Tag:Nolan Ryan
Posted on: October 26, 2011 1:51 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 6:50 pm

After 51 years, the Rangers know how to wait

ST. LOUIS -- Wednesday was gray and gloomy at Busch Stadium. The weather forecast for Game 6 of the World Series? Ugly.

Kind of like most of the Rangers' franchise history.

They were born 51 years ago as the second Washington Senators, the second coming of a team that wasn't exactly successful the first time around. They moved to Texas just 11 years later, and played in a glorified minor-league ballpark for 22 years after that.

They never won a playoff series until last year, their 50th season. Their biggest-ever free agent signing was Alex Rodriguez, and it was basically a disaster.

They built this World Series team while in bankruptcy court.

"If people knew what has transpired over the last four years, it's an amazing story," franchise icon and club president Nolan Ryan said a few days back. "It's a phenomenal story."

And now that story includes a rainout that pushes back the Rangers' first-ever potential World Series clincher.


These guys already understand what it means to wait.

After all they've been through, one more day is hardly going to affect them.

"It's not like we're going to sit here and bite our nails," Michael Young said. "It's just a rainout."

Young, a Ranger since 2000, sets the tone in the Texas clubhouse. He knows what they've been through, knows what the organization has been through.

"I'm definitely appreciative of where we are," he said. "It's a lot of fun to be part of the group that has taken this organization where it hadn't been."

Young and the other Rangers players say that even they don't know the entire story of the bankruptcy, which forced Major League Baseball to basically take the team over from Tom Hicks, and then oversaw the sale to the ownership group that runs the Rangers now.

"I appreciate the bigger picture," manager Ron Washington said. "I really appreciate that Nolan Ryan and the guys, they kept it out of the clubhouse."

But even if they didn't know the details, the Rangers players couldn't escape everything going on around them.

"This organization has been through a lot," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "It's my sixth year, and there's been lots of ups and downs just in my six years."

Part of that, Kinsler said, was simply changing the image of a franchise that had never won big. There was a sense of the Rangers as a team that could never pitch enough to win, or as a team that would fall apart after summers spent in the Texas heat.

"A lot of it was labeling," Kinsler said. "We were labeled as a team that just hit, a team in a hitters' park. The label was that we were so one-dimensional. To be able to turn that, change that, I think is huge."

They've changed it so much that they've been in the World Series two straight years, and that now they're within one win of a championship.

"We've been on quite a run," Kinsler said. "We've been the dominant team in the American League the last two seasons."

They've built something good, and they know it. They've built something that no one else could build with this franchise, through half a century, through Washington and then Texas.

They've built it, and now they'll wait one more day for Game 6, which stands as the biggest game this franchise has ever played.

They can wait another day.

And, oh, Nolan Ryan is right. It is a phenomenal story.
Posted on: February 19, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: February 19, 2011 4:25 pm

The latest on Michael Young

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Michael Young is here. Michael Young says he's ready for what he calls his "favorite time of the year."

Is Michael Young happy?

That's a lot harder to say.

Young spoke for about 25 minutes this afternoon, after arriving at Rangers camp a day before the team begins full-squad spring training workouts. He revealed that he has had what he called "very candid and truthful" conversations with team president Nolan Ryan, made it clear that his relationship with general manager Jon Daniels has not been repaired, called his situation "less than ideal" and then said he's prepared for spring training to begin.

"One thing I'll never do is disrupt my teammates' preparation for the season," Young said. "Once we step foot in spring training, it's not about me anymore. It's about the team."

But it's what Young didn't say that was just as revealing.

He wouldn't say whether he would still prefer to be traded.

Young expressed disappointment that his initial trade request became public, and said that he wants to keep all further conversations with the team confidential. Young said that he believed his position had been misrepresented, and that he had never changed his mind about his willingness to accept a role as a designated hitter and super-utility player, after the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre to take his job at third base.

It's not clear how hard the Rangers have tried to trade Young, but it is highly unlikely that he'll be dealt before opening day, given the Rangers' desire that any deal doesn't weaken their team for 2011.

Asked if Young will be in the opening day lineup, Daniels quickly said: "That's my expectation."

"Mine, too," Ryan added.

Will he be happy with a role that includes time at first base, second base and third base, but where his primary job is as the Rangers' DH?

Good question.

Ryan said that in his conversations with Young, one thing the player went back to is that "he does not feel he's at the point in his career that he wants to be a DH."

Young has three years and $48 million remaining on his contract, and executives involved in talks with the Rangers have suggested that Texas would likely need to pay half of that money in order to make a deal. Even then, the executives suggested, the Rangers wouldn't get value for value, and thus would hurt their chances of winning this year.

