Report: Rangers have to change bankruptcy plan

According to ESPN.com, the Rangers will have to change their bankruptcy plan to avoid having it killed by upset creditors.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn in Fort Worth said creditors and team owners were adversely affected by the Rangers’ plan. That plan calls for paying creditors $75 million and selling the team to a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg.

The judge didn’t take issue with the $75 million figure but with some creditors’ rights being removed.

The ruling allows the team and two groups of creditors to vote on the plan. Because creditors have said they would vote against it, the Rangers are expected to change the plan before any vote happens.

Rumors have it that the Rangers are interested in acquiring a pitcher (they’ve already been linked to Roy Oswalt) at the trade deadline this year. But in their current financial state, I don’t know how they’ll be able to pull that off unless Major League Baseball pays at least part of the player’s salary.

It would unfair to the current players if the Rangers couldn’t acquire a much-needed arm in order to get them to the postseason because of their financial mess, but those are the breaks.

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Report: Mariners want Cliff Lee back

YES Network analyst Jack Curry had this to say via his Twitter page today:

Spoke to baseball official who has regular contact w Phils. He said they are itching to add a starter and would love to get Cliff Lee back.

Well of course they do. And I want the original “KITT” from the Night Rider TV series to drive around in all day, but unless several hundred things go my way soon, that isn’t going to happen either.

The chances of the Phillies re-acquiring Lee are slim to none. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has already said that the club isn’t going to make any major moves and trading for Lee could constitute as such. Amaro essentially chose Roy Halladay over Lee last winter and I highly doubt Philadelphia would be willing to part with more of its farm system to re-acquire the Mariners’ starter for half a season. (I’m just speculating here, but I doubt Lee would re-sign with the team that used him to get back to the World Series last year and then traded him away a few months later so they could get Halladay.)

If the Phillies are going to bring any starter back, it’ll be Pedro Martinez – not Lee.


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Is time really the only thing keeping MLB from expanding instant replay?

If time is the only reason why baseball won’t use instant replay for close calls like the one Jim Joyce regrettably got wrong on Wednesday night, then Bud Selig should be embarrassed. (He should be embarrassed for a lot of things actually, but let’s just stick with this instant replay topic.)

Think about it: the biggest argument against expanding instant replay to calls around the base paths is that the game would be slower than it already is. But that can’t be a genuine argument, can it? If Joyce and the rest of the umpire crew had another 30 seconds to check a video monitor underneath Comerica Park, then Armando Galarraga would have a perfect game on his resume.

Thirty seconds. One minute – whatever. It doesn’t take long for umpires to use instant replay to figure out if a home run was actually a home run and it wouldn’t take long for them to determine whether or not a runner was safe on one of the base paths. The league (and some fans for that matter) is so concerned that a game would take too much time to complete that it’s willing to live with a wrong call like the one Joyce made.

That’s almost laughable when you think about it. If it takes three hours and forty-five minutes to finish a game with instant replay and three hours and thirty minutes without it, does the extra 15 minutes matter? Would an extra 30 minutes matter? If it does, then whom would it matter to? The fans? It’s not like they’re being strapped to an electric chair and held at gunpoint to stay for an entire game. If they want to leave, they can leave. If they want to turn to another channel, they can turn to another channel. It shouldn’t really affect them in the end.

Getting the calls right should be the only thing that Selig and baseball should care about. And if time is the one thing that is holding MLB back from expanding instant replay, then the league is in luck because time just happens to be endless.

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Johnny Damon’s days as a Yankee over?

Ken Davidoff from Newsday writes that Johnny Damon won’t settle (in terms of a contract) in free agency and that’s why Davidoff thinks the outfielder won’t be in pinstripes next season.

I spent some time with Johnny Damon today, and he spoke forcefully about his free agency and his future. I asked him specifically about Scott Boras’ comments from a couple of weeks ago, and Damon backed his agent 100 percent.

Damon’s history shows that he’s not going to bend in his free agency. It’s how he became a Yankee in the first place. It’s why I think he’ll be elsewhere, come next season.

Damon doesn’t want a pay cut, yet he made $13 million last year. I know the guy is durable and has pop, but he’s a liability in the outfield and is 36 years old. Who is going to give him $13 million again next year outside of the Yankees?

Davidoff knows the Yankees better than I do obviously, but it stands to reason that Damon isn’t going to get more than $10 million from any other team next year. That means he will be taking a pay cut or he will be back with the Bombers for close to what he made in ’09.


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MLB trade rumors: Martinez, Halladay, Lee & Garko

– The Brewers and Mariners are in serious talks that could send starter Jarrod Washburn to Milwaukee according to the Journal-Sentinel.

– The Yankees are looking for arms and according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Bombers are interested in the Bucs’ Ian Snell, John Grabow and Matt Capps, the Nats’ Joe Beimel, the Royals Ron Mahay, and the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo.

– The Giants are still in desperate need of bats and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Indians have been scouting the G-Men’s farm system. Could either Victor Martinez or Ryan Garko be on their way to San Fran?

– Despite Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi saying there is a very slim chance that a trade will happen, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that talks between the Phillies and Blue Jays remain intense. The paper also suggests that the Phillies could turn their attention to Cliff Lee if a deal for Halladay cannot be struck.

– According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox still remain very much in the hunt for either Roy Halladay or Victor Martinez.

– The Dodgers are denying that a deal between them and the Indians involving Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez is in serious discussion. FOXSports.com reported over the weekend that L.A. and Cleveland were discussing a blockbuster trade that would send Lee and Martinez to the Dodgers for James Loney and either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw.

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