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Jon Daniels is “disappointed” at Josh Hamilton? Cry me a river.

Dec 14, 2012, 8:26 AM EDT

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Searching for empathy … searching for empathy … nope, can’t find any:

Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he was disappointed that his club didn’t at least get a chance to “have a conversation” before Hamilton accepted any deal … “there was a relationship over time. I thought we understood that we had a chance to at least have a conversation.”

Thing about that relationship over time: it afforded you months, if not years, prior to the end of the 2012 baseball season to offer a contract extension to Hamilton without him being able to talk to anyone else. And nothing at all prevented you from talking to Hamilton since the end of the season until yesterday. Yet you never had any sense of urgency about that. Here’s Daniels two weeks ago:

“I think the way that we have chosen to proceed here is that we’re not necessarily driving the timetable. There may come a time when we need to change that, but so far it’s been fine.”

And during the Winter Meetings, when Hamilton was reported to have had serious conversations with the Mariners, Daniels did not meet with Hamilton — who actually went to Nashville personally — or his agents:

The Rangers are also ready to make an offer to Hamilton although Daniels has not yet met with agent Mike Moye since arriving in Nashville on Sunday. Daniels said he’s not sure if he will meet with Moye before the meetings end on Thursday.

“We may, but we don’t have anything set in stone,” Daniels said.

You snooze, you lose, Jon. And you snoozed. Which means that if you really wanted Josh Hamilton back, you blew it.

And if you didn’t truly want him back and had no intention of matching a five year, $125 million offer, you’re just grandstanding here in order to get your very angry fans to be mad at Hamilton, not you and Nolan Ryan. Which is pretty freakin’ weak.

  1. willclarkgameface - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    WAAAAAAHHHHHHH Jon Daniels.

    This guy wants us to believe that he had ZERO chance at resigning Hamilton? Please. They could have gotten this deal done, but chose to play – no pun intended – hardball with him. And they lost.

    There is something fishy going on in that organization with the older players. Guys like Wilson that left last year, Young this last week, and now Hamilton. I get the sense that the front office is really trying to undercut their older players and pay them something not even close to what they are worth. And Kinsler is bitching now too.

    The Rangers seem to only want the green kids that will let the front office walk all over them. I’m feeling we are going to see an agent revolt in the coming years versus the Rangers brass.

    • albertmn - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      I would bet that it has more to do with younger players being less expensive than being able to “walk all over them”. And, an agent revolt? Agents are by definition against team ownership/management. How would that be any different. I think you are getting way to worked up over this and making a bigger deal than it is. Does Daniels look silly complaining? Yes. But, this will blow over and be forgotten.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      I would think it has everything to do with being a perennial contender – moving out older, less productive guys that are getting peak salaries, rotating young players into the starting mix, and giving raises to young vets while asking them to take on more responsibility.

      Last year the Rangers let Wilson go to the Angels, then went out and signed Darvish. They saved a little money. Don’t know that they push Darvish around. Wilson and Darvish are pretty much the same player. But Darvish is 26 years-old and Wilson 32. The Rangers future appears brighter with Darvish then with Wilson.

      This is how it’s done. Kudos to Daniels. He’s one of the best GM’s in MLB and will make the adjustment from here. There is a lot a GM has to work with when he has a strong, productive farm system.

      • lostone49 - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        Is there any chance Daniels could walk over to that other stadium in Arlington and do his magic over there, too??

      • tashkalucy - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Along with Friedman and Rizzo, Daniels is one of the best GM’s in baseball.

        There is no humidity in Anaheim for balls to carry out in. Hamilton’s production has no where to go but down – though maybe he gets a little bump in 2013. At best Hamilton goes on good behavior for a year. Who knows if he relapses. But the man is simply not stable, and replacing a leader like Tori Hunter that took on responsibility and kept his teammates focused on winning with a guy that needs to be catered to by management and players alike is not good.

        The Rangers are going to be better for this – they have a lot of money to use elsewhere, and by the trading deadline that will pick up a guy on a salary dump that will help them more then Hamilton.

