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This is a great rundown of the 2010 Rangers from the perspective of a true fan:
Ryan's Rangers 2010
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This column inplies that Nolan Ryan was trying to emulate the success of the Yankees and Red Sox by hiring a young, smart GM. Except that Ryan did not hire Jon Daniels. JD was hired BEFORE Nolan Ryan joined the organization. JD is responsible for our success. Nolan Ryan is just along for the ride. He came on board 3 years into JD's brilliant 5-year plan, and is merely reaping the rewards. I can't stand the way Nolan gets all the credit for what JD has built. JD is a baseball genius. Nolan is a good team President, nothing more.
Thank you for reading Scooby Dude. Your assessment and perspective is fair. Clearly, you're a true fan and your critique is valuable. Despite the title of the article which focuses on the more nationally known Ryan, I did give Daniels all the credit for bringing in the talent and building up the team. My point with Ryan was that he is the local 'hero' to many (as with Gene and more old school fans who watched him play) and was part of the group that purchased the team, perhaps rescuing the Rangers from years of ownership instability or possibly even a move. So, "Ryan's Rangers" speaks more to ownership and bonding with fans rather than the piecing together a championship calibre team. Also, I did not give Ryan credit for bringing Daniels in.
I will be sure to credit Daniels for the Rangers success in my conversations and writings going forward.
Now Go Rangers!! Cliff Lee keep it alive!
Hate to continue to rain on the parade here but Michael Young was not "home grown" and neither was Neftali Feliz. MY was traded to TX by Toronto who drafted him in 1997. Feliz came over in the trade of Texiera to Atlanta along with Elvis Andrus. I understand your point in all of this but it still would be nice to get the facts on players correct since it is so easy to look up.
@RangerRick - you're absolutely right. Perhaps it was intended to mean that they all spent crucial development time in the Rangers' farm system, but home grown isn't right.
Thanks Ranger Rick. You are correct. By "home-grown," I meant emerging from the Ranger minor league system to play their first major league games - admittedly not the most precise definition. And in baseball, we need to be precise. Whenever I see something off, whether it at baseball-reference or somewhere else, I let them know.
So, I edited the piece to conform to the proper definition of home-grown, yours. At the end I also thanked you and Scooby Dude for your contributions (if you want your real names let me know) with a plug to BBTIA. Great site with the best Ranger forum I've come across.
Good luck tonight.
I liked the post and didn't see the implications the others saw. Only thing is, Young hasn't manned the hot corner for 11 years, started at second, moved to SS, then 3rd.
"Thanks to RangerRick and Scooby Dude for their contributions. Check out Baseball Time in Arlington for the best and latest in Texas Rangers news. They have a great forum too."
At least you guys got a shout out...
I can't stand the way Nolan gets all the credit for what JD has built. JD is a baseball genius. Nolan is a good team President, nothing more.
Also, Ryan went to Hicks and asked him if he could fire Daniels (along with Washington) in late April of 2009 after the slow start to the season.
Hicks not only found and hired Daniels... he then prevented Nolan Ryan from firing him (and with Daniels would have gone Thad Levine and AJ Preller as well). What a disaster that would have been.
Ryan also fired Josh Lewin because he didn't think Lewin was serious enough during broadcasts. This while keeping Tom Grieve and Dave Barnett.
Million dollar arm. Not much more.
Thanks again for the commentary. Great forum. Points taken. I really did not intend to give Ryan more credit than Daniels (though I can see how the title may lead the reader to believe so). It's just a piece about an older fan who, in a sense, grew up with Ryan and maybe identifies with him a little more. I hope to have the opportunity to highlight Jon Daniels moreso in a future piece.
You probably won't like this then, although Ian Kinsler's comments seem to be inline with what you're saying. I was doing some other research today and came across this video at foxsports called "Ryan is the reason." Yuck, huh?
Anyway, Good Luck in the offseason. I really hope somehow you keep Cliff Lee, if you still want him. It'll just make me sick if he goes to the Yankees.
You aren't alone. The entire media has gone with the "Ryan is the reason" meme. And Ryan eats it up and fuels it, rarely giving out more than token acknowledgement of the Ivy League (Daniels/Preller) and MBA (Levine) minds that built the foundation of this thing long before he showed up.
It's hard not to believe Ryan doesn't feel threatened by superior intelligence. He's an Alvin HS grad that is very poorly-spoken and has already fired a Northwestern grad in Josh Lewin and requested permission to fire the Daniels/Levine/Preller group in early 2009.
The guy is a simple mind who once threw a baseball hard. Beyond that he is very average... at best.
He's easily the biggest threat to the long-term success of the Rangers. I hope that Bob Simpson and Ray Davis don't fall for the insane hype built up around him and thus let it trick them into believing Ryan knows how to run a major business operation. He should never have more say in any business or personnel matter than any other empty, PR-only figurehead would be given.
