I have yet to see the lawsuit, but SportsBusiness Journal’s Daniel Kaplan is reporting that Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan are suing the Texas Rangers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The reason according to Kaplan: the court-appointed restructuring officer (“CRO”) — who acts on behalf of the bankrupt entity (i.e. the Rangers) — is attempting “to hijack the proceedings,” via its soliciting other bids in violation of Greenberg and Ryan’s exclusivity rights which last until August 12th. Why they didn’t raise this two weeks ago when the idea of an auction — and thus the virtual certainty of other bidders — first came into play is an open question. For what it’s worth, however, Kaplan’s reporting suggests that the CRO isn’t just soliciting bids, but rather, is negotiating with other potential buyers. That could be Jim Crane or it could be Jeff Beck. Either way, it’s pissing Greenberg and Ryan off.
Look, there are a lot of complicated legal reasons which could explain why such a tack is being taken. None of which necessarily mean that Greenberg and Ryan’s ultimate ownership of the team is in jeopardy. But really, how can this be a good thing? Indeed, the fact from Kaplan’s report I find most telling is that Greenberg has new lawyers (White & Case). Whenever a new team comes in so late in the game it almost always means acrimony and ugliness behind the scenes or, at the very least, of plans gone astray. When such a thing happens, it’s not uncommon for the new guys to counsel an offensive, which is what we’re apparently seeing here.
The Rangers got their big trade done, so maybe this is whole drama is now academic from a “compete in 2010” perspective. Indeed, maybe the Cliff Lee trade made Greenberg and Ryan feel free to just unleash in a way they wouldn’t have had they still been sweating the deadline. Hard to say. Either way, this sale keeps getting messier and messier.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.