Losing Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton in three consecutive offseasons may have hurt the Texas Rangers on the field, but losing a tie-wearing executive was apparently worse than those three departures combined.
A few months after re-structuring the Rangers' front office so all business decisions would go through Rick George and all baseball decisions would be handled by GM Jon Daniels, things have been re, re-structured again.
This is what happens when you try to push out Nolan Ryan. There are just some things you don't do, and some Texans you don't mess with.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Rangers released statements from Ryan and Rangers' co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson.
From Nolan: “After productive discussions the last several weeks with Ray Davis and Bob Simpson about the structure of our organization, together we are moving forward. In my role as CEO, I am focused on working closely with ownership and with Jon Daniels and Rick George to build on the success of the past five years and to bring a championship to Arlington.”
Translation - You really thought you were going to shove me out?
From Davis and Simpson: “We’ve had meaningful conversations with Nolan Ryan over the past several weeks and are pleased that our focus is now on working together to win a championship for our fans. Over the years Nolan has made extraordinary contributions to the Texas Rangers organization, both on and off the field, including providing valuable guidance to Jon Daniels and Rick George. His leadership as our chief executive – with both baseball and business operations reporting to him – has been vital to our success and offers us a bright future.”
Translation: We're sorry we tried to shove you out.
In the end, the happiest man of all has to be GM Jon Daniels. A man who once was celebrated for so long simply because he was not John Hart now should not have to worry that he was the man who killed Nolan Ryan's time in Arlington. He may desire unilateral baseball decision making, but not at this price. Now at least when he screws up some of the blame can be dispersed.
There will likely be some awkwardness as the baseball preferences of both Daniels and Ryan will remain different, but as long as the Rangers are winning and competitive ... who cares? This has become a model franchise with these man calling the shots, both in terms of scouting, big league production, minor leagues and the treatment of fans.
Ryan should be with this organization for as long as he wants. He is not perfect, and he does not deserve all the credit for the success of this franchise, but he embodies decency, credibility and the many qualities Texans' profess to love.
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