Snow Balls: Not Surprised Dennis Gilbert Leads Pack of Potential Rangers Owners

Dennis Gilbert's emergence as the "surprise favorite" to shag Your Texas Rangers, as Sports Illustrated puts it this morning, is no surprise to the Friends of Unfair Park who took a break from Thanksgiving break and stopped by Friday. Former New York Times baseball writer Murray Chass wrote the very same thing last week, when he noted that the former agent (for, among others, Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco) and special assistant to Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, for whom Gilbert reviews contracts, has the blessings of Reinsdorf; "Jerry is totally behind Gilbert," said one source to Chass. And Reinsdorf can most likely get MLB commish Bud Selig to approve that deal above all others.

Here's some of what has this morning concerning the close to $500-million deal that will, at last, wrest the Rangers out of Tom Hicks's cash-strapped hands:

When approached Tuesday night, Selig only characterized the competition for the Rangers as being between two or three competitors, Gilbert included. There is said to be "work to be done,'' by people familiar with the talks, but Gilbert's group appears to have the clear lead now. Baseball's goal was to get the Rangers sold by Thanksgiving, and while it didn't meet that objective, it may not be all that far behind it.