Mac Engel

Rangers should ship statue of Nolan Ryan to the Astros

A statue of Nolan Ryan stands at Globe Life Park. Ryan played five seasons for the Rangers, and was the team’s CEO from 2008-13.
A statue of Nolan Ryan stands at Globe Life Park. Ryan played five seasons for the Rangers, and was the team’s CEO from 2008-13. Star-Telegram

When the Texas Rangers open their new stadium, they should box up the statue of Nolan Ryan and mail it to where it belongs: Houston.

His statue does not belong in Arlington now, nor did it ever. It belongs with the Astros.

Let both franchises just rotate the bronze statue while he jumps from one Texas team to the next, because the only way the Rangers or the Astros can reach a World Series is to have Nolan involved.

Ryan is back in the World Series while his old team finished three games out of last place and contemplates giving GM/team president Jon Daniels a contract extension.

Whatever you think about Nolan and the state of the Rangers, at this point you should be cheering for the Astros to beat the LA Dodgers.

If the Rangers are going to keep their Nolan statue and move it to Tax Hike Friendly Ballpark when it opens in 2020, then all of us should be Astros fans on this one. For Nolan. For his son Reid, the team’s president business of operations. For Texas.

Big league baseball has been played 102 combined seasons between Houston and Arlington, and we have not one World Series title. That’s Cubs-ish.

Texas has more NHL Stanley Cup trophies than MLB World Series trophies.

As a state, we are an embarrassing 0-for-3 in the World Series. The Astros were swept by the White Sox by a combined six runs in 2005. You just might recall that the Rangers lost the World Series in ’10 and ’11. Something about a Game 6 that sticks in my memory for some reason, despite repeated counseling sessions.

All four of these World Series participants share this common thread: Nolan. He was a special assistant to the GM for the Astros in 2005, he was the Rangers’ CEO from 2008-13, and he returned to Houston in 2014.

If that’s a coincidence, where do I sign?

To satiate the JD fans who live not to give Nolan a shred of credit for any of the Rangers’ success: A.) You’re a fool, and, B.) Nolan had little to nothing to do with the construction of these Astros.

He should receive virtually no credit for this World Series run in Houston. He is a special adviser to the team, a role where he lends his voice whenever it’s needed, which has nothing to do with personnel.

He was hired in 2014 because team owner Jim Crane thought it would look good to have Nolan back as an Astro, the team where he spent nine of his 27 big league seasons, his longest stop anywhere. Nolan Ryan was only going to help the club’s image.

Ryan’s role has as much to do with general manager Jeff Luhnow not wanting his input (sound familiar?) as it does Nolan’s desire to remain at a safe distance so Reid can run the team as its president.

While Ryan has made it known he would not mind to be more involved with the daily operations of a big league club again, he is not leaving Texas. He’s 70. If he’s going to do this again it’s either with the Astros or the Rangers.

Neither is happening anytime soon, not unless Rangers co-owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson agree to sell the team back to a group of investors involving Ryan.

Nolan is more likely to continue in his peripheral role with the Astros, who are one of the deeper teams in the game.

Ryan’s former team, the Rangers, are a wee bit of a fine mess right now. Don’t believe the rhetoric that says otherwise. Trust your eyes.

The Rangers are not close to the Astros nor any of the top teams in the game. They are stuck rebuilding with more needs than plausible solutions.

Even if the power struggle between Nolan and JD remained workable, the Rangers were going to have to go through some of this downturn. Every team does.

If Nolan’s going to remain in Houston, the Rangers should just send the Nolan statue there. Maybe the Astros could send it back if and when he ever returns to Arlington.

It appears as if the only way a team from Texas can make the World Series is if Nolan is a part of it.

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

Game 1: Astros at Dodgers

7 p.m. Tuesday, KDFW/4

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