SEATTLE -- While the fate of the franchise was being played out in a Fort Worth courtroom, Rangers players spent the afternoon at Safeco Field getting ready for a night game against the Seattle Mariners.
The auction in Fort Worth was being waged between a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and club president Nolan Ryan against the tandem of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane. The Rangers were more worried about Mariners pitcher Doug Fister.
The Rangers have an eight-game lead in the American League West and didn't get there worrying about who will end up buying the team from current owner Tom Hicks.
"It may seem generic, but we've got a ballgame tonight," third baseman Michael Young said. "We're staying focused on that. This club has done a good job this season on staying focused on the job at hand and blocking other things out. At the same time, we're all interested in who gets the team and all the details to follow."
The Greenberg-Ryan group has long been seen as the front-runner but there is a possibility that Cuban could end up being the owner. He wasn't even in the picture a month ago but has aligned himself with Crane to make a late charge at Greenberg's group.
"I don't know that much about him, but he seems like he's good with his players from what I've seen with the Mavericks," pitcher Darren Oliver said.
"As players, we're just interested in owners who are interested in doing anything they can to help win championships," Young said. "It looks like he's done that with his basketball team. It looks like both groups are in this for the right reasons. Most of us who have been here have seen the work Chuck and Nolan have put in and have been impressed by their dedication and support. We'd love for them to get a chance to see it through."
Ryan has been the Rangers' president for 2 1/2 years and would remain in that position if Greenberg prevails. But if Cuban takes over, there is a possibility that Ryan would leave the organization.
"You'd have to be a little disappointed for both of them -- him and Greenberg -- after putting forth so much effort to get the team," pitcher Colby Lewis. "Unfortunately, it comes down to money. It's like buying a car or buying a house."