The Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels had a talk with the team after the All-Star break while the team was in Toronto. Today on ESPN 103.3 FM Radio he was asked about his meeting with the team.
Daniels said first of all that the clubhouse conversation is something that should be left behind closed doors. The clubhouse to him and most of baseball is viewed as a sanctuary and things that are discussed there should be talked about freely and not repeated outside those doors.
Also, Jon Daniels said that the meeting was a rare event for him and he did it only with the support of Manager Ron Washington. The only other times he has addressed the team was after the death of firefighter Shannon Stone and Richard Durrett.
But, Daniels felt like it was time to talk to the team after they managed to only win 3 games in a 25-game span. Reports from that say that he called out Adrian Beltre for a lack of effort and not having his head in the game and also Colby Lewis for not getting back at Ian Kinsler after his home run and wave to the dugout.
Daniels downplayed both incidents and said first of all that he never said anything disparaging about Beltre. He was a little upset though that the team didn’t act upset about the Ian Kinsler incident. He didn’t tell them or Lewis that he should have intentionly hit Kinsler, but rather that the team should have showed something. He said he knows if the tables were turned that Kinsler would have had some kind of reaction.
Apparently the team also wasn’t too happy overall to have Daniels in the clubhouse talking to them. Most seemed disinterested in what he was saying and other might not have been paying attention.
The overall feel from the reports about the meeting and his conversion today on ESPN seems to suggest that some where between the two is the truth. More than likely some of the players were upset about the meeting. But, that probably happens in any clubhouse when the team’s general manager comes in for a talk.
Since that meeting the team has played better, but Daniels didn’t take any credit for that and said it was merely coincidence. If you’ve seen the movie Moneyball then you can recall the scene when Billy Beane walks into the clubhouse to talk to his team. He makes a dramatic scene and knocks down several things and leaves the room with basically nothing being done.
This is kind of how I imagine the scene with Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers clubhouse. Not that Daniels went in knocking stuff down, but the players probably looked dumbfounded to what just happened. I do think Daniels talk was meant with the best intentions and was from the heart. But, more than likely what ever Daniels said the the team fell on deaf ears. If I had to guess, that will probably be the last time that Daniels has that kind of meeting with the team. It seems like it is a job best left to the manager and over the past few years Ron Washington has seemed to have done a good job with that.