Ryan as owner: 'It might not happen'
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan acknowledged Thursday that his group, which includes Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg, might not end up owning the team. He added that he wasn't sure what he might do after this season should Houston businessman Jim Crane, who is trying to get back in the bidding, ends up owning the team.
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"It's a good possibility that it might not happen," Ryan said about owning the team. "The way they've invited Crane back into the picture, they seem to be more concerned with him than anyone else."
Ryan said he isn't thinking about his future right now.
"My position is I'm going to be here through the end of the season this year and assess where everything is and go from there," Ryan said. "I'm not making any predictions. I'm not thinking anything past us getting a ruling of some nature or find out what the status is of where we all stand or if it goes to someone else."
The Ryan-Greenberg group's attempt to purchase the Rangers hit another stumbling block Thursday as a hearing scheduled for Friday was canceled. That came after the court-appointed chief restructuring officer filed a motion against the auction process he had agreed to earlier in the week.
In response to that, the Rangers removed their motion seeking approval for the process that would have concluded bidding on July 16. William Snyder, the CRO, still wants an auction but under revised rules. Ryan said there's a status conference in place of the hearing Friday.
"The frustrating thing is you don't know what direction this is going or what timeframe you're dealing with," Ryan said. "I think everybody associated with it would like to see some finality to it."
Ryan said he was pleased with how the team was playing but admitted that he wasn't able to enjoy it as much as he'd like because of the off-field ownership concerns.
"I'm going to continue to focus on us trying to win our division and get in the playoffs," Ryan said. "Our concern is to get there first before we start worrying about what happens after that. Like any other year in an ideal world, you want to try to improve where you can, but is that realistic? It's hard to predict because you don't know what's going to be available and what people would want for the player they have available that you think can't help you."
One player garnering interest, including from the Rangers, is Seattle Mariners left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee. Ryan said he wasn't sure what the demands were from Seattle for Lee and that as more teams got involved, the Mariners would have more options.
"We'll have to wait and see what might come up," Ryan said.
Would the Rangers have the financial ability to make such a deal with about $4.5 million left on Lee's 2010 contract?
"We'd have to sit down and look at it and see what the possibilities are and if we're capable of doing it or not," Ryan said. "[We'd look at] the timing on it, the financial requirements of it, but you'd have to wait until a deal is actually structured so you can evaluate where you are and what you're dealing with."