SBD/May 17, 2013/Franchises

Like Father, Like Son: Astros Set To Name Reid Ryan As New President

The Astros Friday afternoon are expected to announce Reid Ryan, son of Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, will become the club's new President, replacing George Postolos, who resigned on Monday. Reid Ryan is currently the CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, owners of the Triple-A PCL Round Rock Express and Double-A Texas League Corpus Christi Hooks. He also is a trustee of Minor League Baseball and the Baseball Internet Rights Co., the affiliated minors' digital partnership with MLBAM. Astros officials and the younger Ryan declined to comment on the impending appointment (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). In Houston, Smith & de Jesus Ortiz noted the process of naming Postolos’ replacement has been "handled by the business side of Astros operations," with Owner Jim Crane "directly involved in the search." Fan outreach and communication are "ongoing problems" with the team (CHRON.com, 5/16).

FIRST THINGS FIRST: MLB.com's Brian McTaggart wrote one of the "front-burner issues for Reid Ryan figures to be helping to get Astros games back on TV for a majority of the Houston market." Ryan was the "brainchild" behind this year's exhibition games at the Alamodome in San Antonio that drew "more than 80,000 fans for two games" between the Rangers and Padres (MLB.com, 5/16). In Houston, Jerome Solomon writes the Crane regime was in "desperate need of a face-lift." Hiring Ryan "doesn't erase all the wrinkles, blemishes and scars, but at least for now, Crane and Co. can put on a happy face." Ryan is "considered to be one of the bright young business minds" in MLB. He "knows baseball. He knows Texas. He knows Houston" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/17). MLB.com's Richard Justice wrote the hiring is a "stroke of genius" by Crane. It "makes sense on so many levels that it's difficult to know where to start." Ryan has been in "charge of two of the best-run teams in the Minor Leagues," and he also has "plenty of his dad's charm and people skills." He will bring a "sense of stability and calm to a front office battered by turnover and uncertainty" (MLB.com, 5/16). In Ft. Worth, Randy Galloway writes there is a "bit of irony" in the hiring, with the "local turmoil that went on with Nolan over the off-season." Rangers ownership had "urged Nolan to be grooming a successor in Arlington, and finally he gave the owners a name: Reid Ryan." But at least "one major owner balked on Nolan’s idea." Reid Ryan will "not be working in Daddy’s shadow and there can be no nepotism rumblings." In a "twist, the relationship between Nolan" and Crane is "not considered friendly" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/17).

MADE FOR TV: CBSSPORTS.com's Jon Heyman cited sources as saying that Postolos had been "'at odds' in recent months" with Crane. Much of the "source of that friction was said to stem from the Astros' TV deal, which is currently in limbo." Sources suggest that Postolos was "forced out, though the announcement was couched as only a resignation." The current Comcast SportsNet Houston TV arrangement has been the "source of bad publicity, as only 40 percent of Houston area homes are currently able to get the games." Crane has been "expressing consternation over the TV plight since opening day" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/16).
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