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Jon Daniels wins, the Rangers lose

Just because you knew something was coming doesn’t reduce the despair and anger when it ultimately occurs.

It didn’t take a genius to realize this season was not going to end with Ron Washington remaining Rangers manger. It just took a lack of being naive and realizing this was inevitable with an organization who’s number one guy in charge making certain his stamp is all over the club, come hell or high water. The Rangers 2015 media guide might as well have Jon Daniels’ face on it, because that’s the only guy who matters anymore.

I must preface this by saying that all of us can only speculate at this point due to almost no information being released at this time. It is entirely possible revelations will ultimately come out that could prove me wrong.

But for now, the most likely scenario is this: Daniels finally got his wish in ousting the manager he’s wanted gone for at least two years now. This season, no matter what the injury count, was the excuse he needed. And once the first Friday came following the Rangers’ official elimination from playoff contention (it’s pretty common practice for any business to release the bad news on a Friday afternoon), the standard firing made to look like a resignation was announced.

Or maybe it was a resignation after all. It does seem likely that Wash made a pre-emptive strike before Daniels could lower the boom himself. Whatever the case, I can’t just up and buy the “personal issue” reason. That sounds like a reason you take a leave of absence, not up and quit the job you love altogether.

And yes, I am well aware that Daniels is the one who hired Wash even before Ryan came back to the Rangers. But GMs fire coaches they hired all the time; Tom Grieve hired and fired Bobby Valentine. Relationships can change.

And it seems pretty clear that the relationship between Wash and JD had been souring ever since 2012. From his reported barging into the manager’s office demanding how the lineup should be to firing his coaches, it’s JD had been undercutting and undermining Wash for some time now. And when the team president that had his back despite being brought in after Ron’s hiring was forced out, the writing was on the wall.

If you don’t think Daniel’s influence is now in the dugout, just look at the completely overhauled lineup for the team’s first game without Wash. Elvis Andrus reduced to DH so Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas could both be in the middle infield. Tomas Telis, not even regarded as their top catching prospect, batting third. Three of five infield positions filled in by players who started the year in AA.

With all that, the club that gave me the greatest moment of my life as a sports fan is completely destroyed. October 22, 2010 seems like one of the most distant memories.

There are some that will continue to think that this is not a big deal, that Washington was just like Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz – all of them nothing but easily replaceable cogs. They’ll cling to the belief that the franchise that, prior to 2010 was the oldest to never reach the World Series, has now suddenly become this machine that just churns out talent and is perfectly capable of replacing players and coaches on a whim and still keep moving.

But the Rangers have frequently had talent in their history, having produced the likes of Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Kevin Brown and Kenny Rogers. What they lacked for years was direction – direction they seemed to have when this decade started and came together perfectly to end that World Series drought.

But now that direction has been completely wrecked due to ego – maybe the ego of a number of people, but mainly the ego of a general manager that bought into his own headlines too much. Daniels began believing he could do everything in this organization all by himself, and now he has that ability to do so, using Tim Bogard as simply his go-between in seeing the players he wants, not who an actual baseball man wants, put in the lineup.

The cold, heartless number-cruncher who thinks players can be treated as just numbers and games are won by just calculating stats won out over the man who believed games are won by people and human decisions – as it sadly was going to end up in the end.

For now, it looks like the Rangers’ run is tragically over, and maybe for a very long time. But I doubt that Ron Washington’s time in baseball is over for very long. He will be back soon, and where that will be, I will predict next time.


2 Responses

  1. I’m not being a conspiracy theorist here, but I’ve a got a gut feeling that Daniels’ New York-style Jewish influence has been a factor at causing fan favorites like Washington, Ryan, Hamilton, etc. to leave the Rangers’ organization for greener pastures. I’m learning that the owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson are planning on giving Daniels a contract extension, giving him greater power on business decisions on which to drive the Rangers deeper into the ground. If this doesn’t seem like a type of unknown conspiracy, then I don’t know what is. :/

  2. I can’t hardly believe that good business men like Simpson would do this.

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