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May 14, 2013

Rangers' Ryan says time needed to understand role

ARLINGTON, Texas — Nolan Ryan says he let speculation about his future with the Texas Rangers go on for weeks because he "needed to visit'' with owners Bob Simpson and Ray Davis to get a better understanding of his role in the front office.

The Hall of Fame pitcher's radio appearance Monday was his first interview since Ryan ended the uncertainty by announcing in a statement April 10 that he was staying as chief executive officer.

Ryan's statement came almost six weeks after the club announced he was no longer team president. General manager Jon Daniels and chief operating officer Rick George were promoted and given presidential titles.

"I felt like that I needed to visit with Bob Simpson and Ray Davis and get a better feel for what their vision of the ballclub was and where we were going as far as going forward and what role I would play in that,'' Ryan said. "I think it took us awhile to get there, but I feel like we have a much better understanding now than we did this offseason and during spring training.''

Daniels tried to stress that nothing was different with him adding the title of president of baseball operations and George becoming president of business operations. But Ryan was noticeably silent, saying little the few times he was around reporters and waiting until Monday for a weekly radio appearance that usually starts at the beginning of the season.

His only statement before he announced he was a staying was a vague acknowledgment that he was discussing his future with Simpson and Davis.

Asked if he came close to walking away from the club that helped take to its only two World Series, Ryan chuckled.

"Oh, I don't know,'' said Ryan, who became team president in 2008 and helped guide the franchise through bankruptcy during the first World Series season in 2010. "Obviously you have good days and bad days, and there's things that come into play that affects your thought process, so I guess I would say there some days were better than others.''

The Rangers have the biggest division lead in baseball and started Monday with the best record in baseball despite the free-agent losses of All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton and another key power source in Mike Napoli.

"I feel like things are going smooth with the organization and with the relationships in the front office, and with the baseball department,'' said Ryan, who was clear when the Rangers hired him that the pitcher who had his sixth and seventh no-hitters and 5,000th strikeout with Texas wanted to be more than a figurehead. "I think everybody has a better feel for what our different roles are, and so I would say things are good.''

Ryan's comments came the same day the Houston Astros announced the resignation of president George Postolos. Ryan grew up near Houston and spent nine seasons with the Astros, more than any other team in a 27-year career. He was a consultant with the Astros when they made their only trip to the World Series in 2005.

Ryan said he hadn't talked to Astros owner Jim Crane and said "I don't think so'' when asked on his radio show if he had any interest in the opening.

"I'm sure they'll fill it with the right person,'' Ryan said.

 

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