Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and the rest of the investors who took the Texas Rangers from bankruptcy to the World Series are nearing a quick payback.
Ryan, managing partner Chuck Greenberg and the other owners in their group may see Major League Baseball’s championship series boost the team’s value by $50 million to $100 million above the $593 million the group paid in a bankruptcy court auction Aug. 5, said Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., who has written about the sports industry.
The World Series “puts us on the map” as a national- caliber team, Ryan, 63, said two days ago. “We were more of a North Texas-type franchise in the past because of the lack of success that we’ve had.”
The Rangers had the fourth-lowest opening-day payroll among the 30 major-league teams this season, at $55 million.
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Texas’ postseason run should be worth $40 million next year in increased ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, suite rentals and concessions, said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a sports business consulting firm in Chicago.
That’s on top of the $1 million-a-game gross profit Zimbalist said the Rangers stand to make from this year’s playoffs.
Ryan said buying the Rangers cost more than his group originally wanted to pay, so he doesn’t think he got a bargain.
“But I think our timing was good,” he said. “And I’m a believer that timing is everything.”
Five months ago, the Rangers were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under previous owner, Dallas venture capitalist Tom Hicks, and in need of a $21.5 million loan from the league to pay their bills.
NO LEE IN GAME 4
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he hasn’t had any conversations with Cliff Lee about the possibility of the left-hander pitching Game 4 on short rest.
When asked about it before Game 3 on Saturday, Washington said Tommy Hunter is pitching today as scheduled against the San Francisco Giants. Lee is scheduled to start Monday night in Game 5.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy planned to wait until after Saturday night to decide on his designated hitter for Game 4. He went with Pablo Sandoval in Game 3 in the eighth spot of the order, opting to keep the lineup intact from what had worked in the first two games – when the Giants scored a combined 20 runs.
Bochy said he decided to leave Jose Guillen off the postseason roster before learning of the outfielder’s alleged link to a federal investigation into shipments of performance-enhancing drugs.Bochy reiterated that Guillen was not put on the postseason roster because of his troublesome neck. … Pitcher Hisanori Takahashi and the Mets pushed back a decision on whether he will sign a 2011 contract until Friday. Takahashi was 10-6 with 3.61 ERA in 2010.