This tweet from Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal is interesting:
Breaking News: Spurned Texas Rangers bidders
invited to federal mediation.
Kaplan promises more details later, but my first thought is that this cuts a couple of different ways, one in which is good for team Greenberg and one that isn’t.
On the one hand it could suggest that the mediator and/or the bankruptcy court are less-than-impressed with the notion that Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan represent the only viable bidders out there and the frustrated bidder’s (i.e. Jim Crane, Jeff Beck/Dennis Gilbert) presence at the table is designed to pressure Greenberg into sweetening his deal in order to satisfy creditors.
Another possibility is that the mediator and the bankruptcy court got a bit perturbed earlier this week when reports came out that Beck or Crane were still talking to creditors behind the scenes and the court wants to bring them out of the shadows and into the light, holding their feet to the fire. In effect, such a move would either make the bidders and/or the creditors put their money where their mouth is and stop their little whispering campaign that seems designed to throw a wrench into the Greenberg deal and the bankruptcy resolution.
No matter the case, having the bidders around and, more or less, on the record, would make any final disposition in the case a lot neater inasmuch no one could later complain that a low or inadequate bidder won. They’d actually have to say something official and out in the open. Ultimately, that makes for a more transparent process.
So: no matter your motives, Mr. Bankruptcy Court, good move.
The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.
Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).
A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.
The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.