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Rangers seek bankruptcy protection

May 24, 2010

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The amazing part is that the Rangers till owe money to Mickey Tettleton.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday in hopes of spurring completion of the US$575-million sale of the team by midsummer to a group of investors that includes Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.

Under the plan, the Rangers would fully pay the $75 million of the club's debt tied up in Tom Hicks' financially strapped ownership group. That would remove the team from the additional claims by creditors against Hicks Sports Group that have stalled the sale to the group led by Ryan and Pittsburgh lawyer Chuck Greenberg.

"I did not want to put the baseball future of the Texas Rangers in jeopardy or uncertainty for an extended period of time," Hicks said. "This action is all about creating an end to the impasse in allowing this team sale to go forward."

A 21-page filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth included the top 30 unsecured creditors, a list headed by Alex Rodriguez, who is owed $24.9 million in deferred compensation six years after he was traded away from the team.

The next five on the list are also current or former players: Kevin Millwood ($12.9 million), Michael Young ($3.9 million), Vicente Padilla ($1.7 million), Mickey Tettleton ($1.4 million) and Mark McLemore ($970,000).

A court hearing is scheduled Tuesday, though the process could take several more weeks to complete.

"I know it will be faster than the other alternative would have been," Hicks said.

Greenberg initially hoped to have control of the Rangers by opening day, but concerns from Hicks' lenders have slowed the deal and the Hicks Sports Group defaulted on $525 million in loans last year. Greenberg said Hicks' agreement to sell 62 hectares around the stadium facilitated the agreement; the land is part of the $575-million sale price.

Hicks, who bought the team in 1998 from a group that included former president George W. Bush, said it became apparent about a month ago that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy would be the only way to break the stalemate created by creditors.

The filing is not the first in baseball.

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