It's always dangerous when I get sportsy, but this really isn't all that sportsy, so I'm slinging it out there.
Somewhere along the line someone is going to spill the beans about what really happened with the Chuck Greenberg termination. Until they do, I have a thought or two.
I have heard it said that nothing was revealed at yesterday's press conference. I heard two things I found, if not revealing, at least suggestive.
First, there were frequent references to Greenberg's "passion." I hear that from time to time in the business world in which I move, and it frequently means that the guy is a jackass -- that his "passion" is a little too apparent in the way he deals with people -- subordinates, peers, and bosses. Was it Evan Grant who mentioned rumblings about a possibly abrasive character in private? I heard it somewhere.
Second, note that I mentioned bosses. Greenberg had some. In that presser, you also heard frequent references -- and pointed references -- to the Rangers board of directors. The board of directors, not the CEO or President, have the ultimate responsibility to the corporation's owners. That board is full of money guys who have come up through, and headed, large organizations. They're button-down guys. They want their CEO to be responsive to them and to run the team like a business. The board probably consists of guys who have confidence in the business theory that calls for clear lines of reporting and responsibility. Greenberg may well have strayed from the reservation in his dealings on the Cliff Lee thing -- remember that there was a point there where Ryan and Daniels seemed to be excluded from the negotiations. And there may have been other instances where he didn't keep in touch with his board or involve the baseball people who, in large measure, attracted this risk capital to the Rangers in the first place. Greenberg is by no means an amateur businessman, but as I read his bio it looks to me like he may never headed anything as conventionally corporate as the Rangers. His out-front "style" may have looked a little too Cubanesque (his friend, despite the Ranger auction, and former neighbor) for their taste.
Pure speculation based on the items that caught my ear in the press conference. May be way off base. N.P.I.