Tom Hicks' Debt Becomes Key Player In AL West Race

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One kinda big story that continues to fly under the radar is the potential sale of the Texas Rangers. We covered it here in December primarily because Nolan Ryan had intimated that if the sale went through to Dennis Gilbert, the man believed to be the likely new owner, Ryan would have left the Rangers and that woulda been a big fat L for the team. Five months have passed, and while there is a new likely new guy, the sale still appears light years away due to the debt amassed by current "owner" (perhaps the only one in baseball who could give Jeff Loria a run for his money in an anti-popularity contest), Tom Hicks. Things are getting so bad that, wait for it, MLB may have to seize control of the Rangers. Oof.

You see, Hicks agreed in January to sell the team led by a lawyer named Chuck Greenberg, a guy endorsed by Ryan, for around $500M but the Hicks Sports Group has amassed over $525M in debt and its creditors, led by a hedge fund, think Hicks could get more than he's getting from Greenberg. And baseball is the only one that can block their block. Get it?

Both MLB and Hicks are believed to strongly favor Greenberg's roughly $500 million offer, the latter due to Ryan's involvement and the former because Greenberg has agreed to buy a huge tract of land surrounding Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, owned by Hicks, and not by HSG. But Monarch Alternative Capital, which holds about $100 million of the $525 million in defaulted debt, and about 40 other creditors are seeking to block that deal, which they call the cheapest of three bids for the team.

MLB believes that it can deprive the bondholders of their right to block the sale, as their contracts are with HSG. The creditors would doubtless dispute that contention in court; in the meantime, MLB is trying to act as a mediator between the two sides.

The article goes on to state that "baseball has been helping the Rangers meet their payroll " to the tune of about $16M. And with the Rangers leading a still tight AL West, that in its current iteration they have to think they can win, a little deadline spending may in order this summer. Not likely if MLB takes the team on as a business concern. Remember the Expos death rattle?

The Rangers also have what is considered to be some of the best top to bottom organizational talent (as I found out from the first paragraph of this Keith Law article not hidden behind the Insider paywall) and need solid organizational leadership to foster its growth.

All this could turn into a potential nightmare ending to what has to be one of the most optimistic times in the team's history. So remember kids, don't get credit cards!


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13 Comments

Tom Hicks: He'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a LOOGY today

Waitasecond! You're saying Tom Hicks running his team like he's the United States Government is not working out? Who then, I ask, is America's Nolan Ryan?

MLB is trying to help Hicks get out of paying his creditors money? What a bunch of horse shit. You stay classy Bud Selig

The "dong money" tag is woefully underused.

But how does this affect Liverpool?

Jackalicious: Mike Huckabee?

I'm floored by the fact that a man who got in a bidding war with himself for the services of Alex Rodriguez could possibly mismanage the fortunes of his team so badly.

Ahhhhhhh! Stop it, Tribe, stop it. You're pushing too far.

I wonder if Mike Huckabee could talk A-Rod into picking up Hicks' 25 million dollar deficit. If say, the creditors throw in some FBB chicks in leotards.

Better get a sale while the team looks good. Come dog days of summer, offers will melt away faster than the players on the field.

Is there a better name for the owner of team in Texas than Hicks? Maybe if Mark Cuban owned the Marlins.

The Rangers' slow death is interesting when juxtaposed with the NHL takeover of the Phoenix Coyotes, who got a big trade-deadline talent boost to push them into the playoff.

But then again, Bud Selig is the only person on Earth who could make Gary Bettman look competent.

What is this N-H-L you talk of?

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