Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Can Nolan Ryan Strike Out Mark Cuban?

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-Digger's Daily-

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan vs billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. These are two headliner names competing to purchase the Texas Rangers by way of an unusual bankruptcy court auction. It's become a bidding war as both groups of investors keep upping their ante's. According to latest reports, Cuban's group has offered the most money while Major League Baseball had been siding with Ryan's group.

The AL West leading Texas Rangers (61-45) are putting together one of their franchises greatest seasons. No Ranger team has ever won 100 games. They're not on pace right now to reach triple digits. However, their chances of 100 improved with recent acquisitions. Much credit needs to be given to Rangers President Nolan Ryan. Ryan is a true blue disciplined baseball man. Since Ryan arrived on the scene in 2008, Texas finally started playing fundamentally sound baseball. His hands on presence has been felt throughout the Rangers organization on and off field. Outgoing owner Tom Hicks finally made one good decision, hiring Ryan as President.

A group of investors including Ryan seemed on the verge of becoming new team owners. Mark Cuban's name had been rumored as leading another group of potential bidders. Until recently, it was just a rumor. Well, from rumor to wild bidding frenzy reality, Cuban's group seems prepared to better any offer. Legal maneuvering and battles between the groups have led into heated shouting matches between competing principle's and attourney's in court hallways. Procedural actions have been called into question as has qualifying bids. It'll be hairy until a decision is rendered. Bids are said to be in the $520million+ range.

Personally, I'm steadfast in Ryan's corner even if his group doesn't put forth the highest bid. Leave Cuban to his Mavericks. Ryan is Mr. Baseball in Texas. Besides, one of the determinations the judge should be considering is which group can be trusted with the Rangers franchise? A free spending tycoon with no baseball experience? Or, a group of baseball men? Advantage Ryan. Then again, in today's world of greed at all costs... the highest bid may prevail.

Watching the Rangers finally come together on the field has been long awaited in the Lone Star state. Ryan understands what it means to build a team from the ground up. Texas finally has restocked their farm system. They seem to have a grasp on scouting and evaluating pitching talent. Front office decisions and player signings have been very prudent and fruitful. Texas enjoys an 8 game lead heading into tonight's action. Their lineup measures up very well against any team in the league. Pitching staff added an ace in Cliff Lee. Bullpen has been clutch. Defense improving. The Rangers are an exciting team again.

If Cuban's group were to win we could soon witness a free wheeling baseball owner much like George Steinbrenner in his heyday. Cuban's leadership of the Mavs earns him praise in Big D and fines from NBA Commissioner Stern. He's dedicated to his ballplayers. Meddlesome? Yes, but not necessarily to a fault. If he were to install a good baseball man as GM (Ryan already claims he's out if Cuban is in) and then open the vault who knows what will become of Texas baseball.

No matter who wins this crazy bidding process the Texas Rangers are sure to dramatically improve from the disfunctional Hicks ownership group.


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