Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis wants to win. Badly.
On Wednesday, hours after firing long-time baseball operations executive Jon Daniels, Davis he made it clear that he isn’t happy with the team’s performance or the franchise’s turnstile count. So he acted.
“The Bottom line is we are not good,” Davis said during a 13-minute press conference. “And we haven’t been good for six years. And the bottom line is to be competitive going forward is that I think we needed to make a change.“
Daniels, who has been with the team since 2002, spent the past 17 years running the baseball operations, including as general manager in 2005 and team president in 2013. He became the second staff firing in three days as manager Chris Woodward was fired on Monday.
Davis said he had been thinking for months to relieve Daniels, whose contract expired at the end of this season. But he wanted the baseball operations department to get through the amateur draft and the trading deadline.
“This is something I have been contemplating for several months,” he said.
It was “best to relieve (Daniels) of his duties, effective immediately,” Davis said. “This was a very difficult decision for me. “
Davis said he met with Daniels on Wednesday morning, then met with general manager Chris Young immediately afterward. Young immediately takes over the Daniels’ responsibilities.
Davis said Young “was surprised.”
The owner said that he appreciated what Daniels had done for the organization but it was time for a change.
“John has accomplished a great deal in his 17 years as general manager,” he said. “I personally don’t feel like he got enough credit for doing that (advancing the franchise to two World Series).”
However, with the team mired in third place in the American League’s West Division with a 52-64 record and headed toward a sixth consecutive losing season, Davis said he needed to make a change. For the team. For its fans.
“For our fans, we must move with a sense of urgency.,” he said.
Davis said he wanted to make the change so Young could have time to prepare for the offseason. “I felt Chris needed a running start” with free agency, arbitration and resigning coaches.
Davis said that Daniels will not be replaced at the current time. Instead of the two-headed leadership of Daniels-Young it will be only Young in the leadership role. Young, a former major league pitcher, joined the Rangers from a position with the Major League Baseball executive offices two years ago.
Young, who was not available at the press conference, will travel with the team to Minnesota this weekend and talk with the team about the organization changes.
Daniels’ dismissal comes just two days after Daniels and Young fired manager Woodward.
Davis said he didn’t want to fire Daniels the same day as Woodward.
I knew I was going to do it (Monday).
“I didn’t want to connect the two,;done at same time,” the owner said. “So I separated the two. Did Woody then (on Monday) and Jon now.”
When asked what the Rangers needed to become more competitive, Davis had a qick response.
“We need a couple of front end starters and a middle of the lineup bat,” he said.
He then cautioned. Don’t expect the Rangers to spend $500 million on free agents as they did in the past offseason.
“I don’t plan on spending as much money as we did last offseason, but we do plan to spend,” he said.
He then brought up the fans. He knows there are empty seats at the stadium and the team is headed toward one of its poorest seasons in attendance in several decades.
“The fans got to be as upset as I am,” he said. “I am not a good loser. We are treating this with a sense of urgency that’s why we made a couple of moves this week. We plan to put a very competitive team on the field next year.
“We will gain credibility with the fans with wins on the field.. That’s what I hope these moves will do. “