On Randol Mill Road in Arlington, we have the perfect jock kingdom couple.
Jerry Jones and Jon Daniels.
One is a football guy. The other is a baseball guy. One is a billionaire, and the other makes a nice living. One answers only to himself, the other answers to owners who apparently have no questions.
Jon is a Jerry wanna be.
Jerry wanna be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Jon wanna be the manager of the Texas Rangers. And both want to do the coaching and the managing from high above the field in a luxury box.
Jerry’s power trip in Arlington is well-documented. Jon’s power trip in Arlington continues to gather immense steam.
Daniels did us all a big favor Wednesday, and he did it in a hurry. Forget all that extensive research that was planned in attempting to fix blame for another miserable ending to a season by the local ballclub.
Less than 48 hours after the Rangers went meekly into winter, Daniels gave us his blame game answer:
Jackie Moore, the bench coach, who, oh, about three decades ago had already forgotten more about baseball than Daniels will ever know, was ousted by the Arlington baseball god.
Could be that Jon was jealous of all those dugout man-hugs between Wash and Jackie.
Or much more likely, Daniels wants a bench coach at Ron Washington’s dugout side who will constantly deliver the kind of situational message the general manager tells him to deliver.
Personally, I like the Marvin Gaye version of I’m Your Puppet.
Moore was Wash’s right-hand man, a trusted ally and friend, plus a key component in what, not so long ago, was the Rangers’ version of glory days.
At no time, however, was Moore a messenger boy for Daniels. Far, far from it. Moore was — oh, my, gawd, no — a Nolan Ryan bench coach hire five years ago.
Daniels attempted to fire Moore after last season, but Washington held his ground. This time, the ground gave way because the manager doesn’t have that much ground to stand on at the moment.
Also fired on Wednesday was first-base coach Dave Anderson, but his ouster falls more into the category of collateral damage.
Moore, with over 50 years in professional baseball, fell victim to a personal grudge by Daniels. Anderson? Who knows what Daniels was thinking on that one. Or maybe Jon simply threw Wash a bone, saying I get one of yours, you get one of mine.
But the baseball politics and back-stabbing run very, very deep in Arlington, and the most political animal of all is Daniels. The team owners, stepping out of character and stepping into uncharted territory for them, agreed last November that Daniels should have full baseball power.
Daniels demanded it. He got it.
Be careful what you ask for, huh?
There’s no reason to rehash the Daniels’ front office failures over the last year, but the way the season ended spoke to Jon’s disaster.
Based on everything involved, from injuries to the GM’s mangling of the roster, it was Washington’s best season yet of keeping a team engaged and viable.
Daniels, who failed at his job this season, wasn’t going to fire himself. He also didn’t have the guts to fire Washington. Even with ownership not exactly showing spine of late, the rich guys would have balked at that.
But Daniels fired a trusted ally in Moore, meaning he gutted Wash in one area. Will the manager get to hire his own man to replace Moore? The bet is no, no way.
Notice what also didn’t happen:
No contract extension for the manager, and unless that changes, it means Washington goes into 2014 with the dreaded lame-duck tag, and with a Daniels’ puppet his right-hand man.
It’s a miserable way to treat a guy who has helped provide more success than any manager in franchise history.
But again, we are dealing here with cold-blooded political animals, with the prime objective being to protect their own butts and steer the story away from their own failures.
Wednesday’s blame game butt coverage on Randol Mill Road didn’t come from Jerry this time.
It came from Jerry’s wanna be.
Jon, that’s you.