LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There might be no busier man this week than Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan, who's at his first Winter Meetings since being hired in May. In addition to Ryan's duties with the Astros, he's on Minor League Baseball's board of trustees.
"I'm doing two things here," Ryan said before darting away from the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort on Tuesday afternoon for the Astros' annual Minor League affiliates dinner.
Ryan has deep Minor League ties, having founded the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks -- who earlier this year were purchased by the Astros -- and the Round Rock Express, the Rangers' Triple-A club.
"The Minor Leagues are important and a big part of it is not only growing our Minor League players but our fan base and making sure what we want to have happen at the Major League level is starting in the Minor Leagues," he said. "That's taking a lot of my time."
Ryan has met with baseball officials to discuss the Civil Rights Game, which the Astros will host next year, as well representatives from the Double-A San Antonio club. The Astros and Rangers will play a pair of exhibitions in March at the Alamodome as part of Big League Weekend.
He also talked to reps from Daktronics about a new scoreboard that will be installed in Corpus Christi next year, as well as being bombarded with dozens of job requests.
Ryan insists he stays out of any baseball-related decisions, leaving those up to general manager Jeff Luhnow, assistant general manager David Stearns and the baseball operations staff. He's not afraid to give his opinion, if asked, or pass along any information he hears on the lobby floor.
"I'm not kidding anybody," he said. "I'm not making those decisions. But what I appreciate is Jeff and the guys value my years in the game. I feel like they value my opinion and I'm an influencer who's not afraid to give my opinion. Sometimes that's good to have somebody that's a little bit on the outside testing the waters to see what's going on. If I hear of information from other clubs, because my network is so vast, I try to share it with those guys and see if I can help the organization out."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.