Eyebrows were raised late last week when co-owners Bob Simpson and Ray Davis announced that general manager Jon Daniels would also be assuming responsibilities as the team’s president of baseball operations while Rick George, the ball club’s chief operations officer, would become the president of business operations. Though the owners made it very clear that they were happy with Ryan and that Daniels and George would still be reporting to him, many wondered if this perceived shift in power would affect Nolan Ryan’s time with the Rangers.
Whether or not this much ado about nothing or if there truly is reason for concern, one thing is certain: the Texas Rangers are better with both Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan working together to lead the ball club, and any move to break up the powerful duo would be detrimental to the future of the franchise.
When Ryan came on board, he immediately changed the fans’ attitude towards the Rangers. He gave them credibility, and the fan base trusted their team in the hands of one of the best players to ever step onto the field. It’s impossible for outsiders to understand exactly how much this native Texan, who played for both the Rangers and the Houston Astros, means to baseball fans in Texas.
Additionally, Jon Daniels is considered by many to be one of the greatest young minds in Major League Baseball . He has assembled one of the best teams in baseball over the last several seasons, and has an amazing ability to draft young, top-tier talent. Over the last several seasons, he too has earned the trust of Rangers fans.
Sure, they’re incredibly different types of people: Ryan is “old school” and his larger than life reputation in Texas makes him the face of the franchise, while Daniels is of the “new school” variety, and works quietly behind the scenes. Yet for whatever reason, the Daniels/Ryan team works perfectly together. It would be detrimental to the ball club if those in charge, including Ryan and Daniels themselves, fail to understand this.
If the Rangers hope to continue their recent success, and if they hope to soon capture that elusive World Series crown, they must have the team of Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan leading the way, together.