Thu Nov 7 4:21pm ET
HOUSTON (AP) Astros president Reid Ryan is shifting to a lesser role in the organization and owner Jim Crane's son is joining the executive team, moves announced 11 days after Crane apologized to a Sports Illustrated reporter and retracted a statement by the club accusing her of trying to ''fabricate a story.''
Crane said Thursday he was bringing in his son, Jared, to get more experience and to help the organization. Crane maintained the moves were not related to the incident with SI or the firing of an assistant general manager. The owner turns 66 in January.
Houston says Ryan's new role as executive adviser of business relations will allow him ''more opportunities to focus on his other business ventures while remaining an important part of the Astros organization.'' Jim Crane said Ryan will be helping his son and working with the executive team.
Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was fired for directing inappropriate comments at female reporters during a clubhouse celebration after the team clinched the AL pennant on Oct. 19. The Astros have not identified which team officials approved the initial statement criticizing SI on Oct. 21. Taubman issued a statement the following day in which he apologized for using ''inappropriate language,'' and the team fired him Oct. 24.
During a news conference on the afternoon of the firing, general manager Jeff Luhnow did not identify which team officials approved the initial statement before it was released.
Ryan, a son of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, was hired as the Astros president in May 2013. He also is part of the ownership group of Triple-A Round Rock.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Oct. 25 that Major League Baseball was conducting a wider probe of the Astros beyond Taubman's behavior, concerned about the team's initial denial of what happened.