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The Rangers sale is getting uglier

Apr 22, 2010, 10:12 AM EDT

The basic dynamic of the sale of the Texas Rangers has been (1) Tom Hicks trying to settle his issues with his creditors; (2) Chuck Greenberg and Major League Baseball getting increasingly annoyed at Hicks for not doing so; and (3) everyone speaking optimistically all the same.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram, Tom Hicks has changed the dynamic, at least rhetorically-speaking:

“This will be resolved one way or the other,” Hicks said. “I’m
concerned about it. We’ve received information that as things stand it
will not be approved.”

Hicks distanced himself from responsibility for getting the deal
done, saying it’s up to Greenberg and Major League Baseball to find a
way to satisfy the lenders who are holding out. Monarch Alternative
Capital is leading the holdouts.

I’m sure that’s all news to Greenberg and Major League Baseball who (a) didn’t run up the big debt in the first place; and (b) aren’t the ones insisting that Hicks realize tens of millions of dollars free-and-clear from the deal despite the fact that he owes money to people all over the world.  For Major League Baseball’s part, it issued a statement last night that, while it could be construed as a warning to the creditors, calls out Tom Hicks by name:

“As part of the Texas Rangers sale process, Tom Hicks selected the
Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan group as the chosen bidder on December 15,
2009 and entered into an exclusive agreement with that group. Major
League Baseball is currently in control of the sale process and will use
all efforts to achieve a closing with the chosen bidder. Any deviation
from or interference with the agreed upon sale process by Mr. Hicks or
any other party, or any actions in violation of MLB rules or directives
will be dealt with appropriately by the Commissioner.”

That “deviation” is likely referring to Hicks’ deviation from being the one responsible for making the creditor problems go away.  A responsibility which he’s now apparently punting.

But this is not really a surprise. The level of Hicks’ irresponsibility with respect to the Texas Rangers over the years has been astounding.  He has crippled the franchise with bad contracts and debt and now, just as a new ownership group is poised to invest in the team and to try and make it a winner, he’s all but sabotaging the sale with his intransigence, his insolvency or both.

Oh, and his delusions too. I mean, this is the guy who thinks he’s going to get a billion and a quarter dollars for his debt-laden soccer team despite all indications that such estimates are inflated. There’s no telling what he thinks is going to happen with the Rangers sale.

Two weeks ago the parties pointed to this week — the week of April 19th — as when they think the deal would be closed. With Hicks pointing fingers like he is, apparently unconcerned that a few dozen creditors want to take the team into bankruptcy, I don’t think anyone will be making more predictions on this score anytime soon.

  1. lar @ wezen-ball - Apr 22, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Maybe someone should arrange a meeting between Tom Hicks and Lenny Dykstra. I bet they could find a way to make this deal work together. They’re smart guys.

  2. APBA Guy - Apr 22, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Sky Sports News newscasters practically burst out laughing whenever Hick’s imaginary sales price is mentioned. The economic climate in the UK is at least as bad as it is here and unlike here, no specific bidders for Liverpool have been identified.
    The Rangers are currently in last place in the West. Last year’s effective closer is now a starter, and partially as a result they’ve blown 3 games already. Wash will probably get all the blame, but mostly the fact that the Rangers were financially hamstrung this offseason meant they could make no moves, resulting in a team with no depth and abundant questions about their pitching. Baseball is an endurance contest. Without depth, teams who field nine good starters can finish middle of the pack or worse when injuries start developing.
    Thanks Tom.

  3. RobRob - Apr 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    I’m surprised no one has tried to make the case that Hicks’s financial woes are caused by the fact that there is no salary cap in baseball.

    captcha: instantly homeland

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