Apr 7, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers ceo Nolan Ryan (left) laughs with Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (right) before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Former Los Angeles Angels ace and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan appears set to continue his tour of former franchises. According to Mark berman of Fox 26 in Houston, Ryan has agreed to join the Houston Astros in an advisory role, having duties with both baseball and business operations.
Ryan had been a member of the Astros front office before, serving in the mid 2000’s before moving on to the Rangers. Serving as the Rangers Team President, Ryan was able to figure out a way to develop a pitching staff that was able to withstand the blistering summer heat in Arlington, a task which had failed numerous times before. While he is not going to have any specific duties, or even an office at the ballpark, having someone like Ryan around could only be beneficial.
Yet, as we watch Nolan Ryan continue his tour of the American League West, we have to wonder if the Angels have attempted to bring him back. After all, Ryan truly began to achieve greatness as a member of the Angels, having been infamously traded with three other players for Jim Fregosi. During his eight year run with the Angels, Ryan was only 138-121, but he was a five time All-Star, led the American League in strikeouts seven times and threw four no-hitters from 1973 through 1975. His number 30 has been retired, forever emblazoned with his name.
Ryan also would not just be some figurehead, a name for years past brought in to promote goodwill amongst the fans. He has proven to be a capable baseball executive, helping to lead both the Astros and the Rangers to the World Series. Seemingly everywhere he has gone, success has followed.
So, why haven’t the Angels brought back Nolan Ryan? Perhaps they simply do not feel that he would be willing to just work in an advisory role with the team, and would want to be more hands on than they would prefer. Or perhaps Ryan simply does not want to leave his home state of Texas, where he has been quite comfortable. Or, maybe the Angels just do not have any interest in bringing Ryan back.
The Astros, more than likely, are going to be terrible this season. However, they have a solid crop of young players and decent pitching prospects. They also now have Nolan Ryan, a man who seems to bring success with him wherever he has gone as an executive. In a couple of years, the Astros may well find themselves as contenders in the AL West.
Nolan Ryan became the great pitcher that he is remembered as while a member of the Angels. He could potentially help lead them back to greatness now as an executive. As Ryan continues his reunion tour, it just makes one wonder why the Angels have not been a part of that yet.