  2. temporarilyexiled - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Yes, Jon, there was a relationship. But as the rest of us know, not all relationships are good ones. Nice try. Face it. Yeah, there’s a chance the Angels get little or nothing out of Hamilton and Pujols going forward. More likely, they get a lot, even if it’s just for now, and simply eat the rest of the money down the road. After all, apparently, money has now supplanted leaves on California citrus.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      The LA papers noted that Arte Moreno has an MO whereby when he wants something, he is willing to overpay, but he wants a yes or no answer immediately else the offer is off the table – his way of doing business. In this case, it appears that he was not going to get into a bidding war with Daniels over Hamilton. Considering that most teams were offering a bit less per year and only 3 years, the 5 at $25M was an offer that came out of the blue to Hamilton and his agent. Arte told them to take it or leave it while they were in the room, and that was that.

      Daniels response was a normal one and cheap shot artists will paint him anyway they want.

      I respect all people involved, The Rangers and Angels are quality organizations. I’m happy for Josh Hamilton. But the reality is that this signing will prove to be only slightly better then the trade for Vernon Wells. Mr. Moreno is overreacting to the marketing war with the Dodgers. He’s collecting old guys and paying them more then they ever made just as their careers are beginning their downward glide. Paying Puhols, Wells and now Hamilton this sort of money on extended contracts limits the future for the Angels. If they compound it even more by trading some young talents like Trumbo to get an old starting pitcher, then the future for baseball fans in SoCal will unquestionably be the Dodgers.

      Arte has stuck his nose into the baseball side too much the past 2 years. Now Scioscia and DiPoto have been pushed into the background, and that is never healthy for a team. Look at it this way – he took Tori Hunter out for the clubhouse and put Josh Hamilton in.

      • temporarilyexiled - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Your first paragraph makes perfect sense.

        As for Daniels’ response, it may be a normal one, but a normal one is often, and in this case, a failed attempt at covering up the organization’s actual lack of interest in the player.

        And the organizations may be quality, but clearly, in the case of both the Angels and the Rangers, someone dropped the ball.

        Was it the players? The managers? Upper management? Ownership? We can debate this, but at least one team is trying to go forward, and the other, if they’re doing the same, must be counting on young talent to quickly do the trick.

        And maybe they know more than I (which you’d expect, considering they’re professional and I’m some blog-responder), but until I see it, I think the Angels are now clearly better than the Rangers.

        But the postseason is still young, and the Vegas oddsmakers may need to change their numbers a few times before April.

  3. hardjudge - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    The arrogance of the Ranger front office is really beginning to show. It is obvious from the results that there is an attitude problem in the front office. Apparently, Daniels and or Ryan think that all the players are just dying to play for them in the sweat box known as Arlington Stadium. Apparently, they are not. Probably time for ownership to clean house at the top. They will be a good team this year. Most likely only finish third in the West behind the Angels and A’s. They will miss Hamilton and Michael Young. Young was the heart and soul of the club. It will show in the end.

    • Old Gator - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      What do you expect from a bunch of guys who pal around with a war criminal? Arrogance? Hey, it’s just the sofrito on the Rangers corporate culture.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Yes, that FO sure pushed Hamilton around….

      Almost as badly as Dan Gilbert’s Cleveland Cavs FO pushed Lebron James around.

  4. paperchampsdontwin - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    JD….just make sure all your pitchers can throw sliders low and away. Hamilton can’t lay off and he’ll never hurt you. I’m sure watching him over the last few years you’d know that.

  5. chacochicken - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    He’s also disappointed in Zach Greinke, Justin Upton, Michael Young, and the Hobbit for being filmed in 48 fps. But the Josh Hamilton betrayal is the deepest wound of all. Do you know who he is? He’s Jon Daniels, General Manager of the Texas Rangers. He made the Yu Darvish deal. Disappointment was not in the job description.

    • hardjudge - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      Like I said the Arrogance is overwhelming.

