Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bumbling GMs: The Series - Jon Daniels of the Texas Rangers

Incompetence, bewilderment, dysfunction - these are all words that come to mind when I think of Texas Rangers GM, Jon Daniels'. While I do believe there's some petty jealously encouraging my hatred, the main catalyst to my hatred is the slew of lame and poorly written articles detailing Daniels' promotion, and Texas' logic at the time, which was: since Theo Epstein was successful as a young General Manager in Boston, then Jon Daniels should be able to follow the same path to glory. Does it matter that Daniels never worked with or studied under a successful front office? No, he went to Cornell! He's in his twenties! He probably fucks above-average looking women without paying for them - sign him up!

Has this mindset worked out thus-far for the Rangers? Eh, no, not really. The Rangers have gone 234-252 during Daniels' time at the helm, and he's done a good job of doing nothing to significantly improve the team. So, let's take a quick look back at Daniels' history as the team's General Manager, just over three full years. I'll assume if you get misty-eyed during the process, it's because you are slowly coming to the realization that you, a lowly nothing in this bustling world, could have been something more important, considering how bad Jon Daniels is at his job.

*Sniff*, I'm with you pal...

Alfonso Soriano to Washington for Brad Wilkerson, Armando Gallarraga, and Termel Sledge

I understand that Soriano had only one-year left before hitting the free agent market, but considering they moved Soriano to sign perennially mediocre Kevin Millwood, a contract for Soriano could have been worked out. Also, Brad Wilkerson was uninspiring as a hacking douche, and Armando Gallaragga didn't produce until last season - with the Tigers - going 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA

This is a terrible way to start your tenure - sort of like farting during your first presentation on a new sales account, or nailing your assistant in a supply closet during a Christmas party and getting caught on a surveillance camera. All equally bad.

Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young, and Termel Sledge to San Diego for Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka and Billy Killian

I'm assuming that all the crusty GM's around the league - like San Diego's Josh Towers - were salivating at the thought of ripping off someone - like Daniels - with such limited job experience. I'm also assuming that Daniels was still hungover from some crazy orgy party to really see what was going on here. I assume this was the situation because it's the only way to come to grips with just how awful this deal was. Adam Eaton, really?

Nick Masset, John Danks, and Jacob Rasner to Chicago AL for Brandon McCarthy and David Paisano

Merry Christmas, Arlington! You thought you were getting a young starting pitcher with limitless potential in McCarthy, but instead you got a brittle, worthless swing-man, while giving up 12-9, 3.32 left-handed starter John Danks to get him! Suck on that nugget while you're getting drunk on eggnog and wishing your brother-in-law would get hit by a UPS truck.

Most critics tend to hawk on the Young/Gonzalez for Eaton trade as Daniels' biggest gaffe to date, but I like to look at the whole tenure as a complete failure. For every good trade - Kenny Lofton for Max Ramirez, Edinson Volquez for Josh Hamilton, there is double the bad. Daniels has also failed miserably to build a decent rotation. Below is a breakdown of the number of pitchers that started games in each season since Daniels took over:

2006: 12
2007: 16
2008: 15

Obviously signing the likes of Kevin Millwood, Vincente Padilla and Jason Jennings has not been a successful approach to fix the problem. Add to the mix a shitty bullpen, weak draftees, and a bunch of arms that can't holdup for longer than a month, and what you get is the current state of the team.

Until Mr. Daniels is either fired or goes missing into the vast, ghostly plains of Texas, the Rangers offensive production will be annually wasted and I will continue to bash him unmercifully and look at him as intellectually inferior.

/fails to complete People magazine crossword puzzle