On the field, they're Your Texas Rangers -- back atop the American League West, fresh off the first four-game series sweep since '07 and headed into an early season showdown with one-game-behind-'em Oakland, riding its own perfect-game high. But off the field -- what a mess: Sports Business Journal is reporting this morning that after Major League Baseball owners' meetings this week, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will make good on his threat to seize Your Texas Rangers and revoke the creditors' liens if they don't wrap up the sale of the team to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan's Rangers Baseball Express. And, according to the subscription-only SBJ, well, that there just won't work for a majority of the creditors.
According to the piece, should Selig and MLB, who've already seized control of the sale from Hicks Sports Group, go this route -- in the "best interests of baseball" -- the creditors, chief among them predatory fund Monarch Alternative Capital, will force the team into federal bankruptcy court, which they've been threatening to do for weeks. And should "the creditors prevail," writes NBC Sports's Craig Calcaterra, "it quite obviously delays the sale of the team and possibly takes Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan out of the owners' suite in favor of a higher bidder, should one emerge." Which, of course, is the exact opposite of what MLB wants, given its statement that no way no how should Tom Hicks go around its back and find a higher bidder like, say, Jim Crane. And therein lies the conundrum, writes Calcaterra:
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But say baseball wins the battle, is able to shrug the liens off the Rangers, and pays them a pittance to go away, thereby paving the way for the sale. If that happens, isn't every bank and investment fund who ever considered lending money to a sports team going to freak out? Why on Earth would any of them give money to a sports team if they have good reason to believe that the debtor could simply refuse to pay up and then have the league come in and invalidate the debt in the first place?