Surprise, Surprise. Chuck Greenberg is ... Poof.

Categories: Texas Rangers

Rangers - Greenberg parking1.jpg
And just like that, the man who saved Nolan Ryan's job with the Texas Rangers has been replaced.

By Nolan Ryan.

I heard rumblings about this a couple weeks ago. Even hinted in a Whitt's End and on 105.3 The Fan that there were - seemingly out of nowhere - cracks in the foundation of the relationship between Chuck Greenberg and Ryan. But I didn't see this happening this fast.

News broke last Friday that the Rangers' CEO and managing general partner was out. Gone. Kaput. A year after I sat down with him for this upbeat cover story and just seven months after winning control of the team in a dramatic, late-night auction, suddenly Greenberg is, well, not here anymore.

I arrived in Surprise, Arizona yesterday to a record crowd of 12,014 crammed in the stadium to see the Giants club Tommy Hunter and Texas in a World Series rematch.

But on my way in I also spotted something else interesting.

In Rangers' parking spot No. 1 just behind home plate is a sign reserving the space for Nolan Ryan. In spot No. 3 there is a placard for Jon Daniels. And No. 2? Chuck Greenberg Just a metal pole sans sign. (Though somebody was already parked in his spot. Hmm.)

When it wants to this franchise acts lickety-split quick. But it's too late for the Rangers to redact Greenberg from their hot-off-the-presses media guide. He's still listed No. 1 in the front office directory, with his profile still first and his name atop the list of 31 owners (which includes legendary singer Charley Pride).

Greenberg was always great to me and, from what I hear, all the media. Available. Affable. Ambitious. Sad to see him go. And confused at why he left.

His only statement so far ...

I have great respect for the Texas Rangers franchise and am enormously proud of all we have accomplished together since August. Unfortunately, Nolan Ryan, the Co-Chairmen, and I have somewhat different styles. While I am disappointed we did not work through our differences, I remain wholeheartedly committed to doing what's right for the franchise. Together we concluded it is best for all concerned for me to sell my interest back to Rangers Baseball Express and move on. I do so with a heavy heart, but with every confidence in the direction that the new management team is taking the Rangers and, with Nolan at the helm, I know this franchise will continue to thrive and reach even greater heights both on and off the field.

Following Tom Hicks, it seemed like Greenberg could do no wrong.

Remember, prospective owners Dennis Gilbert and Jim Crane and Mark Cuban offered no promises that Ryan would be a part of their new group. From Day 1, however, Greenberg was adamant that Nolan was a Rangers' icon whom he just had to have by his side and on his team.

Then Greenberg outbid Cuban, outbid the Yankees for Cliff Lee, oversaw the first World Series in franchise history, unveiled a $13 million scoreboard upgrade at Rangers Ballpark and then ... he's gone?

I know he blew into town promising to stay on the business side of things and I hear Nolan and Daniels were more than uncomfortable when Greenberg spoke to Lee over the winter, feuded with Yankees president Randy Levine and then made "he'll be a Ranger this season" proclamations about Michael Young this spring.

But after all he's done those oops seem fixable, no? Instead - citing personal and professional differences - Greenberg's gone and Nolan's 10-gallon hat has grown to 100-gallon control. He's president and owner and CEO and managing general partner and don't you dare cross him.

If you're keeping score, the Rangers will enter 2011 without Josh Lewin and Chuck Greenberg. In both instances, it was Ryan who wanted them gone.

On the field, I'm excited to witness Adrian Beltre's debut today against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hopefully Nolan will like what he sees. Or else.

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16 comments
Rhinosaur
Rhinosaur

Tom HATED Josh (according to my sources)...not surprised if Tom offered a "him or me" ultimatum, and I don't see Nolan dumping Tom over Josh.

DanielSF
DanielSF

You guys are a mess.....

just sayin'
just sayin'

Have any of you watched a televised preseason game and heard Radigan's way of announcing a victory? That shit was painful. Hell, Im not even a Rangers fan, but I always enjoyed the 9th inning when Lewin would yell "Ballgame!". That might have been the best signature call in all of baseball. But Nolan sent him packing. Since when is Nolan a guy you want in charge? He threw a baseball and put his name on beef. Maybe they should consider giving George Foreman a front office job.

The Bidness of Sports
The Bidness of Sports

Greenburg did the deal. That's his specialty. When he started getting into the baseball side instead of the business side he overstepped.

