Future is now for Daniels, Friedman

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- One day Jon Daniels and Andrew Friedman will reflect upon their first general managers' meetings as a formative experience. At the moment it's all a blur of conversations, phone calls and tire-kicking sessions, interspersed with the occasional "isn't it past your bedtime joke?" from good-natured colleagues.

The phenomenon of young, aggressive "Moneyball" general managers, a hot topic in baseball these days, hits close to home in Texas and Tampa Bay. Daniels, 28, became the youngest GM in history when Rangers owner Tom Hicks named him to replace John Hart in October.

And then, suddenly, there were two GMs born post-Watergate. Last week Friedman, also 28, assumed the role of executive vice president as part of Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg's nontraditional front-office structure. He will make the final calls with input from senior VP Gerry Hunsicker and veteran scouts Bart Braun and Tim Wilken.