T.R.’s Memoirs: How Jon Daniels came to lead Rangers’ most successful era (Part 2)
(AP photo/D.J. Peters)
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. In Part 2, the Rangers have a new manager in Ron Washington.
Buck Showalter is an outstanding major-league manager. That he has been selected as Manager of the Year four different times speaks for itself. So does the fact that he won those awards for four different organizations. He should have won a fifth one with a fifth organization (Arizona, 1999), but that’s another story.
Showalter is not only an excellent manager, but he is a skilled architect of championship teams, often forced to get far more involved in that part of the process than the average field boss.
He just couldn’t overcome the Rangers’ pitching problems. The Rangers tried for one year under Daniels and Showalter to put together a championship team, and it just didn’t work out. The possibility also existed Showalter had worn out his time in the Rangers’ clubhouse, especially with the young players who chafed at his intense demeanor.
Whatever. What is undoubtedly true is the magic that worked in 2004 was no longer there in 2005. Two days after the season ended, Showalter met with Hicks and Daniels, and was dismissed as manager.
His successor was obvious: Don Wakamatsu.