Best Decision-Maker 2010 | Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Vladimir Guerrero. Cliff Lee. Colby Lewis. Need we go on? It's been a long road for the Texas Rangers general manager to make it from 20-something punch line to savvy veteran brainiac. But, what do ya know, here he is. The same guy who traded Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres for Adam Eaton and who dealt John Danks to the Chicago White Sox for Brandon McCarthy is suddenly giving his team a competitive advantage with his crafty maneuvering. Because of Jon Daniels, the Rangers have the best farm system in baseball. His deal that netted the Rangers Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz for Mark Teixeira remains one of the best trades in metroplex sports history. Daniels has taken a beating. Time for him to take a bow. Or two.

Assassination City Roller Derby Season Opener
Cowboys Stadium
Evan Grant, The Dallas Morning News

And to think, he only entered the starting lineup in Week 5 after an injury to Roy Williams. What a debut it was. Filling in for Williams, the undrafted free agent from tiny Monmouth College caught 10 passes for a franchise-record 250 yards including the game-winning touchdown in overtime in a season-altering victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. With soft hands, uncanny escapability from defensive backs and blinding speed, Austin went on to lead the Cowboys in receiving yards and touchdown catches and make the Pro Bowl. In a season in which Williams was supposed to ascend to stardom, it was Austin who became Dallas' No. 1 receiver. Just for kicks, Austin has made two Sports Illustrated covers and started dating Kim Kardashian. Please, don't pinch him.

With the boxed body of the Big 12 Conference seemingly sawed into pieces and displaced from coast to coast, the embattled commissioner of our state's prestigious football fraternity dramatically, magically reassembled the body parts into a living, breathing, working whole. The result is that the Big 12 lives, rebooted and repackaged as a leaner, stronger-than-ever conference eternally bonded by tradition, unity and loyalty. Not bad for a conference that was twice pronounced dead during a chaotic May. Thankfully, Dan Beebe is David Blaine. His trick? Beebe didn't use smoke or mirrors or duct tape. He kept the Big 12 together via dollar bills. Greed begat the Big 12. Greed almost tore it apart. And in the end, mo' money saved it. Colorado and Nebraska will be gone come 2011 but, thanks to Beebe, the Big 12 will live on.

It pales in comparison to Jerry Jones' $1 billion stadium in Arlington, but for less than $190 you can hack it around one of Texas' premier tracks. If you don't mind the constant stream of thunderous airplanes that use Cowboys' 18th fairway to line up a runway, you can almost convince yourself you've left the metroplex. Dramatic elevation changes. Unique views. And, far as we can tell, not a blade of grass out of place. Even the putting green—shaped like a star, of course—is immaculate. Inside the clubhouse are replica Super Bowl trophies. Outside, you might just run into Cowboys such as Tony Romo. For your exorbitant fee, you get range balls, golf and all the food and non-alcoholic drinks you can inhale. Sample the jalapeño sausage near the 14th tee. You won't be sorry. Until the next day.

Billiard Bar
Ron Washington, Texas Rangers

Ron Washington stayed and Vladimir Guerrero and Cliff Lee arrived, but nothing sparked the local baseball season more than the resurfacing of Hamilton. After a slow start, Hamilton lost a toe-tap timing mechanism in June and found his old swing. He again became one of baseball's best hitters, flirting with a home run/batting average/RBI Triple Crown that made us forget his horrible 2009 low-lighted by injuries and a certain Arizona episode involving whipped cream. Hamilton's power kept him among the leaders in dingers, but nothing signaled his return to glory more than a scorching liner against the Angels that bounded past the second baseman and all the way to the wall for a stand-up triple. Only Josh could take things that far.

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