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MLB is pushing Hicks' creditors to sign-off on the Rangers sale

Apr 7, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram reports that MLB is stepping in to the Tom Hicks-HSG Creditors dispute in an effort to get the Rangers sale locked down:

The last obstacle delaying the sale of the Texas Rangers could be
cleared this week, thanks to an assist from Major League Baseball. Sources
confirmed that the lenders who hold $525 million in Hicks Sports
Group debt were sent a request from MLB to reach a settlement with HSG by the end of the week.
An
agreement would allow the deal in place with Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan to move forward toward final approval from baseball’s club
owners.

Look, I know I’ve been critical and pessimistic about this deal for a long time, but believe me when I say that I don’t mean to be pessimistic when I ask why a request from Major League Baseball to the creditors would constitute “an assist” that could make this get put to bed any faster than it otherwise would.  If it were more than a request — if say, MLB kicked in some money or promises or something that could help bridge the gap between Hicks and his creditors — I could see how that could wrap things up.

But what would a mere request from a non-party to the debt really do? If the creditors are trying to squeeze money out of Hicks to let this thing happen, the only thing that will make them do so is more money. From everything that has been reported these creditors are trying to take advantage of their temporary leverage to extract as much dough as possible. Based on this report all baseball is doing is asking these guys to get the deal done on Greenberg and Ryan’s timetable. So what? Everyone has been wanting that for months.

My guess, and it is just a guess, is that one of two things is happening: (1) Wilson is being a tad optimistic about what MLB’s “request” could accomplish and reaches his “assist” conclusion a bit too hastily; or (2) Baseball has done more than “request” that the deal get done. Rather, they’ve offered something to the creditors to facilitate it but understandably don’t want to be seen as bailing out Hicks any more than they already have.

Either way, everyone is saying that they think this will be done the week of April 19th. 

  1. excatcher - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    MLB representative #1: We is requestin that youse guys figger out some kinda way to get this deal done, youknowwhamsayin?
    MLB representative #2: [absentmindedly playing with baton] We feel it would be in your best interest to find a solution by next week

  2. Anon!Mice! - Apr 7, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    I have no idea, but it might be that the creditors could foreclose and get the economic asset but MLB rules may require MLB consent for new owners to particpate in governance (i.e., have a vote). Plus, the foreclosure transfers the team by operation of law, but MLB rules might require MLB permission for a non-Judicial transfer, so the creditors would have a hard time selling the team. Those two things are pretty typical in a partnership setting and might be MLB’s stick/carrot.
    Captcha: surgeon bumpkins

  3. willmose - Apr 7, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    It’s about time. The Yankees have gone without a major league farm club long enough.

  4. RichardInDallas - Apr 7, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    I only wish that this deal would leave Hicks living in a cardboard lean-to under I-35 and getting arrested for panhandling (a no-no under Dallas ordinance). Unfortunately, he still owns the Stars (which were just eliminated from the playoffs, mostly for lack of money) and the Liverpool Futball club, where he cannot go to a game for fear of his life. Whatever anyone can say or do to get this done and get some baseball guys in place, PLEASE DO IT!!!

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