MLB to give Ryan group OK today

Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and sports lawyer Chuck Greenberg have had a long and difficult struggle to gain ownership of the Texas Rangers.

It’s almost over.

The MLB ownership committee and executive council each unanimously approved the sale Wednesday at the quarterly owners’ meetings in Minneapolis. All that remains for the sale to be completed is a final vote of all teams today, which appears to be a formality.

“I’m delighted we took the first two steps today in unanimity,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “Tomorrow we’ll come out after the meeting and tell you how the final vote came (out), but I suppose you could probably guess that.”

The acquisition from current owner Tom Hicks had been delayed and then ended up in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The team’s May filing included a plan to sell to the Greenberg-Ryan group, chosen as the new owner in January, but angry creditors successfully argued to reopen the bidding. The messy court fight dragged on for 11 weeks and included a contentious auction with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban last week.

The Greenberg-Ryan group won with a bid valued at $590 million.


The St. Louis Cardinals called up Steven Hill from Double-A Springfield on Wednesday because they weren’t sure how long Jason LaRue would be sidelined with injuries from a brawl with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

Manager Tony La Russa said LaRue suffered a mild concussion and had sore ribs from the first-inning altercation the previous night. LaRue is one of the players kicked by Reds starter Johnny Cueto after he got pinned against the backstop screen.

St. Louis also put right-hander Jeff Suppan on the 15-day disabled list with a sore groin.


A Florida woman who accused New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana of rape is suing him after authorities declined to prosecute the case.

The lawsuit accuses Santana of wrongful imprisonment and rape in southwest Florida in Oct. 2009. The 35-year-old single mother of two children is only identified as Jane Doe. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.

Santana said “there were no more comments about that,” and Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said the team had yet to review the matter.


The San Francisco Giants looked only as far as the visitor’s clubhouse at AT&T Park to add infield depth, acquiring Mike Fontenot from the Chicago Cubs for speedy Single-A center fielder Evan Crawford. … Florida Marlins left fielder Chris Coghlan underwent left-knee surgery in Miami, and is beginning rehabilitation after being hurt July 25 delivering a celebratory pie to the face of teammate Wes Helms after a game-winning hit against Atlanta. … Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been cleared to start hitting, six weeks after surgery on his right thumb.