Disclaimer: possible conspiracy theories below.
A couple days ago I mentioned Randy Galloway’s initial reaction to Jon Daniels becoming the new President Of Baseball Operations. Galloway — from the Dallas Morning News — viewed it as ownership’s signal to cut down on Nolan Ryan‘s power to the point where it’s nonexistent, and furthermore that he will no longer be necessary to the Texas Rangers. By the end of spring training, Ryan will retire, according to Galloway.
I initially rejected the idea, but last night Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram added more fuel to the fire, going so far as to say:
Through it all, said Daniels, he and Ryan have maintained a working relationship that has strengthened over the years.
“I think it’s grown,” Daniels said. “We’re from different backgrounds and different perspectives, but there’s a mutual respect. We don’t always agree, but I think that’s a healthy thing. You’d be hard-pressed to find two people who always do.”
But Ryan is sensing uncertainty now, according to sources, and is strongly considering leaving the club. That notion had several players raising their eyebrows and wondering what was going on behind the scenes.
Outside the organization, I get the impression Nolan Ryan is viewed in a nearly infallible sort of way, like his presence alone turned the Rangers from a dormant franchise, overnight, into one of baseball’s best. The truth is, the only “culture-altering” concept Nolan Ryan introduced is the idea that Ranger starters should pitch deeper into games, but even that conveniently coincided with the Rangers actually having better pitching (Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, and Derek Holland, at times).
If Nolan Ryan left the organization tomorrow, It would not bother me in the least. Daniels and his team are of significantly more value to the franchise than the figurehead minority owner.
Truth be told, the more power Nolan hypothetically were to receive from ownership, the worse off the franchise would figure to be in the longterm. It’s no secret that Jon Daniels, Thad Levine and A.J. Preller have been the true backbone of the Texas Rangers’ rise to prominence. If you risk losing Daniels, you risk losing everybody. By locking Daniels down, it keeps the entire group intact, which, like currency, is security. (Jamey Newberg even had the idea that Levine move into the GM chair, and Preller take his current job as assistant.)
Let’s put it this way: Daniels and Ryan have collectively worked as the crucible to the neo-Rangers — the Rangers we know them as today. But if one of them has to go, it’s Ryan, and without hesitation.
If you are asking me, I see no reason why Nolan Ryan should leave, and I don’t know why he would. I mean, yeah, supposedly he was against the signing of Yu Darvish, while being the driving force behind bringing Roy Oswalt to Arlington. Daniels, on the other hand, was apparently all-in on Darvish (which he was right about) and against the acquisition of Oswalt (which he was also right about).
Could those decisions be playing a role in the alleged feud that’s currently taking place? I’d like to imagine Nolan Ryan’s ego isn’t big enough that he would throw away his stake in the franchise over little kid shit like that.
But who knows; I mean, he did oust Josh Lewin. Like a child, I’m not sure if I’ll ever forgive Nolan for that.