      • chacochicken - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:11 AM

        That picture reminds me of a guy that left me a bar tip of 0, signed Jon Daniels with a flourish, like his autograph was worth something and a little note “Can you throw a cutter? Would you like to pitch against righties in the 7th or 8th inning?”

  6. markofapro - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    The only thing that is weak is the opinion in this article, Craig.

    The Rangers were terrible after Johnny and Doug left and JD and Ryan have given us three terrific years of Rangers baseball after the dark days of the early 2000’s.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      I agree, Daniels and Ryan have done a fine job.

      But how does that make what he’s saying here any less bullshit?

      • hardjudge - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        The Rangers have have 3 great seasons, apart from the total collapse at the end of last season. They have also had some great players. Many of these are gone. They have not been replaced. Watch the results.

      • albertmn - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        What Daniels said is silly. They had plenty of chances to try to sign him. He should have been honest and just said that Hamilton got more money/years than they wanted to spend.

        But, there is nothing wrong with having a reasonable budget as an MLB team and sticking to that. Informed fans will understand that, as long as you aren’t doing a complete firesale and dumping everyone. If those chose not to gamble that much money on Hamilton staying healthy and productive, there is nothing wrong with that.

    • dodger88 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      Daniels and Ryan indeed have done good things but no one is perfect. In the case of Hamilton, it appears to an outsider that the negative comments coming out since the season ended and leaks of the not wanting to go more than 3 years were designed to depress the market for Hamilton. If I were Hamilton, I’d be none too pleased and that may have contributed to his not giving them a chance to match or beat the offer. Good for him.

  7. mustbechris - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    grandstanding is the one

    • indaburg - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      I agree. I think this is just posturing for the fans. “See, we wanted to sign Josh, but he didn’t give us a chance. Boo-hoo, it’s all his fault.”

      You had your chance, bud. The Rangers had years to get this done if they wanted to. They didn’t want to. Hopefully, Rangers fans will see through this bullshit.

  8. wlubake - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    The Rangers aren’t giving Hamilton 5 years. This is posturing, pure and simple. You are free to feel that is “pretty freakin’ weak”.

    @hardjudge – Did you really suggest the Rangers clean house and get rid of the front office that brought them to back to back World Series and three straight years in the playoffs? The fact that they won’t go chase crazy money is not a fault. Nor is the fact that they don’t make decisions on past performance. Otherwise you end up as the Phillies.

    I think some baseball writers have tired of success in Arlington. The reality is, when you are so good at spotting talent, both in the farm system and through trades (like getting a guy like Hamilton when his price is low), too many contracts come up for renewal. You prioritize and adapt. The Rangers will miss Hamilton, but they won’t ever regret missing out on paying him $125 million over 5 years.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      Nice post.

      The market for Hamilton up until yesterday was 3 for $75. The Angel owner offered 5 for $125 and said he wanted an yes or no – a maybe took the offer off the table. The player and his agent looked at $50M of found money, and would have been nuts to say anything but yes. The Rangers GM was at a speaking engagement and knew nothing until the players agent called him to say that his client was leaving. The fact that the Ranger GM said he was “disappointed” in not being able to have the last crack at a player that he had had his entire organization bend over backwards for and suspend the rules for was hardly a statement showing him as “arrogant” and a bunch of other ridiculous characterizations.

      As the sickening cliche goes – the situation “was what it was”.

      Move on.

  9. jgreiner9 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Get ‘em Craig!

  10. paperchampsdontwin - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    they have been replaced just not with people you know. That’s what Daniels is supposed to do though, find those guys. That’s how they got Hamilton in the first place. JD knows what young talent he has.

  11. Carl Hancock - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Doesn’t matter what the front office says, the fans are going to hate on Hamilton regardless. They’ll be playing the Rangers quite a bit so he’s going to here the boo’s when they go to Arlington. Not saying its right, but it’s what is going to happen.

