Texas Rangers: Jim Crane

Report: Astros owner talks to Nolan Ryan

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
4:09
PM CT
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane confirmed to the Houston Chronicle that he has reached out to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan since Ryan left the Rangers. But no offer has been made to join the Astros, according to the report. Ryan's son, Reid, is the club's president of business operations.

"I have talked to Nolan," Crane told the Chronicle on Thursday. "We haven’t really discussed anything about him joining the team yet. But that certainly could be a possibility down the road. It depends what Nolan wants. ... As far as an offer of us talking about a position, we haven’t done that."

Ryan's joining the Astros could certainly make some sense with his history in the organization and with one of his sons there. But Ryan indicated last month when he announced his resignation from the Rangers that he wanted to take some time away and wasn't sure what he wanted to do.

Ryan is also mulling a run for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, as he confirmed to ESPN Dallas earlier this month.
Let the Nolan Ryan rumors begin.

The Houston Astros announced Monday morning that team president and CEO George Postolos has resigned.

PODCAST
Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.

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If Ryan wants the job, he can probably have it because he’s an even bigger legend in Houston than he is in Arlington.

There’s just one question Ryan must ask himself. Does he want a chance to win a World Series or would he prefer to try to resurrect the second-worst franchise in baseball?

(Just so you know, Miami is by far baseball’s worst franchise.)

Ryan can have all the power and authority he wants in Houston, and owner Jim Crane would probably let him re-hire many of the people the organization has fired.

But it’s going to take several years for that team to resemble anything close to a winner.

The Rangers are winning right now and Ryan gets plenty of credit and no blame for anything, which is as good as it gets in the world of sports.

Yes, some of Ryan’s power has been usurped by president Jon Daniels, who’s in charge of the entire baseball operation, and Rick George, who oversees the business operation. But his presence remains all over the organization.

The Rangers are better with Ryan than without him, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Hall of Fame pitcher remains hacked at losing a chunk of his power in the offseason.

The question is whether he’s still peeved enough to leave the American League power he helped build for a raggedy franchise in need of repair a few hours down I-45.

He'll think about it, but he won't go. Unfinished business remains in Arlington.

Houston Astros' switch to AL West is good call

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
2:04
PM CT


The Houston Astros' move to the American League West in 2013 is a decision steeped in logic and a shift that needed to occur.

Astros fans won't immediately see it this way. They'll decry the addition of the designated hitter and the loss of the double-switch, as all good National League lifers would. They also won't like moving out of a division played almost exclusively in the Central time zone and into one in which three of the five teams play on the West Coast. Ask any Texas Rangers fan, that's a lot of late-night baseball and sluggish mornings for the 9-to-5 crowd.

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, who grew up in rural Alvin not far from Houston -- and later pitched for the Astros -- has said for months that he's in favor of the realignment.

"I grew up an Astros fan, but I understand the desire to balance out the two leagues," Ryan said during the season. "From our perspective, having them in our division, I like it, because it gives us another team in our time zone. We’re at a disadvantage in our division that way because so many of our games start at 9 o’clock, and it hurts our TV ratings. I think that if both teams are competitive in a given year, it will create a good rivalry within the state. I think there’s a lot of pluses from our perspective.”

From purely a baseball standpoint, this had to happen.

For too long, baseball settled for a 16-team National League and a 14-team American League. And for too long, the AL West stood as a four-team division compared to the AL's East and Central divisions. Meanwhile, the NL's East and West divisions had five teams while the Central coped as an unwieldy six-team division.

That alignment came about during a 1997 vote as baseball allowed a team to move from one league to the other for the first time since the major leagues were formed in 1903. Now, it will happen twice in 15 years. The Milwaukee Brewers made the switch before the 1998 season and that AL city has survived the switch -- including the double-switch.

This move is a condition of the sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane. The Astros are the obvious choice to switch leagues and balance the divisions, as Ryan has noted, from a geographical and rivalry standpoint.

