Thursday, August 5, 2010
Good news for Ranger fans
Maybe this is the Rangers year after all.
Not only do they have an 8-game lead in the American League West as of today, but around 1 a.m. this morning, the long protracted ugly sale of the Rangers was over. And Nolan Ryan emerged the winner.
Can we get an amem from the Ballpark in Arlington?
Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Ryan, the current Rangers president, emerged as the winner in bidding for the bankrupt franchise from beleagured former owner Tom Hicks. Greenberg and Ryan's bid of $593 million topped the $581.2 million bid of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane in a 10-hour marathon.
The announcement in a Fort Worth federal courthouse that Greenberg/Ryan had emerged the winner prompted cheers and a standing ovation despite the late hour.
"It was an emotional roller-coaster," said Ryan. "You go to court one day and it didn't go your way, but you go back another day and it would. It's a relief."
It's a relief for Ranger fans. Why?
First, it's what just about everyone wanted, from current front office staff of the Rangers, to players to fans. It guarantees smooth continuity.
Greenberg is fan-friendly, is committed to stadium upgrades, and vows to be very competitive in the free-agent market, including trying to keep current pitching stud Cliff Lee.
Not that Cuban wouldn't have been all of these, but the key here is Ryan. It was his group that won and he will stay on as president and part-owner for a long time. Not that Cuban wouldn't have made a play to keep Ryan, but I doubt he would have the same enthusiasm and length of stay -- if at all.
Ryan is Texas and Ryan is the Rangers. There's something comfortable about seeing Big Tex in his seat, arms folded, watching the game. He had credibilty and authority, not to mention 5,714 strikeouts, seven no-hitters and a Hall of Fame plaque.
"Ever since Nolan's been part of our franchise, we've gone nowhere but up," outfielder David Murphy told the Associated Press in Seattle. "He's very very respected and admired in the state of Texas and nationally. Of course, we wanted a guy like that as our owner. How could you not want a group with Nolan Ryan in it?"
Rangers front office presented Ryan with an expensive bottle of Dom Perignon Thursday afternoon.
Final approval of the Rangers sales rests with Major League Baseball, which is expected to easily approve the deal next week.
Maybe Aug. 4 is just a day you don't mess with Ryan. In 1993, in his last year as a Rangers pitcher, he gave Robin Ventura what-for when he charged the mound after Ryan plunked him. Seventeen years later, he and Greenberg win a marathon auction in court.
Hey, all Ranger fans are winners.