ARLINGTON, Texas — Nolan Ryan was bundled up, trying to stay warm, like everyone else at Rangers Ballpark.
Ryan was in his customary front-row seat Wednesday near the Texas dugout during the coldest day game ever at the park, and he plans to keep sitting there for a while.
Even after the long, cold day that ended with a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay, there was good news for Texas afterward when Ryan ended weeks of speculation about his future with the team. The Hall of Fame pitcher is staying as chief executive officer.
“After productive discussions the last several weeks with [co-chairmen] Ray Davis and Bob Simpson about the structure of our organization, together we are moving forward,” Ryan said in a news release issued by the team after the completion of its first homestand.
Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore (2-0) combined with four relievers on a five-hitter, and the Rays got their only runs on a fielder’s choice grounder and a sacrifice fly. It was only 39 degrees when the game started after a rain delay of 1 hour, 29 minutes. That was 40 degrees colder than Tuesday night.
Ryan has remained quiet publicly about his plans since it was announced March 1 that general manager Jon Daniels and chief operating officer Rick George had been promoted with new presidential titles. Ryan had been president and CEO.
Nine days after that announcement, Ryan issued a statement that he had meet in person with Davis and Simpson but offered no clue as to what he planned to do. Now a month later, there is finally a resolution.
“In my role as CEO, I am focused on working closely with ownership and with Jon Daniels and Rick George to build on the success of the past five years and to bring a championship to Arlington,” Ryan said Wednesday.
Since Ryan became the team’s president in February 2008, the Rangers have made their only two World Series appearances. Those AL pennants came after he helped lead the team through a bankruptcy and was a primary figure in the ownership group that bought the team.
“We’ve had meaningful conversations with Nolan Ryan over the past several weeks and are pleased that our focus is now on working together to win a championship for our fans,” Davis and Simpson said in a statement also issued by the team. “Over the years Nolan has made extraordinary contributions to the Texas Rangers organization, both on and off the field, including providing valuable guidance to Jon Daniels and Rick George.
“His leadership as our chief executive, with both baseball and business operations reporting to him, has been vital to our success and offers us a bright future,” they said.
Texas has won all three of its series this season, taking two of three at home against both the AL West-rival Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay. The Rangers play at Seattle on Thursday night.
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