Rangers co-chairman Simpson says Ryan ‘not replaceable’

Posted Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The titles, and authority that goes with them, within the Texas Rangers’ organization continue to shuffle around.

More reorganization occurred Thursday when Nolan Ryan announced he is resigning from his post as CEO at the end of the month.

Co-chairman Ray Davis and Bob Simpson both encouraged Ryan to stay with the team, but the 66-year-old wasn’t going to change his mind. Who replaces him as CEO?

“We’re not looking for a replacement,” Simpson said. “It sounds a little trite but frankly Nolan Ryan’s not replaceable. What he brought to the team I don’t even think is on the market. In terms of day-to-day functions, we’re very well staffed.”

Davis and Simpson are expected to take a more active role in the organization, and Davis said he will assume the role of controlling owner and represent the team at Major League Baseball meetings. That responsibility will rotate between Davis and Simpson every couple of years.

Rob Matwick, the front-office executive overseeing ballpark and event operations, will assume a bigger role overseeing business operations, although his title remains the same for now.

The baseball operations department shouldn’t see too much change with Jon Daniels continuing to have final say.

The restructuring of the organization has been in motion since March when Daniels was promoted to president of baseball operations/general manager, and Rick George became president of baseball operations.

That left Ryan stripped of his president title and unsure what his role as CEO entailed as he contemplated stepping down throughout spring training.

After clarifying his role with Davis and Simpson, Ryan decided to stay for the 2013 season.

But the change in roles made Thursday’s announcement seem inevitable, and Ryan sold his minority stake to Davis and Simpson to “just clean up my whole situation.”

Davis and Simpson praised the work done by Ryan, saying he helped lay the foundation for the organization to go from bankruptcy court to the World Series.

“The beauty of what we’ve had that you’ll miss is the forging of two camps, youth and experience, with the product that speaks for itself,” Simpson said. “That is what we’ve worked hard to preserve as long as possible. We all wanted to go forever, so this day, retirement days, are inevitable in a man’s life.”

Added Davis: “We’ve built one of the best baseball organizations and we’re positioned extremely well to go forward. … All of this is under Nolan’s tutelage.”

As far as the business side of the organization, Matwick has been taking on more responsibilities since George left in July.

He has now been “given authority to run the business side of things,” Davis said.

Said Matwick: “I will still have a hand in game day and event operations, but will also work more closely with our ticket and sponsorship sales sides.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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