BOB:  Ranger sales news and a Rays stadium update

Bankruptcy judge calls Rangers’ hand

Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that a neutral party will determine whether the deal with the Texas Rangers and the group led by Chuck Greenberg is transparent and fair. This chief restructuring officer will also oversee the team’s business while it’s in bankruptcy. Judge Michael Lynn also ruled that the Rangers’ creditors will have a say in what happens to the team if all parties move forward with the $575 million sale to Greenberg but he came short of giving the creditors veto power over the sale.

Now the battle lines (at least for now) have been drawn. What was also interesting was the fact that the judge rejected the lenders’ argument that Hicks Sports Group must be sold to the highest bidder. The ruling also opened things up to drag this out even longer in the event that the sale to Greenberg ultimately happens. Now everything is in the Rangers’ court because if they cave, they can speed things up. If they hold tight, then the legal battle continues. At this point, it looks unlikely that the team will emerge from bankruptcy by July 9 as anticipated. It’s also unlikely that the sale will close by July 31 as the Rangers wanted.

Royals to host 2012 All-Star Game

Last week, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced the Kansas City Royals, in their newly refurbished Kauffman Stadium, will host the 2012 All-Star Game. It sounds like their biggest competition was the Boston Red Sox because Fenway Park will turn 100 in 2012. This wasn’t a huge surprise because baseball hinted that the Royals would get rewarded if they pushed through a sales-tax increase to help pay for millions in renovations to the ballpark.

Rays stadium rhetoric heats up

Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has ramped up the rhetoric the past few days. He wants a new stadium and while he didn’t go as far as saying he’ll move the team, he did say he’d sell the franchise if need be. He also did a little bit of Tampa/St. Petersburg bashing when he said that there are several better markets where he would put a franchise if he was given a brand new team without any ties.

The big problem is that the Rays have a lease until 2027 and St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster said if the Rays back out on the lease, the city won’t roll over. Though he did say that they would negotiate for the right price. Neil deMause at Field of Schemes said a buyout might be the best way to go for St. Petersburg. If the Rays are willing to pay to play somewhere else, it might make sense for the city to cash in.

Facebook costs Pierogi his job

Like the famous sausage races at Miller Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates race Pierogis at PNC Park. One of the 18 people who dress up as a Pierogi lost his job last week because he bashed management on his Facebook page for extending the contracts of general manage Neal Huntington and manger John Russell. Whether he’s right or wrong about the Pirates and their losing ways is besides the point and it’s just one of the many instances you hear about where someone posts something on their Facebook wall and it comes back to haunt them.

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