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  1. After reading this I am officially rooting for the Rangers to win the World Series. Imagine the uproar. Fans tend to hate ownership and blame them for not spending enough money to make their teams as good as the Yankees. So here’s a bankrupt team with no ownership at all that manages to add Cliff Lee at the deadline. If they could win it all, the hoopla that followed would be more fun to watch than any disaster film I can think of. Just get some popcorn and settle in!

    Comment by MikeS — August 3, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  2. Maury Brown is a hack that has shamelessly shilled for MLB and Greenberg/Ryan throughout this process.

    And he has been dead wrong with his predictions. Brown repeatedly said in March, April, and May that Greenberg/Ryan would “very soon” be owners of the team. He was directly told by several commenters at his blog and other sites where he has posted that there were serious concerns with the lack of cash behind the Greenberg/Ryan deal (Greenberg and Ryan are only putting in a few million dollars of their own money, combined), and he flippantly dismissed these as comments.

    He’s been very quick to trumpet every bogus fear-mongering attempt by people like Nolan Ryan, such as the laughably false claims the Rangers are having scouts poached by other teams and that they wouldn’t be able to go to arbitration with Josh Hamilton.

    Brown repeatedly said that bankruptcy court would be “suicide” for the creditors. Brown at his blog on April 22: “This deal has exceptionally long odds of going into bankruptcy. Eats mightily into Monarch’s profits.” Brown at his blog on June 12, about Judge Lynn opening the process up to new bidders:

    “Much like Judge Baum in the Coyotes bankruptcy case, he was unwilling to stick his fingers in the waters around league consent. If he does, and the league does not approve Crane, there would be an incredible legal battle around consent rights… I just don’t see that.”

    He has repeatedly and erroneously referred to Monarch Capital as a “predatory hedge fund.”

    Maury Brown is a hack in love with his MLB sources and thus willing to shill for them, even though they’ve led him into being completely dead wrong throughout this whole process.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  3. I’ll go you better MikeS.

    If Rangers somehow did make the World Series, I’ll bet that the national audience for the Series would rise noticeably as a lot of people all over the country are really interested in this soap opera. If Rangers made it, I’ll bet a lot of people would root for them, just because of all the negative notoriety.

    Viewership of the Series has tracked downhill since the Red Sox broke their jinx. Add this legal drama to the Rangers “Curse of the Washing Senators” and you have a recipe for a lot of interest among even the benign baseball fans.

    Comment by Snorkel — August 3, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  4. Wow… I love this post above by Texas_Dawg….

    Let’s go backwards… Actually, if you look back over Daniel Kaplan’s posts or look up “vulture” or “predatory” in terms of the type of hedge fund that purchases distressed debt, it’s a common term, and I’m certainly not the only one to use it. They look to make a profit by looking out for distressed debt when businesses fall into bankruptcy. So… sticking to it.

    On Crane… As I reported… As others have reported… as it is common history to those that follow the business of baseball, Crane backed out of the Astros deal and that’s why he was not selected above Greenberg/Ryan, and why there are consent concerns.

    On the club moving into bankruptcy…. You got me there. Don’t think that many saw this whole case getting so personal on either side of the ledger. But, one needs to consider: Both Greenberg.Ryan and the creditors would have saved millions if they had worked out a way to bridge a reported $30 million gap. Whether there was negotiating in bad faith on the Greenberg/Ryan side or the creditors side is academic at this point. It’s become a personal fight, where the creditors and Greenberg/Ryan will certainly lose a considerable chunk of change.

    On the scout poaching… If you read my reports, that commentary came from what Nolan Ryan said. Daniel Kaplan, who has reported extensively on the matter from more of a creditors position, did as well.

    On the lack of funds “being told repeatedly”… This was done on the site by one uneducated commenter that was pulling info out of thin air. So, it’s kind of like being told repeatedly that the earth is flat (no offense, Flat Earth Society members). Greenberg/Ryan is the only group out there that has money sitting in escrow waiting to close the deal. All other bidders, Cuban included, are seeking bridge funding through the likes of Monarch Alternative Capital. As my report above states, other bidders are being given till Oct 11 to close. Greenberg/Ryan could close today, based upon what they have had on the table prior. Who knows how, or if, they increase their offer, but I imagine that they will be competitive. Otherwise, they would have folded up their tent.

    As for saying “close”… Don’t ever recall that. I’ve stuck to Greenberg/Ryan for a couple of reasons. A) The biggest issue is MLB’s approval process, which currently is backing the group, and has done so pretty much from the beginning; B) If the prepackaged plan hadn’t been chocked full of holes, the strategy was sound. In other words, it is possible that Lynn could still approve the plan; C) I’ve stuck to Greenberg/Ryan for months based on the group’s makeup (Here’s my analysis from Dec. of last year). At this stage (the day before the auction), I’m sticking to it, but it’s certainly no sure bet. As I said on Lone Star Ball Radio last night, nothing would surprise me in this thing any longer.

