The Tom Hicks Era

The financial situation for  Tom Hicks just seem to get worse even with the pending sale of the Rangers.  According to the Associated Press an Architectural firm and a construction company are currently suing Hicks for 6.9 million for improvements outside of the park.  The lawsuit states that work was stopped abruptly in 2008 by Hicks due to lack of financing.  This definitely does not make the fact that Hicks had to sell the team any easier on him. 

Hicks is the current owner of the Rangers in MLB’s eyes although Hicks Sports Group  legally owns the Rangers.  HSG also owns the Dallas Stars and several other sports ventures.    When the group purchased the Rangers it looked promising.  The thing about Major League Sports is that when you buy a team and it produces a profit you should not use the profit to finance other sports opportunities.  You take the profit from the team and reinvest it into the team.  By building the 25 man roster you get more runs, you give up less runs and you win more games.  When you win more games more fans come to the park, more fans buy team merchandise and the team makes more money.  So even though baseball is a game, it is a business and you have to invest in your business to make it successful.  You would not start a retail store, make a profit from it and then put the profit into another business and expect your store to succeed. 

The downfall of The Tom Hicks Era was the signing of Alex Rodriguez.  Not to take anything away from Arod, he is an amazing player and had three exceptional years while with the Rangers.  Even if he did inject himself with steroids during his time as a Ranger.  Rodriguez took home approximately 28% of the Rangers total payroll in 2001.  Every team would love to have a super star player, but the fact of the matter is that it takes 25 men to complete an active roster and having a quality player at every starting position is better than one superstar player.  Once Hicks Sports Group realized signing Arod was a mistake for the Rangers, they put him on the trade market.  To just get rid of him they had pay the New York Yankees every year for the remainder of his contract.  So not only did he take almost a third of the total payroll as a player for the Rangers, he took a percentage of the payroll for four years while wearing another uniform.  The combination of the cost of Arod and the fact that Hicks used the Rangers to pay for other sports opportunities, contributed to the downfall of the Hicks Sports Group.  As new ownership takes over, hopefully before opening day, the team will be in a better position in 2010 and beyond.

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