HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COMAP) – Astros president Reid Ryan is shifting to a lesser role in the organization and owner Jim Crane’s son is joining the executive team, moves announced 11 days after Crane apologized to a Sports Illustrated reporter and retracted a statement by the club accusing her of trying to “fabricate a story.”

Reid Ryan, President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros during batting practice before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park on August 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Crane said Thursday he was bringing in his son, Jared, to get more experience and to help the organization. Crane maintained the moves were not related to the incident with SI or the firing of an assistant general manager. The owner turns 66 in January.

Houston says Ryan’s new role as executive adviser of business relations will allow him “more opportunities to focus on his other business ventures while remaining an important part of the Astros organization.” Jim Crane said Ryan will be helping his son and working with the executive team.

Meantime, Houston sports reporter for KRIV-TV Mark Berman said in a tweet, “Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan says in a text message he will not continue in his role as an executive advisor to the owner of the #Astros: “I will not be back with the club and will leave it at that.”

Berman tweeted Crane responded to that news saying, ““Nolan Ryan’s contract with the Astros as an executive advisor runs through Feb/2020. If Nolan has decided to step down that is his decision. Nolan will always be welcome at Minute Maid Park and at any Astros-related activities.”

Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was fired for directing inappropriate comments at female reporters during a clubhouse celebration after the team clinched the American League pennant on Oct. 19 after defeating the New York Yankees in six games.

The Astros have not identified which team officials approved the initial statement criticizing SI on Oct. 21. Taubman issued a statement the following day in which he apologized for using “inappropriate language,” and the team fired him Oct. 24.

Brandon Taubman (credit: Houston Astros)

During a news conference on the afternoon of the firing, general manager Jeff Luhnow did not identify which team officials approved the initial statement before it was released.

Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, and other members of his team, met with reporters outside of the West Wing Portico of the White House, on Monday, March 12, 2018. (Photo by Cheriss May) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ryan, a son of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, was hired as the Astros president in May 2013. He also is part of the ownership group of Triple-A Round Rock.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Oct. 25 that Major League Baseball was conducting a wider probe of the Astros beyond Taubman’s behavior, concerned about the team’s initial denial of what happened.

The Astros lost the World Series to the Washington Nationals in seven games, in which the road team won every game.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments