Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Tribune's Tribulations

Carlos Zambrano

What is the Tribune Company doing? Here they are supposedly readying to sell the Chicago Cubs at the end of the season and they sign a $91 million deal with Carlos Zambrano?

Whether you think a five-year deal with Zambrano is good or bad for the Cubs has nothing to do with the fact that adding contracts in the way the Tribune Company is just plain idiotic.

We pretty much knew the Cubs were being sold and yet the Tribune committed a historic offseason record of contracts worth $300 million. And now this.

I'm strictly talking about this from a business perspective, but if you are readying to sell a team, what the outgoing owner thinks of a particular player doesn't matter. The incoming owner should have the right to do what he wants.

I hear so many people saying the Cubs, Wrigley Field and the TV network stake are worth at least $1 billion. Although there are supposedly 15 credible bidders here, I guarantee that a $1 billion buy for those properties -- given the debt load the Tribune has contributed in the form of contracts in the last year alone -- is the worst business decision that owner will ever make.

Add the contracts with the small size of Wrigley and the inability to do much with the stadium and not only would a deal like that make it impossible to make a buck, it would be impossible not to be in the red.

Questions?  Comments?