One of my favorite things about living in 2013 is the abundance of information available to me. If ever there is something I want to know — anything, really — I can find it. All it takes is a quick Internet search to be the newest pseudo-expert on whatever fancy I choose on that day.
I remember about a year-and-a-half ago sitting outside my apartment, indulging in my typical cigarettes-and-random-online-searches routine, when I stumbled on Nolan Writin’; I imagine my first thought must have been: Jesus, this website sucks. The quality of the writing wasn’t up to par — a forgivable offense — but more importantly the information being presented was not entirely factual. That was my biggest issue.
I then did something I’m not usually compelled to do: I wrote an email to one of the Fansided editors explaining piece-by-piece everything that was wrong with the page; it may have been the rudest email I had ever sent, as I was not anticipating any sort of response. But I got one anyway, and the person who wrote me back even asked if I’d be willing to jump on as a staff writer.
I accepted, and wrote for the NW’ staff during the 2012 season. In October, the editor left to host the Washington Nationals site, and I offered to assume the editor position, which Fansided allowed. And that was really cool of them.
However, the one drawback to Nolan Writin’ — other than me, probably — is the name. The name is stupid.
In essence, this blog is ostensibly celebrating the Texas Rangers minority owner. And although that, by itself, isn’t reason enough to chastise, Nolan Ryan‘s actions during this most recent offseason are worthy of justifiable hatred, and it’s a shame that — even though I’ve twice attempted to facilitate a name change with Fansided — the broad appeal of the Ryan name is more important to them, apparently. It’s completely reasonable for heavily-invested Ranger fans to see “Nolan Writin’” and scoff, and never read anything based solely on the name.
If for some reason you are unfamiliar with my particular angst directed at Nolan, I would strongly encourage you to read this piece by Mike Hindman, where he systematically breaks down the magnitude of Ryan’s perceived contributions to the Rangers organization. Among the highlights are:
As has been well documented, Ryan has never made personnel decisions, he doesn’t negotiate contracts, doesn’t spend countless hours on the phone talking to or texting with Byrnes, O’Dowd, Melvin, Shapiro, Cherington, Beane, Sabean, Dombrowski, et al. He has never been involved in the day-to-day rigors of gathering and synthesizing scouting reports. [...]
I doubt that there is a board of a single successful company in this country that would tolerate its CEO going into hiding at a time when the company, going through a transformation of sorts, is suffering through what is now a full week of public relations damage, allowing the public and the media to speculate ad nauseum about what caused this mess and who is to blame. In spite of his brilliance as an executive over the past five years, it’s going to be very difficult to retain (or regain) his credibility in that role going forward given this week where he is so clearly and publicly putting his own interests over those of the franchise.
I’m not even going to pretend to understand the type of love-fest some Ranger fans still have for Nolan Ryan, why some still believe he is responsible for why the franchise went from cellar-dweller to powerhouse, or why we at NW’ — by virtue of carrying his name — cosmetically prolong these fallacies.
I do know what I, personally, am in control of through my writing. If these last two years, and probably close to 300 articles, are in vein, so be it. My perception of what is real and truthful are obviously separate from any reader that mistakenly trips over this page.
But if there is anything to be gained from my time here, let it not be mistaken with any sort of praise for the organization’s figurehead. You are most definitely smarter than that.