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Texas Rangers Auction Showdown: Mark Cuban vs. Nolan Ryan

In advance of tomorrow's bankruptcy auction in Judge Michael Lynn's Fort Worth court room, initial bids must be in by 8 tonight.

Up for sale: The Texas Rangers.

Prospective buyers: Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan and Mark Cuban.

While Dallas businessman Jeff Beck or New York media magnate Rupert Murdoch could join the fray, the main combatants are thought to be the most sacred name in the history of our baseball team and the brash, brilliant owner of our local basketball team.

After initially vowing to retain Ryan and not undercut Greenberg's bid, the Dallas Mavericks' billionaire boss now apparently is ready to oppose them alone or even partner with Houston businessman Jim Crane.

Wow.

If Cuban can top the Greenberg/Ryan initial "stalking horse" bid of approximately $510 by at least $15 million by tonight's deadline, then we'd have ourselves a live auction on Wednesday.

And so continues the weirdest, most fascinating (and confusing) business clusterfuck in the history of metroplex professional sports.

I'm torn on this one.

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Love me some Cuban. He transformed the Mav-wrecks into a model franchise that is always in the playoffs and in the hunt for the NBA Championship every year. But I also love me some Greenberg, who - ironically - I said had a lot of Cuban in him in this Observer cover story back in spring training.

I wish their was a way for Cuban to own and Greenberg to have a role and Ryan to remain the bottom-line decision maker and face of the franchise. But, who am I kidding, Cuban isn't going after the Rangers to be a silent investor.

Either way Rangers fans are going to be better off without Tom Hicks.

But if it comes to Ryan vs. Cuban, who do you want owning your baseball team?

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