Baseball legend Nolan Ryan announced his retirement as CEO with the Rangers, Thursday. It may be fan affection, local press loyalty or perhaps some truth causing the controversy over his stepping down from the Texas club, which has alternately been called a resignation and a retirement.
“When you make these type of decisions, you have to do it from the heart, and I really feel like at this point in time it’s the correct thing for me to do,” said the Hall of Famer. “This closes a chapter in my life in baseball.”
Ryan, 66, has a lengthy history with the Rangers, playing for the team between 1989 and 1993, and more recently becoming the team’s president in February 2008 and being named CEO in 2011.
A rumored, strained relationship with General Manager Jon Daniels is the source of the fuss. Rumblings started in February, when Daniels and COO Rick George were given presidential titles (George departed the team earlier this year). Reporters for Arlington-based WFAA contend that the Ryan-Daniels, old school-new school combo actually helped the team, offering a checks and balances system that brought the Rangers some of the best baseball in the team’s history.
Fans are mourning the loss of Ryan at the helm. In interviews with KHOU of Houston, Texas, Rangers supporter Bill Cooper said, “As soon as the Rangers season has a six- or eight-game losing streak, it’s gonna be ‘Told you so! Should have kept up Nolan!'”
“I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1981, and I’m very disappointed to see him go, and I don’t think that bodes well for the Rangers in the future,” longtime devotee Mike Griffin said. “And I hope I’m wrong!”
The Rangers’ bout for the World Series this year ended before the 2013 playoffs. That represents a dip from the last three years, which held them in the playoffs and brought them two World Series trips, no wins, 2010 being the franchise’s first World Series run.
[Image via Rangers official Facebook.]