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Cubs May File For Bankruptcy Protection

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 13, 2009 3:20PM

Photo by The New No. 2
The Tribune Company may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in regards to the Chicago Cubs. But it's not as bad as it seems; rather, it's a move that may help the pending sale of the team go a little smoother. According to Bloomberg:

A brief Cubs bankruptcy would be a legal maneuver to clear the team from any future liability in the Tribune bankruptcy, according to two of the people familiar with the matter. Sam Zell, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Tribune, pledged the company’s interest in the Cubs as collateral when he negotiated the deal to take the publisher private in 2007, according to one of those people.

“You take it in the front door, and it’s just like you’re getting radiation,” said Michael J. Cramer, a former president of the Texas Rangers who teaches sports business at New York University. “It comes out the other door about a half minute later. It’s clean.”

The last MLB team to file for bankruptcy was the Seattle Pilots franchise, who filed in March 1970. They were bailed out by a man named Bud Selig and moved across the country to Milwaukee where they became the Brewers. The $900 million price tag the Ricketts family will likely shell out for the Cubs, Wrigley, and stake in TV is also the highest in MLB history, topping the $700 million John Henry paid in 2007 for the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, and an 80 percent stake in NESN. The Red Sox then went on to shake their "curse" and have won two World Series since. We'd have higher hopes for the Cubs, but their offensive lineup filed for bankruptcy a long time ago. ZING!