Ryan Leaves Rangers, Next Stop Houston?
As of October 31, Nolan Ryan will walk away from the job of CEO of the Texas Rangers ball club.
The news, announced on October 17, may have come as no shock to people who closely follow the Rangers, but to most fans, the loss of a team legend is a confusing and depressing thought to digest.
Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels have had numerous disagreements over the last 4 years when it came to baseball operations. All Ranger fans have accepted this love/hate relationship in the front office due to the success that the team has had recently. When it came down to business, the majority owners of the team (Ray Davis and Bob Simpson) finally opted to give full power of the team to Daniels.
That was the final straw for Nolan. It is well documented that Ryan is a bit of a control freak, relishing in the position of "boss". So when the decision came down that Daniels would be at the helm, Nolan made quick work of cleaning out his office and resigning as CEO. He even went as far to sell his portion of the team, effectively cutting all ties to the organization.
Speculation on Nolan's future was on topic at the press conference that announced the news. "Will I be the CEO of another major league ballclub? No, I won't," Ryan said. "But I'm not going to sit here today and tell you that I don't know what a year from now might bring. This might be the final chapter of my baseball career. If there was something else I did, it certainly wouldn't be in the role I had with the Rangers."
Those sound like cryptic messages to me.
Nolan's son, Reid, is currently the president of the Houston Astros. Although Ryan has stated that he is currently more interested in being around his grandchildren and working on his ranch, if his competitive fires start to burn again, you can be sure that Houston is on the top of that list.
Don't forget that Houston is where Ryan once headlined the starting rotation, pitching for the Astros from 1980 to 1988. Ryan also recorded his 5th no-hitter as a member of the Astros on September 26, 1981 vs the LA Dodgers.
Oh, did I mention that the Astros are now in the same division as the Texas Rangers? Surely Nolan wouldn't seek revenge againist the team that stripped him of his executive powers. Right?
Only time will tell if the "Ryan Express" is truly retired from the world of baseball.
Until then, another question remains unanswered - who will sit next to George W. Bush at Rangers' home games?