Some thoughts on Chuck Greenberg's exit

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
3:26
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Now that I've had a little time to digest the Chuck Greenberg departure, here are a few thoughts. (I may update some of these following the news conference this afternoon):

* This didn't just happen all of a sudden. There were things that built through the offseason that led to this decision. Some of those are noted here, so I won't get into all of that on the blog. But Greenberg himself in his statement noted "different styles" with Nolan Ryan and the co-chairs of the board Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. Greenberg probably had his version of what his role would be and Ryan, Simpson and Davis had another.

* Greenberg was in that rare job of being the general managing partner and CEO despite having a small stake in the team. He did a great job of putting together the group of investors, most of them local. But most of those investors -- including the biggest ones -- don't come on board without Ryan being a major part of the leadership. So unlike Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban, owners that have money to back up their titles, Greenberg was the face, but without a bunch of financial clout. The big money (Simpson and Davis) were on the board and behind the scenes. If Greenberg tried to assume more control than Ryan, Simpson and Davis thought he should have, he wouldn't have had the financial leverage to do much about it.

* At some point, it was clear that Greenberg couldn't work within the organizational structure. And there's little doubt that Davis, Simpson and the board would back Ryan. Now, with the title of CEO, there's no doubt he's running the organization. No questions about who does what. Ryan is in charge of both business and baseball operations. He's the boss with the backing of the board (and they'll make a united front at that news conference today).

* GM Jon Daniels said Greenberg's trip to Arkansas didn't impact Cliff Lee's decision. I agree. But it did leave a perception with some about who was running baseball operations. Instead of Ryan or Daniels going out there again, it was Greenberg (with assistant GM Thad Levine and Davis). Sure, owners can sometimes get involved in things, but the understanding when Greenberg bought the club was that Ryan would run baseball operations. It was odd to see him make that last push with Lee.

* One thing Ben, of Ben & Skin on 103.3 FM ESPN mentioned that I think is worth considering is that for a while, all the media wanted to talk to Greenberg. But as the offseason progressed, do you remember hearing him much or seeing him much? Part of that is that if you wanted to talk Rangers, you called Ryan or Daniels. If you wanted to talk about the scoreboard or corporate sponsorships, you called Greenberg. Maybe that wasn't what Greenberg thought was going to happen. That's merely speculation on Ben's part, but it's an interesting thought.

* Chuck Cooperstein said, while I was on with Coop & Nate today on 103.3, that one thing the club must replace is Greenberg's ability to shake a bunch of hands. That's true. Greenberg took his role as an ownership face of the franchise very seriously. He met more fans than any MLB owner, I would guess. He made it feel like it was everyone's team, not just the ownership group. The Rangers will have to find some folks to step up in that area. Ryan already does some of that, but others will need to as well.

* I'll be honest with you that whenever I tried to talk to Greenberg about on-field issues, he told me to talk to Ryan and Daniels. That's why this surprises me. I figured Greenberg wouldn't meddle. And maybe more than meddling, it was just a clash of personalities and roles.

I'll have more later on the blog on what this means for Daniels.

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