ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Think about it: it wouldn’t be Rangers spring training if there wasn’t some drama. While the news of Chuck Greenberg’s abrupt resignation is surprising, the fact that there was a rift between Greenberg and other members of the organization, quite frankly, isn’t.
Greenberg officially resigned as CEO Friday and has sold back his interest in the team saying he has “somewhat different styles” from team president Nolan Ryan and Rangers co-chairmen of the board Ray Davis and Bob Simpson.
“I don’t think there was an event that created the separation we had,” Ryan said. “I think it was a combination of philosophies.”
We discussed this at length within the our sports department and on TXA21 last year that there seemed to be a growing disconnect between Greenberg and at least Ryan. Davis, who along with Simpson prefers to stay out of the spotlight, added during Friday’s press conference that this was a “joint effort” not just an issue between Ryan and Greenberg.
Perhaps it compounded when Greenberg became involved in the Cliff Lee chase, trying to make one last ditch effort to keep Lee in Texas, after the Rangers had pretty much shut the door on the negotiations. Or maybe when he had a verbal war of words with Yankees team president Randy Levine over Cliff Lee. Greenberg also reportedly became in the Michael Young trade talks. Who knows what exactly was the straw the broke the Rangers’ backs.
Greenberg definitely added an energy and ethusiasm to this ballclub. He was omnipresent and always willing to talk to the media or meet with groups across North Texas. He was the good PR this team at times needed.
Ryan admitted that these issues did not arise during the club’s purchase and auction process last year. “During the effort to purchase the ballclub, the auction and bankruptcy, the focus was on that,” he said. “Our group of owners was united in trying to get this done.”
Ryan will now add the title of CEO to his resume.
“It’s like a marriage,” Ryan added. “You never know. You think things are going to work. In a business you never know how things work until you get in there.”
Simpson, the founder and former chairman of XTO Energy, added some additional insight that’s relevant to any business practice.
“You’re about 50-50 in judging people off the cuff and if you do that, you’re good.”
There is no doubt in my mind that this will not affect the team from an on-field standpoint. They’ve been through hell and back with Ron Washington’s admission of using cocaine, bankruptcy, the auction, Michael Young’s trade request and more. This team is a distraction-battle-tested squad that has proven it can withstand just about anything.
I am curious when Greenberg, the man who was always so open, will talk. I, along with countless others, left him messages on Friday. He has the right to do as he pleases but given his presence and past willingness to be so transparent, it would shock me if he remains silent regarding this.