Sports

Despite Foul Balls, Greenberg Says Texas Rangers Acquisition is "Right on Schedule"

Yesterday, the Sports Business Journal reported in a subscription-only story that last fall, Your Texas Rangers violated baseball's collective-bargaining agreement by failing to pay $39.55 million into a deferred compensation fund. That happened  sometime before October, and, according to Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner in yesterday's piece, the union and MLB commissioner Bud Selig had some serious chats about how to proceed as Tom Hicks violated the CBA, which has franchises contribute to a pool to guarantee they can pay down players' contracts even if a team goes broke or bye-bye.

Well before the Rangers Baseball Express hit the ball out of the park, would-be buyers were made aware of the foul ball: MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred sent would-be buyers a payment-due missive. As the SBJ reported yesterday, "The Manfred letter said that the buyer would be responsible for filling the fund upon completion of the team sale, meaning the liability was factored into the bidding prices." In other words, Chuck Greenberg knew what he was getting into.

That's what he tells T.R. Sullivan today on the MLB's official Web site: "Everything is moving right on schedule. We should be all set by late March or April 1." That, despite the fact some lenders think Tom Hicks should have gotten more than the $500-plus million Greenberg's forking over.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky