Sure you’re busy these days, but I wanted to drop you a note. I know you’re a man of consensus, and nothing happens without you considering every cause and effect of your decisions, but maybe fans need to understand what you mean by “expeditiously” and why we’re sitting here over a week later from when you told Nolan Ryan that he and Chuck Greenberg would soon own the Texas Rangers.
I don’t have a copy of the memo, but on April 30, you laid out your plans for seizing control of the Rangers based on your “best interests of baseball” powers, but I can understand why you, and the creditors for Hicks Sports Group haven’t gone to the edge of what can only be described as nuclear war over the Rangers sale. After all, there’s a lot at stake for not only you, but the creditors.
You know this, but the fans may not: if the Rangers were seized and HSG was pushed into involuntary bankruptcy, it is possible that if the court ruled in favor of the creditors, it would define where your “best interests of baseball” powers begin and end. Right now, it’s a vague bit of wording in the league constitution that works as a great hammer for all manner of business for you, Bud. Having your powers somewhat defined loses that leverage.
As for the lenders, namely lead creditor Monarch Alternative Capital, they run the risk of having this whole matter wrapped up in the courts where the outcome is far from certain, and legal costs and continued interest on HSG’s $525 million of debt continue to mount. Every day that this deal is sitting in neutral is one less day that there is a closing date met, and that means (at least for Monarch, the hedge fund), no end game.
So, Bud, I know you’ve moved slow on issues in the past (the length of time it took on the Expos sale may redefine “glacial”), but this one is for all the marbles in your house (the powers of Commissioner), and you don’t want to have your legacy be the guy that harmed those powers.
It’s a delicate dance, you and these 40 creditors are doing right now. Problem is, we’re coming up on the All-Star break, and we seem no closer than we were a couple of months ago. Calmer minds need to prevail at some point. But, you’re Bud Selig… I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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