    Finally, on me being a “shill” for Greenberg/Ryan… I didn’t get into this business by not learning what it meant to be “balanced”. Just because I pick one group over another doesn’t mean I’m a “shill” for them. Ask Tom Ricketts. As an independent freelancer, I have been able to gain access on a host of issues, and you don’t get there by playing one side of the fence.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 3, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  5. 1) Just because an associate of yours uses the term doesn’t mean it isn’t a heavily biased term. Certainly not one that would be used uncritically by an actual journalist.
    2) On Crane, you are simply working off an unsubstantiated claim you have heard from others. You have no idea whether or not Crane would be approved by MLB (and Drayton McClane himself has said he would support a winning Crane bid). But because others had run with that rumor (likely advanced by Greenberg’s good friend, Jerry Reinsdorf) and your sources are completely one-sided, you continue to state it as fact as well.
    3) On Ryan’s patently bogus claims, I acknowledged where they came from. But once again, rather than question them in even the slightest way, realizing they were coming from a man obviously upset that his backdoor attempt to own an MLB club on the cheap is about to fail, you quickly trumpeted them on your blog as fact.
    4) On not seeing the case going to bankruptcy, I saw quite a few commenters at various sites (including myself) telling you back in March and April that it was very possible and not nearly the “creditor suicide” you repeatedly claimed it was.
    5) On the financing question, Crane’s initial bid had more cash and was fully arranged. That is still the case.
    6) On the timing question, you repeatedly said on your blog and in comments that the deal would close soon
    7) You absolutely have been a shill for Greenberg/Ryan and MLB. Which of course made you popular with Rangers fans and media. It wasn’t journalism. It was advocacy. And you ended up being completely wrong on this topic… and that will be even more the case after tomorrow.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  6. you tell’em dawg!

    Comment by JK — August 3, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  7. The article above is interesting, as a fan I am simply anxious to see a resolution. What concerns me is that fans were thinking a resolution would come this week, but it appears that will be followed by more litigation.

    Snorkel – I agree, I think the trials and tribulations of the Rangers in the courtroom would make for an intriguing sublot in the playoffs.

    And to Texas Dawg…wow…you have some mighty strong opinions about the author. He must have pissed you off at some point.

    Comment by Pat — August 3, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  8. I think TexasDawg works for Crane.

    Comment by jackson — August 3, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  9. I don’t think Maury pissed him off, he talks down to everyone like that.

    Comment by t ball — August 3, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  10. I think Texas_Dawg is a foreigner and should worry about the Braves instead of the Rangers. Go shill for Cuban and Crane somewhere else. Woof woof.

    Comment by Texas_Longhorn — August 3, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  11. That explains a lot.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 3, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  12. I don’t work for anyone involved and have friends on opposing sides of the deal.

    I just find it lame when someone presents himself as an unbiased “journalist” while shilling for one side and pandering to popular opinion.

    Back in the spring, I saw Maury regularly dismissing people who were correcting him or even just asking genuine questions that didn’t fit the party line MLB and Greenberg/Ryan were feeding him. So it’s kind of fun to sit here now, reminding him how badly he has been wrong about pretty much everything related to this issue.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  13. And who is paying you, Texas-Dawg? Are you one of Crane’s lap dogs?
    What I don’t understand is your venom against Nolan Ryan. Rangers fans have spoken, and it’s clear that they like and will support a team run by Nolan and Jon Daniels.
    Anyone who runs off Ryan/Daniels will alienate the paying customers. Don’t you see that, you biased dumbwad?
    Maybe you’re one of those yankee lawyers and you consider it your New York duty to sabotage one of the pinstripers’ baseball competitors? Very cowardly, when you get right down to it.
    I have no problem with Maury Brown’s commentary or his reporting. The story seemed to change with the wind, anyway.
    Lastly, check your law journals. Baseball’s power to control its ownership partners has passed courtroom tests repeatedly. The Supreme Court has said time and again that only Congress can change MLB’s ownership rights.

    Yankee go home, Texas-Dawg.

    Comment by gatorbait — August 3, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

  14. It only “appears it will be followed by more litigation” because you are taking that from Maury Brown and the Greenberg/Ryan/MLB side.

    Monarch and the parties in the background have no media presence. So MLB gets to largely control the story in the media, thanks to people like Maury Brown who have duped less interested readers and outlets (like FanGraphs) into believing they are unbiased parties just providing the honest details.

