AP Source: New Texas Rangers manager is Pirates' Banister
The Texas Rangers have chosen Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their new manager.
Banister got the nod over two other finalists, interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
Bogar was the perceived front-runner after leading the Rangers to a 14-8 record to end the regular season following manager Ron Washington's sudden resignation Sept. 5 for personal reasons. Bogar was in his first season as Rangers bench coach.
The 49-year-old Banister has been Pittsburgh's bench coach for manager Clint Hurdle the past four years and in the Pirates organization for 29 seasons. Hurdle became the Pirates manager after serving as the Rangers' hitting coach in 2010 when they went to their first World Series.
Banister, who was born in Oklahoma but went to high school, junior college and college in Texas, was drafted in the 25th round by the Pirates in 1986. The catcher played only one game in the major leagues, getting a pinch-hit single in his only at-bat on July 23, 1991.
Banister, a 1982 graduate of LaMarque High in Texas, overcame bone cancer and a bone/bone marrow infection to play baseball. While at Baytown Junior College in Texas, he was left temporarily paralyzed from the neck down after his vertebrae was crushed in a home-plate collision.
His coaching career began as a player-coach with Double-A Carolina in 1993, and his first managerial job was in the New York-Penn League in 1994. He had a 299-330 record in five seasons as a minor league manager, before serving as field coordinator at the big-league level for the Pirates from 1999-2002 and then as the club's minor league field coordinator for eight years after that.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels joined the team in 2002 and became GM after the 2005 season. A year later, he made his first managerial move, replacing the fired Buck Showalter with Washington and going through the most successful stretch in team history.
After back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and '11, the Rangers finished 67-95 this season - their most losses since 1985. They were plagued by injuries, playing most of the season without new slugger Prince Fielder and finishing the year without Yu Darvish and Shin-Soo Choo, among many others.
It was the first time in five seasons that the Rangers played only 162 games. After consecutive American League pennants, they played in the AL wild-card game in 2012 and a wild-card tiebreaker in 2013.
Until Washington unexpectedly resigned, the plan was for him to return in 2015 for his ninth season as Rangers manager.
There were eight known candidates that the Rangers interviewed in their managerial search.
Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux and Triple-A manager Steve Buechele sat down with team officials after the season ended. Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo, Chicago White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing and former major leaguer Alex Cora, an executive in the Puerto Rico winter league, also interviewed before the three finalists were announced this week.
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