@Rangers100 - how can you say Nolan doesn't know how to run a business? He didn't get his current gig because he used to pitch...he has a proven track record. Here's what a quick search will tell you:
Away from the diamond, Ryan, the all-time leader in strikeouts and no hitters, has parlayed his success on the mound to an equally prosperous career in the business world. His most notable business venture involves the ownership of Nolan Ryan’s All-Natural Beef in Huntsville, Texas. This thriving beef production and distribution company sells 5 million lbs. of meat in 43 states each year.
The lifelong cattleman spends much of his time away from baseball at his private Gonzales River Ranch in Gonzales, Texas. Check out the below video chronicling Ryan’s life at his beloved 7,000 acre property, courtesy of "America's Heartland." The ranch doubles as a family home and working cattle farm.
Ryan has co-written five books, owned and operated a bank and two minor league baseball teams. His sons Reid and Reese now oversee operations for both the Triple-A Round Rock Express and the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. The Ryan boys also lay claim to the Central Texas franchise of the Los Angeles based The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The Ryan’s own stores in the Austin, Texas area.
Nolan Ryan has also served on the Texas Park & Wildlife Commission and on The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. When including his pitchman work for numerous companies, most notably Advil and Lowe’s, it’s abundantly clear that Ryan has prospered in nearly every aspect of his multifaceted life.
Yup, sounds like a country bumpkin, borderline retard. I guess to you if a man has a drawl, he's not smart. You can't just parlay a hall of fame ball career into multi millions in business without some solid business accumen. Many have tried,VERY few have been as successful as Ryan is.
I agree that JD should get most of the credit for building this team, but to paint Nolan Ryan as some sort of bufoon with zero business experience or qualifications is just rediculous.
So he bought some cows, stamped a very famous name on the operation, and was appointed to some ceremonial government positions.
Whoop. Dee. Doo.
Call me when he's running his own private equity fund. Or has built his own technology company. Or is executing complicated mergers, LBOs, etc.
I didn't say he was retarded. Just of average intelligence. And it has nothing to do with the drawl. It's just obvious listening to him speak. Doesn't make him a bad person. Ron Washington is also minimally educated and not very well-spoken. Not an idiot... just average intelligence. Good guy though. And certainly much more gracious and humble than Ryan. But I wouldn't want him making major business decisions for the team either.
Anyway, I think we'll see Ryan bought out and removed from the picture at a very nice little profit over his investment within a few years. He's a famous name on a deal, just as W was, and he'll be paid nicely for his service. The sooner the better for the sake of the Rangers.
Wow. There is much much more to success than intelligence. I think we all know some very smart people that do not amount to much. People who are successful feel entitled to be successful. It rubs off, Nolan Ryan is a person that will not lose to any other man without doing everything within himself to win.
JD is brilliant, and he is humble. We have a great mix involved in our ballclub, I think they all have their roles, and don't overstep. There is a good correspondence between all the front office parts, and they always reach consensus or at least all give counsel before a decision is made.
We're lucky to have Nolan involved, just as we are lucky to have Jon Daniels. The good news is no matter what opinions are expressed on websites like BBTIA, we have a group on the field and in the front office that is not going anywhere for AT LEAST two years. Continuity is priceless.
Nolan Ryan is a person that will not lose to any other man without doing everything within himself to win.
This is the type of empty rhetoric that has grown up around Ryan's cult of personality. It's not a serious look at his ability to lead a complicated business or baseball team though.
Everyone gets along when things are going well, as they did in 2010.
But Ryan, his "not willing to lose to any other man" not withstanding, has given us several troubling signs already as far as his ability to run a baseball team goes:
1) He asked Hicks if he could fire one of the best GMs (and team) in early 2009. (He also asked to fire the likely AL Manager of the Year in 2010.) He literally wanted to do something that would have wrecked the club... but was fortunately vetoed on it. Just scary to even think about.
2) He walked the Rangers into the Matt Purke debacle, believing he could talk the Purkes down from their absurd asking number due to his being Nolan Ryan, his being friends with Don Sanders, whatever. He also seems to not think there would have been any issue with a cash-tight team offering top 3 money to a #14 pick once that pick wouldn't budge from his irrational asking price.
3) He is very flippant in dismissing the well-documented science behind pitch count totals and arm injuries. Why? Because he's Nolan Ryan and because he had some super-human arm, other pitchers should as well. Fortunately, most of his pitch count stuff has been nothing more than rhetoric as the Rangers have stuck to the same general pitch count limits as other teams. But it's worrisome to see someone in an executive level position dismissing very clear research simply because he doesn't like the findings.
Like I say, hopefully Ryan will continue to be treated as little more than a figurehead, as he was under Hicks (except for his role in the Purke mess). Because there is some good evidence to suggest things would be really bad for the Rangers if he was given ultimate say on personnel and other major decisions.
Just out of curiosity, what are your sources for the 3 points above?
Also, it looks like you're saying that not being well spoken is some sort of indicator of intelligence. That's just simply not true.
