Kinda sorry that I'm in San Antonio covering Dallas Cowboys' training camp because what happened yesterday in a Fort Worth courtroom was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments:
A baseball team sold via auction. And billionaire Mark Cuban losing a money war.
After almost 16 hours of contentious, cuss-filled bidding, the group of Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan out-bid Cuban for ownership of the Texas Rangers. At around 1 a.m., Cuban threw in the towel after Greenberg upped the ante to $593 million including $385 million in cash.
"They deserve all the credit in the world, and I wish them complete success," said Cuban, who likely made it with millions in profit after recently buying up some of the Rangers' debt. "We had our price we were willing to go up to, and their last bid pushed us to our limit. We couldn't bid again without going over our price."
Even Cuban has to shop on a budget. Shocking.
The day included countless delays, Ryan and Cuban (dressed in a suit for crying out loud) signing autographs, 10 pizzas deliverred to Cuban's war room and, at one point, a momentous shouting match between lawyers in a public hallway that included "asshole" and an exchange of "fuck yous." Following the proceedings from afar was priceless. Some of the various Twitter tweets included:
From our own Sam Merten: Lauria walks in: "We're in the process of trying to assess our options and need more time." Nelms says come back at 11. SON OF A BITCH!
From Sports Business Journal's Daniel Kaplan: so this has devolved into chaos. there was to be a 5 min break 25 min ago: bidders were yelling at one another in open ct
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And from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Anthony Andro: Nolan Ryan said it was time for someone to say uncle.
Surprised that Cuban lost, but it's not a bad thing. Greenberg is a savvy marketer with deep pockets and he'll let Ryan remain as the face of the franchise and the bottom-line baseball decision-maker. Good news: Despite paying more for the Rangers than he initially planned, Greenberg promised last night the team would still pursue re-signing free-agent-to-be Cliff Lee.
Besides, anyone is better than Tom Hicks.
Oh yeah and, on the field, the Rangers whipped the Mariners, 11-6. So much for that offensive funk.