The Wall Street Journal reported that baseball hat maker New Era Cap Inc. is owed more than $106,000 by Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers team, which is currently in bankruptcy. While Braves fans probably aren't too interested in the financial health of the American League team, Atlanta bankruptcy lawyers likely are paying close attention.
Revelations that the Rangers franchise is six figures behind on payments to New Era came after the team's plan to sell itself in bankruptcy court included a proposal to have its past due bill to the hat maker forgiven.
While the Rangers now are seeking to assign their contract with New Era to the eventual new owners of the team, officials claim nothing was owed to New Era when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late May.
In court papers, New Era countered the Rangers' claims by insisting that the team owes the company $106,595.64 for hats delivered prior to the Chapter 11 filing.
The Journal claims that amount is enough to purchase 95 "on-field" professional caps for each player and coach for each game of the season, although the caps cost $33.99 each retail. It can probably be assumed that each player goes through several caps per season, including home and away versions, which consists of roughly 180 games.
New Era is asking that the amount be paid in full before it renews its contract with a new owner. The hat maker also is asking that the amount owed for hats be deducted from its advertising bill with the team, which is just slightly more than $106,000.
The Texas Rangers filed for Chapter 11 as part of its efforts to sell the debt-laden team. The salary paid to superstar infielder Alex Rodriguez, who now plays for the New York Yankees, is one of the main culprits for the team's financial troubles.
So if you see Rangers players taking the field in cowboy hats or exposed scalps, you'll know why.