Rangers Auction Delayed While Greenberg and Ryan Challenge Cuban and Crane's Bid

Updates: Sam will be posting via Twitter: @sammerten

So, the 9 a.m. start time for today's auction of Your Texas Rangers has been pushed back -- how far, Sam's not sure. He's in the courtroom at this very moment, and Judge Russell Nelms, who's supervising the proceedings, has yet to show. That's most likely because he's upstairs at this very moment conferring with the myriad attorneys on hand, not to mention Mark Cuban and Jim Crane, the only other twosome bidding against Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan.

Says Sam, this is the reason for the delay: Greenberg and Ryan are, apparently, challenging Cuban and Crane's bid -- as in, they're insisting it's not "qualified." And if it's not, well, then, the auction wouldn't take place, since there are no other bidders. Updates forthcoming.

Update: The judge has OK'd Cuban and Crane, and the auction is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. And I highly recommend following along as Sam tweets from inside the courtroom. Where else will you get this: "Cuban just looked over my shoulder to see what I was tweeting and reports that he was 'pleasantly surprised' to pay only $.80 4 Diet Coke"?

Update at 11:02 a.m.: This just in from Sam, "Announcement: The debtor has requested more time to evaluate the highest and best bid."

Update at 11:08 a.m.: The lenders are expected to determine the high bid by 11:30. And, Sam notes, if Rangers Baseball Express doesn't come out on top, they'll want to spend another hour evaluating Cuban and Crane's offer.

Update at 11:44 a.m.: Judge expect this to last several more hours as the competing bids are examined and re-examined. Says Nelms, "Our bid procedures are pretty much out the window."

Update at 2:42 p.m.: For those playing along at home, this just in from Sam (who has indeed charged up his iPhone). "CRO Snyder just told a lawyer: 'I'm ready.' Crane and Cuban are in courtroom." Follow along here.

Update at 3:40 p.m.: Sam's reporting that Cuban and Crane have the highest bid, for the moment, but getting them approved could "take up to six months to close and could face opposition by MLB owners. A lawyer estimated that [Chief Restructuring Officer William] Snyder could devalue C-C's cash offer."

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