For the better part of a few months now, fans of the Texas Rangers sat quietly by their respective social media outlets and waited for some sort of response from CEO Nolan Ryan.
Sources had been saying Nolan Ryan was on his way out, regardless of the opinions of Bob Simpson and Ray Davis saying the contrary. But the question no one could answer was, “why was Ryan being so quiet about his decision?”
It was that silence that led a lot of “baseball insiders” to believe Nolan Ryan absolutely was leaving the Texas Rangers, and it was just a matter of time before the announcement was made.
Tuesday evening, April 10, the decision and announcement was made.
“After productive discussions the last several weeks with Ray Davis and Bob Simpson about the structure of our organization, together we are moving forward. In my role as CEO, I am focused on working closely with ownership and with Jon Daniels and Rick George to build on the success of the past five years and to bring a championship to Arlington.”
That statement, given by Nolan Ryan himself, ended months of speculation and questions about his future with the Rangers organization.
Say what you want about how this was handled, not only by Nolan Ryan but also by the Texas Rangers. Some might say it was a public relations nightmare, one that normally comes from the stadium down the street, not the one that houses a baseball team.
If you ask me, Nolan Ryan was never going to leave the Rangers. I had said from the very beginning, and even though there were those who continued to tell me “every insider says he’s leaving,” no one wanted to stop and think about that for any more than a few seconds.
What financial sense did it make for him to leave? What other team would pay a guy like this more than $6 million to sit behind home plate and be nothing more than a famous mascot? One the Rangers can say “hey, look who owns the team.”
Texas can survive without him, but they’ve chosen not to. How long this lasts is anyone’s guess. Whether it’s just for this season or the next few, the Texas Rangers can keep putting Nolan Ryan in his seat behind the plate. It won’t help in recruiting free agents, that much has been clear over the last few offseasons. Having him within the organization doesn’t guarantee a World Series championship or even an automatic berth to the October Classic.
For now, Nolan Ryan will continue doing whatever it is that he does on a daily basis and for however long they want him to do it.