Last night, I fell asleep following the auction process of a corporation in federal bankruptcy court on Twitter. File that under things I thought I'd never say. Just past midnight central time, the Nolan Ryan-Chuck Greenberg cabal topped the Mark Cuban-Jim Crane team by a final score of $581.2 million to $561.2 million. Their prize? The first place Texas Rangers and two pallets worth of Ron Washington t-shirts.
Of course, that final number is far higher than Ryan and Greenberg originally offered for the team this past winter, a sweetheart deal favored by Tom Hicks and the suits at MLB, but not so much by the creditors who were owed millions of dollars by the bankrupted Hicks. Cuban and Crane challenged this in court and ended up giving the world the gift of an auction in which the drama got so heated, the opposing lawyers were cursing each other out in the hallways. Rawr!
But did Cuban help Yankees slugger get a tidy bonus on the day he smacked his 600th career homer? Here's how the winning bid breaks down:
The winning bid includes $385 million in cash and the assumption of $208 million in debt that the club holds. That price does not include any land around Rangers Ballpark.
Greenberg's group reached an agreement back on Jan. 23 to purchase the team from current owner Tom Hicks for $575 million, but that included $70 million for the land and that was not included in Wednesday's auction.
So, do the math: 385 + 208 - (575 - 70) = 88. That's $88 million extra the Greenberg-Ryan team ended up paying to Tom Hicks, cash that will go directly to Hicks' creditors because he filed for bankruptcy. Alex Rodriguez is owed over $20 million from the Rangers and is the number one creditor for the team; I'm not exactly sure how much better A-Rod's financial position is today because of the contentious auction, but it couldn't have gotten worse.
He can thank Cuban and Crane for tossing their hat into the ring and driving the cash price up a bit. Don't be fooled: Cuban was more than prepared to own a baseball team and was not participating here just to play the role of spoiler. Shame that MLB and Herr Selig would never have let this happen, even if Cuban and Crane had bid eleventy billion dollars.
Disclaimer: I have no idea how any of this works and this could all be 100% incorrect