuban!” treatment he usually gets.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.