ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) — It’s official, Thursday afternoon Nolan Ryan announced he is leaving the Rangers organization. To be clear, he is leaving it all. He sold his percentage of the Texas Rangers to make sure he had nothing to do with what happens from here on out.
This is a smart move for everybody involved. First and most important the Rangers will be lead by one opinion, Jon Daniels. He will have the freedom to do whatever he wants. Not saying he didn’t have that freedom in 2013, but he did have to tell Nolan what he was doing. If you are a Rangers employee, you have to make one person happy — JD. I hope that Nolan leaving gets the organization all pulling in the same direction.
Second for Nolan Ryan, he doesn’t have be to a mascot anymore and sit through games that he has no control over. Also, he should get max value for his minority ownership stake. The Rangers have drawn over 3 million fans the last two years. If you walk around the DFW area, I believe there is more Ranger gear being worn than any other team in the metroplex. I don’t think the Rangers will be as popular in the coming years and the value of the team could take a minor hit. Nolan gets max value.
Third is Ron Washington. Wash is a “get along guy” and he was in the worst position of anybody with the Rangers. He had to hear both sides bitch about each other and agree with both opinions because he wasn’t quite sure who had his back and who would turn on him. Hopefully Ron can concentrate on getting the players to play to their maximum potential. (Side Note: It would help if Washington got a contract extension)
A lot will be expected of Jon Daniels in 2014. Like it or not, the perception is that JD ran Nolan out of town. If the Rangers fail to make the playoffs next year, all the blame should be on Daniels, but JD has left himself an out. He can blame the manager if things go bad. Washington is in the last year of his contract, and if Jon Daniels can convince ownership to push Nolan Ryan out of all baseball decisions, I think he can sway the opinion of Davis and Simpson to fire Washington and keep him.
Daniels made the lineup card multiple times in 2013, and Washington didn’t put up a fight. Why? Washington saw what happened when he stood up for Michael Young in 2012. Young was traded for very little and Daniels sent $10 million to Philadelphia not to have Young as an option for Wash. Daniels was determined to take as much decision making out of the manager’s hands as possible. As soon as the 2013 season was over, Daniels got rid of bench coach Jackie Moore and Washington watched as Nolan could do nothing to save his friend’s job. That ended the battle between Nolan and JD.
Daniels has won the fight and has complete control. Whatever happens in the next few years, Daniels deserves all the credit or all the blame. I’ll give it to the man, it takes a lot of guts to stand up to a legend and say in so many ways, I understand this game better than you. For all the Rangers fans, I hope JD is right.
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