Prospective owner Cuban says Cubs are 'doing great things'

CHICAGO -- Prospective Chicago Cubs owner Mark Cuban attended a bowling fundraiser Wednesday organized by pitcher Kerry Wood.

"The Cubs have got smart, smart people here. I mean they're winning, they're doing great things, I'll just stay out of the way," Cuban said. "Believe it or not, I can stay out of the way."

The Dallas Mavericks owner and Internet billionaire, once considered a long shot, is now one of the favorites to purchase the team from Tribune Co. after reportedly bidding more than $1 billion.

Also believed to be in the running are a group headed by John Canning, chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC; and the family of online brokerage Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.

Cuban told reporters he attended the bowling event to support Wood, who is from Dallas.

"Right now I'm just a fan, supporting a great organization, and that's why I'm here," Cuban said.

Tribune closed the preliminary round of bidding for the baseball team, stadium and the Cubs' 25 percent stake in a regional sports cable channel last month.

Major League Baseball, which must approve the sale of any team, sent out financial books on the three properties to nine preapproved bidders in June.