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Featured T.R.'s Memoirs

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.

T.R. Sullivan

T.R. is a Military Brat and graduate of the University of San Francisco who retired in 2020 after a 40-year career with the Denison Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and MLB.Com. He covered the Texas Rangers for 32 years.

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  1. deGrom Texas Ranger February 12, 2023

    Who was the number 1 guy? Also, this old people rant about Ivy Leaguers “taking over” or whatever is absurd. For on-field decisions, sure, it might work to have MLB stars. However, even Greg Maddux isn’t seen as being as good as his brother Mike. Beyond that, the front office needs people with brains. Ivy Leaguers are smart people and should be running most teams. The only others who should have any say in the front office should be real hall of famers (not fake guys like Nolan Ryan who walked virtually everyone and gave up one of the most earned runs of all time for anyone). Even then, I’d take the Cornell guy over then walk machine Nolan Ryan. I hated Ryan’s ego with trying to get Daniels to blow 120 million on Cliff Lee instead of spending wisely on Beltre. Look how that worked out. Cornell certainly isn’t the best, but much of the hate for Ivy Leaguers comes from those who never had a chance to attend those colleges. It’s all jealousy. It seems employers just want told guys and don’t care much for those young and bright minds. I’ve had this issue while interviewing too. I’m just not “old enough,” it seems. Plenty of us are far more competent than we are given credit for. I’m not a Cornell guy, but my alma mater is better ranked. This man was never given the respect he deserved, and his track record spoke for itself.

    1. deGrom Texas Ranger February 12, 2023

      I’m not saying this author is like that; it’s more of a general criticism from many jealous fans who wish they had his intellect.


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