Fay Vincent uneasy over Mark Cuban

Updated: June 15, 2011, 3:00 PM ET
ESPNDallas.com

Former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent's dealings with late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner have soured him on the idea of Mark Cuban becoming an owner in the major leagues.

Vincent said on ESPN Radio's "The Herd" on Wednesday that he's been somewhat put off by the back and forth between Cuban, whose Dallas Mavericks won their first title Sunday, and NBA commissioner David Stern.

"I went through the Steinbrenner business. Some of the behavior of owners can be very troublesome for commissioners," Vincent said. "I don't think Mr. Cuban's been an easy partner or owner for David Stern, and that would put me on my guard if he were to come to baseball."

In 1990, Vincent banned Steinbrenner for life for paying a gambler to dig up dirt on then-Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield. Steinbrenner was reinstated in 1993, a year after Vincent left office.

Vincent sees too many similarities between Cuban and Steinbrenner, who died in 2010.

"I think it's more important for owners to be gentlemen, play by the rules, respect the authorities, do what's good for the sport, than it is to manage his franchise into total success," he said. "The subtleties make the difference. George Steinbrenner was a real problem in baseball, and I think Mark Cuban is a real problem in basketball."

Cuban declined to comment on Vincent's statements.

Since Cuban bought the Mavericks in 2000, Stern has fined him repeatedly for criticism of officials. Cuban did exercise a self-imposed silence during the Mavericks' run to the championship.

To Vincent, Cuban's passion for the Mavericks and financial backing aren't enough to balance his outspoken demeanor.

"The rules are the rules. I think this enormous criticism -- the screaming about officials, the kinds of things that got him fined by David -- those are not actions of a sensible, responsible owner," Vincent said. "I mean winning is not everything, and I'm afraid for some of these owners they get so carried away with winning they believe that's the objective."

Cuban's name is often brought up when an MLB franchise goes up for sale. He was outbid in an unusual auction to buy the Texas Rangers last August.

He also attempted to buy the Chicago Cubs and has expressed interest in buying the Los Angeles Dodgers "for the right deal."

ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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