The Texas Rangers made a complete turnaround over the past three seasons by making superb managerial and personnel decisions, the most important of which was naming Nolan Ryan team president in 2008. Since then, the Rangers have been on the way up with only one setback–the late-season collapse in 2012 that resulted in a way-too-early playoff exit. So the fact that co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson gave Jon Daniels and Rick George promotions while giving Ryan what boils down to a demotion is absolutely absurd.
It was Ryan who slashed ticket and parking prices the day he was named CEO after becoming a part owner of the franchise in 2010. It was Ryan who upgraded the Ballpark in Arlington with new television monitors and a new jumbotron. It was Ryan who named Mike Maddux the pitching coach of the Rangers and persuaded him to stay in Texas when he was wooed by multiple teams this past fall. It is Ryan who has a statue in the outfield of the Ballpark. All of this much to the delight of the Rangers fans, of course.
It was Ryan who said from the beginning the Rangers couldn’t afford to sit around and wait on Josh Hamilton in free agency, citing other team needs and basically the club’s refusal to just bow down to the egotistic slugger. Texas may have came up short in the bidding for guys like Zack Greinke, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort–he simply wanted to stay in Los Angeles, albeit for a different team. Daniels’ offseason plan was to simply worship Hamilton and then he basically crossed his arms and pouted after the polarizing outfielder bolted for LA.
The handling of Hamilton was likely the reason for the shocking moves on Saturday and proof the Dallas Cowboys aren’t the only team in the Metroplex with moronic ownership. The decision on whether or not the Rangers should keep Hamilton split the team’s fan base right down the middle this past season and offseason and now seems to be doing the same to the front office.
Many of the more respected media minds in the area expect this to be the beginning of the end of Ryan’s tenure as an executive in Arlington. That definitely wouldn’t be a surprise, just like the rest of the Rangers’ history before Ryan came on board: disappointing.