[T]here were indications here Friday that Nolan Ryan could possibly be out the Rangers’ door, and if he does leave, it won’t be because he was forced out but because ownership has eroded his position within the team.
— Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
There was that first column that came out late Friday night, so Saturday morning I wanted to address the elephant in the room. So I went in and talked with Nolan and say, ‘Hey, I just want to address this. I don’t want it to linger between the two of us.’ And we talked through it and Nolan indicated that he had no issue with myself or anything else. I’ve got to take it at face value and move forward. We’ve got a big job here to get the team ready.
— Jon Daniels, on 105.3 FM, one of several local radio interviews he’s done the last couple days
Are the Rangers trying to freeze out Nolan Ryan? The short answer is no, that’s not the intent, even if the eventual outcome is essentially the same should Ryan perceive that the promotions of Jon Daniels and Rick George have effectively cut him out of the loop, and he becomes nothing more than an iconic figurehead. . . . The majority of the heavy lifting has been done by Daniels. He made the trades, the drafts and the signings that built the Rangers into the envy of baseball. Ryan’s contribution hasn’t been as great as most fans like to believe, but it’s not insignificant, either. Just as he did as a player, Ryan gave the Rangers credibility as team president, a title he no longer owns.
— Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News
Nolan Ryan remains chief executive officer, but he shed president as part of his title. An icon does not need an elaborate title.
— Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning News
Ryan is sensing uncertainty now, according to sources, and is strongly considering leaving the club. . . . Many fingers, both in the desert and across Metroplex airwaves, are pointed at Daniels, and all are reluctant to speak on the subject.
— Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Source says it’s “not looking great” Rangers/Nolan Ryan will work out differences. Says Nolan “deserves to have his dignity through this.”
— Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
If he decides to retire from the Rangers in two months, four months or whatever, . . . Ryan’s departure will produce a seismic tremor throughout baseball and, particularly, throughout Texas.
— Gil LeBreton, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The perception of a power struggle would haunt (A) the owners who failed to broker a peace between Ryan and those who opposed him and (B) Daniels, who – fairly or not – would be viewed by some as the guy who helped run Nolan Ryan out of town.
— Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Ryan’s shadow is so large than Daniels hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves. I’m not sure whether Andrew Friedman or Billy Beane or Brian Sabean or someone else is baseball’s best general manager, but there’s no way to have that discussion without including Jon Daniels. . . . Daniels built a great baseball organization. He’d done a lot of the heavy lifting before Ryan arrived, and that’s the point a lot of people miss. The Rangers were well on their way to the postseason, and Nolan Ryan had almost nothing to do with the building of the baseball team. Again, that’s a point a lot of people miss. . . . Ryan is such a larger-than-life figure, especially in Texas, that plenty of reporters decided to tell the story the way they thought it should be told. If the facts were otherwise, well, that’s life. I don’t know if Daniels ever felt slighted, but he had every right to be.
— Richard Justice, MLB.com
To put it simply: The reason the Texas Rangers gave Jon Daniels a new title the other day had more to do with assistant GM Thad Levine than it did with Nolan Ryan.
— Buster Olney, ESPN
During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time. In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract, and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process. . . . The renewal of Mike’s contract will put an end of this discussion. As when he learned he would not be the team’s primary center fielder for the upcoming season, Mike will put the disappointment behind him and focus on helping the Angels reach their goal of winning the 2013 World Series.
— Mike Trout’s agent Craig Landis, to Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
(Whoops. Wrong story.)
This was not a Ryan power play as much as his seeking clarification whether the big baseball decisions belonged to him or to Daniels. And Daniels was declared the winner. Remember, it was just two spring trainings ago that, coming off the franchise’s first World Series trip, Ryan said it was going to be either him or Chuck Greenberg. One had to go. . . . Maybe Ryan will be fine for two or three more seasons, sitting in the front row with Ruth and just enjoying baseball. Regardless, the notion that he’s bound to leave because he’s no longer in charge of what he was hired to do is a flawed one. He changed that the day he engineered Greenberg’s exit and grabbed the CEO title.
— Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News
The Rangers have a management team that has been quite successful the past four years, but change has always been the one constant in this organization.
— T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com
With Daniels, Levine, [A.J.] Preller and the likes of [Matt] Vinnola and [Josh] Boyd upcoming on the baseball side, the Rangers have a great working situation. With George and . . . communications czar John Blake, facilities guy Rob Matwick, entertainment guru Chuck Morgan, CFO [Kellie] Fischer and the likes of business partnerships guys Joe Januszewski and customer service man Jay Miller on the business side, Ryan has an exceptional group of lieutenants. Ownership has been quiet and supportive of team building. It is an extraordinary setup, most likely the best in the business. Ryan can set the tone, be involved on the project of the moment or give advice on a key decision and this organization can continue to grow. The thing that would serve everybody best here is to realize that Ryan is a huge asset to the club and that every role evolves and changes over time. If all the parties involved can do that, this bit of drama can help re-center the organization and position it for even greater things to come.
— Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News
Over more than 35 years in the business, I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed a pro sports official grow more in the job than Daniels has. . . . He’s a smart guy, as we already knew. Smart enough to know that, despite the differences you’d expect between a Cornell man and one educated in clubhouses and bullpens, they mutually benefit one another. Daniels will never enjoy the affection of Texans like Ryan does. Short of Tom Landry or Roger Staubach or Sam Houston, I’m not sure who would. Ryan has an authenticity cultivated over a long, storied lifetime. There’s nothing phony. What he seems, he is.
My job is to oversee baseball operations, and I report to Nolan.
— Daniels, to Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News
And, in a half a week in which many have spoken and written in an attempt to connect the dots – if not fill in the blanks – the greatest volume spoken has been this one:
Everybody wants to hear from you, Nolan.
We’ve always wanted to hear from you. We all stop down whenever you speak. In your unvarnished and often outspoken manner, you speak, and we listen. We may not always agree – but we always listen.
Everyone wants to hear from you, Nolan.