Nolan Ryan met with reporters before Saturday’s game and discussed a range of topics, from his situation and future as the Texas Rangers’ CEO to the state of the team with seven weeks to go.
Ryan said all the front-office drama in spring training, during which he considered leaving the team, has settled down, and he’s pleased with his role in the organization.
Ryan didn’t declare that he’d be back next season, but said he didn’t anticipate any changes at this point.
“At this point in your life, where I am, get through the season and see how you feel about things,” Ryan said. “There are a lot of factors in play, but do I anticipate any changes? No.”
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Among the other topics Ryan addressed:
• The state of the team: “It’s an interesting ballclub. By the time you think, ‘Man, we’re upside down,’ they come roaring back. We had a setback with the [Nelson Cruz] situation and then we go out and get a quality bat with veteran experience [Alex Rios]. I feel really good about where we are and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
•Being a front-runner in the AL with Matt Garza and Rios:
“I wouldn’t want to say we’re front-runners, because you’re one injury away, as we well know. We’d like to think we’ve had the majority of our injuries behind us and hopefully we’ll stay healthy and finish this out. I feel better about our ballclub today than I did a week ago, or prior to getting Matt in the trade.”
•His impressions of Garza and the potential of signing him long-term:
“He has a real feel for pitching. He has a lot of confidence with what his abilities are. With his delivery and how he approaches hitters, I’m confident he’s going to hold up. [Signing him long-term] is hard to say. What you have to do is evaluate the club and the market, so it’s hard for me to speculate on that at this point in time.”
•Further setbacks to Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison:
“With guys coming off surgery and rehabbing, I think you’re foolish if you count on them because of what we have seen. They don’t always go on the timetable that the medical profession anticipates because of the human element and also coming back from surgery. You’re asking them to get into condition where they can help a major league ballclub in a pennant race, and I think that’s an awful lot.”
•The search for a president of business operations:
“Best way to say it, it’s in mothballs. … We’re not going to go out and bring someone in. We’re going to move forward with the existing executive team we have in place.”