- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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As Nolan Ryan remains silent regarding his potential departure from the Texas Rangers, newly-promoted president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said he hopes the Hall of Famer and CEO remains with the organization.
The Rangers announced the promotion of Daniels, who has been the club's general manager since 2005, on Friday afternoon. That stripped the president of baseball operations title from Ryan, the legendary pitcher who played a critical role in steering the Rangers out of bankruptcy and to two World Series appearances after returning to the organization as an executive.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, citing sources, that Ryan is contemplating stepping down from his position and leaving the Rangers by the end of spring training after having his power reduced.
"First of all, I don't want him to leave," Daniels said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3's Fitzsimmons and Durrett Show, acknowledging that he would be bothered by the perception that he pushed Ryan out of the door. "I don't think anybody wants him to leave, and I know I've expressed that to him. In my mind, that [pushing Ryan out] would not be the case.
"We've agreed on a lot of things over the years. We've disagreed on a few things. I think that's healthy as a whole. You don't want everyone to agree 100 percent of the time. All in all, I think we have a mutual respect. I talked to him over the weekend. I talked to him every day since this has come about. I don't get any sense that Nolan has any issue with me or concern about that, but I can't really speak for him."
Daniels said he had a discussion with Ryan after the changes were announced, because he "wanted to nip anything in the bud." Daniels added that he does not sense any issues between Ryan and himself and that they have discussed baseball matters on a daily basis since then.
Daniels, who said the front-office changes were first discussed in November but not implemented until last week, downplayed the significance of his new title. He said the organizational structure would be "very much the same," with him reporting to Ryan.
Daniels said he would "effectively" have final say on baseball decisions, although he believed Ryan would have veto power. Daniels said he had not discussed those details with Ryan.
"I report up through Nolan," Daniels said. "The day-to-day responsibilities of running the department are for me and the individual department heads. I'll solicit Nolan's opinions and input and communicate with him. The biggest decisions, big-picture items, vision, direction of the franchise -- those are the things I think a CEO and somebody with his background are going to weigh in on most heavily."
Asked if he had a sense of what decision Ryan would reach over the next few weeks, Daniels said he thought the Hall of Famer was "going through a process in his mind" and that he didn't feel it was his place to inquire about Ryan's intentions.
"I think if Nolan chooses to address this publicly, I would assume that will get addressed and cleared up," Daniels said. "But I think our relationship has been good. We have a good working relationship. We respect each other. We have similar values as people, as humans, fathers, husbands, etc. We believe in treating people well.
"I've learned a lot from him. Hopefully, that's been mutual on some level. And we've had a lot of success working together, and I want to continue that. Again, I can't really speak for him. I can't really speak for ownership."
2dKevin Van Valkenburg