By Alfred Branch, Jr. They say everything’s bigger in Texas; to bad the Rangers baseball team never received the memo. The Texas Rangers Monday...

Texas Rangers Baseball Logo - All Rights ReservedBy Alfred Branch, Jr.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas; to bad the Rangers baseball team never received the memo.

The Texas Rangers Monday gave General Manager Jon Daniels an extra year on his three-year contract, despite the team’s continued ineptitude. Daniels replaced John Hart in late 2005 and is now signed through 2009. Hart, who had nothing but success with the Cleveland Indians team he oversaw prior to Texas, experienced nothing but futility in the Lone Star state during his four-year tenure.

At the time of his signing, Daniels was the youngest GM ever hired by a team, even younger than GM Theo Epstein when he took the position of the Boston Red Sox in 2002. Epstein helped usher in a World Championship with the Red Sox in 2004, two years after his hiring. . .

Such a meteoric rise is unlikely for the Texas GM. Attendance dropped by more than 136,000 to 2, 389,000 between 2005 and 2006, and the team is likely to see another decrease this season, due to continued poor play. The team is 26-43 so far this season, and attendance stands at about 961,000 which is on pace to reach a little over 2 million. Earlier this year, the team severed its ties with Ticketmaster in favor the Major League Baseball-owned primary seller Tickets.com.

In its division, the American League West, the Rangers are in last place and sit more than 17 games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. At 26-43, the team also has the worst record in the league.

“Jon and I have had numerous meetings in the past few weeks about where we are, what we need to do to improve, and how to take advantage of the great young players in our system,” team owner Tom Hicks told MLB.com. “I wanted Jon to know he has my confidence and I wanted to express that publicly so Jon can go about the business of building a baseball team.”

Daniels said despite the record, he still believes in the management team. “We still have a significant job and significant challenges ahead,” Daniels said to MLB.com. “As far as what’s happened at the Major League level, we haven’t played as well as we’d like, and I shoulder full responsibility for that.”