It’s how-to-act-dumb week for the two leading AL West contenders. The Los Angeles Angels started the silliness by renewing Mike Trout’s contract for $20,000 over the minimum salary when they could have avoided any controversy by paying him an extra $100,000. But if the Texas Rangers lose Nolan Ryan as their CEO, they will retire the trophy for short-sightedness and deserve any ridicule they get.

I don’t know what the heck is going on in Texas. I don’t know the exact details of the political in-fighting that may be taking place in the Rangers’ organization, and frankly I don’t care about such he-said, she-said nonsense. I’ll just say this: Shame on the Rangers if Ryan departs thinking that he lost a power struggle. If that is his perception, ownership is guilty, guilty, guilty.

Oh, the Rangers would survive just fine without Ryan: They have built a powerhouse organization that went to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and ’11 and reached the postseason again in ’12, in part due to Ryan’s contributions. The front office headed by general manager Jon Daniels is one of the game’s best, and that is not going to change.

But the point is, Ryan helped save the franchise twice – in Dec. 1988, when he joined the team as a free-agent pitcher, providing the credibility that helped lead to the construction of a new ballpark; and in Feb. 2008, when he became club president under former owner Tom Hicks and helped the team endure through bankruptcy.

Ryan is a Hall of Famer, a legend in the game, a legend in Texas. He might be the most famous Texan of all time, ahead of even Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. Yet, he is relatively unassuming, and hardly the kind who seeks attention at the expense of others.

So, someone please explain why all this might be coming apart.

Last Friday, the Rangers made the seemingly innocent announcement that they were promoting Daniels to president of baseball operations/GM and Rick George to president of business operations. Nothing seemed different except the titles: Both Daniels and George were to report to Ryan, who lost his dual title as team president/CEO but remained CEO.