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Jeff Passan On Nolan Ryan And Jon Daniels

Yahoo's Jeff Passan has a lengthy piece on the relationship between Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels. Much has been made about the Mets looking to tempt Daniels with a return home with some in Dallas going so far as to declare it a near certainty. Daniels spoke with Mike Francesa about the topic last week.

But as Passan discusses, events in Arlington have bonded Daniels and Ryan to the point that the two may be difficult to separate.

"Jon Daniels and I did a lot of soul searching," Ryan said.

This wasn't about Ryan asserting his authority or about Daniels standing his ground. This was about the Rangers' future, their credibility. And when both wanted to keep Washington, it was obvious they were much more alike than even they realized.

"You go through some things together, you bond," Daniels said. "And we definitely have. The longer we've worked together, the more we've been able to appreciate what the other person brings to the table."

To back up stories like this, I found something telling in Tuesday's celebration just after the final out of the LDS. The cameras showed an unusually emotional Ryan saying "what a game, what a game" and congratulating those around him. He looked over and back at Daniels as the two congratulated each other, and the pair's faces exchanged what I can only describe as knowing common appreciation and relief. It was one of those 'picture paints a thousand words' moments for me and made me believe reports that the relationship had grown significantly.

There are two other reasons that it makes sense to me that Daniels stays in Texas for now. One, as Jim Bowden reported, he and his wife have been here for a while now and do like it:

Jon Daniels TX GM told me that although his Mother would love for him to go home as the next Mets GM that he and his wife are happy in TX

The other is that, when I put myself in Daniels' shoes, I think that leaving this situation now would be somewhat of a letdown. Daniels has been with this organization for most of the last decade and has therefore seen some of its darkest days. In his early days as GM he was literally laughed at, compared unfavorably to a fern by Bob Sturm, and scorned daily by Randy Galloway. Those same people today have no choice but to withdraw their criticism, but more importantly, Daniels now has an entire staff, largely as he wants it, in place. He has an organization filled with his players, and he has a team that he built that could win a championship in the near future. He even has an improving financial situation.

To leave all of that now, when he is just set to actually enjoy the fruits of his labor and hard times, wouldn't be good timing to me. I suspect that in the back of his mind, he will GM the Mets some day. But the guy is in his early 30's. He has plenty of time to see this process out and to do his dream job.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.