What was it Tom Hicks said Tom Hicks said Saturday night? Ah, yes: The sale of Your Texas Rangers -- to Chuck Greenberg, Jim Crane, Mark Cuban or The Still-Living Ghost of Brad Corbett -- is a "complex proceeding." (What's wrong with the family-friendly "clusterfudge"?) But those needing some summing up this morning would be advised to look no further than The New York Times, in which Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson review the case so far before wondering if Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig isn't trying to derail the entire process -- especially the August 4 auction -- to make sure Greenberg and Nolan Ryan get the team, creditors be damned.
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Dan Kaplan at Sports Business Journal has a similar but far more complex subscription-only story this morning, detailing Selig's attempts to "[chill] the market for other bidders." In fact, Kaplan writes, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn even consulted with another court about what to do if the commish puts the kibosh on other comers with bigger checks:
Lynn said he had gone so far as to make a phone call to a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judge after he spoke with [MLB outside counsel Stephen] Shimshak to see whether an emergency hearing could be scheduled on the issue of what would happen if MLB rejected the court-approved winner for the Rangers, citing its right to choose owners.
"I considered litigating MLB's consent at the 5th Circuit," Lynn said. "It seems to me there is a reasonably good chance that they will prevail whether or not there is a bankruptcy." But he said he decided not to trigger that option because "they [MLB] appear to have a better understanding of the process than they did at the start of the case. My sense is the bidders you are talking about, I don't see you are going to have a problem with either of those," he said of Jim Crane and Jeff Beck, the two men expected to consider bids for the team.
On a related note, the Chase lawsuit filed Friday now follows. File under "complex."