- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) - Billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is upping his bid for the Texas Rangers at an unusual and contentious auction.

A group of investors led by Cuban put a $355 million cash offer _ only a portion of the its total bid _ on the table just two hours before midnight (Central time).

Cuban’s group is battling a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg. That group has the endorsement of Major League Baseball.

The auction is being held in a federal bankruptcy court in Fort Worth, Texas, and its included plenty of tense arguments among attorneys.

Final approval of the Rangers sale rests with MLB, which has the option of choosing the second-highest bid instead. But if that happens, the league could face hefty fines or other sanctions if the judge determines it did not have a valid reason for rejecting the highest bidder.

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