Randy Galloway's column in the Star-Telegram came as a shockwave to "Ranger Nation," as the longtime local columnist and radio host has suggested that the Texas Rangers could lose one of the faces of the franchise, possibly as early as before the end of spring training.
Ryan was stripped of the "team president" title over the weekend as that label was added to general manager Jon Daniels' job title. Ryan is now listed as the CEO of the team, and nothing else. The move was said to be made to relieve Ryan of some of the day-to-day responsibilities with the club and owner Bob Simpson said Ryan is going nowhere.
But other talk -- and this didn't just start this weekend -- has suggested there is an increasing power struggle between Ryan and Daniels as far as personnel decisions go and who is promoted and when.
Ryan is indeed a key piece of the Rangers' recent success, which includes three straight playoff appearances and two straight World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He helped rejuvenate a brand that had diminished greatly after a decade of failure and disappointment. He helped turn the Rangers into a pitching team by bringing his hard-nosed personality to the development of the pitching staff and bringing in guys like pitching coach Mike Maddux.
Ryan's departure would also be a huge blow to the public perception of the club as he is a bit of a cult hero in these parts, but the Rangers' growing brand will live on, and continue to grow. And put it in these terms: Would you rather lose Ryan or Daniels and his two right-hand men, Thad Levine and A.J. Preller, who could both be GMs for other teams sooner rather than later. Now, both of their titles are sweetened with the thought that the club can keep all three around for the future.