The Rangers deal is not a done deal

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Sure, Greenberg and Ryan have made a deal with Hicks, but they’re not the only ones that matter.  According to Sports Business Journal, a hedge fund called Monarch Alternative Capital — which came in late in the game and bought up a bunch of Hicks Sports’ Group’s debt when they nearly defaulted on their obligations last summer — has yet to sign off. And they may not, because they think that Hicks passed up a better offer: from Houston businessman Jim Crane.

SBJ is saying that Monarch is “unlikely” to scuttle the deal, but that it has a reputation for “going to the mat” for the last dollar.  They’re also none too pleased with the fact that Hicks is still going to end up owning part of the team post-sale, making
him a buyer and a seller.

Because Monarch is essentially a debt vulture, it may not get much sympathy from the banks and everyone who matters here on the pure dollars of it all. But I continue to think that they have an excellent point regarding Hicks being on both sides of the deal. That has stunk to me from the get-go, and I have no idea why, if there were better offers than Greenberg’s, his partners in Hicks’ Sports Group and others haven’t raised a stink about it. 

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: