Bidders for the Cubs have until Dec. 1 to submit offers, Major League Baseball said Wednesday after a meeting of its ownership committee.
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said representatives of four bidders have met in New York in recent weeks with officials from the commissioner's office, MLB's Internet company and the sport's new television network.
The team was put up for sale in April 2007 when Tribune Co., the Cubs' owner, announced it was being acquired by real estate developer Sam Zell. DuPuy said the latest deadline was set by the Tribune Co.
"Bids are expected the week after Thanksgiving," DuPuy said. "Mr. Zell claims the team is for sale and they're moving forward."
I especially like that last part: "Mr. Zell claims the team is for sale." As if they don't really believe him. Clearly, Tribune Co. is in serious financial trouble, as is the entire newspaper industry (not to mention many other sectors of our economy) and the fact that Zell and Tribco have debt service payments due soon is well known.
Still, whether or not the completion of the sale of the team will happen by Thanksgiving (as one rumor had it) or Christmas (said another) or the Twelfth of Never (as many pop singers might have said) is still a matter of YGIAGAM (Your Guess Is As Good As Mine, for those not big into acronyms).
We, as always, await further developments. Prediction: when this deal finally gets done, it will be the Ricketts family of Omaha (whose fortune was made in owning the Ameritrade online brokerage) who will be the new owners.