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Since then, the case has been anything but smooth or predictable, and the auction was among many unpleasant surprises for the team. Angry creditors have accused the Rangers of bankruptcy code violations, and at one point the court-appointed restructuring officer was negotiating with Crane to make his offer the starting bid _ which never materialized.

The judge has said creditors will only get $75 million from the team but they can go after Hicks’ other companies. The unsecured creditors are expected to be paid the full $204 million owned to them _ including Alex Rodriguez, who’s owed $24.9 million in deferred compensation six years after he was traded to the New York Yankees.

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AP Sports Writer Ron Blum in New York contributed to this story.