Commissioner Bud Selig, during a conference call to announce a 14-member panel to oversee on-field issues, said today's deadline for Tom Hicks to recommend a bid to purchase the Rangers is hard and fast, unless something develops that would require more time. Selig said conversations have taken place this morning and there could be news later in the day.
Houston businessman Jim Crane appears to have emerged as the front-runner, at least financially, but could have trouble getting approved by baseball and 75 percent of its owners. His bid is believed to have surpassed those of Chuck Greenberg and Dennis Gilbert, and a source said the Crane bid has more cash than the others.
"This is Tom Hicks' day to choose a prospective buyer and move this process along," Selig said. "I think we'd all agree it needs to be moved along. We'll wait to hear from him, and hopefully we'll have some news to move this process along."
Selig declined to comment on whether Nolan Ryan's involvement would be a factor in the decision, but he said, "Nolan has done a terrific job down there. The Rangers have a terrific farm system, and they've done their work properly. Let's just hope it can all work out and we move on and settle these things so the franchise can move forward."
-- Jeff Wilson