Nolan Ryan says it's still "hard to comprehend" that the torturous journey to taking control of the Texas Rangers is over.
"It dominated our lives so much, and there were so many twists and turns during the process," Ryan said moments ago during a conference call announcing the completion of the sale to Ryan and Chuck Greenberg's Rangers Baseball Express, which also consists of Dallas billionaire Ray Davis, Fort Worth's Bob Simpson and their 18-person investor group. (MLB's official OK, just filed in court, is on the other side for those who need closure.) "I think with the Yankees coming in and all the other things that are on our minds, it's really been hard just to sit back and take it all in and realize we are absolutely through with that and that we can really start trying to focus on what we have in hand here."
So, then, on to the future: Tomorrow, Greenberg said, the team will announce "a number of new initiatives that'll be the tip of the iceberg to improve the fan experience."
He and Ryan wouldn't say what, of course -- you'll have to wait till 2 p.m. Friday (Sam's going, but of course). But Unfair Park also asked: What about the player experience? Which is to say: After a game like last night's, when Cliff Lee appeared to melt inning by inning, how do you convince free agents: Come on in, the temperature's fine? Most of the time, anyhow.
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That question, and a follow-up from Evan Grant, led to Ryan's quote in the headline above, part of a lengthy discussion about the hell on earth that is the Ballpark in Arlington during summer. But, tell you what -- go ahead and listen to the entire conference call for yourself. Because, of course, no one can do justice to a Nolan Ryan quote unless you actually hear the good-ol'-boy exasperation in his voice. It's too hot? Man up.