Rattled Relationships

Abbey Bowling, Sports Editor

Ask any Ranger fan, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: this off-season has been rough. We lost key players and missed our chance to grab players who could replace them. Two weeks to opening day and there’s still unanswered questions—who can take Hamilton’s spot in the lineup? Who will be our fifth starter? All that alone is hard enough, but add a rattled relationship between CEO Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels, and the future suddenly seems even more uncertain.

Daniels was recently promoted to president of baseball operations, meaning that he has the final say on all baseball matters, which was a title that once belonged to Ryan. Though I doubt the other owners, Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, didn’t make this decision quickly, Ryan’s silence on the matter shows his hurt feelings.

And while Ryan has declined to speak publicly on the matter, Daniels has spoken up. In a recent interview with Dallas News, he said, “We’ve had a lot of success working together, and I want to continue that…I don’t want him to leave. I don’t think anybody wants him to leave. I know I’ve expressed that to him.”

Daniels has got one thing right: nobody wants Ryan to leave. His years of experience in the game—not only playing but also managing behind the scenes—and wealth of baseball knowledge make him a very valuable asset and it would be tough to add his name to the list of those we’ve lost this off-season.

Even though I whole-heartedly love and respect Daniels—he’s definitely helped us out in the past few years—I have to stay on Ryan’s side. Tampering with Ryan’s positions and titles is a risky thing to do. You don’t mess with Nolan Ryan and get away with it—as Robin Ventura learned so well back in 1993—so even if Ryan does stay and all these issues blow over, there may still be some hard feelings.