Hail to the chief:
Reid Ryan’s tenure as president of the Astros began Friday, when Houston announced that the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan would take over the role vacated by George Postolos … Ryan, previously the president and CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, had been running the Triple-A Round Rock Express (Rangers) and Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, both of which are owned by Nolan Ryan and Houston businessman Don Sanders, though the Astros also announced on Friday that they’ve reached an agreement to purchase the Corpus Christi club from Ryan-Sanders.
I think that last bit about the Astros buying one of Ryan’s minor league teams is most interesting. Makes one wonder if, once its affiliation with the Rangers has expired, the Astros will go back to being an Astros affiliate, as it was between 2005-10. Given the recent trend of big clubs moving their farm teams closer to home, this could be part of a larger effort of the Astros to try to grow the brand farther north. Meanwhile, the Rangers have done stuff like hold exhibition games in San Antonio.
So clearly we’re in for a Texas civil war soon.
It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.
If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.
Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.
Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.