Reid Ryan knows it won’t be easy, and he knows it won’t be quick.
But he’s determined to make the Houston Astros a winning franchise once more.
“I wouldn’t have signed up and kind of put my credibility on the line if I didn’t believe it myself,” Ryan said on The MoJo Show. “And when you hear that from somebody who’s been around the game, it gets people excited – and that’s really what I’ve been trying to do.”
Ryan was named president of the Astros on May 17.
“I thought if I ever did something like this it would be with the (Texas) Rangers in a capacity that would be assisting my dad (so) he cold take a lesser role,” Ryan said of his father, Nolan, who owns the Rangers. “But this thing kind of came out of left field, and I’m very honored.”
Reid, 42, should feel right at home. He was born and raised in Houston and used to be the Astros’ bat boy.
“It’s really cool to kind of come full circle,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Fun? Maybe. Easy? No.
In 2011 and 2012, the Astros went a combined 111-213 (.343).
Entering play June 14, the Astros are 23-44 – which, interestingly enough, also equates to a .343 winning percentage.
Ryan, to his credit, knows the franchise well. He worked in the Astros’ minor league system for several years and has a good grasp of what the future holds.
“I came in with instant familiarity with the players because of all of my work in the minor leagues,” he said. “The other thing I think I brought to the table is credibility. Our family’s baseball. Our family’s Texas. We’re not going to do anything to the game of baseball, the Houston Astros or the state of Texas because I’m going to live here for the rest of my life. They know they’re going to get a good effort out of me every day.”
Ryan explained that the Astros have endured a lot of front-office turnover in recent years. That, coupled with the team’s poor performance, have resulted in low attendance.
Ryan sees it as his job to make fans believe again.
“You have to do it day by day, and you can’t run from tough questions. You can’t hide. You’ve got to hit it head on,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to tell you everything you want to hear; I’m going to tell you the truth. And when we make a decision, we’re gong to have logic behind it, and we will listen to all sides. And at the end of the day, all we’re looking to do is make common-sense decisions that are in the best interests of the (franchise).”
One of those decisions was drafting pitcher Mark Appel, who recently finished a standout career at Stanford. Ryan believes Appel, 21, can be a front-of-the-rotation starter.
“He’s the kind of athlete you want to draft,” Ryan said.
Ryan also likes Houston manager Bo Porter and believes the team’s young starting rotation is improving slowly but surely.
And, as team president, Ryan intends to make each decision with the fans’ best interest at heart.
“The secret to our success has been treating people like we want to be treated,” he said. “This has been our livelihood, and everything we’ve attained has come from the game of baseball.”