A federal bankruptcy judge in Fort Worth, Texas, decided Tuesday that the Texas Rangers will be auctioned off after all, despite angry creditors' claims that the bidding process is unfair and still favors Major League Baseball's preferred buyer.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn set the auction for Aug. 4 after changing some of the team’s proposed bidding procedures, citing a “need to bring order from chaos.” The final hearing on whether to approve the Rangers’ bankruptcy plan was set for later the day of the auction.
After the auction, Major League Baseball will still be able to reject the highest bidder and approve the next highest bid — something lenders opposed. But if that happens, the judge can determine if the league acted in good faith.
Months ago the league gave its blessing to a group led by team president and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg, selected as the buyers after a bidding process last year.
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But because angry creditors stalled the sale over financial concerns, the team filed for Chapter 11 protection in May with a plan to repay lenders $75 million and sell to the Greenberg and Ryan group.
SPEAKING OF AUCTIONS …
A rare Stephen Strasburg baseball card is hitting the auction block again.
Bidding opens at $9,000 at noon today for the autographed 2010 Bowman Prospects rookie card. Huggins and Scott, a sports memorabilia auction house in Silver Spring, Md., is hosting the two-week online auction.
The anonymous owner tried to sell the card on eBay in June, but that auction ended when outrageous bids nearing $1 million could not be verified.
Though the Washington Nationals pitcher may be the most celebrated rookie in baseball this year, Bill Huggins, co-owner of Huggins and Scott, said he thinks the Strasburg card may fetch only $50,000. It was originally purchased inside a box of baseball cards for $275.
LIMBAUGH’S TAKE ON STEINBRENNER
Rush Limbaugh had his own view of George Steinbrenner.
“That cracker made a lot of African-American millionaires,” the radio commentator said Tuesday on his show after the New York Yankees owner died at age 80. “He fired a bunch of white guys as managers left and right.”
Rev. Al Sharpton called Limbaugh’s statements “repugnant and offensive whether they were intended to be facetious or tongue and cheek.”
In a statement, Sharpton added, “Mr. Limbaugh and his broadcasters owe (Steinbrenner’s) family an apology.”
STAMPS RECALL NEGRO LEAGUES
The Negro Leagues take the baseball field again on Thursday, when the United States Postal Service honors the organizations that gave black players a chance to show their talents before the majors were integrated.
A pair of 44-cent commemorative stamps will be dedicated in ceremonies at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
One stamp shows a close play at home plate, while the other commemorates Andrew “Rube” Foster, founder of the leagues.