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Nolan Ryan Should Never Have Left

Since the Rangers are in town this week, it was inevitable that Nolan Ryan would get interviewed. For a second time in his long and stories baseball career, the Astros had Ryan stolen out from under them to go north. Because of a dispute over his contract, he signed with the Rangers instead of finishing his career as an Astro. Because of a dispute over his place in the organization, he went back to the Rangers front office instead of guiding this current Astros regime back to prominence.

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I just oversimplified both of those things by a good margin, but the points still ring true. Ryan was a good influence on the young pitcher in Houston, but wasn't really used in this front office like he should have been, because Tal Smith was still present and heading up everything. Instead, Ryan got to implement his ideas up in Arlington and look at the results...

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I can remember how depressed I was when Gerry Hunsicker resigned/got fired after the 2004 season, knowing it was the beginning of the end for that particular Astros reign. I remember thinking the same thing when Nolan left. It wasn't because their roles were similar, but because it felt like all the talent was just leaving in droves. Houston went from having a pretty talented front office to one that is widely mocked (sometimes unfairly).

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The indignity of Nolan leaving will only get worse if Houston does move into the AL West. In that scenario, we'd have to see Nolan's Rangers a lot more often, throwing salt into a sad wound.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.