Opinions about the Texas Rangers and their president/general manager, Jon Daniels, are as diverse as the players on the team’s roster. Of course, those opinions don’t surface to the public until those players are no longer with the team and the opinions of said players hold different amounts of weight. That’s especially true when comparing the comments about the Rangers by Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler, who are both now with other franchises, and while the former’s opinion was simply asinine, the latter may be on to something.
When he left Texas on his own as a free agent, Hamilton attempted to blast the Rangers by saying Dallas isn’t a “baseball town.” The washed-up slugger showed his true colors by playing Captain Obvious since everyone knows the Dallas Cowboys rule the DFW area, although there are plenty of faithful Rangers fans who show up at the Ballpark on a nightly basis. Again, Hamilton’s comments were a very poor (and ignorant) attempt as a shot at his former team, but his old buddy may have actually provided some insight.
After being traded to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Prince Fielder, Kinsler didn’t hide his displeasure with the way the Rangers’ organization has been run since the team’s first two World Series appearances in 2010 and ’11. He called Daniels a “sleezeball” and blamed the president/GM for the Rangers’ failure to get back to the Fall Classic since 2011. Why? You’re way ahead of me.
Kinsler gave all the credit for the Rangers’ resurgence to former CEO Nolan Ryan, who he says was run out of town by Daniels. This may seem like a Captain Obvious quote to some, but it’s very telling for a player to say that instead of a media member or one of the two big whigs themselves. Now there’s more evidence to support that theory rather than just here-say.
Kinsler went as far to say he hopes the Rangers go 0-162 without him simply because he wants everyone to see that Daniels is more of a problem than anything else, saying the Rangers will “fall apart” because Daniels’ ego “got huge” while Ryan’s didn’t.
Daniels has been compared to Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones since the ugly divorce with Ryan, although that has been hushed by those within the Rangers’ organization. Still, that kind of talk can’t simply be silenced now that a respected former player has added fuel to a fire that is now growing instead of dying.
Daniels has to be praised for making bold moves like trading Kinsler because he basically went all-in on Jurickson Profar at that point because the youngster will now start at second base while the additions of Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo (via free agency) will theoretically give Texas the power in the lineup it lost with the departure of Hamilton. However, that’s a big gamble on Fielder and Choo returning to form in 2014, not to mention a gamble that Profar will develop into the superstar he’s capable of being.
However, Kinsler suggests it goes deeper than that, saying “Nolan put us on the map” by bringing “respect to the organization” and then after the World Series trips, “it had started to move away from that.” Coincidence? That’s what we’re being told by the Rangers’ brass, but Kinsler is suggesting otherwise.
All the drama and here-say will be decided this year when Daniels’ big, bold offseason moves either pay off or flop like fish out of water. Then we’ll find out if Kinsler was right about who deserves the credit for the Rangers’ resurgence…and who will be in charge of the organization’s future.