Thursday, October 17, 2013
Ryan will be missed, but Rangers will survive
By Todd Wills
Nolan Ryan's resignation as Rangers CEO will alter the club's front office. The man known around these parts as Big Tex won't be in his usual front row seat for the team's season opener in 2014.
Nolan Ryan's role in on-field baseball decisions was already reduced when Jon Daniels took over as president of baseball operations before the season.
Ryan also sold his stake in the club to owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, so he will no longer have a financial connection to the team.
So how will Ryan's departure impact things on the field?
He'll be missed by some of the players, including pitcher Derek Holland, who had the best season of his career in 2013 after seeking counsel from Ryan.
"He was a mentor and a friend," Holland said Thursday. "He helped me on and off the field. I'm devastated to hear the news that he's retiring. I'm going to miss him."
But as far as the structure of the roster, don't expect much of an impact. When general manager Jon Daniels took over as president of baseball operations before the season, Ryan's role in on-field baseball decisions was reduced.
Daniels makes the baseball decisions. He, along with trusted assistant Thad Levine and others, will decide if the Rangers should trade for David Price. Or get involved in the bidding for Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Or free agent catcher Brian McCann. Daniels and Co. will make the decision on whether Nelson Cruz returns to the ball club.
Daniels will oversee a slight rebuilding project after a 91-win season, which will focus on the scouting and development department.
Ryan will be missed in Arlington for sure. He's an institution.
But when it comes to the product the Rangers put on the field, don't expect much too change. This still appears to be a franchise with a lot of winning to do.