I'm not denying that media and bystanders give too much credit to Ryan on the success of the Rangers. I disagree that my point about Ryan is rhetoric however, its the same qualities that endear Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban to their perspective fanbases; the will to win. Every owner or ownership group says it, but very few that you feel it, and believe it. With this ownership group, including Ryan, I feel like they have a competitive spirit of wanting to beat the other organizations in everything they compete in.
I think its a weak argument to make about the could-haves and the should-haves. If you want to get rid of people over mistakes then every front office executive in baseball should be fired. Mistakes happen, you can easily be amongst the best executives in baseball if only 60% of your decisions pan out. Ryan might have been vetoed from making what (with hinsight) would have been a bad decision, but given the information and track record of the time, its not an insane decision to make.
People were up in arms when the Rangers kept Washington around despite his admission. They were even made out to be a laughing stock by some, but at this point, all the second guessing should be greatly tampered. The corner has been turned, we have most of the organization in place top to bottom, and its time to *finally* enjoy some continuity with our baseball team.
I would also like to know the sources for the three points Rangers100 made. If that is all true, then I might have a different opinion. But, I have never heard any of that stuff to be true outside of the people that seem to not like Ryan. It's easy to turn something negatively without giving real sources.
1) People familiar with the discussions.2) Published reports.3) Nolan Ryan.
I disagree that my point about Ryan is rhetoric however, its the same qualities that endear Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban to their perspective fanbases; the will to win.
Uh, yeah. How's that working out for them lately?
There are a lot of ex-athletes that had a will to win. Doesn't tell me anything about their ability to manage complex operations. There's a reason why sports organizations are moving away from ex-jocks and towards highly trained, intelligent people in such positions.
Ryan might have been vetoed from making what (with hinsight) would have been a bad decision, but given the information and track record of the time, its not an insane decision to make.
1) He wasn't vetoed in hindsight. Hicks rejected his request when it was made in April 2009.2) Keeping Daniels isn't just the right move "in hindsight". He was clearly one of the best GMs in baseball, even then. It was just as horrible an idea then as it is now.
Also, it looks like you're saying that not being well spoken is some sort of indicator of intelligence. That's just simply not true.
Sure it is. But that's a different discussion.
His inability to speak English very well isn't really what concerns me about him. It's more his lack of having handled highly complex business operations combined with the terrible decisions I know he's made already. Firing Josh Lewin is just one more to add to the list above. That one is especially troublesome as it indicates something Ryan was not allowed to do under Hicks (as he wanted) but was granted by the new ownership team. (And clearly Ryan had Lewin as a special target as he was the only one of the broadcasters to be fired/non-renewed... and that clearly with no guaranteed replacement in mind.)
1. Who are the people familiar with the discussions? 2. Which?3. Ryan didn't expect pitchers to magically have the same career he did. He did, however, help to stop our pitchers from being such pussies. If you're against that, become a tennis fan.
You're extremely out of touch if you honestly believe that spoken language is an indicator of intelligence. Using that logic, if the smartest person in the world didn't speak English, they aren't smart. There are so many variables that go into verbal communication. Get a grip, man.
1. Who are the people familiar with the discussions?
Lots of them. Try Google if you've forgotten.
3. Ryan didn't expect pitchers to magically have the same career he did. He did, however, help to stop our pitchers from being such pussies.
He has spoken dismissively of pitch counts (often citing the good old days) many times.
That he wanted the pitchers to pitch deeper into games is a different point. And thanks to much better defense and, oddly enough, better pitchers, they have done that lately.
Ok, we get it. You don't care for Nolan Ryan the President but your points are not very much opinion based. There was a time frame, during within which this firing Jon Daniels incident occurred, where there was not a lot of people that were on Jon Daniels side. During that time among the common fan, non BBTiA type crowd and among the DFW media, that JD was not getting the job done. So Nolan's opinion was not a unpopular opinion. With hindsight, of course firing him that day would have been a bad choice, you misunderstood my use of the word hindsight.
Also, its hard for me to understand how a baseball person would have preferred Josh Lewin's playcalling style, but that is only my opinion. I am thrilled to possibly have a more serious broadcast, and hopefully more understated, where the baseball game is allowed to breath and tell the story without someone feeling the need to fill every scrap of airtime with his voice. In that regard, Nolan Ryan appealed to my sensibilities but obviously not yours. Splitting hairs, its just the way things go.
Also, its hard for me to understand how a baseball person would have preferred Josh Lewin's playcalling style, but that is only my opinion.
Have you ever listened to the Fox Sports affiliate broadcasters?
Lewin is easily among the best of any of them.
He is a very smart baseball broadcaster who, unlike many of them, has a respect for and understanding of the advanced metrics. He was working with a broadcast partner who, like Nolan Ryan, is completely clueless about and dismissive of these metrics. And that's fine with me as I realize 99% of the audience cares more about shout outs to people in the hospital and whomever sent in brownies that night. But when the games got serious, very few TV broadcasters call them better than Lewin does. And Nolan Ryan and you are kidding yourselves if you think the next guy will be any better.
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