Manager Ron Washington said again today that while he'll use Young as a DH and around the infield, as of now he has no plans to use him in the outfield. Young did say that he was open to playing the outfield.

Washington also said he saw no problem getting Young enough at-bats.

"I can't sit here and give you percentages," Washington said. "But Michael will play."

In his remarks today, Young expressed his love for Washington, and for his teammates. He didn't say much at all about Daniels, except to say that the two haven't talked and that Young has no plans for that to change.

"It is not on my priority list at all," he said.

Daniels declined to respond, other than to say: "To some degree, my integrity has been called into question, and I don't take that lightly. We're going to let it pass, wear it, so to speak."

As far as Washington is concerned, though, the more important thing is that, at least for now, he can think about putting Young in his everyday lineup.

"The bottom line is he's here," Washington said. "He's going to help us win. That's what it's all about."

Posted on: December 7, 2010 7:10 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 7:24 pm

Ryan expresses optimism on Lee

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Much of the buzz around the lobby at the Winter Meetings still has Cliff Lee likely headed to the Yankees.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan doesn't agree.

Ryan said Tuesday that he's increasingly optimistic that Lee will re-sign with the Rangers.

"I'd like to think that the longer the process goes, and the less news you hear about it, the more encouraged I am," Ryan said. "There's not any earthshaking news that has come out that concerns me. We don't have anything definitive by any means, but I think they have targeted one or two places, and I think they have a feel of where it's going."

The Nationals met with Lee's agent on Tuesday, and SI.com's Jon Heyman reported Tuesday night that Lee has two seven-year offers (with the suggestion that neither was from the Yankees or Rangers). But Ryan said he doubts Lee would go to a non-contending team, which probably leaves the Yankees and Rangers as the two possible destinations.

"He wants to be on a winner," Ryan said. "He wants to play with someone who is going to be competitive year-in, year-out. Obviously, that eliminates some organizations."

Despite his optimism, Ryan admitted that the Rangers have worked on backup plans, and he suggested that they would still prioritize starting pitching, probably in a trade (with Zack Greinke almost certainly the Plan B, and Matt Garza possibly the Plan C). Ryan basically ruled out any chance the Rangers would try to sign Carl Crawford, and came close to ruling out a run at Adrian Beltre, as well.

Ryan did admit that the Rangers have listened to trade offers for third baseman Michael Young, but it seems unlikely that Texas will move Young.

"People have asked," Ryan said.

Other people in the Rangers organization have expressed confidence this week that all things being equal, Lee prefers the Rangers over any other team.

Posted on: August 5, 2010 12:09 pm

The best news is that it's almost over

It's bad to have a bad owner. Ask the people in Baltimore.

It's worse to have no owner.

So whether or not Mark Cuban would have been fascinating, good, a mess or otherwise as owner of the Rangers, the best thing for the Rangers is that the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan group won the bidding in yesterday's nutty marathon auction. The best thing is that baseball seems prepared to approve Greenberg's purchase as soon as next week.

And the Rangers can begin to operate again like a normal baseball team.

It's remarkable what the Texas front office has done over the last couple of years, under the leadership of general manager Jon Daniels. It's incredible that they've been able to build a first-place team, and it's to Daniels' credit that he manipulated his strict and limited budget in a way that allowed him to add four players, most notably Cliff Lee, in the July trade market.

But there was no way he could keep doing it, if the handcuffs didn't come off. Had the Cuban/Jim Crane team won the auction, baseball's approval process would have taken much longer. Who knows how long?

History may show Greenberg as a terrible owner. Or as a great owner.

For now, though, the Rangers and their fans can celebrate. They'll soon have an owner.

And that's a whole bunch better than not having one.
Posted on: February 2, 2010 5:33 pm

'Finances will not hold us back'

The Rangers were so financially handcuffed last year that one employee said it was just like working for the Expos when major league baseball owned the team.

So the promises that prospective new owner Chuck Greenberg is making must sound like dreamland for Rangers people and Rangers fans.

Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney, told CBSSports.com today that his group will be able to spend when needed, and that once baseball approves the sale (which could happen in the next two months), he'll be ready to approve expenditures, as needed.

"In order to make a [trade], you need the financial resources and a depth of talent," Greenberg said. "We'll have both of those two things. If there's a chance [to make a deal], finances will not hold us back."

Some people in baseball have wondered what the ownership switch will mean for general manager Jon Daniels, but Greenberg expressed strong support for the GM and his staff. Greenberg's group includes club president Nolan Ryan, who was brought in last year by former owner Tom Hicks.

"I wouldn't trade our front office for any in baseball," Greenberg said.
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