Chuck Greenberg to resign as Rangers CEO today


This is pretty shocking: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg is going to resign today as the team’s managing partner “to pursue other interests.”

Since “pursuing other interests” is the universal euphemism for “he’s being forced out,” we should expect to hear more about the reasons behind this, but for now no reason was given.  The speculation is that he has clashed with other members of the Rangers’ ownership group, Nolan Ryan and perhaps even Major League Baseball.  He was notably absent from Rangers business meetings over the weekend, the Star-Telegram reports. UPDATE: Jon Heyman hears that the critical clash was with Ryan.

Since taking over the Rangers, Greenberg’s most notable off-the-field conduct has skewed a bit unconventional. He clearly differed with Ryan and Jon Daniels on the pursuit of Cliff Lee, which Greenberg pushed hard for and about which Ryan and Daniels were less enthusiastic. He had a couple of public spats with Yankees President Randy Levine over the nature of New York fans and revenue sharing. As is usually the case, however, I’m guessing that the real driver here is behind-the-scenes stuff.

A resignation basically makes Greenberg invisible as far as baseball is concerned. He was the prime mover in getting the ownership group together, but his personal equity stake int he Rangers is really low, relatively speaking.  After he resigns he’s basically the owner of a very small minority of the team with no power and no say over operations or anything.  I suspect that Nolan Ryan — the only other member of the group who has been a public face of the team — will take over as the managing partner.

Hall of Fame will no longer use Chief Wahoo on Hall of Fame plaques

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Last month, in the wake of his election to the Hall of Fame, Jim Thome made it clear that he wanted to be inducted as a Cleveland Indian but that he did not want to have Chief Wahoo on his plaque.

His reasoning: even though that was the cap he wore for almost all of his time in Cleveland, “because of all the history and everything involved” he did not think it was the right thing to do. The context, of course, was the club’s decision, under pressure from Major League Baseball, to scrap the Wahoo logo due to its racial insensitivity, which it appears Thome agrees with.

Hall plaque decisions are not 100% up to the player, however. Rather, the Hall of Fame, while taking player sentiment into account, makes a judgment about the historical accuracy and representativeness of Hall plaques. This is to prevent a club from entering into a contract with a player to wear its logo on the plaque even if he only played with them for a short time or from a player simply picking his favorite club (or spiting his least-favorite), even if he only spent an inconsequential season or two there. Think Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray or Frank Robinson as, I dunno, a Dodger.

In the case of Chief Wahoo, the Hall has not only granted Thome’s wish, but has decreed that no new plaque will have Wahoo on it going forward:

To be fair, I can’t think of another player who wore Wahoo who would make the Hall of Fame in an Indians cap after Thome. Possibly Manny Ramirez if he ever gets in, though he may have a better claim to a Red Sox cap (debate it in the comments). Albert Belle appears on Veterans Committee ballots, but I’d bet my cats that he’s never getting it in. If younger players like Corey Kluber or Francisco Lindor or someone make it in, they’ll likely have just as much history in a Block-C or whatever the Indians get to replace Wahoo with than anything else, so it’s not really an issue for them.

Still, a nice gesture from the Hall, both to accommodate Thome’s wishes and to acknowledge the inappropriateness of using Chief Wahoo for any purpose going forward.