A long-time member of the NL West before moving to the Central in 1994 when baseball opted for the three-division format in both leagues, the Astros aren't exactly steeped in Central Division rivalry or tradition -- although they did advance to the franchise's lone World Series in 2005 as a member of the division. The Dodgers served as their biggest rival from the old days, so there's minimal damage from the rivalry standpoint.

And that leads us to the Silver Boot, the interleague prize of the Lone Star Series between the two clubs that has annually attracted sellout crowds in Arlington and Houston -- cities that didn't even know or care that the other played baseball prior to the invention of interleague play. Other than when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox come to Arlington, the Astros are a top draw and fans have seemed to enjoy making the four-hour drive to the other's park.

The boot can stay as a prize for the trophy case, but now that these two Texas teams will play in the same division, the boot will take a backseat to the division title.

Dazzling Dozen: Auction winners, grand slam

November, 15, 2010
11/15/10
12:00
PM CT
Perhaps the biggest off-field story of the season occurred at the same time as a big on-field performance. And that brings us our top-5 of the 12 most memorable moments.

No. 5: Chuck Greenberg, Nolan Ryan win auction and Rangers win with Michael Young grand slam

The day was Aug. 4. Well, at least the game and auction started on Aug. 4. Both finished on Aug. 5 and ended up with a victory for club president Nolan Ryan and the Rangers.

After months of court hearings and motions, the fate of the Rangers ended up in an open auction in bankruptcy court. Rangers Baseball Express, the group headed by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, went up against a group involving Houston businessman Jim Crane and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The auction took 10 hours and culminated in a late night-early morning bidding process that ended up with the Greenberg-Ryan group owning the team. Ryan called it an emotional roller coaster.

But as the bids were exchanged and the Ryan-Greenberg group was sending in its final bid, Michael Young hit a grand slam home run in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. The Rangers won, 11-6, ending a two-game losing streak (and three of the last four). The win was the start of a three-game winning streak for the Rangers.

After the game, the clubhouse was buzzing as news trickled in that the Greenberg-Ryan group had won the bidding. Young said it was a "big day on and off the field for the Rangers" and players expressed appreciation that Ryan would remain in the organization.

"Every since Nolan has been on board here, this franchise has gone nowhere but the correct way and the right direction inside and out," Murphy said that night. "You look at the farm system, you look at the big league club and it's gotten better in all aspects. He's not just a Texas icon; he's a baseball icon. I think people will be proud that he's part of the ownership group of the Texas Rangers."

It was one of those rare days when events coincided in a big way for the Rangers organization. The win kept the Rangers eight games in front in the AL West and helped them get going after a rough start to the road trip on the west coast. And the group favored by most of the Rangers fans managed to outbid Cuban and Crane to win the rights to the team.

More reasons this made the top-12:

* Greenberg had worked for more than a year to own the Rangers. He was passionate about the team, had gotten to know some of the players and was clearly putting in a ton of effort to own the club. He had committed to moving down to Texas and was going to leave Ryan in charge of the baseball operations. The Ranger fan base liked him and wanted him to get the team. So Aug. 4-5 was an important time for the franchise.

* It was thought that the entire bankruptcy process would distract the Rangers. Turns out it really didn't. Players didn't discuss it much in the clubhouse and worried about the on-field stuff. Credit the team leaders and manager Ron Washington for that.

* The resolution gave the franchise some stability with two months to go in the season. It was after the trade deadline, but before the stretch drive. And while I don't think the events impacted the clubhouse, it had to impact the front office. Now, finally, they knew who the new bosses would be and the current staff that was serving under Ryan would know they were likely to stay. There was a calming effect on the entire franchise.

Do you remember where you were that night? Were you on twitter and checking the blogs for updates? Did you watch the Rangers' game in Seattle? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

BTW, here is Jim Reeves' column on the auction.

Season in review: August-September

October, 6, 2010
10/06/10
7:00
AM CT
The final two months of the Rangers regular season included some defining moments, like the ownership auction and the AL West division clinching game. Here's a look back at August and September, 2010:

Aug. 4: Michael Young’s grand slam keys an 11-6 come-from-behind win over the Mariners in Seattle. Just before Young’s homer, Rangers Baseball Express had put in what would become the winning bid in an auction for the club. The group, headed by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and club president Nolan Ryan, beat out Houston businessman Jim Crane and partner Mark Cuban in the race to own the club (technically, they won the auction in the wee hours of Aug. 5).

