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MLB notes: Nolan Ryan is out as Rangers CEO

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan (center) spoke Thursday at a news conference announcing his departure from the Texas Rangers.

Larry W. Smith/EPA

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan (center) spoke Thursday at a news conference announcing his departure from the Texas Rangers.

Nolan Ryan is leaving the Rangers again, stepping down as CEO 20 years after ending his Hall of Fame career as a pitcher.

In what the team had called a retirement, Ryan said Thursday that he is resigning as chief executive of the Rangers in a move effective at the end of this month. He is also selling his ownership stake in the team to cochairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson.

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‘‘It closes a chapter of my life in baseball,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘I feel like it’s time for me to move on to other things. It’s been a decision that weighed on my heavily, but I feel like it’s the right decision . . . At this point and time, it’s the correct thing for me to do.’’

Asked about the difference in the team announcing that he was retiring and him calling it a resignation, the 66-year-old Ryan paused and then said he wouldn’t be the CEO of another major league team and called this perhaps the ‘‘final chapter’’ of his storied career in baseball.

Ryan’s older son, Reid, was named president of the Astros earlier this year. Nolan Ryan dismissed any speculation that he’s leaving the Rangers to join his son and another of the teams he pitched for and worked for in the past.

Ryan became the 10th president of the Rangers in February 2008 when he was hired by former owner Tom Hicks. Ryan added the title of CEO three years later. He was also part of the ownership group that acquired the team in August 2010, months before its first World Series.

Ryan’s departure comes less than a year after ownership gave general manager Jon Daniels and chief operating officer Rick George new presidential titles and took the president’s title from Ryan.

Davis insisted the change in Ryan’s title earlier this year was just that.

‘‘From a corporation standpoint, Nolan’s authority didn’t change at all,’’ Davis said. ‘‘On all major decisions on baseball, Nolan made all final decisions.’’

George left in July to become the athletic director at the University of Colorado. Daniels attended the news conference at Rangers Ballpark, but left without speaking to reporters.

Davis said the ownership group is disappointed with Ryan’s decision but understands it. Simpson said he tried to talk Ryan out of leaving.

‘‘You don’t wake up one day and make a decision of this magnitude,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘It was something I’ve been thinking about on and off for a while now. Just felt like it was probably time for me to move on.’’

Ryan said he planned to go home and enjoy getting back out to his ranch ‘‘and doing things I haven’t done for six years now.’’

During Ryan’s six seasons in the front office, Texas made its only two World Series appearances.

The Rangers have averaged more than 90 wins the past five seasons, though they missed the playoffs this year after losing an AL wild-card tiebreaker game to Tampa Bay.

Ramirez, Ethier are in

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said shortstop Hanley Ramirez and center fielder Andre Ethier will start in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series against the Cardinals Friday in St. Louis. Ramirez, who has a hairline fracture on one of his ribs, was taken out of the past two games in the seventh inning because of pain. He missed Game 2 along with Ethier, who has a microfracture above his left ankle, but both played in all three games in Los Angeles. “Andre, I expect to play,” Mattingly said Thursday. “I think he felt probably as good yesterday as he’s felt since coming back . . . I expect the same thing from Hanley. I think he’ll try to play. He’s been trying to play every day. I think he’ll do the same as far as going out there and doing the best he can for us, and we’ll just make an assessment tomorrow as we do the lineup.”

Cubs interviewing

A person familiar with the situation said the Cubs are interviewing Rays bench coach Dave Martinez for their manager’s job. The person spoke Thursday on the condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the search. The Cubs are looking for a manager to help develop their young players, a big reason they cited for firing Dale Sveum, who was 127-197 over two seasons. Martinez, who played for the Cubs in the 1980s, has spent six seasons as the Rays’ bench coach. He could be a good fit with Chicago’s management because Tampa Bay relies heavily on statistical analysis. The Cubs have met with San Diego bench coach Rick Renteria along with former major league managers Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch . . . Wally Joyner (assistant hitting coach) and Juan Samuel (first base coach) are keeping their positions with the Phillies under manager Ryne Sandberg . . . The Dodgers claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the Mets and designated outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment.

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