T.R.’s Memoirs: How Jon Daniels came to lead Rangers’ most successful era (Part 1)
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Editor’s note: T.R. Sullivan covered the Texas Rangers over 32 years for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and MLB.com and is sharing his “memoirs” with this newsletter. In this six-part installment, Sullivan covers Jon Daniels’ 17 years as Rangers general manager/president of baseball operations. Part 1 begins with the unknown kid from New York taking over.
Jon Daniels was the architect of the best team and most successful era in Rangers history.
During an eight-year period from 2009-2017 — after a turbulent start to Daniels time as general manager — the Rangers had seven winning seasons, won four division titles and went twice to the World Series for the only time in franchise history. In two other years, the Rangers advanced to postseason through the wild-card format and played a tiebreaker to be a wild-card team.
They accomplished all this despite the franchise going through a humiliating bankruptcy and being sold at auction. There were moments when the Rangers were able to bask in the glow of unforgettable victories and accomplishments, and other times of embarrassment and frustration when the general manager probably wished he was still dealing with Dunkin’ Donuts.
It was an incredible run of triumph and failure, celebrations and scandals, brilliant trades and free-agent signings, other moves that didn’t work quite as well, and plenty of Machiavellian plot twists to fill your average John Grisham/Robert Ludlum/Dan Brown novel.