UPDATE #2: Adds quotes from Lynn link to Forbes story (Will the Texas Rangers Case Go Nuclear?)
UPDATE #1: Sources indicate that Judge Lynn has accepted the motion to reconsider and that mediation has been set for July 6 with the confirmation hearing set back to the July 9 date, confirmed by multiple sources.
Yesterday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn ordered the sides in the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case into mediation, and in doing so, rescheduled the July 9 confirmation hearing on the “prepackaged plan”, bumping it to July 22.
Today, a motion to reconsider the July 22 rescheduled hearing date was filed by Rangers Baseball Express, the prospective ownership group headed by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, citing the July 31 trade deadline and other business related matters, as part of the reason for reconsideration. The motion seeks to have the hearing no later than July 12.
The motion reads in part, “This case is very time sensitive. Despite its excellent on-field performance during the 2010 season to-date, the Texas Rangers franchise is cash poor and operates with significant negative cash flow... There is no indication that further delays serves the best interests of anyone.”
The motion addresses potential changes to Rangers Ballpark that the prospective ownership group would make in the off-season, should they gain control of the club.
“RBE plans to make certain material capital improvements to Rangers Ballpark before next season. Some of these planned improvements require more than a full offseason to design, procure, construct, and complete. The delays in the sale process that have already taken place present significant challenges to completing these projects prior to Opening Day 2011. Further delays gravely risk the ability to complete the projects on time, which would have a material adverse impact on the franchise’s performance in 2011.”
Judge Lynn approved the motion, but that doesn’t mean the change came easy or without considerable bluster from Judge Lynn.
“You guys, not me, you guys are the ones who pushed for this,” Lynn told them. “For the sake of the Rangers, I do not want to see this team stuck in Chapter 11 until this fall.”
The tongue lashing didn’t stop there, and at least one bankruptcy attorney’s face blushed scarlet.
“We will not decide based on what the fans want ... what the media wants ... what Mr. Ryan or Mr. Greenberg wants, or what (Baseball Commissioner) Bud Selig wants,” Lynn declared from the bench. If the revised plan falls short of satisfactorily addressing the interests of all affected parties, “I will deny confirmation, and we’re back to square one, and it will be on the heads of those who support this motion.”
Originally, a July 2 date was set for the confirmation hearing on the “prepackaged plan”, but was moved to July 9 to allow Judge Lynn to return from vacationing on a cruise.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on today's events, see Maury Brown's latest on Forbes SportsMoney, Will the Texas Rangers Case Go Nuclear?)
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