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Nolan Ryan meets with Astros owner about returning to the organization’s front office

Jan 28, 2014, 10:13 PM EDT

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MLB.com beat writer Brian McTaggart has the story:

HOUSTON — Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan met with Astros owner Jim Crane and president of business operations Reid Ryan on Tuesday morning at Minute Maid Park, a source confirmed for MLB.com.

Reid, son of the Texas legend, said last week Crane was scheduled to meet with his father sometime this week, perhaps to discuss a return to the organization in an official capacity.

Ryan served as an adviser to former Astros owner Drayton McLane from 2004-2008. He then took a high-level position with the Rangers, but that ended in October after some clashing with young GM Jon Daniels.

Ryan, an old-school baseball man, is probably interviewing for a position on the business side of things in Houston. That would avoid any issues with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow — whose data-based approach is similar to Daniels’ — and would allow the 66-year-old Ryan to work closely with his son.

  1. fordmandalay - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Even if his only function and title is Baseball Ambassador, the Astros should be happy to hire him and give him a big office, and count themselves lucky to have a true legend as part of their organization and history.

  2. fbwangus8736 - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Nolan has stated He doesn’t want to be a Baseball Ambassador, He wants to be on the inside helping to run things day to day. If this causes the GM to say I quit, worst move the Astros coud make.

    • paperlions - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:48 AM

      There is a reason the meeting was with the owner and the president of business operations and did not include anyone from baseball operations.

  3. bendover09 - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Don’t expect the Astros to be the Rangers. Jon Daniels put this farm system into play during the Hicks era. You can hate Tom Hicks all you want but he took all the heat for the Rangers losing ways BUT during that process he trusted in Daniels to build a contendor for the future , the right way. What is it 5+ years the rangers now have a contending team and a bright future in all leagues. I’m not going to discredit Nolan he is a good guy, I mean he gives speeches right? Sold some seats.. I don’t think he ever showed up at the minor leagues nor does he do any of the scouting … Just puzzled when people think this ONE man will turn it around. Takes an organization.

    • quintjs - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      Daniel’s and his team do not get enough credit for turning the Rangers around, everyone seems to talk about Ryan and pitch counts, and not the group of people who brought in all of the talent.

      • miketreedy - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        The biggest issue the Rangers have always had was pitching. They could always hit. The Rangers were able to make the WS because they finally learned to pitch at the ballpark. Ryan (along with Greg Maddox who he hired) turned around the pitching staff and for the first time made pitching a strength not the huge weakness it had always been.

        On the business side for the Rangers having Ryan also helped turn things around. People started following the Rangers again because of Ryan. He is the most popular and respected Ranger of all time.

        Not saying it was all him but he was a huge part of getting the Rangers turned around.

      • bendover09 - Jan 29, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Mike, saying that means you’re talking out your ass.. I’m sorry but does a name Mike Maddux mean anything to you? Greg is a fielding pitcher specialist for the team. The rangers had the pitchers in place long before Nolan. Colby, japan. Nothing to do with Nolan. Harrison trade from Jon. Elvis, trade from Jon. derrek, another young lefty, from Daniels.

        You and the rest of the Nolan supporters are the reason why Nolan is gone in Texas. People of the organization is tired of hearing he did it when all he did was sit there and get fat

    • bendover09 - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      Out of those 18 votes how does one not realize Mike Maddux? Loyal Ryan supporters. Everyone in the game of baseball knows Mike is the better pitching coach and Greg is the better player. Those are two completely different aspects .. just bc you’re a good player does not mean you can teach players

    • rohlo - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      the astros farm system has been rebuilt by lunhow already as it is ranked #1 farm system in baseball.thing is astros were making playoff runs and title contenders for a decade basically tradign away their farm system assets and it was ranked #1..dont try to act liek the rangers are the model of consistent baseball in texas just because of their recent success! the rangers have been bottom feeders since they were the washington senators until last 5-6 years.. nobody is saying nolan is gonna trun the astros into what the rangers have been able to accomplish..they astros have already bee nwhere the rangers are and di it well before the rangers did..stop acting like the rangers invented winning baseball in texas.. the astros were winning pennants and division titles well beforethe rangers ever did.. just like most typical bandwagon rangers fans who seem to forget their horrible history of a franchise before they finally became relovent. astros have a bright future and it will not be becasue nolan is coming back,it is just good to see him back with his home franchise where he had his best years..imo i think he went into the hall as a ranger because he was trying to help the franchise image as they always sucked and im sure his palms were greased along the way to do it. kinda like wade boggs going into the hall as a tampa bay devil ray.. the hall of fame would have put him in as an astro hands down,but by the new hall rules today he would have a blank hat like they gave to tony larussa and greg maddux.

  4. jerruhjones - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    The Rangers are going to miss him!

  5. stex52 - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Like it or not, Nolan’s value to a franchise is as a “baseball ambassador.” He probably can sell some seats and create some good will in the community, albeit that I am not his biggest fan.

    I’m not sure what else I thinks his role should be. Clemens has been said to work well with the young pitchers; Ryan I have not heard so much. But there is undoubtedly some market value to tying his name to the franchise. I am sure that was at least in the back of their minds when they brought Reid in. Count me as a doubter on that one, but right now Reid has seemed to bring some peace to a troubled business operation. As I have said before, it would also be great if the Round Rock AAA franchise ends up back with the Astros.

    But, after three years of desperate failure, baseball operations appears to be on an upswing. If Crane lets anyone mess with that he is an idiot.

    • stex52 - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      “he thinks”, not “I thinks”. MORE COFFEE!!!!!

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      We agree on this one. I like Nolan Ryan the pitcher. I am not sure I care for him so much as a baseball administrator. as things stand I heartily approve of what is going on in Houston right now. They have made a sound investment in their future and if they stick with young players with potential they’ll contend by the the season after next. In fact, I think they have a chance to be decent this season. Precisely what Nolan Ryan will add to that is a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe he can lure in some big name FA in the event that they need a bat or an arm should a miracle occur and they’re looking to contend?

  6. babyfarkmcgeezax - Jan 29, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Highly convenient timing by Nolan, with the Astros’ highly regarded farm system possibly coming to fruition in the next few years.

  7. rohlo - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    the ryans are the ones with interest in the cc hooks and rr express.. nolan ryan had alot to do with the round rock express changing affiliations to the rangers. i can almost garantee that when contracts come up again the express will be an astros affiliate again. thing that is still stupid to me is having the two mlb teams in texas in the same league. the teams should definitely be in the west divisions but in different leagues… good ol bud selig moves his crap brewers to the nl then forces the astros to the american league taking away the possibility of there ever beign a texas world series where both teams are good!

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