SBD/March 8, 2013/Franchises

MLB Rangers' Jon Daniels Says He Was Never Offered Nolan Ryan's CEO Title

Daniels said ownership presented him with various promotion options
Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels on Thursday said that he "was never offered the opportunity to be the team’s" CEO, a title Nolan Ryan currently holds, according to Evan Grant of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Daniels acknowledged that ownership "did present him with some other variations of the promotion he received on Friday, but that 'all of those discussions involved me reporting directly to Nolan.'" A source said that one of the variations "was that Daniels was offered the title of president, which would have left [President of Business Operations Rick George] out of the loop." In that scenario, Daniels "still would have reported to Ryan and both would have had input on baseball and business decisions" (DALLASNEWS.com, 3/7). Grant notes Daniels was "left as the lone Ranger to speak for the organization and found himself having to deny a report he was offered all of Ryan’s titles." Sources have "depicted how the situation developed and the major flash points over the winter." Grant: "Remarkably, those major flash points, taken individually, seem to be rather minor." Over the last six months, there have been "incidents involving the firing of a minor league instructor, a coach’s future and the petty jealousies and credit-seeking that grow at the edges of any successful business." The "frustration over disagreements has only been exacerbated by fractures in the organization between Team Daniels and Team Ryan." Sources said that "some members of Daniels’ inner circle of associates have been jealous of the credit Ryan has received for the organization’s success." Some members of the "Ryan Posse are concerned about their futures if he leaves." The stories "get around and the bad blood only rises" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/8).

THE SILENT GAME: The Dallas Morning News' Barry Horn said Ryan is "not talking, but he’s speaking volumes by not talking." Horn: "By not talking, he’s saying something. I’ve listened to Jon Daniels, and he’s nervous. He cannot wait for this whole thing to go away" ("SportsDay On Air," FS Southwest, 3/7). In Ft. Worth, Randy Galloway wrote, "Damage control in Arlington is in full spin." Any "perception that Ryan has been wronged will be met with fan hostility, and the backlash is now hitting home." This backlash "worries the heck out of everyone involved, including Daniels, who really did nothing wrong here, at least as far his promotion goes." Daniels "didn’t promote himself." Bad "blood has been spilled at the ballpark for years." There are "two camps: Nolan’s camp and Daniels’ camp." The bad blood on baseball decisions is "probably more intense within those camps as opposed to Nolan vs. Daniels, but that tainted blood is there, period." There is "absolutely nothing cozy about the relationship." And the "irony is that to take his name off the PR backlash list, Jon Daniels is now praying that Nolan stays, and I don’t blame him" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/7).

HELLO, HOUSTON: MLB.com's Richard Justice wrote Astros Owner Jim Crane by hiring Ryan could "restock his franchise with credibility and goodwill." He can "bring fans back to the ballpark, too." Simply "having Ryan associated with the Astros would elevate the franchise in the hearts and minds of Texans." But Crane "must hire Ryan for a real job, not a figurehead one." Ryan must be "involved at every level and must have a voice in decisions" (MLB.com, 3/7). ESPN.com's Johnette Howard wrote "don't go sleeping" on the Astros' "chances of a reunion" with Ryan. The Astros "should woo Ryan until he gives them a yes or no" (ESPN.com, 3/6).
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