ARLINGTON, Texas -- Thad Levine's first road trip as general manager of the Minnesota Twins is an emotional experience.
With the Twins in Texas for a three-game series, Levine is back where he spent the previous 11 seasons as an assistant general manager and helped put together two World Series teams.
"This was my family for 11 years, and it was really the most formative years of my career," Levine said while sitting in the visitors' dugout before Monday night's series opener. "It was really the most formative years of my career. ... I feel as if there are more people here who I owe things to."
The Rangers have been to the playoffs in five of the previous seven seasons, a span that began with the franchise's only World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011.
"Every time I come here, it's going to feel special," said the 45-year-old Levine, who didn't travel with the Twins on their first trip.
Levine described Daniels as a mentor for him, and like a brother.
"That has not changed since I've taken this new role," Levine said. "He's been one of the guys that I've stayed in close contact with as I've tried to navigate some of the things that I know he's had to deal with over his career."
Working with Daniels, and GM Dan O'Dowd in Colorado before that, exposed Levine to the majority of things that he now is responsible for in his role with the Twins, who were coming off a 59-103 record when he was hired, the team's worst since the 1949 Washington Senators went 50-104.
"I don't know that anything can truly prepare you for that, absent of actually of making those calls, and dealing with some of the consequences and repercussions and criticisms associated with making those decisions," Levine said. "But there hasn't been anything that I felt like I was ill-prepared for."
Twins manager Paul Molitor said Levine was excited to be back in Texas, even in the strange surroundings of the visitors' clubhouse at the stadium where someone else now has his office on the fourth floor in center field.
"I've heard a lot about his time here, which was really good," Molitor said, describing Levine as intelligent and a good communicator. "He's been very easy to work with."