BOB:  Even more about the Rangers

Rangers sale fallout

Last week, the group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan won the bankruptcy auction for the Texas Rangers. In what was more or less a formality, the owners then unanimously endorsed the new ownership group at their meeting last week, ending a nearly year-long story that involved vulture investors and a late entrance by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

While most baseball fans know who Nolan Ryan is (Hall of Fame pitcher and current president of the Rangers) many people have never heard of Chuck Greenberg. To get to know him a little better, here’s a great interview of Greenberg by Maury Brown. In addition, this is a nice piece about how Greenberg interacted with fans at a recent Rangers game.

The new ownership group also didn’t waste much time endearing themselves to the fans. They initiated a few cuts that should allow fans to go to Rangers games and not feel as much of a dent in their wallet. Parking prices were cut from $12 to $10 (except on Fridays, where the price of parking will remain $5) and several concession prices were also lowered. One of the more interesting promotions they’re running is you can get 20 percent off a new Rangers cap if you trade in a cap from another team. Greenberg said this was the best he could do on short notice and that more fan-friendly initiatives should be implemented soon.

Diamondbacks’ and Rockies’ new spring digs

Next spring, the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is set to open with both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies occupying the complex. Just this week, some cool details were revealed about the new $100 million dollar complex and the stadium designer HKS Architects may have outdid themselves on this one.

To enter the stadium, fans will have to cut through the practice fields and the batting cages. The Diamondbacks’ clubhouse will be in left field and Rockies’ in right and there’s no grandstand. Fans enter from the top of the stadium, then make their way down to their seats.

Rickwood Field turns 100

Rickwood Field opened 100 years ago today. The Birmingham, Ala., ballpark opened on Aug. 18, 1910 and has stood the test of time. While old ballpark after old ballpark has been demolished, Rickwood has managed to escape demolition and it’s the oldest ballpark still standing.

Maintenance costs for the old ballpark are funded with the annual Rickwood Classic and the field also hosts instructional leagues and wood-bat tournaments. I’m of course envious because the efforts in Detroit to save Tiger Stadium couldn’t save the stadium. It’s nice to see someone do it right.

Shawn Chacon’s grievance is denied

More than two years after assaulting Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade and after he had his contract terminated by the team, Shawn Chacon’s grievance against the Astros was finally denied. Chacon claims that his contract was terminated without cause but an arbitrator must have felt that shoving your general manager to the floor before a game gave the team a reason for parting ways with Chacon.

Minor league wrapup

The Florida Marlins extended their player development agreements with a couple of their minor league affiliates. The Marlins will keep the Jacksonville Suns as their Double-A affiliate through 2012. They also extended their PDA with the Greensboro Grasshoppers, who will remain as the Marlins’ Single-A affiliate through 2012.

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Detroit Michael
Detroit Michael

Thanks for your column.  I’m sure we don’t say that often enough.

Suppose the other bidders had won the auction for ownership of the Texas Rangers.  Would it really legitimately have taken MLB 9 months to decide whether they were suitable owners?  Or was MLB intentionally exaggerating and/or threatening to drag their feet because there’s no way that the process should take that long?