It seems only fair, since last weekend’s spew about Zell using Cuban as a pawn to raise the value of the Cubs, to offer a glimpse into Zell’s history as a business person. I feel it was too easy to distribute the Zell-Cuban-Cubs rumor as true because the guy appears to be in the practice of some suspect business practices. Let's take a look, shall we?
According to Wikipedia, Sam Zell is ranked 52nd amongst the richest men in America, starting his enterprise in real estate and then recently dabbling into the media industry with his acquisition of the Tribune company (he has prior media investments as well). A Chicago native, Zell came from modest beginnings and used education and connections to slowly build his empire.
It appears that his thirst for capitalism was the driving force in his un-quenching quest for monetary dominance. Along the way, it seems he has forgotten about his roots (and his business-ethics class) and manifested into a self-inclusive entrepreneurial speedball.
This can be assumed by his philanthropic ventures which include primarily higher-education institutions and Middle Eastern economic trusts (Zell is Jewish/Poland; Cuban is Russian Jew. Would Zell really screw over a fellow Jew?), and through his disinterest in the L.A. Times.
Zell in the Media
Zell is not often painted in a positive light in the media. In fact, a recent article in the WSJ reports that he is being sued by a number of L.A. Times writers. Check out this illustration to see why, or read article; both will give you a good image of how he is perceived by his employees.
Most importantly, it appears that Zell is not at all concerned with how he is perceived by anyone other than himself. But, I do not know the man.
The list goes on about Zell and his business dealings, but what I care about most is the upcoming sale of the Chicago Cubs; most importantly, to Mark Cuban.
Why the Zell-Cuban-Cubs Rumor is False
Not that I would put it past Zell to pull something like this (READ ARTICLE), but it just does not make sense. Zell could care less whom he sells to. Why else would he sell the field separately from the franchise?
As well, I doubt he puts any time into the MLB incestuous drama; Selig, Reisendorf, and Canning in a circle jerk, fantasizing about monopolizing pro sports in the Midwest.
Beyond Zell, and beyond Cuban, even beyond the Cubs, the Internet has a plethora of news sources; all slanted, some true facts, most are BS.
When it comes to business dealings, we cannot rely on the media to produce valid progress. The only thing we can do is wait it out until the pen hits the paper. Until that time, everything else we see in the media/Internet is meaningless, including this website.
Of course, I had grand delusions that this effort would be an influencer in the process, and maybe it has had some influence; some influencers have been to the site, and I have corresponded with others.
But, in the end the decision is made behind closed doors, leaving us salivating at the end result. Until then, I continue my effort to appease those who have a true vested interest in the future of this historic franchise we call the Chicago Cubs.