Report: Rangers to hire Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as manager
Former Rangers manager Ron Washington resigned late this season due to personal reasons, later saying that he cheated on his wife and needed time away from baseball.
Banister has been with the Pirates organization exclusively since entering baseball in 1986 when he was chosen by the team in the 25th round of the amateur draft. After overcoming multiple significant medical problems in his amateur career, he worked his way through the Pirates' minor leagues and eventually reached the majors for one plate appearance in 1991.
After his playing career ended, Banister became a coach for Pittsburgh and held a variety of roles, including being the manager for four different minor league affiliates. He rose to become interim bench coach in 2010 and received the permanent job when Clint Hurdle was hired as manager before the 2011 season.
Banister helped the Pirates return to the postseason in 2013 for the first time since 1992 and then again this season. Pittsburgh fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 NLDS and lost to the San Francisco Giants in this year's NL Wild Card Game.
The Rangers named Banister one of three finalists for the manager job on Tuesday, along with Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash and Texas bench coach Tim Bogar, who served as interim manager when Washington resigned. Bogar was previously thought to be the front-runner for the job.
Other candidates at the beginning of the search process included Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, Chicago White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing and former major league player Alex Cora, now a manager and general manager in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Washington had been the Rangers' manager since 2007. After two losing seasons, he led the the team to winning records the next five years, which included three playoff appearances and two World Series appearances.
Dealing with a rash of injuries this season, Texas slumped to a 67-95 record and a last-place finish in the AL West.
- Ben Estes