Mark Cuban and Jim Crane may team up to bid on the Rangers

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Many have suggested that Mark Cuban and Houston Businessman Jim Crane are not wanted by Major League Baseball (note: his name has been legally changed to “Houston Businessman Jim Crane.” I’m totally not effing with you here). But maybe in baseball as in nature, two negatives make a positive:

Mavericks  owner Mark Cuban  could make a joint bid for the Rangers with Houston investor Jim Crane to counter Nolan Ryan’s group at Wednesday’s auction, the latest twist in the ballclub’s bankruptcy drama.

“We’re exploring working with Crane,” Cuban’s staff attorney, Dan Jauchen, said Monday after the court-appointed chief restructuring officer disclosed the development. Jauchen then zipped his mouth, refusing even to confirm his own name – supplied later by another Cuban lawyer.

It says a lot about the nearly year-long Rangers’ odyssey that a well-paid lawyer everyone knows zipping his lip and refusing to confirm his own name is not the silliest thing that has happened.  I totally expect tomorrow’s auction to end with Chuck Greenberg taking himself hostage like Clevon Little in “Blazing Saddles,” telling everyone “don’t move or the lawyer/mogul gets it!”

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.