    Maury Brown has been dead wrong on the whole story because he was simply advancing MLB’s spin on every new detail on the topic… and MLB has not gotten what it wanted. So knowing that, when Maury Brown now tells you a Greenberg/Ryan loss in the auction will mean a lot more litigation… I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that a Greenberg/Ryan loss in the auction will lead to a much quicker resolution of all this.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

  15. Ha.

    Great demonstration of why Maury Brown’s shilling has found such a receptive and completely uncritical audience.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  16. Couple of points so that some erroneous commentary turns into revisionist history..,

    Kaplan and I have both reported that the action being prepared by the creditors would be to appeal, should Lynn rule in favor of Greenberg/Ryan. This is outlined in the article. Greenberg’s group is likely to file lawsuits, should the decision not go their way. These are two different methods within the courts.

    Can a link be provided where I said Greenberg/Ryan was on the cusp of being awarded the club?

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 3, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  17. Actually, Texas_Dawg claims to be tight with the Hicks family.

    Comment by Wonko The Sane — August 3, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  18. In the made-for-tv movie of all of this, I think Nolan will played by Robert Duvall, Cuban will be played by Bronson Pinchot from perfect strangers, Maury will be played by Mickey Rourke (sorry Maury), JD played by Freddy Prinze Jr, and Texas_Dawg will be played by a talking douchebag.

    Comment by Chad R — August 3, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  19. I believe I’ve read pretty much every article written by anyone regarding the Ranger bankruptcy. While it’s probably human nature that most of us would have chosen one side or another in this drama, and while there were some who were guilty of shoddy reporting (they ultimately stood up and admitted as much), Mr. Brown, you’ve been fair and forthright in your reporting. You’ve indicated when something was opinion, and you typically tried to provide sourcing or context for what you were writing. Thank you for the professional manner in which you’ve conducted yourself.

    Texas_Dawg, while I may or may not have a rooting interest in who ends up owning the Rangers, I’m reasonable enough, and hopefully mature enough, to understand that at the end of the day it’ll be what it’ll be. I imagine Mr. brown doesn’t give it even that much thought.

    Comment by A Stephens — August 3, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  20. I think Texas_Dawg makes some good points, but would like to know where all his information comes from and his qualifications for where his insight comes from. To be honest, Texas_Dawg, you don’t sound completely unbiased yourself. Are you shilling for someone? What I would really like to do, though. is commend Maury Brown for letting Texas_Dawg make his comments and not removing them, since they are highly critical of Maury on his own blog. Way to go, Maury. That says alot about you and your credibility. Thumbs up.

    Comment by Greg — August 3, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  21. Oops. this is actually FanGraphs, not Maury’s blog, but I bet Maury would be the same either way.

    Comment by Greg — August 3, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

  22. I see no reason what so ever to delete his posts here or if they were on The Biz of Baseball. I find them harmless

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 3, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

  23. From your blog post/comments on March 17:

    “If there is a silver lining for Greenberg/Ryan group, it’s this: there’s little doubting that the bloom is off the rose for any other would-be bidders of the club. With the additional debt that Hicks has tossed into the mix, the odds of the deal gaining in value is exceptionally slim.”

    March 29:

    “Overall, it’s a deal that, unless there is some unforeseen circumstance, should be resolved shortly.”

    April 22:

    “The deal’s going to stay stalled a bit longer, but not too much more.”

    Among other places…

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

  24. Do you realize that Hicks has done everything he could to get the team to the Greenberg/Ryan group (which is why they’ve consistently followed the advice of his lawyers), the group Maury Brown has shilled for?

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 3, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  25. Um… From April 21

    Major League Baseball issued the following statement today regarding the sale of the Texas Rangers:

    “As part of the Texas Rangers sale process, Tom Hicks selected the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan group as the chosen bidder on December 15, 2009 and entered into an exclusive agreement with that group. Major League Baseball is currently in control of the sale process and will use all efforts to achieve a closing with the chosen bidder. Any deviation from or interference with the agreed upon sale process by Mr. Hicks or any other party, or any actions in violation of MLB rules or directives will be dealt with appropriately by the Commissioner.”

    Hicks was working behind GnR and MLB’s back with Crane, hence the terse press release. Hicks also worked with Crane after the APA was reached in May. “Helping Greenberg/Ryan” is partially true, but certainly not entirely

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 12:00 am

  26. The sale of the Texas Rangers has redefined “some unforeseen circumstance”

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 12:37 am

  27. Texas_Dawg, you’re absolutely right, but don’t be too harsh. Maury has just repeated everything that his MLB sources have told him all along the way, and MLB has been dead wrong all throughout the process (Selig was in CONTROL of the sale process, right, RIGHT!), so you can only expect Maury’s reporting to look ridiculous in retrospect. My favorite gaff was in April when he kept telling people that the lenders would have no ability to contest the sale because the price was above the lien, and that it would be suicide for lenders to let the $30mm delta be wasted away by legal expenses in court. Here’s a wager — the final auction price will be above $300 million cash, which I bet was the creditors’ objective from the beginning.

