Skip to content

The Rangers sale is a "trainwreck"

Feb 1, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

That’s the viewpoint of someone associated with the group of creditors meeting with prospective Rangers’ owners Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan in New York tomorrow in an attempt to iron out their differences regarding the team’s sale. It’s an ominous sign with respect to something that everyone is assuming is a done deal.

As you’ll recall, the creditors are led by a hedge fund called Monarch Alternative Capital, which bought up a bunch of Hicks Sports’ Group’s debt when it nearly defaulted on its obligations last summer.  The creditors have to sign off on the tentative agreement between Hicks and Greenberg/Ryan, and from the sound of it, they don’t have a huge incentive to do so.  According to the article:

The key issues, the sources said, are that while the sale has an
announced price of $570M, there is only $390M of cash changing hands,
with the difference assumed liabilities. And of that the banks would
only get $250M, sources said. Before they get paid, according to the
deal, Hicks would be paid for the real estate around the ballpark, MLB
must be paid for loans it forwarded the team, and Rangers investment
bankers, Merrill Lynch and Raine get paid too.

That’s right: Tom Hicks has helped broker a deal in which he personally gets paid before the people from whom his spendthrift ownership group had to borrow in order to make ends meet last year. And of course, Hicks himself is part of the new ownership group too. The result: an angry group of creditors is worried that they’re going to only get pennies on the dollar — “We will be better off in bankruptcy court,” a source says — and may very well tell Greenberg, Ryan and Hicks to go back to the drawing board. If that happens, you have to figure that Jim Crane and Dennis Gilbert, who were reported to have better bids than Greenberg — would come back into play.

In December I reported that there were people around Major League Baseball who were worried about this deal coming together.  Those worries were brushed off at the time.  Based on what we’re hearing today, I have this feeling that they’re back.

  1. Simon DelMonte - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    I am starting to feel like the effects of the economy on baseball – compounded in many cases by the sort of mismanagement that you can get away with only in a strong economy – is becoming a major underlying story. And I really wonder if a lot of the strange offseason moves aren’t part of that equation.

  2. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    So he basically has driven the team to the Welfare line
    (IN HS ROLLS ROYCE)will sell the team to a hand picked group
    that includes his greedy self and would like for all his friend’s
    and himself to be paid first. I’m sure they love this in England
    and visions of their Chelsea Soccer Club following the same fate.
    Nice job Mr. Hicks, you to Bud I mean Spud.

  3. Donkeyball - Feb 1, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Just disband the franchise. What a joke the entire state of Texas is.

  4. Maj - Feb 1, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Tom Hicks was in Liverpool over the weekend when he was watching the team co owns(more like co finishing off)After the match he got drunk in the players lounge when supporters blocked exits and he could not leave LOL. Hicks never lets a freebie go and free booze was too much for him to say no to. Later on his hotel he was found face first in his dinner LMAO and his bodyguards were called into take him to his room. He spilt wine all over the table and even more when he got up. This is no joke all true. I guess Hicks is a joke tho LOL.
    Why Texas Rangers fans allowed him to get away with his games in Texas I wont know. Did anybody ever protest against this failure which Hicks. Has he got any successfull businesses.

  5. Old Gator - Feb 1, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    I see here where Jon Heyman tweets that Johnny Damon may be interested in purchasing the Rangers along with a group of mystery investors.

  6. Cru11 - Feb 1, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Rangers “fans” are a pretty lame crowd. Talk about unpassionate. Frankly, I think people who go to Rangers games couldn’t care less if they win or lose. But hey, with Hicks at the helm, why not just sit back and watch the entertainment as Hicks looks like a moron.

  7. flaboy - Feb 1, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Orlando wants to buy a team. ;)

  8. willmose - Feb 2, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    The deal will get done as the Yankees need a MLB farm club.

  9. TomJones - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    #1 Farm System in ALL OF BASEBALL
    (If you don’t count the upstart Rays)
    5th biggest Media Market in the Country. Major League Baseball NEEDS the Rangers. A deal will get done, but not with Tom Hicks involved. The whole idea that you can run a franchise into the ground and still “sell” the team to an ownership group including yourself is asinine. He’s not “selling” the team at all, he is giving it away with the approval of the people who really own it. (Banks, Hedge Funds). He hasn’t owned the team in over a decade – his banks have.
    Annnd by the way, he gets paid for up front in the deal because he is selling 90 or so acres that surround the ballpark that he owns through a separate company (Hicks Holdings ??? I believe). It’s a separate deal but I’m sure the financial backers of the Greenberg/Ryan group needed the real estate assets for future earnings potential. In the long run any money that he makes out of this deal is going to go to pay down debt from the Dallas Stars, and Liverpool. Funny how nobody mentions that one of the approving entities in this whole mess is the NHL – Like the MLB they have been running the Stars for a while now too, and the debt level of the club is rising. This isn’t a “Rangers” problem per-se, it’s a Hicks Sports Group problem. This is why the English have been staging rallies and protests at all of his soccer clubs games. They see the storm-front approaching.
    He is not getting any cash up front for his portion of the team, it’s a side deal all the way.

