The 30-year-old general manager of the Texas Rangers, Jon Daniels is 5-foot-11 and built like a ballpoint pen. Though he has the power to trade $8 million-per-year All-Stars and determine the fate of a manager, Daniels last played organized baseball in eighth grade, when he was a Little League catcher in Queens, New York. At 28 years and 41 days, Daniels became the youngest general manager in baseball history. While Daniels has conducted his share of questionable trades, he is helping to revolutionize the role of a general manager. The Mr Nice Guy routine is an enormous cultural shift for the Rangers, who for years had one of baseball's least employee -- friendly operations -- a place where decisions were routinely second-guessed and performance evaluations indefensibly harsh. Though Daniels, characteristically, declines to trash his predecessors, he does say that change was essential. Daniels's team building has extended, necessarily, to the Rangers' player development.
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