Aug. 10: Texas beats the Yankees in 10 innings as David Murphy gets a single off closer Mariano Rivera.

Aug. 12: MLB approves the sale of the team to Rangers Baseball Express.

Aug. 13: Josh Hamilton almost single-handedly leads the Rangers to a huge come-from-behind win over the Red Sox, 10-9, in 11 innings. Hamilton goes 4-for-5 with a double, a homer, a walk and a stolen base. He scored the tying run in the eighth from second base on an infield single and Nelson Cruz ended the game with a homer. The win came two days after the Yankees came back from a 6-1 deficit to hand the Rangers a tough loss at home.

Aug. 16: Nelson Cruz goes on the DL for the third time with hamstring issues.

Aug. 18: The Rangers fall, 8-6, to the Rays and are swept in Tampa Bay.

Aug. 20: After losing four straight, C.J. Wilson pitches one out short of a complete game and doesn’t give up a run to help the Rangers win 2-0 over Baltimore.

Aug. 23: Rich Harden is lifted after two outs in the seventh despite not having allowed a hit (but he had a high pitch count). The bullpen keeps the Twins hitless until Neftali Feliz gives up a one-out single to Joe Mauer in the ninth of a 4-0 Rangers win. Texas takes three of four from the Twins.

Aug. 30: Cruz returns from the disabled list as the Rangers win, 3-0, in Kansas City.

Aug. 31: Right before the deadline for players to be eligible for postseason, the Rangers trade for Jeff Francoeur, giving them an additionally right-handed bat. Cliff Lee complains of back tightness after giving up seven runs (four earned) in just 4 2/3 innings against the Royals.

Sept. 2: The club enjoys an off day in Minnesota and an Oakland loss puts them 10 games ahead in the AL West, tying the largest division lead in franchise history.

Sept. 3: Texas signs Mark Prior to a minor-league contract.

Sept. 4: The Rangers lose to the Twins, 12-4, and Josh Hamilton bruises his ribs hitting the center field wall at Target Field and is out of the lineup for an extended period of time.

Sept. 8: Behind a strong performance by Derek Holland and some timely hitting, the Rangers end a five-game losing streak by beating the Blue Jays.

Sept. 10: Texas beats the Yankees, 6-5, in 13 innings in a game that took 5 hours, 12 minutes. Nelson Cruz hits the third walkoff homer of his career. Cruz also tied the game with a homer in the eighth.

Sept. 11: The Rangers win again in walkoff fashion as Jeff Franceour is hit by a pitch from New York closer Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded to give the Rangers a 7-6 win in front of a sellout crowd. The game took 4 hours, 16 minutes, the second-longest nine-inning game in Rangers history.

Sept. 12: Texas completes a sweep of the Yankees behind a sensational eight-inning effort from Cliff Lee returning after missing a start with back tightness. The win coupled with an A’s loss puts the Ranges 8.5 games up in the division and drops the magic number to 12.

Sept. 22: A five-game losing streak comes to a halt with a 2-1 win in Anaheim behind a solid start by C.J. Wilson and a couple of manufactured runs for an offense that was slumping. The win coupled with an Oakland loss pushed the lead back to eight games and gave the Rangers a chance to clinch the division with a split in Oakland over the weekend.

Sept. 25: Jorge Cantu hits a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie and the Rangers hang on for a 4-3 victory that clinches the AL West. Neftali Feliz gets his 38th save, breaking the major-league record for saves by a rookie with 38. He jumped into Michael Young's arms and the team celebrated in Oakland.

Sept. 27: The Rangers return home and get loud cheers from fans as a 2010 AL West Division championship banner is unfurled at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Sept. 29: A wacky end gives Texas an unlikely 6-5 victory. With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth and Mitch Moreland at first base, Nelson Cruz strikes out, but the wild pitch goes to the backstop. Cruz runs to first and the throw goes into left field, allowing Moreland to score from first for the win.

