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January 14, 2010

With just more than 24 hours to go, not even Nolan Ryan knows what will happen

Nolan Ryan was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame on Thursday night in the Stockyards. By late Friday, he could be a minority owner of the Texas Rangers.

But with just more than 24 hours remaining until the end of the 30-day window of exclusive negotiations to purchase the club from Hicks Sports Group, Ryan said he has no idea what's going to happen with the sale.

Ryan said he has left all the heavy lifting to partner Chuck Greenberg, has been in town since Monday working toward a definitive agreement.

The exclusive period ends at midnight. At 12:01 a.m. Saturday, if a deal hasn't been reached, Tom Hicks could open the bidding again. That remains a very real possibility, even though it would do nothing positive for the Rangers and would further antagonize fans.

It's assumed that Hicks would first turn to Houston businessman Jim Crane, who was believed to be the front-runner entering Dec. 15. That was the day that Hicks selected Greenberg-Ryan for exclusive negotiations. Crane has always had money and might be willing to pony up more.

Major League Baseball might put its foot down and tell Hicks to get a deal done with Greenberg-Ryan. The 40 lenders who hold the HSG debt might demand more money.

As of Thursday, Ryan didn't know what was going to happen with the sale of the Rangers.

A deal between Greenberg-Ryan and Hicks could be reached. Hicks could turn to someone else. It might not be until Saturday when a decision is announced. One thing is known for sure -- it will be a tense and interesting next 26 hours.

-- Jeff Wilson


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