Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Banister to Manage Rangers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Banister to Manage Rangers

Article excerpt

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers hired Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their new manager Thursday, offering Clint Hurdle's second-in-command the chance to run his own show after 29 years with the Pirates organization.

The Rangers picked Banister ahead of interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash, the other finalists.

"His leadership, character, work ethic, knowledge of the game, energy and passion made us better every day he was a Pirate," general manager Neal Huntington said of Banister.

The Texas job opened when Ron Washington, who managed the Rangers for nearly eight years, resigned in September. He later said he resigned because he was not true to his wife. Bogar, previously the Rangers bench coach, filled in for Washington.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said his front office whittled a list of more than 40 people, including current major league managers, down to eight, which eventually became three finalists. Daniels and his staff spoke to 15 or 20 current and former staff members and players who worked with Banister and received overwhelmingly positive reviews.

"What immediately stands out when you meet him is his presence," said Daniels, who had not met Banister before the interview. "He's an impressive guy to meet. You can understand how he can command a room."

Daniels said it was unlikely Banister would bring other members of the Pirates staff to Texas.

Banister, 50, became the Pirates bench coach before the 2011 season, when he also was a finalist for the manager's job ultimately filled by Hurdle. Until Thursday, Banister spent his entire pro career with the Pirates, serving as a minor league manager and field coordinator at the major and minor league level before becoming the bench coach.

"You can just tell based on his background, being a baseball lifer, coming up through the organization, how important he knows all the other departments are," Daniels said. …

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