  10. Tom - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Hicks holdings owns more real estate and donates more land to School Districts, and Charitable causes than any other investor in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Everything to do with Hicks Sports Group seems to move in the complete opposite direction from his real estate and development company.
    He has actually been EXTREMELY successful here for quite a while. That’s how he was able to buy the team in the first place.
    POOOOWWWW BOOOM BANG (just got hit by the rangers train wreck).

  11. Ross - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    How you idiots are allowed to have a voice is beyond me. The state of Texas is a joke? Please, the state of Texas isn’t a problem. Texas is home of the most profitable college in the nation in the University of Texas, to say the least.
    Rangers fans are very passionate. Go to lonestarball.com, bbtia.com, newbergreport.com, or texasrangers.com if you want to see how the fans truly are. The Rangers have THE MOST POPULAR BASEBALL BLOG in the Newberg Report. Peter Gammons himself has said so. In a down economy, the Rangers had the biggest attendance increase in baseball last year in over 3,300 fans per game last year over 2008. Rangers fans have wanted Hicks out for years. He hasn’t spent to improve the major league product while telling the fans that he’d start spending when they came out to the ballpark more. He doesn’t understand the concept of supply and demand. Why would fans come support a team that wasn’t winning? Hicks is good business man when it comes to his banking (which is ironic), his sports ownership is what nailed his ass to the wall. Trust me, Stars fans want him out as well, they at least have a Stanley Cup to keep them somewhat pacified.
    For you to pretend you know anything about Rangers fans or the state of Texas period from the outside is flat out ignorant.

  12. ProudTexan - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    F you and the horse you rode in on Donkeyball. The name you chose to use to post your comment says all that anyone needs to know aobut you jerkface.

  13. Franchise - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Donkeyball- I’d really like to know which aspect of Texas makes it a “waste” of a state? Is it the extremely wealthy economy, the warm weather, the beautiful women, the top-5 US market ranking in both media and merchandising, the numerous resorts, the southern hospitality and friendly people, its oil supply to the rest of the nation, the space program, the mixture of highly-developed and modern large cities and preserved natural countryside, the numerous military bases and contributions, two of the best business and law schools in the country in UT and SMU, the numerous celebrities, athletes, and musicians who call it home….. which is it? I’d really like to know in what perfect state you live. I’m sure it’s just a magical place that everyone in America loves and has no flaws, or at least that’s what your tiny little brain has told you.
    Cru11- to say the Rangers have no passionate fans is one of the most ignorant statements ever made. Congratulations! You have revealed yourself as someone with very little knowledge about baseball in general. Give yourself a pat on the back. The Rangers have not won ONE single playoff series in their entire existence. They have only even been to the playoffs three times. They have had more losing seasons than winning ones, and they have an owner who has handcuffed their chances of winning. Yet the Rangers finish in the top half of Major League Baseball every year in terms of attendance. As the previous poster already mentioned, the team has some of the most popular and viewed blogs on the Internet. So, I’d really like to hear why if the fans aren’t passionate that they keep filling the seats in Arlington and visiting web sites about the team. I guess because the fans haven’t staged a walk-out on Hicks that must mean they don’t care. Yeah, like that would solve anything. Just shows how ignorant you really are concerning Hicks and the Rangers. Less fan attendance would only make Hicks spend less and less, creating a worse team and fan experience at the Ballpark. Yeah, great idea.

  14. Cru11 - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    I never said Rangers games weren’t full or questioned their success. Ive been to plenty of games in the last few seasons (to watch the opposing teams) and there’s always a solid crowd, no doubt. Im saying as a fanbase as a whole during a game, they’re pretty lame. But I guess Im setting the bar too high when I’ve witnessed the wild fans at Wrigley, Fenway, Shea, and Yankee Stadium. My point is, the crowd is about as lame as Baylor baseball fans…well any Baylor fans.

  15. Dooley Womack - Feb 3, 2010 at 5:37 AM

    This is nothing more than this lame writer, Calcaterra, trying to make up for his previous misinformation on the sale. He obviously has some “source” in the Crane (or Gilbert) camp that feeds him exaggerated negative information on the wild chance that he can make the deal fall apart. If Calcaterra would read, he would see that MLB is ushering the deal along and has NO PLANS to allow the team to be sold to Crane or Gilbert. Hicks himself wanted Crane back in the picture, presumably on the faint hope that he can regain control of the franchise (haha–ain’t happenin’!). But it’s out of his hands now. MLB has pushed this along. It will be approved by Opening Day.
    Bad reporting + bad writing = lousy story, Craig baby.

  16. online stock trading - Feb 16, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your feeds too now, Thanks.

  17. Gift Vouchers - Feb 20, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    great blog Hope will be visiting in the future for sure!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5489)
  2. G. Springer (3843)
  3. M. Machado (3150)
  4. B. Harper (2782)
  5. C. Kimbrel (2781)
  1. K. Uehara (2778)
  2. I. Davis (2655)
  3. D. Pedroia (2549)
  4. J. Chavez (2514)
  5. J. Reyes (2512)