Today I had a chance to attend an event at Cornell featuring Texas Rangers general manager and Cornell grad Jon Daniels, who told his story of how he made his way up the totem pole to become a general manager in Major League Baseball. Daniels also gave career advice to students and told them that today’s job market in sports is much more competitive than it was ten years ago and that students seeking internships need to do something that really sticks out in order to be seen or heard.
Additionally, Jon talked about the responsibilities that come with his job and how he works with his staff (other execs, scouts, etc.) to find the best players possible. The entire session lasted around 45 minutes.
Here are the questions I had a chance to ask him:
Matt Tracy: What kind of things do you do as a team to educate your players on how to handle social media such as twitter, etc.
Jon Daniels: We do quite a bit of education, especially for our minor league guys. Every year in Spring Training, we educate our major and minor league players on the realities of it. Throughout the year, at our postdraft minicamp, we instruct the players on the reality of it.
Very little things can blow up. We had a player post a picture on his Facebook page. He went to a Holiday party and obviously everyone down there are huge Cowboys fans. He was wearing a shirt that said “F*** the Redskins and he posted it right on his Facebook page. I don’t think he thought anything of it. He was 24 years old, wasn’t even in Dallas at the time, but he had to answer that for the fans. It wasn’t even worth it.
Matt Tracy: How much do you follow the blogs, twitter, and things where it’s mostly the fan’s opinions on the state of the team?
Jon Daniels: Well, I am on twitter. I don’t post anything but I follow other guys, mostly our writers for the club and beat writers. I follow some of our players that are on there so I’m aware.
As far as blogs, I used to check it more… but I read a few different things about myself and then I stopped reading it (laughs). I check a couple of blogs and I read more of the mainstream stuff, but I don’t read the comments all that often.