- U.N. Human Rights head accuses Israel of war crimes
- CBP Commissioner: Border is ‘more secure and more safe’
- Obama dispatches researchers to border to check on National Guard
- Dutch receiving Malaysia plane bodies irked at Putin’s daughter in Holland
- Algerian airplane goes missing over Mali: ‘Emergency plan’ launched
- Colorado judge strikes voter-backed gay marriage ban, but issues stay
- Brooklyn Bridge flag-swapping suspects identified by nickname
- Christian woman in Sudan spared for apostasy flies to Italy
- Iraq: 60 dead in attack on prisoner convoy
- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
Judge keeps Aug 4 auction for Texas Rangers
Question of the Day
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) - The Texas Rangers‘ auction is on.
A federal bankruptcy judge decided Thursday to keep the Aug. 4 date to auction off the team, rejecting requests to delay it nearly two months so bidders could line up financing. And Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a billionaire businessman, may be among those bidding on the Rangers.
“It’s real simple: We’re going to get it done Aug. 4 and 5,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn said after a three-day hearing that included plenty of squabbling among attorneys involved in the long-delayed sale.
The court-appointed restructuring officer and angry creditors had argued that potential buyers would not have enough time to secure the millions needed to buy the Rangers and suggested a Sept. 30 auction. But the team countered that at least two potential bidders, Houston businessman Jim Crane and Dallas investor Jeff Beck, had time to review the deal and line up financing since they were part of the original bidding process last year.
Cuban’s attorney, Clifton Jessup, said he was “under the gun” to review terms of the sale in less than two weeks. Cuban, recently qualified by Major League Baseball to participate in the auction, has not decided whether to bid but hopes to make an offer on his own rather than join an existing group, Jessup said.
Cuban, one of the most visible and colorful owners in pro sports, expressed an interest last year in buying the Chicago Cubs. The team was purchased instead by the Ricketts family from Tribune Co. following a bankruptcy filing.
“This is a brand new opportunity,” Jessup said after the hearing. “We believe that the court has made a level playing field and that Major League Baseball will operate in good faith.”
Rangers‘ manager Ron Washington, called by the judge to testify Thursday, said players’ morale was “unbelievably good” but would turn to worry if the sale was delayed. Ryan told the judge this week that to ensure the team’s financial resources to keep star players and acquire new talent, the auction should proceed so the Rangers can get out of bankruptcy.
Lynn said the bankruptcy _ no matter how long it took or who ended up as the owner _ would not affect team operations. He said players should stay focused on making a run for the American League West title and a postseason berth for the first time since 1999.
“You are going to get what you need,” Lynn told Washington, adding that players’ travel would not change “from a jet to a school bus.”
“(Tell the players) that everybody is behind them. … We want this team to succeed.”
The auction has been one of many unexpected twists for the team after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.
The team submitted a plan to repay creditors $75 million and sell the ballclub to the Greenberg-Ryan group, chosen by the team after the last year’s bidding process. The team said going to bankruptcy court was the only way to push through the Greenberg-Ryan sale, stalled for months by creditors concerned about team owner Tom Hicks’ financial woes.
But the Rangers ended up embracing an auction after the Greenberg-Ryan group agreed to waive its exclusivity rights and have bidding procedures heavily controlled by Major League Baseball. The Greenberg-Ryan group didn’t want the auction delayed because its financing guarantee is to expire Aug. 12.
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Hezbollah in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Algerian airplane goes missing over Mali: 'Emergency plan' launched
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- CROWLEY: The good-time president
- EDITORIAL: Poor Hillary, rock-star wannabe
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq