The most undercovered story of the summer, and maybe the year, is the outrageous circumstances of the sale of the Texas Rangers.
(Protip: Do not lend this man money)
Before your eyes glaze over, understand that this story is very important as it pertains to the financial future of individual major league clubs. It also could dictate if the Texas Rangers exist this time next year - if MLB’s rhetoric is to be believed.
If you’ve read this site over the years, you know by now that MLB has done all it could to turn over franchises to owners who either lack the financial resources, as in the McCourts, or the willingness, as in the late Carl Pohlad, to invest Yankee-esque sums into player payroll.
Most recently, MLB handed over one of the crown jewels of its league, the Chicago Cubs, to a highly-leveraged buyer in Tom Ricketts. Ricketts was chosen to take over the team despite his lack of liquidity and inability to field the highest bid for the franchise.
Why? Because MLB doesn’t want the Cubs to end up with a $200 million payroll, which would drive up costs for other owners, contribute to further competitive imbalance and possibly lead to additional labor strife.
Of course, if MLB had a revenue sharing agreement like the NFL, Cubs fans wouldn’t have to worry about having an underfunded owner running their beloved team. (In the third-largest market!) Because of the petty greed of the league’s individual owners, no such revenue sharing plan exists - forcing league commissioner Bud Selig to jury-rig MLB ownership ranks to prevent another Steinbrenner-type owner. (See shooting down Mark Cuban in his bid for the Cubs.)
That brings us to Selig’s latest payroll-chopping opportunity: The Texas Rangers. Read more…