Are changes worth it if Ryan exits?
The time is now for Daniels
Jon Daniels has made the vast majority of key moves that helped the Rangers advance to the World Series two of the past three seasons.
No matter how we spin it, this is JD's organization.
The Rangers became JD's team, and quickly, as he executed the Mark Teixeira trade with Atlanta that brought Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz to Arlington. Now we find out the Rangers have stripped Nolan Ryan, a Texas legend, of his title of club president and given it to JD.
The Rangers have survived front-office discord before -- Chuck Greenberg resigned seven months after teaming with Ryan to rescue the club from bankruptcy -- and they will do so again.
Co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson know Ryan has immense value to the organization, but JD runs the day-to-day operation, so he has more.
We understand Ryan is one of the most popular athletes in the state's history. He's an icon for the Rangers and the Houston Astros.
But that doesn't mean he should wield more power than JD.
JD is 35. Ryan is 66.
It's not that Ryan is too old to continue making a significant contribution to the organization. His credibility is second-to-none in MLB, but the reality is his age makes Ryan's role a year-to-year proposition.
And if you have to choose between having a terrific 66-year-old or a terrific 35-year-old guy run an organization, you should bet on youth every time.
That's just how the business works.
Ryan makes JD consider things from a different perspective, which is good. And he can still do that in a slightly different role, but it will require subjugating his ego, which can't possibly be easy for an icon.
Change is always difficult. If it weren't, folks would embrace it.
There's more than enough room in this organization for JD and Ryan, but someone must have the final say.
JD's time has arrived.
Rangers need to find happy medium
If there's a choice between Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels, there really isn't a choice. You stick with Daniels because he's built this team and is in charge of one of the top front-office staffs in the big leagues.
But why can't there be a balance? Why can't there be a spot for Ryan with this club that still allows him to be involved in some of the decisions so he's not simply a figurehead CEO?
The last thing this ownership group should want is for Ryan to leave. I say that not only because of the public relations nightmare but also because Ryan still has value. Just because Daniels is the guy running the day-to-day activities of baseball operations doesn't mean Ryan doesn't matter.
Look at the parts of this club that have Ryan's fingerprints. Jackie Moore is manager Ron Washington's bench coach and trusted right-hand man. Mike Maddux is the club's pitching coach, and his famous Hall of Fame brother is a key consultant, especially right now at spring training. Joe Nathan admits that Ryan helped lure him to Texas. The idea that pitchers need to be in better condition and get past the mental hurdle of pitch counts has certainly helped the rotation and altered the attitude of the organization in regard to arms.
Most important, it was Ryan who attached his name and influence to the ownership group that ended up purchasing the Rangers. Without Bob Simpson, Ray Davis and the cadre of owners, there wouldn't be enough money to sign Yu Darvish or Adrian Beltre, two key members of the club's core. Ryan also participated in the recruiting process with Darvish, as the club treated him like a five-star recruit in an effort to get him signed before the deadline.
When Ryan walks into a room, he commands respect. Pitchers know they can pick his brain if they want to -- Derek Holland did that this offseason, in fact -- and it's certainly a benefit to have Ryan talking to prospective free agents and selling the Rangers.
The question now is whether ownership can sell Ryan on remaining the CEO and whether that's a position that has real power or if it's more of a ceremonial one. It isn't Ryan's style to put up with the latter. If that means he leaves, that's costly for the Rangers as an organization.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what his new title means and if it affects Nolan Ryan's role with the Texas Rangers.
Randy Galloway and Matt Mosley discuss the promotions of Jon Daniels and Rick George, and what it means for Nolan Ryan and his role with the Texas Rangers.
Randy Galloway joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Rangers' front office moves and how they affect Nolan Ryan.