Let's talk bankruptcy and auction

SEATTLE -- I don't know about you, but I'm very excited to be thinking about courtrooms and auctions with the Rangers set to face the Mariners in the second of this three-series road trip. But what can you do? A few things to watch for today and tomorrow:

* Potential bidders have until 8 p.m. Dallas time tonight to submit their bids. Once they are in, if there is more than one bid, an auction will take place at 8:30 a.m. at a courthouse in Fort Worth.

* So either later tonight or tomorrow morning we'll know if Mark Cuban is bidding alone, combining with Houston businessman Jim Crane (reports say William Snyder, the court-appointed CRO, mentioned that possibility in court the other day) or maybe even Dallas businessman Jeff Beck. Or if Cuban decides not to bid (I can't see that happening).

* News Corp. could also bid, as long as they have the necessary clearance from MLB, which must pre-screen any potential bidder.

* The auction won't have an auctioneer up there trying to up the bidding. But bidders could go up by $2 million in each round, so it could have some dramatic turns if someone is working hard to really improve the bid during the auction. The opening bids must be at least $15 million over the cash portion of the Greenberg-Ryan group -- $306.7 million.

* Remember: MLB must still approve any winning bidder. And they could choose to go with the runner-up in the bidding. If they do that, expect litigation to follow.

* It's unclear how quickly a potential winning bidder would be approved by MLB. Cuban petitioned the court yesterday to have MLB speed it up and MLB said they would do it as quickly as they could, but no date was set, according to a story in the FWST.