There is probably a lot that RW does not know about that went on behind the scenes and yet he is attempting to paint us a Machiavellian Ryan without any substance.

Sportytorium school of journalism at its best.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Gagreed with fears of Nolan starting to act like a cranky old man, but I think the moral of the story is Greenberg was all hat and no cattle, at least operationally. He had less than 1% ownership in the team but was the front man for the entire ownership group, and when he's going around saying and doing things that don't jive (I'm channeling Jerruh) with the money men who own the majority chunk of the team, I can understand why they want him out.

It'd kinda like Richie trying to act like a huge radio star when he hitched his wagon to a known commodity and rode coattails to an evening drive gig that is currently limping along. As The Rock once said, know your role and shut your mouth. It sounds like Chuck didn't know his roll and the rest of the ownership group didn't appreciate him speaking for all of them. I like Chuck and this sucks, but I can understand why they'd make this move.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Nolan is coming off bad on this deal and looking dickish and well, he probably is. CG has made himself available, or did, and definitely was a fan favorite. What gets the Mavs more excited, outgoing available Cuban or ass-chewer Carlisle? The fans want someone they can relate to. I don't know what the whole lovefest with Nolan is to be honest with you. Jon Daniels has done a good job of doing his job, what has Nolan done? He said the pitchers would pitch more, which that hasn't changed. He hasn't talked any pitchers into coming here, and how is he talking people into buying tickets? Greenberg was going to be the promoter, the guy to get people in the seats. Who does it now? This sucks, I'm just going to call it like it is.

ClayBFX
ClayBFX

I'm kinda getting worried. Nolan is starting to seem like a dick.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

I like Nolan Ryan as much as the next guy, but the jury is still out on whether his impact gave the Rangers their push to the Series or he was just along at the right time for a fortunate ride. I hope its the former, but if its not, giving someone all the keys to the franchise just because he throws a baseball particularly well makes as much sense as promoting the guy who wins the sales contest every year to CEO. Its a different skill set. It might work, but it usually doesn't. I don't know if Ryan is a businessman or not, but he'd better be. Hero worshipping a pitching legend to the point of letting him make all the critical decisions isn't going to win championships.

Mishon
Mishon

I watched the game on Saturday and I though he was horrible. I know it was his first call, so I don't want to be overly critical of him, but it was painful to listen to it. He and Grieve didn't seem to have any chemistry at all, but hopefully after a while that will develop. I definitely missed Josh though.

just thinkin'
just thinkin'

Sounds just like the deal George Bush. Almost NONE of his money in the pot, but he was the public point man. I'm sorry to see Chuck gone, I thought he rivaled Cuban for the most fan friendly owner in the area and he was always looking for ways to make the fan experience at the Ballpark a better one. Nolan exerts WAY too much influence over the day to day of the team. Remember the edict last year that "we want our starters to go one more inning and ignore pitch counts" ? Rangers' starters pitched fewer innings than ANY team in baseball. So much for Nolan's influence

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Or the money men can't stand up to Nolan, one of the two. Well at least the Rhadigan move was good. I'm sure this one will be on par as well. There's not much more that makes me uncomfortable as listening to Nolan talking. Well, strike that, listening to Dick Clark is the only thing that makes me more uncomfortable listening to than Nolan.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Josh and Tom had awkward chemistry sometimes too, especially when Tom would lay out on him for minutes at a time. I miss Josh, wish he was still doing the games minus cookie and Seinfeld talk, and was shocked at that move. Rhads was okay to me. Nothing great, but nothing offensive and at least nothing as mind-numblingly boring as an Astros broadcast or as annoying as trying to watch a White Sox game. If Rhads hasn't polished his calls come June, then there may be a problem, but I'm going to give him a chance to win me over. A spring training game isn't exactly anything exciting to call or even watch either.

Nolan did have good success in running a team in the minors, just sayin. He may not be Warren Buffet, but he can probably run a baseball club better than Roger Dorn.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Didn't Bush at least own like 10% of the team? Back in the days where a couple million gets you that much of a share?

Good point with the innings--I was surprised when I'd heard that, but hell, Harden and Feldman starts alone probably contributed to a large chunk of bullpen usage.

just thinkin'
just thinkin'

Scruffy, as I recall Bush put in about 1.4 mil on a 130 million or so purchase. I might be incorrect, but those numbers ring a bell.

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