The biggest question for the Texas Rangers as we approach Sunday's season opener in Houston isn't who the No. 5 starter will be, or even who the club's set-up man will be while Joakim Soria gets healthy and strong. The biggest question surrounding the Rangers in Arizona has been that or their former president/CEO turned CEO only, and arguably the face of the franchise, Nolan Ryan.
When the Rangers' ownership group gave general manager Jon Daniels the title of team president to add his GM label, Ryan's feelings were hurt and the speculation began that Ryan could leave the Rangers as early as at the conclusion of spring training.
Now that that time is here and Ryan has still done nothing other than release a statement saying he'd met with the ownership group earlier this month, the questions are really starting to pick up, and a columnist with the Austin American-Statesman talked with Ryan and some folks close to him and wrote this week that Ryan is almost a sure bet to leave the organization he helped build.
Kirk Bohls wrote that a person "very close" to Ryan said it was a "70-30" chance that Ryan leaves and he seemed like a guy "close to saying his goodbyes."
If Ryan does in fact leave, it'll be a sad day for the Rangers. But like I've said before on this subject, Ryan didn't build the Rangers. He played a huge role in the public relations of it and yes he had a lot to do with a new mindset amongst the pitching staff, but he didn't build the franchise.
Even without the Hall of Famer, the Rangers will be just fine and still be one of the top franchises in the game from their big-league roster down to rookie ball.