There's no doubt: Jon Daniels is in charge
The reality is that the club benefited greatly from the various opinions and backgrounds of the decision-makers on the baseball side. Ryan, with his years as a Hall of Fame pitcher, had his philosophies, and Daniels and his crew had theirs. That combination resulted in disagreements, to be sure. That’s to be expected. But it also provided a more complete picture for all parties involved, forcing both sides to make impassioned and reasoned cases before a decision was made.
However, there comes a time when one person has to make a call. For years, that was Ryan. But after titles were altered last offseason, that became a lot more murky. "President of baseball operations" was added to Daniels' business card, leaving Ryan uncertain of his role.
Then all this talk of “camps” started coming out, with some in the “Ryan camp” and others in the “Daniels camp.” It made it seem like two vastly different factions trying to get along on a wilderness adventure. I don’t think that imagery was entirely accurate, either.
When former owner Tom Hicks took a chance on Daniels – and it was a risk in that Daniels was 28 years old and had never run a team – he wanted someone who was creative and willing to do what it took to get the team to the next level. Daniels did that.
He and his staff were the architects who engineered a turnaround that resulted in two consecutive World Series appearances and a team that’s become an annual contender. The Mark Teixeira trade. The acquisition of Josh Hamilton. The signing of Yu Darvish. Those were huge moves that put the club on an upward trajectory.
Daniels and his staff have made mistakes, too. Last offseason is an example. They lost out on some big fish, and the decision to pay Lance Berkman $11 million didn’t pay off.
But that group has a lot more doubles, triples and homers than strikeouts.
Don’t misunderstand. Ryan deserves credit for the successes, too. But the club is still in some of the big hands that helped guide it from the lean years to the best period in franchise history. Ryan’s departure means Daniels moves even more into the pressure cooker. He becomes more of a public face for the franchise. He’ll likely have to answer more questions and come under greater scrutiny. That’s part of the job.
It’s a job that he’ll now have to do without Ryan in the office down the hall.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.