Rangers auction moves into evening

August, 4, 2010
8/04/10
6:46
PM CT
Mark Cuban has outdone himself.

After the Nolan Ryan-Chuck Greenberg group submitted a bid $2 million more than the cash portion of the Cuban-Jim Crane bid, Cuban's attorney immediately approached the bench and submitted a bid $15 million more than the Ryan-Greenberg bid.

The court has been in recess since then and was supposed to be back in session at 6:15 p.m.

As of 6:45, proceedings have not begun.

Latest on the Rangers auction

August, 4, 2010
8/04/10
4:30
PM CT
The Mark Cuban-Jim Crane bid was deemed to be $25 million more than the Chuck Greenberg-Nolan Ryan bid.

The Greenberg-Ryan group was given an hour to come back to court after analyzing the Cuban-Crane bid and update the judge with its status.

Greenberg approached reporters moments ago and said, "If there was going to be an auction, we wanted the rules to be known. Right now they are a moving target. The bid they submitted last night was not a qualifying bid. Eighteen hours later, we still don't have one.

"We believe this is an effort to torpedo our financing. It's not that hard to submit a qualifying bid. They've dragged this out through the morning and afternoon, and we still haven't seen a bid."

At 4:27 p.m., Greenberg's attorney, Thomas Lauria, told the judge that he just got the documents and needed to talk to the debtors.

The Greenberg-Ryan group now has another hour or so to come back to the courtroom.

Cuban-Crane bid gets approval

August, 4, 2010
8/04/10
10:43
AM CT
The Rangers' auction nearly ended before it began, as the Ryan-Greenberg group challenged whether the Cuban-Crane bid for the team was qualified. But U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge D. Michael Lynn determined Cuban's bid was acceptable, and the auction was set to begin in Fort Worth at 11 a.m.

It's still unclear, however, whether the Cuban-Crane group would get MLB approval if it wins the auction. So if you were expecting a clear resolution today, you might be disappointed.

Here's the latest news story.

Cuban, Greenberg, Crane in court

August, 4, 2010
8/04/10
8:39
AM CT
Chuck Greenberg, Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane were among the early arrivals in their respective breakout rooms surrounding Judge Russell Nelms second-floor courtroom at the Federal Bankruptcy courthouse in downtown Fort Worth Wednesday morning, with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan expected to join his partner Greenberg at any moment.

Proceedings in the auction of the Texas Rangers are expected to begin at 9 a.m. sharp.

Spotted Cuban, looking dapper but nervous in a business suit -- no T-shirts today -- at the security checkpoint near the courthouse entrance. Current owner Tom Hicks is also on hand.

Several Rangers' season-ticketholders have already staked out spots around the modest 40-seat courtroom, but they are easily out-numbered by the media in attendance as the Rangers' future hangs in the balance.

UPDATE: All the major parties are now in chambers with Judge Michael Lynn after a short preliminary hearing in his courtroom, which is one floor down from where the auction will be held.

Greenberg-Ryan deal rejected; auction on

July, 30, 2010
7/30/10
2:31
PM CT
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn rejected this morning's "substantially enhanced" offer by the Chuck Greenberg-Nolan Ryan group -- Major League Baseball's preferred buyer -- and has ordered the auction to sell the Texas Rangers to proceed as planned next week.

The judge made his decision after attorneys for Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and another potential bidder said their clients were preparing to bid at the auction.

And the drama continues. For more on this developing story, click here.

New Greenberg deal; Mark Cuban upset

July, 30, 2010
7/30/10
12:50
PM CT
It was announced in court Friday that chief restructuring officer William K. Snyder had worked out a "substantially enhanced" offer for the team from Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Rangers president Nolan Ryan, according to multiple reports.

The deal means that next Wednesday's auction for the team may be off, leaving potential bidders like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane on the sidelines.

Cuban's attorney, Clifton Jessup, attacked the backroom deal, according to reports. He said that Cuban could have beaten other bidders if the auction had gone off as planned.

For more on this developing story, click here.

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Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
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ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182