When legend Nolan Ryan was forced out of the Texas Rangers baseball organization officially in October of 2013, general manager Jon Daniels and co-owner Ray Davis were given credit for the coup, according to a column written by Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper. Galloway, who has to be considered an insider when it comes to the sports scene in the Metroplex, including the Rangers, concluded that "Daniels hijacked the Rangers" and was now the baseball commander-in-chief of Arlington.
The nationally-respected sportswriter further concluded the politically-savvy Daniels couldn't have pulled off the coup d etat against one of the most respected names in baseball without the acquiescence of co-owner Ray Davis of Dallas. Galloway's take on the situation was that the victory for Daniels and Davis over Ryan came with a burden
They would be labeled as "the men who ran Nolan Ryan out of town."
The only way they could handle that burden was to win 90 games this season and at least win the AL West Division.
Are Daniels and Davis going to be able to pull it off?
Scanning today's sports page in the Wichita Falls Times Record News tells baseball fans the Nolan Ryan Astros defeated the Jon Daniels Rangers 12-7 last night in Arlington. So what? It's just one game.
Well, the net effect of that was to drop the Daniels (Texas) Rangers to a 38-51 record and 17 1/2 games behind first place Oakland. The Astros, who have had the worst record in baseball the past three years, are 37-54 and only two games behind the Rangers in the battle for the cellar.
One Rangers fan in Wichita Falls said yesterday, "I hardly recognize the names of any of the players for the Texas Rangers anymore."
Another fan said, "Forcing Nolan Ryan out was as big a mistake as Boston selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees."
Daniels has pulled the trigger on some puzzling trades which is possibly why fans don't recognize these Rangers players anymore. Gone to the Baltimore Orioles are powerhitting Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis. Traded to Detroit is Ian Kinsler. Cruz was the leading home run hitter in the American League in June for the Birds.
The Rangers loss has been the Astros gain. The Houston franchise hired Ryan as an adviser shortly after Jon Daniels and Ray Davis decided the North Texas franchise was better off without the Hall of Fame pitcher.
The Houston farm club system is now rated the best in the minor leagues, a distinction the Rangers used to hold.
Maybe Jon Daniels and Ray Davis are smarter than the Ranger fans. Maybe they know more about baseball than Nolan Ryan. And maybe they'll orchestrate a major turn-around in 2014 and still win 90 games and win the AL West.
Time will tell.
Loyal Texas Ranger fans hope they will.
Hopefully, the Rangers won't go from first to worst under the Jon Daniels-Ray Davis regime.
One thing for sure, Nolan Ryan is a winner, and he will be fine whatever he's doing.
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