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A bankruptcy judge said on Thursday that the Texas Rangers' ticked-off creditors can't hold their horses any longer and that the Aug. 4 auction of the franchise will go ahead as planned. 

And while those still waiting to get their cash from the Rangers believe the date is too soon for potential buyers to put together solid financing, they could get a boost from a somewhat unexpected development. 

The potential entry of Mark Cuban into the fray. 

[Flashback photo: Mark Cuban, the early (early) years]

Cuban's attorney said that Major League Baseball has approved his right to bid, though it's unclear whether the quickly approaching date will allow him to fly solo or if he'll have to bid with other rich partners.

You may remember Cuban, of course, from baseball ownership rumors like "The Chicago Cubs" and "The Pittsburgh Pirates." The Chicago deal never came to fruition because Cuban thought the team was overpriced and his hometown Pittsburgh scene — to my knowledge — has existed only in the minds of frustrated and fantasizing Pirates fans.

Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg — who thought they had already bought the club — might not like it, but this might be Cuban's biggest chance to land a big league baseball team. While the 29 other conservative owners might usually be reluctant to allow Cuban into their club, they're not going to interfere with a sale that rids themselves of having to keep the Rangers afloat with their own pocketbooks. Indeed, these bankruptcy court proceedings could be Cuban's best way to plow through the roadblocks set up by Jerry Reinsdorf.

But that's not to suggest that Cuban will abandon his solid business principles and overbid for the Rangers so that all the creditors will head home happy. I'm guessing he's going to try and buy the club only if he believes the final price tag makes sense for his holdings.

Still, his potential involvement brings added attention and intrigue to a sale that already promised a lot of both. After losing George Steinbrenner, it'll be fun to watch if baseball can add another owner who brings color and controversy to the board room.  

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