The Rangers are off today and have a big series this week against Oakland. It's a bigger week, though, in regards to the ongoing sale of the club. It seems likely that something will happen this week, if for no other reason than all 30 club owners will meet in New York for the quarterly owners meetings.
MLB could seize control of the club, which has been speculated for three weeks now, especially in light of the sources who have told a few national outlets that Tom Hicks' lenders have rejected the proposed sale. MLB isn't commenting, nor is Rangers Baseball Express (Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan). Hicks hasn't been heard from since MLB told him to be quiet April 22. Such silence from involved parties on a sticky subject usually is an indicator that something is about to happen. Commissioner Bud Selig will have something to say this week at the meetings, to the owners and publically.
Some of the speculation so far just doesn't make any sense. Does anyone really believe that Dennis Gilbert or Jim Crane will be allowed to bid on the team again and become owner, especially since it would likely mean Ryan's departure as team president? And how about this quote in the Sports Business Journal if MLB is to take control of the team?:
“Bud can forget any lender, which includes any hedge fund or anyone, [lending] a single nickel or dime into baseball again,” said Joe Kosich, who owns advisory firm Dornoch Capital Advisors and formerly ran sports lending at Wachovia. “In my opinion, it’s cutting off his nose to spite his face. … It is completely wrong.”
I'm sure Kosich's close, personal friend Bud is quaking in his wingtips.
Here's some home-grown speculation: Hicks is fed up with being a Metroplex punching bag and is beaten down by the 40 lenders who hold the Hicks Sports Group debt. He also realizes this mess will continue after the Rangers sale is completed because the lenders can still get their hands on the Stars. So, he steps in and makes some sacrifices -- either monetarily or the small stake he would have in the Rangers -- to starting putting things behind him.
I'd bet on that before I'd bet on anyone besides Greenberg-Ryan getting the team. Or any financial institution not lending ever again to MLB. But something could give this week at the owners meetings.
-- Jeff Wilson