  12. jgreiner9 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    It’s not as if they made Hamilton their top priority in the offseason. They weren’t really pressing at all to negotiate with him until grienke signed else where and the upton deal fell through. You had plenty of time to talk extension during his contract and talk new contract for months now. This kind of happens when you make someone feel not wanted or important to an organization, they’ll look and go elsewhere.

  13. glink123 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Sunny California is the absolute LAST place you should be if you’re a 31 year old recovering heroin addict with a brand new $125 million contract. This ends badly. Just wait.

    • Alex K - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      Because that is the only place to get drugs or alcohol, right?

  14. yahmule - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    The best part of this whole thing was Hamilton snubbing these clowns. Can’t totally blame Daniels, though. Manipulating the average Texan with blatant lies must be irresistibly easy to anyone with that inclination.

  15. wlubake - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    At the end of the season, these were the leaks you were hearing out of Arlington:

    “If Josh only played on days he wanted to, he’d play maybe 30 games a season.”

    “He could offer to play for free, and we wouldn’t take him back.”

    Neither of those is attributed to Daniels, but rather to “inside sources” with the Rangers. Then look at how the Rangers acted – no contract offer before free agency, chasing Justin Upton, chasing Greinke, never really making an offer to Hamilton.

    None of that seems very consistent with wanting the guy back. Any talk that he was going to let the Rangers match offers was likely leaked by the Rangers to keep his market down. I think if they could have gotten him back at 3 years, they would have been in the game. At 5 years, they were long out of the running.

    Everything Daniels does has a purpose. Here, the only reason to publicly state your disappointment is to reach the public audience. What he’s really saying is: “Ranger fans, we would have loved to talk to Josh, but he didn’t want to come back apparently. Don’t blame us.”

  16. alexo0 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I don’t find this surprising. The Rangers threw Hamilton under the bus when they missed the playoffs, so doing it to him again now isn’t anything new.

  17. ningenito78 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Daniels is doing what most clubs do when a big FA walks. Spin. It’s just damage control and I agree with the guy above. It seemed pretty obvious the Rangers didn’t really want to pay him but him leaving for a division rival caught them off guard. Things got uglier than anybody wanted to see maybe. But how I this, in any way, unusual? Either way the guy that posted to ‘clean house up top’ get a clue. It’s one thing to be a blind fanboy. It’s another to just be an utter moron.

  18. s777hamm - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    What a joke. The Rangers just begged the baseball world to look at them as a second rate pathetic organization.
    How on earth do you look at the Pujols and Fielder signings last year and not jump to offer arguably the best hitter in baseball 5 years at 25 mil per? especially playing in a hitters park? with no other options available? After losing Young and Napoli? After losing Wilson last year? With the Angels lurking knowing how out of nowhere they signed Pujols last year?
    My god how do you not even offer market value? Not for Hamilton and not for Zack either?
    MINOR LEAGUERS now LAUGHING STOCK.
    Lets see how many hundreds of thousands of fans they lose in attendance. Lets see if they ever get near the playoffs let alone a World Series in the next decade?

    If I were a Rangers fan I would be disgusted and irate. Good luck on season ticket sales Rangers lmao
    freaking clowns. The angels are now in a different league in team pocketbook brains and balls.

    Duhhhhhhhhh My name is Daniels and im a moron. Does anyone in baseball not know when you insult a guy with a 1 year 13 million dollar offer that no chance exists he’s going to even dream about offering you to match an offer.

    Let’s see if old man Nolan has the nerve to sit in the stands again. This is the second coming of Frank McCourt. Pathetic Rangers,

    To top it off you can bet that free agents in the future are going to see no reason to even think of signing with this team. You can bet that Hamilton was disgusted with how Ryan and Daniels treated m> Young. Not even a phone call? Are these 2 guys that retarded?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      josh pooped his big boy pants on this one, why should he come back to you for, you
      claim to have a relationship and you mistreat him.

      adios bro

    • historiophiliac - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Hey, they clearly demonstrated “plausible baseball judgment” here.

