Jon Daniels: Architect of a winner
Posted on September 13, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Updated Friday, Sep 13 at 8:07 AM
How quickly we get spoiled, Rangers fans. From a team that could barely muster a .500 season with any sort of consistency to transition into a perennial contender had to take a fundamental philosophy change in the front office, not just blind luck or a few good decisions. Enter the youngest GM in baseball at the time, Jon Daniels, the only good thing that Tom Hicks ever did for this team.
A recent column by local writer Randy Galloway blindly and maliciously took aim at the Cornell grad, calling for his firing. His firing? Really, Randy?
As usual, the ill-informed columnist wanted to blast the perceived internal divide of the team and create his Montague/Capulet narrative all over again. If only Nolan Ryan had the reins, we wouldn’t be where we are today! You know what? That’s right.
Without Jon Daniels, we wouldn’t be a contender. Without a front office that has become the envy of every other organization in the major leagues in regard to scouting and valuation metrics, these Rangers don’t go to two straight World Series and remain a yearly contender for the championship.
The Rangers are having a difficult year, and a lack of offensive production has been mostly to blame. The fliers taken by JD and co. this year haven’t panned out. A.J. Pierzynski has been average at best, and Lance Berkman has been a colossal waste of this team’s time, money, and patience. Lance can hopefully find a few Rice alumni baseball games to play in next year and be a figurehead down in Houston. So a few fliers haven’t worked out – do you know how many of JD’s have? Jeff Baker has been a success. Neal Cotts has been a colossal success. Best hitter over the last month? JD’s latest acquisition – Alex Rios.
So where’s the problem? This team’s everyday starters, with the exception of Beltre, have been abysmal. Ian Kinsler is having one of the worst years of his career, and still continues to play every single day. Elvis Andrus, mired in the worst first half of his career, has marginally improved. David Murphy and Mitch Moreland have been black holes. Leonys Martin had a hot stretch, but has since cooled off.
The same starters that predominantly took us to the World Series two years ago not performing – that’s on the GM? No, that is on the players and the management staff, from Ron Washington to hitting coach Dave Magadan. What about the loss of Napoli and Hamilton, you say? Hamilton swings far too frequently, is overly streaky, and is grossly overpaid – we should all be thankful we aren’t mired with that contract for him. Mike Napoli barely signed a contract after agreeing to an inflated amount with the Red Sox, then being forced by health issues to renegotiate to a shorter contract. At the point of renegotiation due to a physical, the Rangers couldn't have jumped in. No player is going to do that in bad faith with a team they had essentially signed a deal with.
Rather than weakly calling for someone's job, maybe Galloway should take a look in the mirror.
Ben Taylor tweets about the Rangers (and Cowboys, or the world at large) at @Benjihana.