    Comment by MLBLender — August 4, 2010 @ 7:16 am

  28. And Maury isn’t alone on this issue, since the entire media gives Nolan Ryan a complete hall pass because … he’s Nolan Ryan, but not one journalist has critically questioned Nolan Ryan’s role in this process. He is the president of the company, has a fiduciary obligation to its creditors, and all he has done is leverage his name and connections with MLB to steal (er, purchase) the team from the creditors on the cheap. None of this would have been an issue if Ryan/Greenberg had participated honestly and bid more than Crane last December. Instead, Ryan/Greenberg got MLB to kick everyone else out of the playground so that they could have the sandbox to themselves. All the fans care about is continuity of the Ryan/Daniels administration, I understand. Ryan would have served the fans better if he didn’t try to buy it himself, and actually just did his job and found a way to work with whomever the new owner is.

    Comment by MLBLender — August 4, 2010 @ 7:28 am

  29. Suggestion Mr. Brown, may want to rename the comments area as “spin room”.

    Comment by A Stephens — August 4, 2010 @ 8:17 am

  30. I will tip my hay to MLBLender on one thing…. The gaffe on saying that the creditors were owed no more than the $75 million on the lien. It looked good on paper, but as the saying goes… There’s a reason the game isn’t played on paper.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  31. Stephens, that a better name for Maury’s blog, but insert “MLB” in the front.

    Comment by MLBLender — August 4, 2010 @ 8:25 am

  32. You can’t make this stuff up… Greenberg should be wise not to jinx the deal… He’s overstated matters before in the press. Look at this day in history:

    Greenberg Evokes Anniversary of Ryan-Ventura Tussle on Auction Day

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 9:46 am

  33. You have no idea what you are talking about, Maury. None.

    Hicks was not “working with Crane.” HSG and its lawyers continued to talk to Crane in attempt to appease the creditors and to give the HSG/Greenberg/Ryan team a better position with the court, showing that they had fairly entertained Crane’s best offers.

    Do you think Chuck Greenberg is an idiot? Why would he be working directly with Hicks and HSG’s lawyers at this point if Hicks had been going behind his back as you allege?

    You are completely clueless on this. It’s a shame great sites like this one are still falling for your crap.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 4, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  34. You have no idea what you are talking about, Maury. None.

    Thanks, TexasDawg. You just made a great case for my stock rising.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  35. I realize that, MLBLender.

    Maury has just been a “useful idiot” for them… and willing to do their spin for them given the nice quid pro quo arrangement this is for him. It’s just disappointing to see him now showing up at otherwise great sites like this one.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 4, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  36. Exactly.

    And to be clear, Jon Daniels put this entire thing together. Nolan Ryan was just a nice PR move… and a guy who showed up well after Daniels and Thad Levine and others had their brilliant plan under way.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 4, 2010 @ 11:59 am

  37. I would agree that Nolan Ryan gets far too much credit for how the team’s performance this year.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  38. UPDATE: Auction will now start at 12:30pm as the CRO determines whether Greenberg/Ryan or Crane/Cuban has the highest bid to start. Values could be the same, but how the two are structured could determine who has the highest to start things off.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 4, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

  39. Nothing changed that wasn’t already being told to you at the time, Maury. You just denied that it could happen. You were wrong. Now you’re just spinning.

    Comment by Texas_Dawg — August 4, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  40. Rangers100 –

    Sorry you were wrong about, well, EVERYTHING, lil’ buddy! Hope you’ll still come out and party with the rest of us. Even if it means driving aaaalllll the way out to Arlington, kid. :)

    Comment by Jay84 — August 5, 2010 @ 5:15 am

  41. Auction went to Greenberg/Ryan after Cuban and Crane graciously passed last night. They could have made it more difficult, but didn’t, which should help them in the future, should they look to own a future MLB club (Pirates would be a good fit).

    At the hearing today, the club officially exited Chapter 11 when the Plan was signed off on.

    When land deal was terminated yesterday, so was Hicks removed from group. He will not be part of the Rangers org after the 12th.

    Owners meetings next week to vote on Aug. 12. New owners move in on Fri. the 13th when the Rangers play the Red Sox in Texas.

    Was amazing.. G/R won, but the creditors were a close second. Made a killing.

    Comment by Maury Brown — August 5, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  42. All in all, its a good post, but you could have spent a littlemore time on it. but a good post

    Comment by Miles Pondexter — August 12, 2010 @ 12:04 am

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