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Report: Nolan Ryan could leave the Rangers soon

Mar 4, 2013, 8:19 AM EDT

Nolan Ryan Rangers

UPDATE: I’m in Surprise today at Rangers camp. I just hung out in the Rangers clubhouse for a while. Everyone is proceeding in a business as usual way, but a lot of people — not players — are of the distinct impression that something messed up is afoot in the Rangers’ front office. This jibes pretty well with the report from this morning. The sense here is that either the Rangers’ owners or Jon Daniels needs to say something about Nolan Ryan’s status sooner rather than later because (a) there is too much uncertainty now; and (b) Ryan is not the person who should have to say that, no, he is not being squeezed out.

Fascinating.

8: 19 AM: This would be something of a big deal. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that Nolan Ryan could leave the Texas Rangers soon, possibly by the end of Spring Training.

The report is based on the announcements over the weekend that GM Jon Daniels has been promoted to president of baseball operations and that and that Rick George has been promoted to president of business operations. The Star-Telegram says that while Ryan’s title with the team is still CEO, Daniels now has final say over all baseball decisions and George the final say over business decisions, which would seem to leave little room for Ryan. They also report, however, that these moves happened in November internally even though they were just announced this weekend.

Team co-owner Bob Simpson denies that any changes are afoot, so this could all be hooey. But if there really were moves to squeeze Nolan Ryan out, it’s not the sort of thing you’d figure anyone would want to go on record to say.

Worth watching.

  1. bronxbomber213 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    he’s just a Steinbrenner wannabe the way he sits at the rangers game and scowls and looks like he’s angry at the universe or something…I find it hard to believe they would try to faze him out but u never know..worth watching indeed Craig!

    • woody82986 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      That’s just how Nolan looks. Kind of like Tommy Lee Jones. Hard to make him smile. I’d say he is maybe the furthest guy from wanting to be like Steinbrenner in a major league front office. I also don’t believe Nolan wanted to be as “in the spotlight” as he has been for so long. He has other things going on. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this was more of a pull out than a push out. And yeah, mark that last sentence down.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      It might have been a Hamilton Affect. We’ll have to watch Scioscia’s face this year.

    • Jonestein - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      No, you’ve had scowling Nolan burned into your brain because nine times out of ten Craig posts the scowling Nolan pic for any Ryan related news.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Huh, he had that scowl on his face when I sat across from him last August (Tigers 6, Rangers 2).

    • Kevin Gillman - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Ever since Nolan Ryan took over, the Rangers had found success. All I will say is be careful what you ask for, because you might not even get it.

  2. stairwayto7 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Is he sick?

  3. texasdawg - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    This would be great news. Ryan’s role in the Rangers’ rise has always been greatly overstated. Mainly off a comical narrative about his having made Rangers pitchers “tougher.” As if his scowl turned Kameron Loe into Colby Lewis.

    The plan that rebuilt the Rangers was already in place before Tom Hicks brought him on as a smart PR move. Jon Daniels, Thad Levine, and their teams did this. Ryan has just been along for the ride.

    • muscles1331 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      I agree largely with what you are saying. Daniels has done a great job in turning the Rangers into a perennial title contender and the team has one of the best scouting departments in the game. But the Rangers problem was always pitching in that heat and bandbox ballpark. Bringing Ryan in was a great strategic decision because he changed the culture of pitchers using those factors as excuses for poor performances.

      I played a little baseball and when my coach would bring in an ex-major leaguer (nobody of any repute, just someone who made it to the show), you listend when they spoke. To have somebody like Nolan Ryan talking to the team about the importance of pitching deep into games… I think it had a much bigger psychological effect than he gets credit for and was instrumental in turning around the culture of the team.

      • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        On the bright side, if he does leave he probably takes his war criminal buddy with him. It’d be just fine with me not to have to watch a grinning mass murderer pop up in the audience asides on the MLB Network broadcasts.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        Gator, if you tune in after the 7th inning stretch, you don’t have to see him. W always leaves the game early.

      • randygnyc - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        Gator, do you object to all murderers? How about the current war criminal? How do you feel about his extra judicial, in-cold-blood murdering of American Citizens, without trials or charges?

      • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        If they’re overseas, fighting for al-Qeda, trying to overthrow a local government so they can set up a base of jihadist operations, I’m fine with it. American law enforcement officers are often issued shoot-to-kill clearance against an armed and dangerous fugitive. And the difference is – what? That it’s Obama making the call here? As far as I’m concerned they’re not “American citizens” per se any more but enemy combatants. If you’re so offended by the practice of defending ourselves against our sworn enemies, we’ll appoint you special prosecutor and I’ll tell the CIA to hold off on targeting these guys until you can travel to Yemen, Somalia, Waziristan and Oman and take their depositions. Best of luck to you.

        So far, the only mass murderer I’m aware of who hangs around with Ryan is our former unlamented imbecile of a President. If he hangs around with any other mass murderers, I’ll object to them too.

  4. uyf1950 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    I don’t have a horse in this race. But seems to me if the piece is correct then if I’m Ryan I’m pretty pissed. Just my opinion but I think had Ryan’s name not been associated with the ownership team when the sale of the Ranges was going through MLB might never approved the current group. Like I said just my opinion.

    • paperlions - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      MLB didn’t have a choice, the team was auctioned off to the highest bidders as a result of bankruptcy….they can act like they had the power not to approve the new owners all they want, but MLB had no choice other than to accept whoever bought the team.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        I’m not sure that’s 100% accurate. The other team owners/MLB still had to approve the new ownership group AFTER the Bankruptcy Judge approved the sale. It wasn’t an issue however because MLB had already stated they were the preferred group.

      • paperlions - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        MLB wouldn’t have a choice. Bankruptcy court had 100% of the power to sell the team in the best interest of the creditors, and whoever bought it owned it. MLB’s charade of ownership approval only works within the confines of their little club. MLB didn’t have a choice. Whoever the court said owned the team, owned it.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        paperlions, I’m going to disagree with you once again. I suggest you go to this link and read it. But here is the key paragraph in the article:

        “…Final approval of the Rangers sale rests with MLB, which had the option of choosing the second-highest bid instead. But it didn’t come to that….”

        As I said here is the entire link:

        http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/news/story?id=5436579

        Now unless you k now more then the people at ESPN I’m going to stick with my original comment.

      • paperlions - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        I would love to see what would happen in court if MLB rejected the highest bid, taking money out of the pockets of people to whom Hicks was indebted. MLB would probably have to make up the difference to avoid law suits.

      • ltzep75 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        What would happen is likely the exact same thing that would happen to the NHL in their attempts to block the sale of the Coyotes. The NHL was forced to enter a bid along with the top bid, both bids were rejected, but the NHL was invited to resubmit a bid – which was accepted by the court – and thus upon purchasing the franchise, the League could sell to whomever it pleased (i.e.: not a group who would send the team back to where it belonged, Ontario). MLB (and the two other major leagues) filed briefs in the Coyote Bankruptcy matter, followed it closely, and likely would have followed a similar path had there been any concrete issues with the Rangers ownership group.

        BTW – isn’t this something Cur or ProudlyCanadian should be posting?

      • turdfurgerson68 - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        And MLB’s anti-trust exemption trumps as well.

        Frank McCourt was the highest bidder for the Red Sox after the death of Jean Yawkey. By law, the team should have been sold to McCourt. MLB and Selig wanted John Henry to own the team and the anti-trust exemption allowed Yawkey’s estate admistrator to take the lower bid.

    • chill1184 - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      The other group was headed by Mark Cuban and Selig (probably the other owners too) wants no part of Cuban in MLB.

      • jm91rs - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Exactly uyf1950’s point. Had Cuban come out as the highest bidder he would have been passed over for Ryan’s group likely.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        That would’ve been a mess. Cuban probably would’ve sued. The creditors might have fought it too, and I think that MLB would have to come up with a better rationale for the choice to tell the judge than: we don’t like him. It would’ve been tied up in legal wranglings for some time then, I think. And, in the meantime, someone would have to be responsible for making payroll, etc. Conveniently, it worked out the other way.

      • dondada10 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Wish Cuban would buy the Mets…

  5. a125125125 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    “This would be something of a big deal it seem.”

    Hardball Talk: Come for overly sensitive belly-aching by a hack writer. Stay for the grammatical errors by a hack writer.

    • heyblueyoustink - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      a125125125 eh? And here I always thought it was “1,2,3,4,5,5,5,5, let’s sing a song about 5.”

