The 30-day window of exclusive negotiations between Hicks Sports Group and a group of investors that includes Chuck Greenberg and team president Nolan Ryan passed without a definitive agreement. The deadline was at midnight. At 12:02 a.m. Saturday, moments ago, a joint statement from the Greenberg-Ryan group was issued.
"Tonight, as the exclusive negotiating period announced on Dec. 15 by Hicks Sports Group (HSG) expires, we are on the verge of an agreement that would provide Tom Hicks the value he seeks and the Texas Rangers the resources to become champions.
"We have made extraordinary progress the last couple of weeks and have come too far to walk away now. We are full committed and prepared to work around the clock if that's what it takes to reach a final agreement. We are at a point where deals get done as long as both parties share a desire to cross the finish line together. There just isn't much left to resolve.
"With the continued cooperation of Tom Hicks and HSG, we are certain an agreement can be finalized so we can immediately get to work on delivering the success of this franchise and its fans deserve."
A quick first impression: Hicks is seeking more money and/or a way to maintain control of the team, and in the process is willing to turn his back on Ryan and the Rangers' fan base. Don't be surprised if all the sudden Jim Crane is a major player in this process. Also don't be surprised if Major League Baseball tries to step in to get the team in the hands of Greenberg-Ryan and/or won't approve a sale to Crane.
-- Jeff Wilson