Friday, July 16, 2010

Will a Maverick Ride In to Save the Day?

This isn't a baseball blog, I swear. (No, really.) But my beloved Texas Rangers, with their dueling stories of excellence on the field and complete turmoil in court regarding the sale of the team, are sometimes making headlines on both fronts on the same day, and it's hard not to keep talking about them.

So what's the latest? Well, this: The Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan ownership group (who--if not for some questionable tactics by the outgoing owner's creditors, and perhaps some grandstanding by a bankruptcy judge who likes to see his name in the paper too often--should have taken control of the team months ago), may have found some help in the person of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who announced today that he's interested in joining the Greenberg/Ryan group:
"I want to see the Rangers run," Cuban said to KTCK-AM in Dallas. "I think Chuck and Ryan deserve a lot of credit, and what they're doing is a good thing, but with the way the deal has been structured, there is some risk there. And so I offered to help on a bunch of different levels, so let's see what happens."

A few years ago Cuban tried to buy the Cubs, but lost out to the current ownership group. The Greenberg-Ryan group reached an agreement on Jan. 23 to purchase the Rangers and land around the Ballpark in Arlington for $575 million, but the sale is currently bogged down in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
At first glance, it seems like this could only help; Cuban has money to spend, and his involvement could help Greenberg/Ryan offer a higher bid when the team goes up for auction next month. And if this keeps the team from being sold to an unfriendly group (and I won't mince words here: The groups led by Dennis Gilbert--who's said he would run the team himself and toss out RyƄn as team president--and Jim Crane--who backed out of a deal to buy the Astros at the last minute a few years ago--should be considered unfriendly groups by all true Rangers fans), then I'd say welcome aboard, Mark. Besides, I don't think he'd be quite so involved in the day-to-day affairs of the team as he is with the Mavs, and, as someone pointed out on a talk show this evening, the Ballpark could use a minor facelift, and Cuban's money could help out in that area.

As I've said before, I am so ready for this sad tale to be over, since it takes away from all the great things happening on the field this season. And the only proper end to the saga is for Greenberg/Ryan to be allowed to complete the purchase that was started in the offseason. I know that Cuban is a polarizing figure in local sports, but it sounds like his involvement here could be nothing but good.

UPDATE: And the good news continues on the field: Bengie Molina hit for the cycle tonight in the Rangers' 8-4 over Boston at Fenway Park. And the home run in said cycle was a grand slam.

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