Nolan Ryan is leaving the Rangers?
Hold the phone on that, at least one prominent sports host is now saying.
Chris Arnold, co-host of the “G-Bag Nation” 105.3 The Fan is going against the guesses of many others in the DFW media – including many at his own station – and stated Wednesday night that Ryan departing as Rangers CEO is not likely.
Arnold told the masses over the airwaves that a source within the Rangers ownership group, who was brought in via Ryan, told him that Ryan would have too much to lose financially from leaving over what ultimately amounts to hurt pride.
Since the Rangers announced that they were giving Jon Daniels the title of President of Basketball Operations in addition to his current title of General Manager, talk radio in North Texas has been abuzz with reports that baseball’s all-time strikeout king would part ways with the club he helped pull out of bankruptcy over the thought of getting “stripped of power.” Baseball insider Mike Basick told 105.3’s morning show, “New School,” that he feels it’s 90 percent sure that Ryan is gone, going by what appeared to be going on in the front office.
Hours later, Arnold went on the air to dispute that claim. Not even co-host Gavin Dawson knew what was coming, as Arnold said he had only contacted his own source to verify the information they the station had been broadcasting up to that point.
According to Arnold’s source:
1. Yes, any tension between Ryan and Daniels started back in November 2011, when Ryan appointed former Astros GM Tim Purpura to replace Scott Servais as the Rangers’ farm system director rather than someone Daniels had promised the job to.
2. Despite any disagreements, however, Ryan and Daniels continue to have a good working relationship. That can’t be said for the people within the front office who are “Nolan guys” versus “JD guys. ” Any claims that Ryan is hurt enough to leave has been relayed by them, not by Ryan or anyone in the ownership group.
3. Yes, Ryan’s pride has been hurt from the decision to officially give autonomy to Daniels in personnel decisions.
4. But no, Arnold’s source firmly believes Ryan will not leave his position, and he has not spoken publicly since the weekend because of what he would have to lose.
Basically, according to Arnold’s theory, those who assume Ryan will leave over this, and especially those thinking he’d end up with the Astros, aren’t taking Ryan’s ownership stake into account – which is something he wouldn’t get anywhere else.
He definitely wouldn’t get it in Houston, considering Astros owner Jim Crane tried to buy the Rangers in 2010 over Ryan and Chuck Greenberg’s group. And Ryan wouldn’t go anywhere else because of his desire to live in Texas.
Ryan would basically stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars if he left the Rangers. And the thought of taking that potential money away from his family should convince him to stay, while talk within Rangers ownership has been to find ways to make Ryan happy again.
So it may be too early indeed to declare that everything the Rangers have built in the last few years is coming apart. Those asking the fans who would they choose between Ryan and Daniels may find out they still don’t have to make that decision.
It’s entirely possible that Ryan will come out of this with anything from a higher salary to a bigger stake in the club. But the chances of him still being in the stands come Opening Day may be much better than the doomsayers are suggesting.