A note to the owner of the Dallas Cowboys:
I wonder if you’re watching your next-door-neighbors today as they hang the red, white, and blue bunting on their stadium and raise the league championship banners all over the parking lots in preparation for tomorrow’s World Series Game One. Are you watching, Jerry?
Were you watching when Rangers owner Ray Davis lifted the American League Championship trophy over his head in Houston Monday night?
See, Jerry, this is how owners of successful major professional sports organizations do things. Since Ray Davis took over majority ownership of the Rangers in 2010, they have won four West division titles, three American League pennants, and made the playoffs six times. In the past 13 seasons, the Rangers have been to more World Series than the Red Sox, the Royals, and the St. Louis Cardinals. Texas has appeared in more World Series during this span than the Braves and Reds and Cubs combined. Since Davis took over in 2010, the Rangers have made it to more World Series than the O’s, the Phils, and the hated Yankees combined. In fact, the recently dethroned Astros are the only team in baseball with more World Series appearances than the Rangers over the past 13 years. And they cheated to get at least one of those pennants.
Your Cowboys — they are clearly yours — haven’t so much as won a single divisional playoff game in more than twice that long. It’s 27 years now and counting, Jerry.
Are you watching the Rangers? Do you see how Davis does things next door?
He hires a General Manager to run the team. The owner employs a full-time GM to make decisions about managers and coaches, about player personnel and scouting, about strategy and clubhouse culture. And the GM understands that if the team doesn’t produce championships, he will be fired. Ray Davis takes care of stadium sponsorships and television contracts and everything else on the business side. But on the baseball side, he leaves things to his GM. Pretty simple really. Everybody does it this way.
The Rangers made back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 and then failed to win a single playoff series for the next ten seasons. So Davis spent half a billion dollars to acquire Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. When that didn’t get Texas back into the playoffs, Davis fired GM Jon Daniels and manager Chris Woodward. He committed to Chris Young as GM and wrote the massive checks for everything Young and new manager Bruce Bochy wanted to do, and now they’re back in the World Series again.
You might say, yeah, but nobody knows who Ray Davis is. To which I would say, so what? I would bet almost nobody outside of Dallas / Fort Worth knows who Ray Davis is and more than half of all Rangers fans wouldn’t know him if he walked in the room and sat in their lap. That’s kinda the point. Davis doesn’t care about personal fame or glory or even recognition. He knows that if the team wins championships, there’s enough credit to go around for everybody. And a ton more money.
As long as your Cowboys have a General Manager who knows he won’t be fired no matter how many years the team goes without winning a divisional playoff game, nothing’s going to change. As long as the owner/gm continues to pursue stadium sponsorships, concert deals, tractor pulls, and team endorsement agreements at the same time he’s scouting, drafting, making player trades, and semi-coaching, it won’t work.
Ray Davis fired his GM after ten years of the Rangers failing to advance in the postseason and most of us thought it was too long. You are on year 28, Jerry. Your GM knows his job is never on the line, win or lose, succeed or fail, conference championship game appearance or not.
You may be watching what’s happening next door — I don’t know how you could miss it. The issue is that you just don’t care.
Go Rangers. And Rams.