Monday, October 17, 2011
Owner: 'We're committed to sustaining this'
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bob Simpson, co-chairman of the board of the Rangers, walked around Rangers Ballpark in Arlington shaking hands and hugging members of the organization following Game 6 of the ALCS. And he didn't try to hide his excitement at going back to another World Series.
"This is so great," Simpson said. "To see these fans so excited like this. I have been a Ranger fan since 1972. I’ve seen the good times and the bad times. To see what Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels and Ron Washington and this organization have done is great. This ownership group supports it and we’re not done yet."
Simpson talked with several media members after the game, vowing that the Rangers wanted to make it a habit of winning division titles and making postseason runs:
Q: Can the Rangers sustain this level of excellence, which will cost more money as the years go by?
BS: Our challenge is going to be to keep this level of talent together and we know that. We’re going to step up and put some money in, ask the fans to support us and help us and see if we can’t deliver something like this every year. We want a great fan experience. We’re committed to sustaining this level of play.
Q: Talk about stepping up with the financial resources to sign Adrian Beltre.
BS: That was a particularly smart acquisition. The year that Michael has had, the other stars. We’re here because of the whole team. We had a lot of talk about ‘Why didn’t you get Cliff Lee?’ Well, we tried. As it turns out, I think what came to pass was better.
Q: This is a top media market, can Rangers fans expect the club to have a top-5 budget?
BS: Maybe eventually as we transition. I think rather than have a payroll goal, we have a talent and level of play goal. Money can’t buy success by itself. That’s been proved over and over again. What I would recommend to the owners is support this management, support this talent and if we have to step up from time to time financially, we will. Unlike some other teams, there’s been no money taken out by the owners. We expect to put money in every year for several years until we get to the sustained big-time and also until our TV contract steps up in 2015. We are committed and want to keep this level of play. You can’t ever guarantee it because it’s a competitive world. But our philosophy is to sustain this level of play and we know it’s going to cost more money. We’ll do everything within reason to keep it there and keep this going.
Q: What does this mean for you personally?
BS: It comes at a great time in my life. We just sold our company a couple of years ago and I’ve got a little more time. It’s a different experience and certainly a lot of luck, I understand that. But I’m around people that create luck. I think they can sustain it. I think Nolan Ryan is unbelievable. It’s sort of a novelty among franchises because you’ve got this icon and he’s a CEO and president and a baseball tutor and cares about people. He’s genuine with lots of integrity. It’s a great organization to be associated with.