BOB:  Rangers Sale Heats Up

Rangers sale at a crossroads

While nobody quite knows what’s going to happen, I think the consensus is that something will happen this week with regard to the Texas Rangers and their pending sale. For those of you who haven’t followed the story, the sale has been approved by MLB, it’s just now hung up because of owner Tom Hicks’ bankruptcy. For a few weeks, there’s been speculation that MLB might take control of the club, which would be an interesting move. When a bank forecloses on a house, it takes it free of all liens. The league has the means to do the same thing to the Rangers and while MLB hasn’t threatened to do so publicly, the press has been doing some of the talking for them. There’s also been some recent speculation that the Hicks’ creditors are close to turning down the sale so that’s added fuel to the fire.

There’s a lot of great stuff on this. Jeff Wilson blogged about it at the Star Telegram and Maury Brown has written extensively about it including a recent editorial on how he thinks MLB should take over the team and sell it to the group led by Chuck Greenberg. Tomorrow the baseball owners meet so that’s why there’s the speculation that something is going to happen.

Yankee Stadium demolition completed

More than a year after the current Yankee Stadium opened, old Yankee Stadium’s demise was completed last week when the final two sections of the ballpark were torn down. Next month, the city will begin to build Heritage Field on the site of the ballpark. The much anticipated Heritage Park will contain some of the replacement recreational ball fields that were promised back when the New York Yankees went to the public till for some financing to get their new ballpark built.

Minor League Baseball sees some success at box office

It wasn’t a record breaking April for Minor League Baseball but they averaged better then they did last year per game in the first full month of the season. In all, Minor League Baseball had an average attendance of 3,818 and the teams drew almost 6 million fans in total over the course of 1,514 games. That’s a 1.5 percent increase from last year and while it’s still down from 2008, that’s the year Minor League Baseball set their record attendance mark.

It’ll be interesting to see how May does with the poor weather we’ve had in the northern states. Still, six of the 11 leagues saw increases from last year with the Carolina League checking in with a 21.5 percent increase. The Texas League also showed a double-digit gain with a 12.5 percent increase.

MLB looks to make changes in Dominican Republic

MLB likes what it sees from the Dominican Republic talent wise but they’ve recently put two procedural initiatives in place to help reduce identity and age falsification as well as the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The first initiative is to provide workshops that can educate unsigned younger players about the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs. The second initiative is that the league will institute a comprehensive registration and drug-testing program for unsigned prospects that will become eligible to sign big league contracts after July 1, 2010. Sandy Alderson, the former Oakland Athletics general manager, is heading up the league’s efforts in the Dominican Republic.

George Steinbrenner bio hits the streets

New York Daily News writer Bill Madden’s biography on New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner came out yesterday and for me, this is going to be a must read. You can say what you want about Steinbrenner’s antics but you can’t get away from the fact that no owner (in any sport?) has had a greater impact on the game than the Yankees’ owner. Now the tales will be told and a large part of the book comes from diary and tape recordings made by Steinbrenner’s first team president, Gabe Paul.

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