By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"I don't think there was necessarily a breaking point more than our differences were to the point that the further we went the less compatible we were," Ryan said in Surprise. "We felt like we had to make a change before the season so it wouldn't be a distraction. Had enough of those last year."
Simpson, in a rare speaking part in the press conference in Arlington, said, "Any conflicts with Nolan were also with the chairmen of the board."
Ryan is nothing if not patient. Since he took over as team president he's watched Daniels learn from his mistakes and grow into one of baseball's best general managers. He also stood behind Washington after his drug admission and refused to quit when Hicks' mismanagement had the Rangers requiring loans from Major League Baseball to make monthly payroll. He's been married to wife Ruth for more than 40 years. Ryan doesn't quit easily, shedding light on how rocky his relationship with Greenberg had grown.
"There were some obvious day-to-day working differences," Daniels says. "But it was a cumulative thing more than one event. At least it was with me."
Says Ryan, "It's like a marriage. You think things are going to work out in business, but until you get in there, you never know how things are really going to work."
Reminiscent of Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones tugging at the Super Bowl XXX trophy in Atlanta and then divorcing two months later, it was just in November that Greenberg and Ryan were on the field drenched in ginger ale and smiles in the wake of conquering bankruptcy and the Yankees en route to the World Series.
While the source says Greenberg signed a confidentiality agreement as part of his severance package, just like that the friendly, approachable face of the Rangers is involuntarily kaput. At Surprise the sign for his reserved parking spot was immediately removed. Greenberg loved selling the Rangers so much that the source says he often crowed about "being bigger than the Cowboys" within five years.
But in fact, his nine-month voyage to own a part of the Rangers (his financial stake was about 1 percent) lasted longer than his seven-month tenure.
In recent years the Rangers have endured Hamilton's one-night episode with coeds and whipped cream, Washington's drug use and almost a full season of financial instability. Despite Greenberg being gone and Ryan now wearing a 20-gallon hat of power—seemingly set on ridding the franchise of colorful characters like Lewin and Greenberg and anyone else who dares to be more than a conservative combo of Baseball 101 and a slice of white bread with the crust cut off—the Rangers barely blinked.
"Seems like we always have some sort of drama around us," Harrison says. "Chuck was a great guy. He had a lot of energy, and he was a big part of our ride last season. But it doesn't really affect us as a baseball team. After all we've been through we're a pretty tough group to rattle."
Cliff Lee. Vladimir Guerrero. Chuck Greenberg. Claw. Antlers. It's Time.
Next on the list of singular success sans encore, your Texas Rangers?