George Postolos, President and CEO of the Houston Astros, has announced his resignation from the organization today.
Postolos was Jim Crane's point person throughout Crane's various efforts to buy an MLB team, and has been with the Astros in the president and CEO role since Crane bought the team from Drayton McLane.
And Postolos leaving has already got folks saying that the door is open for Nolan Ryan to head south and take over the Houston Astros. Jean-Jacques Taylor has a blog post up already at ESPN Dallas, and appears to think the Astros will be trying to get him to take over:
If Ryan wants the job, he can probably have it because he’s an even bigger legend in Houston than he is in Arlington.
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Ryan can have all the power and authority he wants in Houston, and owner Jim Crane would probably let him re-hire many of the people the organization has hired.
Here's the thing, though...I don't agree that Jim Crane would be willing to just hand Ryan the keys and let him run things.
Jeff Luhnow is the general manager in Houston, and has as much power as any g.m. in the game right now. Luhnow was brought to Houston by Crane and given control of the baseball side of the Astros. Luhnow has completely overhauled baseball operations in Houston, including bringing former NASA engineer Sig Mejdal in as his "Director of Decision Sciences."
Ryan's unhappiness over his situation in Texas has to do with him not having final say on all baseball decisions, not being able to hire his own people when he sees fit, not being able to be the "decider."
I have a hard time seeing Ryan taking a position where his opinions would be secondary to what the "Director of Decision Sciences" says.
While Ryan and Jon Daniels have been portrayed as a clash between "old school" and "new school" baseball, the reality is that Daniels is much closer to Ryan's way of doing things than Luhnow. I've heard the Astros' organization being described as the most "analytic-based," in terms of decision-making, of any organization in baseball. They are about as "new school" as it gets in that regard.
As a result, I have a hard time believing that the Astros could give Ryan the type of position he wants, with the type of authority he wants, where he and Luhnow could co-exist.
Which leads me to believe that, if the Astros hire Ryan, they are ultimately going to be completely changing and overhauling the organization for the second time in less than twenty four months. Crane is going to have to say that the change he's been selling Astros fans since he came on board is out the window, and the Astros are now going to change course again.
And hey, maybe that will happen. But if it does happen -- if Crane is willing to bring Ryan in, give him the keys, sweep out Luhnow and his people and let Ryan put his own people in place -- I think that would be great news for the Rangers, in terms of their competing against the Astros over the long haul.