Judge: 'We will be here for a while'

Moments before the latest 11:30 a.m. CT deadline to start the auction of the Rangers' sale Wednesday morning, Judge Russell Nelms made his most ominous announcement yet: The courtroom air-conditioning will uncustomarily remain on beyond 5 p.m., when it is normally shut down.

"That usually curtails courtroom activities," Judge Nelms said. "Not today."

In fact, the series of delays in the auction will apparently continue for at least another hour, Judge Nelms said, and he advised all in attendance to settle in for a long afternoon. Attorneys and court officials are in the process of determining which of the two bids submitted Tuesday night is actually the highest.

He also said that while the Chuck Greenberg-Nolan Ryan group had initially requested an hour to evaluate its next move if it was determined that its bid was not the highest, now it is saying it will likely take longer than that.

"As I said earlier, timing procedures are pretty much out the window and we're going to do the best we can," Nelms said. "It's taken us a year to get to this point and we're not going to place an arbitrary time limit on these bidders.

"It's very likely we will be here for a while today."