Nolan Ryan is part owner and president of the Texas Rangers. He was also seemingly the guy leading the charge to get Cliff Lee to return to Texas. The hall of fame pitcher spoke with ESPN radio in Dallas and said he was as surprised as anyone that the Lee chose the Phillies at the last minute. Like everyone, Ryan seemed to think it was a two team race between the Rangers and Yankees.
In fact, the only time Ryan had heard about Philadelphia before Lee signed there was during a conversation the two had at Lee’s home in Arkansas
“I really don’t know, but I reflect back on a conversation we had in in Little Rock the first time that Chuck and I and J.D. went over there. We were sitting around having lunch and Cliff made the statement that he really enjoyed Philadelphia when he was there and enjoyed playing there and that he would consider going back there. That was the only time I had heard Philadelphia mentioned until this weekend when rumors started floating around.”
He was asked whether he was totally shocked when Lee signed with Philly?
“Yeah I really was. I really thought that we weren’t really seeing any rumors around and they were mainly about the Yankees so I thought they were probably trying to make a decision between our offer and the Yankees offer and then all of the sudden, bang.”
Bang, Reuben happened.