So Rangers owner-in-default Tom Hicks thought it would be a good idea last night to express his concern over the delay of the team's sale to the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan ownership group.
"I think the lenders feel that [the Greenberg-Ryan] group may not be the highest option," said Hicks, according to BA correspondent Evan Grant. "It's something that has to be worked out between MLB, the lenders and the Greenberg group. When we agreed to this sale in January, we said it was a complicated deal, and it's only getting more complicated. At the end of the day, the lenders have the final say."
Whatever was Hicks' motivation for speaking up, whether it be to pressure the lenders he still owes money or to express frustration that the Greenberg/Ryan group may not have been the highest bidder, MLB clearly was not impressed. Selig came out with a statement a few hours later, essentially telling Hicks to zip it.
"As part of the Texas Rangers sale process, Tom Hicks selected the Chuck Greenberg/Noan Ryan group as the chosen bidder on December 15, 2009 and entered into an exclusive agreement with that group," Selig said in a statement. "Major League Baseball is currently in control of the sale process and will use all efforts to achieve a closing with the team chosen bidder. Any deviation from or interference with the agreed upon sale process by Mr. Hicks or any other party, or any actions in violation of MLB rules or directives will be dealt with appropriately by the Commissioner."
Grant reports that a gap of roughly $30 million exists between the sale price of roughly $530 to $570 million and what the creditors are owed by Hicks, who defaulted on a $525 loan (for both the Rangers and the NHL's Dallas Stars). The stumbling block in the sale appears to be a standoff between the creditors and MLB.
Maury Brown, of the BizofBaseball.com, says it is time for Selig to play hard ball, which could include a take-it-or-leave-it offer to the creditors or face the possibility of paying millions in legal fees over a $30 million difference.
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