SBD/March 5, 2013/Franchises

Sources: Ryan "Sensing Uncertainty" Over His Future With MLB Rangers

Daniels said that his relationship with Ryan has grown stronger over time
After management changes on Friday at the MLB Rangers, "confusion appears to be reigning on several levels" following reports that club CEO Nolan Ryan could be leaving soon, according to Jeff Wilson of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels said that he has had "daily conversations with Ryan about the ballclub and one conversation Saturday morning to clear the air after word of Ryan’s discontent and possible departure were first reported." Daniels said, "He has not expressed that to me. Nolan and I are talking regularly about baseball.” Daniels said that he and Ryan have "maintained a working relationship that has strengthened over the years." But sources said that Ryan is "sensing uncertainty now ... and is strongly considering leaving the club" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/5). In Dallas, Evan Grant notes Ryan "has not addressed his role with the Rangers going forward, and he declined to comment" last night. Sources indicated that Ryan was "still contemplating if there was a long-term future for him with the club and whether it might make sense to exit sooner rather than later." Grant: "Can this arrangement be saved? Absolutely." But "everybody has gone silent." All that has "become clear the last four days is that the situation regarding Ryan’s role has only gotten more volatile and uncertain." Team ownership "must lay out guidelines for where Ryan can exercise power ... and where he can't" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/5). Also in Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw writes it "won't surprise anyone" if Ryan decides '13 is his "final act." This was "not a Ryan power play as much as his seeking clarification whether the big baseball decisions belonged to him or Daniels." And Daniels was "declared the winner." If the Rangers "have to choose between the two, Daniels is the only choice to make." In this case, Daniels "already has brought more to the Rangers than Ryan" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/5).

ALL ABOARD: Sources said that Ryan "intends to let the situation play out into the season before making any final decisions." The MORNING NEWS' Grant noted this seems to "pass the legitimacy test," as Ryan has done "nothing impetuously." To leave now would be the "only way to potentially exit the Rangers in anything but a graceful manner." Ownership has "essentially said nothing is changing, so why change any titles?" At best, the "timing of this was awkward. At worst, it was completely unnecessary." Grant: "I don’t believe the intent of management was never to strip him of power." First, Ryan has "wielded power very, very judiciously, so it’s not like he was running amok." Second, it is "hard to use power on a part-time basis." Grant wrote, "I think ownership is trying to settle a line of succession so that Ryan can be free to set the tone for the organization and let the capable people beneath him do the hiring and firing within their own departments." This is "all about the line of succession" (, 3/4).

YOUTH MOVEMENT: ESPN DALLAS' Jean-Jacques Taylor wrote, "You can't write this franchise's story without several chapters about Ryan's contributions." That said, there is "nothing wrong with ownership putting additional trust and responsibility in Jon Daniels and the men he deems most valuable to the franchise's long-term success." No matter "how we spin it, this is" Daniels' organization, and "that's how it should be." The "reality is his age makes Ryan's role a year-to-year proposition." Taylor: "You have to bet on youth every time" (, 3/4). In Dallas, Kevin Sherrington noted there has been "somewhat of a resentment from the Daniels side, not necessarily from Jon, that Nolan gets so much credit" (, 3/4).
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