      I was mistaken.

    • youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Hardball Talk: Come back again for comments from a boob about his least favorite writer.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      It seems as though some people stay to post comments that place excessive significance on a missing ‘s’. Seriously, if you have something better to do with your life than read this blog, by all means go and do it.

    • natslady - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      I’ve always enjoyed Bill’s writing–even though it was about the Fillies. Lots of in-depth analysis. Maybe it’s the pressure of having to make so many posts so quickly.

    • ltzep75 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      You must be one of those Yahoo readers whom Craig warned us about some time back. Don’t worry – you’re going to continue to eke out a lonely existence by anon. postings on the internet that provide you no inherent self worth and only seek to tear down others. Have a great eternity of doing whatever else it is that you do.

      • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:18 PM

        I think if ‘ol 125 were allowed on Yahoo, that’s where he’d be. He’s probably only here because they found him too dimwitted to let him hang around over there.

  6. heyblueyoustink - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Maybe he broke some kind of important rule:

    “Ryan, some things in here don’t react well to bullets.” …… or noogies for that matter.

  7. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    This has me concerned about Nolan’s health. Hope he’s okay.

  8. randygnyc - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I believe MLB has to approve any sale, including one in bankruptcy. Also, I think MLB retains the right of first refusal and can buy the team themselves if they don’t approve/like the buyers.

    • youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Sale?? Who said anything about a sale. Nolan doesn’t own the Rangers.

      • youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Let me clarify: Nolan is not cole (not even majority) owner of the Rangers. Him leaving and selling his share to Davis and company would not constitute a change in ownership anymore than when Greenberg did the same. That’s why I’m not sure where your sale approval monologue was founded.

      • youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        Let me clarify: Nolan is not sole (not even majority) owner of the Rangers. Him leaving and selling his share to Davis and company would not constitute a change in ownership anymore than when Greenberg did the same. That’s why I’m not sure where your sale approval monologue was founded.

  9. jm91rs - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    How much of the team does he own?

  10. echech88 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Nolan Ryan possibly out but Magic Johnson gets to parade around like a baseball man. Right.

  11. artisan3m - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Nolan’s presence in the new owners’ group was more sweetener than substance. Make no mistake, Jon Daniels deserves virtually all the credit for building a perennial contender. That team was fairly well solidified before the bankruptcy issue became center stage and Ryan entered the picture. I doubt that Daniels would overtly try to squeeze Ryan out but by the same token he knows that he will always be dwarfed by Nolan’s shadow and that can be troubling for a young man of tremendous capability and ambition. Moreover, there is no certainty that Nolan wants to remain in his current capacity. He surely doesn’t need the money, he has unchallenged fame, and he is not a spotlight seeker. Never has been, not even in his playing days. It found him because of his on the field accomplishments. There seems to be no consideration that Nolan himself may encouraged these management adjustments late last year. Time will tell ~ and I believe whatever accounting of the matter is given by Ryan will be believable and accurate.

  12. baredon - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    He’s an old man with not that much time left…. He needs to be on the front porch enjoying family and friends…

    He knows that he saw the Rangers get as close to winning the WS as they will ever get….

  13. ltzep75 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I think the real question is: Who is W going to sit next to at ballgames if Ryan is out?

    • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Good question. Milosevich is dead, and Karadzic and Mladic are awaiting trial in the Hague. I would have no objections, though, to Bush sitting next to the two of them for the next twenty years or so – in their basement cells, I mean.

  14. dirtydrew - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Nolan Ryan along with Cal Ripkin are two of the Hall of Fame steroid users. He was throwing in the high 90’s in his mid 40’s. right, sort of like playing 2500 games in a row when everyone was else was using steroids. Right…good riddance.

  15. jimbo75025 - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I still think the photo should have been a snap of Nolan beating Robin Ventura like a red headed stepchild. 20 years later and is still the first image that pops in my head whenever someone says his name.

    Who knows, maybe Nolan looked over the Rangers staff at the beginning of the spring and has decided to make a comeback

    • jiminthebay - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      i’m sure that image comes to ventura too. lawdy , that was a thing of beauty. speedbag on a swivel.

  16. unlost1 - Mar 4, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    i think it’s because they are thinking about signing Loshe LOL

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