      /s

    • wlubake - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Is this sarcasm? I hope so.

      The Rangers were mocked for not landing Cliff Lee. The next year: World Series.

      Then they missed out on CJ Wilson (getting Darvish instead). Result: Playoffs. And Darvish looks like the better long term bet.

      This front office will find a way to plug. Maybe not this summer, but by the trade deadline. They could use a bat with “pop” after losing Hamilton and Young. But keep in mind that Hamilton’s HR’s came with a bunch of strikeouts and only a .288 batting average. If the Rangers can get back some hits in exchange for power, it will make up a larger chunk than people realize. Hamilton’s RBI numbers have alot to do with Josh, but they also have alot to do with Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler hitting ahead of him.

      The sky is not falling in Arlington. This will be a team competing for a division title.

  19. fanofevilempire - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    josh pooped his big boy pants on this one, why should he come back to you for, you
    claim to have a relationship and you mistreat him.

    adios bro

  20. randygnyc - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Hamilton heard boos after his last at bat in Arlington. It’ll be the same for his next at bat there.

    No question this is BS from Daniels. I’m convinced of 2 things. The Rangers couldn’t wait for Hamilton to leave. And his behavior there, behind the scenes, was much worse than what was ever reported. The Rangers are trying to save some face here. Can’t blame them. Secretly, I believe they’re dancing in the streets as if the 18-1 horse they bet on to win, did just that.

  21. trybe29dr - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Well put Craig. Grandstanding indeed

  22. Andrew Chapman - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Wow, I don’t know where to start. The reason that Jon Daniels is disappointed is because of the mutual understanding that was supposedly there that the club would have a chance to match whatever offer Hamilton received, and that didn’t happen.

    I never really took Hamilton seriously throughout the summer when he said that would be his tactic, and we can debate how smart it was to factor that into the negotiations. But over time it really seemed like that was what was going to happen. For Hamilton to blow this off what he had told the team is what was disappointing.

    In all likelihood, the Angels probably told Hamilton that if he went back to the Rangers with their offer, that they would rescind the offer. So I can’t blame Hamilton or the Angels for going at it that way. But insinuating that Daniels is arrogant or without class or posturing here is absurd.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Thank you for that reasoned response to this. We cannot be sure of what Hamilton (and his representation) told Daniels about the opportunity to match any offer. Or to what degree the Rangers negotiation strategy was built around this understanding. However, the lack of activity by the Rangers points to some of this being true. I don’t blame Hamilton at all, but I understand JD’s reaction.

  23. beefytrout - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Let the hate flow through you, anti-Rangers people.

  24. macjacmccoy - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Man I hate those GMs, Owners, Coaches, and Fans who think their team is entitled to the right to match another teams offer and then complain when they dont get it. What goes through peoples head that makes them think that’s how it should be done. What is the player suppose to wait and cater to you until your ready. You had every chance in the world to offer the player in question a legitimate offer. But you wanted to play games and scheme. That’s not on the player that’s on you. Your the one who gambled and wanted everyone else to do the work of finding what the players market was by discussing terms with his agent and countering back and forth other teams and what their offering. You did that so you could chase other players you wanted more and because you didnt want to offer more then the bare minimum of what it would take for him to resign. And after all that you expect the player to go out of his way and show loyalty to a front office that had none for him? You expect him not to be pissed and still want to come back to your team? You can say its a business all you want but guess what it goes both ways, if your gonna use that as an excuse to be a slime ball then be prepared for the consequences.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      This isn’t about a sense of entitlement. It was reported that Hamilton told the Rangers he would give them an opportunity to match any offer. That is what went thru their heads.

      • macjacmccoy - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:59 PM

        Whom….. I dont remember mentioning Hamilton the Rangers or what one said to the other. I remember mentioning my problem with the general idea of GMs owners etc. thinking they are entitled to the right to match another teams offer. But hey if you need to make things up to make yourself feel better then Im ok with that.

  25. kelshannon19 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    And suddenly the bandwagon is much lighter…

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