On Thursday, the Houston Astros announced some changes to their leadership structure and front office. Normally, these go unnoted unless they involve a change at general manager. Yet in this particular instance, those involved have some familiar, noteworthy names.
To begin with, Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan let various media personnel know that he will not be returning to the Astros as an executive adviser to owner Jim Crane. "I will not be back with the club and will leave it at that," Ryan texted to Mark Berman of Fox 26, among others.
That within itself doesn't seem too important, except Nolan's proclamation comes on the same day that his son, Reid Ryan, was demoted from being the team president to being the executive adviser of business relations. With that in mind, it's hard to read Nolan's message without wondering if there's perhaps a bit (or a lot) more to the story than anyone knows.
Adding to the drama is the fact that Crane's son, Jared, was announced as having joined the "leadership team" in a role where he'll "assist Jim and his executive team in a broad variety of functions related to the operations of the Astros business," per a team-issued release. Nepotism is nothing new, for baseball teams or otherwise, but the timing is interesting, right?
Thursday's moves were just the latest in a series of front-office changes for the Astros, who fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman during the World Series after he harassed female reporters with inappropriate comments concerning closer Roberto Osuna. The Astros have suffered at least one other loss in their baseball-operations department, and are expected to have others depart before the winter ends.