Hard Ball in the Courtroom
A Friend of Unfair Park shoots us a fascinating, inside-baseball lawsuit filed Tuesday in Tarrant County. In it, the Texas Collegiate Baseball League, the 4-year-old college summer baseball league, accuses seven of its teams of conspiring to take control of the league or destroy it altogether. It's a long story laid out within the suit, which can be read in its entirety here. The TCBL is where former Texas Rangers outfielder Rusty Greer coaches; he's with the Colleyville Lonestars.
The suit alleges that before the start of the 2007 season, the men who run the Colleyville and Denton teams made two separate offers to buy the league -- for $500,000 and $750,000, respectively. When a sale never took place, alleges the league, seven teams sent a letter to TCBL management saying that "absent any significant changes in league ownership and operations," they would bail by the end of the current season, which would essentially kill it.
The TCBL claims that the seven team owners are "conspiring" to take control of the league, just as it's courting sponsors and in the midst of negotiating with other similar leagues across the country to create a kind of collegiate World Series:
By losing seven teams and being forced to cease operations the loss of value to TCBL will be far in excess of Three Million Dollars.>
The conspiring principals have responded, indicating that they will make no changes in their demand that the league be turned over to them. Due to the fact that the conspiring principals have stated that they are not going to continue unless the league was turned over to them, TCBL is now treating the seven teams as having withdrawn because the league, under its current tax exempt status, cannot be turned over and because the teams have not met their own self-imposed deadline for having resolution. Unless sufficient replacement teams are procured (which is unlikely), TCBL will have no choice but to cease operations.
Oh, this should be a doozy: The TCBL is headed by chairman and CEO Gerald Haddock. Who's he? None other than the former General Counsel of the Texas Rangers -- back when the team was owned by George W. Bush. --Robert Wilonsky/>