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Daniels: 'Unbelievable pride' in Rangers' organization

October 3, 2016

ARLINGTON -- When the Rangers scouted reliever Tony Barnette last year in Japan, they had at least a half-dozen people from the organization watch him pitch, including assistant general manager Thad Levine, pro scouting director Josh Boyd, special assistant Scott Littlefield and their Pacific Rim scouts.The Rangers also had at

ARLINGTON -- When the Rangers scouted reliever Tony Barnette last year in Japan, they had at least a half-dozen people from the organization watch him pitch, including assistant general manager Thad Levine, pro scouting director Josh Boyd, special assistant Scott Littlefield and their Pacific Rim scouts.
The Rangers also had at least six scouts watch pitcher Matt Bush throw this winter before they signed him, and at least a half-dozen scouts watched the Brewers this summer before they traded for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Some of those same guys watched Carlos Beltrán with the Yankees or weighed in on Carlos Gómez when the Rangers were considering signing him in August.
That's a whole different department from the amateur scouts and player development guys who helped produce the Minor League talent needed to make those trades.
In all, the Rangers had more than 130 people working in baseball operations to help put together a team that won the seventh division title in club history with an American League-best record of 95-67. That includes 27 in the front office, 10 professional scouts, three on the international side and 24 amateur scouts, plus 48 Minor League managers, instructors, coaches and trainers.
:: ALDS: Wild Card winner vs. Rangers coverage ::
Add in manager Jeff Banister and his staff of 20 or more, and it becomes obvious that it does take a village to put together a championship team, not to mention the business-side people and seasonal employees producing the revenue needed to pay for it all.
"I made a comment that last year was the most fun year of my career," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "This year, for me, it's really a sense of pride -- unbelievable pride.
"Whatever your role is in the organization, compete to be the best and push each other, push yourself. It was kind of the standards that we're going to hold ourselves to. All of that's great when you talk about -- business-school speak, this and that. But I really felt that our players, our staff, our front office, both baseball and business side, our development group and our scouts, they really put that stuff into play."
The Rangers were off on Monday as they get ready to open the American League Division Series at 3:30 p.m. CT Thursday at Globe Life Park in Arlington against the winner of Tuesday's Wild Card playoff between the Orioles and the Blue Jays.
Cole Hamels -- the Rangers' likely Game 1 starter -- threw an afternoon bullpen session, but otherwise, the rest of the team took it easy before getting back to work on Tuesday.
Daniels made an appearance in front of the media to discuss a variety of matters, but he spoke mainly about the extraordinary team effort it took to have another championship season.
Daniels spoke about the job done by Banister and how it was even better than 2015, when Banister was named Manager of the Year. Daniels also talked about a coaching staff that had significant turnover, which didn't prevent pitching coach Doug Brocail from holding the rotation together, hitting coaching Anthony Iapoce from earning the trust of his hitters, bullpen coach Brad Holman from overseeing a Major League-record-tying relief corps, assistant hitting coach Justin Mashore from being singled out by Prince Fielder, Hector Ortiz from holding the catching together until Lucroy arrived or Jayce Tingler from teaching Ian Desmond and Nomar Mazara to be Major League outfielders.
Spike Owen stepped in well for third-base coach Tony Beasley, who was supposed to miss the entire season while dealing with rectal cancer but kept showing up between treatments to provide endless sunshine and inspiration.
"Tony Beasley, the example he's set for all of us and the strength, the resolve and the positive outlook in the face of something that we all hope we don't have to face -- unbelievable," Daniels said. "For him to be here throughout the whole thing, you want to talk about an example set for us, for our players, for our fans, for our young guys and for myself, unreal."
It also helped create the unselfish culture that defined the Rangers.
"Then there's just the general unselfishness of everybody," Daniels said. "Robinson Chirinos stands out to me. Shawn Tolleson stands out to me -- putting the team first. You don't hear guys complaining. Some guys have taken personal sacrifices for the good of the club. Prince Fielder, the selflessness with which he carried himself, putting his family first and putting his team first in the face of that.
"But as I reflect a little on the year, those are some of the things that stand out to me as some of the reasons we were able to do the things we did in the regular season. I think it falls right into that category of unselfishness, guys putting the team first and going all out."
The Rangers did not have it easy this season. Go back to the winter and see how much they were counting on Josh Hamilton, Shin-Soo Choo and Fielder for their lineup. They were also not counting on Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Derek Holland missing so much time out of the rotation.
But the roster kept evolving as the season progressed, from the beginning of March when Desmond was signed to play the outfield, through late August, when Gomez was added to the lineup.
That it all came together in another division title, Daniels said, is a tribute to those who worked together to make it happen.
"What I'm most proud of, time and again, is that we put people first and we'll continue to do so," Daniels said. "That's the biggest reason we've had success and why we'll continue to have success."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.