Rangers part ways with team president Jon Daniels, club hands keys to Chris Young

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ARLINGTON — It’s Chris Young’s team now.

Well, at least as long as Ray Davis says it is.

On Wednesday, Davis, the media-shy owner of the Rangers, announced the resignation of Jon Daniels as the team’s president of baseball operations, just 48 hours after Daniels and Young fired manager Chris Woodward. A graduate of Highland Park High School, Young takes full control of the baseball operations.

Davis praised Daniels’ achievements in his 17 years leading the Rangers’ baseball operations — culminating in two World Series appearances — but then spoke clearly of a decision he said had essentially gotten there even before the tumultuous week. began. That being: Daniels, who oversaw a sixth consecutive losing season, would not return until 2023.

“The bottom line is we’re not good,” Davis said in a statement at the start of a 15-minute press conference. “And we haven’t been well in six years. The bottom line is that we have to be competitive in the future, I thought we had to change something. And [with] this change, I think Chris will come in and bring a new vigor and new enthusiasm to build an organization that can be consistent for years to come.”

During Daniels’ tenure, the Rangers produced four American League West titles, five playoff berths and 2010-11 AL championships. The Rangers had a .498 win rate since 2006, 17th in the majors. Daniels was the youngest GM in baseball history when, at the age of 28, he took the job a week after the end of the 2005 season. Daniels rebuilt the Rangers twice and tried to do it a third time. Daniels turns 45 next week.

Young, seen as one of the game’s brightest emerging executives, had joined him in December 2020 from the role of vice president at MLB. Daniels moved up to the title of president of baseball operations. It was announced that they would work as partners. As late as Monday afternoon, Young said the work arrangement was a “100% partnership.”

Davis said he didn’t notify Young of his decision until Wednesday morning after notifying Daniels of his termination. There was no way for Young to talk the owner out of the move. Young, Davis said, was “shocked” by the decision. Young could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Texas Rangers general manager Chris Young (left) and Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels addressed reporters at a press conference announcing the resignation of manager Chris Woodward at Globe Life Field in Arlington on August 15, 2022.(Elías Valverde II / Staffographer)

Daniels and Young had spoken with Davis Monday morning to recommend a board change and had discussed his promotion to interim manager with Tony Beasley. Daniels had led the conversation from the start, said Beasley, the only member of the baseball operations division available Wednesday. Daniels was the only executive quoted in the press release announcing the board change and he had opened Monday’s press conference with a statement.

All of this leads to this question: Why did the Rangers go through two separate fires on two days in the same week? Davis said he did not want any connection between the decision to fire Woodward and the decision to fire Daniels.

Also: “I felt Chris needed a flying start on the [2023] season,” said Davis. “And that’s why we did it now.”

Because there is much to do. The Rangers must make a decision about Beasley’s future and, if it’s not him, embark on a managerial quest. They also need more players, a minimum of two starting pitchers and a middle-of-the-order bat. And Young will have to make decisions about how the team’s baseball operations work. Virtually every department head on the baseball side was hired by Daniels.

And there is a renovation to complete.

“We have accepted the plan to rebuild,” Davis said of Daniels’ post-2020 recommendation. “But as we look forward, even though Jon proved he could build a winning organization, I felt Chris was the right man to take us forward. and so I made the decision.

“The baseball operations department was never one or two guys,” Davis added. “And the rebuild plan involves the entire baseball department, which will help put together the roster, transactions, all that sort of thing. So I don’t see this any different than it would have been if [Daniels] had stayed.”

But baseball operations divisions have grown exponentially in recent years, and many clubs have adopted a two-man approach similar to the one the Rangers have used since the inception of the Young-Daniels partnership.

While Davis said there is no plan to bring in another baseball operations president, Young’s first job could be to find someone to help him with the multifaceted elements of running the department. An experienced executive who has won and previously led a department can come in handy. In short, someone like Daniels.

However, Davis said there was never a plan for Daniels to move into a more advisory role as Young’s role expanded. If so, the move leaves a gap that must be filled before the Rangers can move on to other needs. Davis didn’t talk about anyone else’s future in baseball operations.

“All I can say to the fans is that we are treating this with a sense of urgency,” Davis said. “Fans must be as upset as I am. I am not a good loser. We plan to put a very competitive team on the pitch next year. But we will gain credibility with the fan base with victories on the pitch.”

Fans’ displeasure has been evident lately. On Monday, the Rangers drew a crowd of 13,191 spectators to take on Oakland. It was the smallest paid attendance for a Rangers game in two years since fans gained access to Globe Life Field. On Saturday, a small pregame crowd on hand for the Rangers’ Hall of Fame inductions chased Daniels out when he was introduced.

And yet Daniels had answered every question put to him during the club’s failed stint dating back to 2017.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Daniels thanked fans.

“To all the Rangers fans out there. For your passion and support. Thank you for welcoming us to your community. There are some spectacularly talented and driven people in the organization, from [Young] throughout the operation. There will be great moments in the summers and autumns again soon, and you will get the parade you deserve.”

He just can’t participate. It is now Chris Young’s team.

On Twitter: @Evan_P_Grant

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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