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Friday, September 21, 2018

Jeff Banister fired as Texas Rangers manager

The managerial merry-go-round strikes again.

In the span of four years, Jeff Banister went from first to worst.

He will not get a chance to reverse the club’s course again.

With the Rangers headed for a last-place finish and the team’s second consecutive losing season, the Rangers decided to make a change, the team announced Friday. Banister, 54, will not return for a fifth season in 2019. Banister is due $950,000 for 2019, according to a salary survey from USA Today earlier this season.

This will be the first time since 2007-08 the Rangers have had consecutive losing seasons. The Rangers will finish out the season with bench coach Don Wakamatsu as interim manager. He will presumably be a candidate for the full-time job.

ajnrules Posted: September 21, 2018 at 02:35 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jeff banister, managers, rangers

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5749134)
I'm shocked. I haven't followed the Rangers this year as closely as I have in recent years but I thought he was well liked and respected in the organization. Banister wasn't the one there acquiring Bartolo Colon, Yovani Gallardo, and Matt Moore as the answer to the team's pitching issues.
   2. BDC Posted: September 21, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5749148)
I saw this coming when he didn't pinch-run for Beltre the other night!

No, seriously, Rapper is 100% on. Banister got as much out of the Rangers' talent, which has been steadily draining since he arrived, as you could ask from any manager. But I guess you can't fire the owners …
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5749181)
The rumour mill says that the players went to management and said Banister "lost the clubhouse".
   4. The Run Fairy Posted: September 21, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5749249)
I'm shocked. I haven't followed the Rangers this year as closely as I have in recent years but I thought he was well liked and respected in the organization. Banister wasn't the one there acquiring Bartolo Colon, Yovani Gallardo, and Matt Moore as the answer to the team's pitching issues.


I read (via MLB Trade Rumors, so take this for what it's worth) that Bannister was having communications issues. He would tell players that they were getting a day off, then once they arrived at the ballpark they'd find out that they were in the starting lineup. More bizarrely he also wasn't telling starting pitchers the date of their next start.
   5. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: September 21, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5749251)
I'm shocked, too. I had no idea Bannister had been there four years.

I read (via MLB Trade Rumors, so take this for what it's worth) that Bannister was having communications issues. He would tell players that they were getting a day off, then once they arrived at the ballpark they'd find out that they were in the starting lineup. More bizarrely he also wasn't telling starting pitchers the date of their next start.


Bannister had been there for years; is this supposed to be new? If so, it suggests a guy who stopped giving a #### and decided he was fine with getting fired.
   6. BDC Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5749312)
he also wasn't telling starting pitchers the date of their next start


Obviously not good if true.

OTOH, if the typical 2018 Ranger starter had asked me after a given game "When's my next start, Skip?" I'd have been tempted to say "How about never?"
   7. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5749314)
"Being manager isn't that hard. Tell 'em Wash."
   8. The Run Fairy Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5749363)
Bannister had been there for years; is this supposed to be new? If so, it suggests a guy who stopped giving a #### and decided he was fine with getting fired.


I have RTFA and apparently it's not new:

Sources said that players over the past four seasons have described communication issues with him since he replaced Ron Washington after the 2014 season.

Some of it seems insignificant, such as players not being told in advance that they are getting an off-day or being told ahead of time that they are getting an off-day only to arrive to the ballpark in the lineup.

Starting pitchers have gone days between starts not certain of when they were pitching next and how to prepare.

Players, though, rely on their routines to get them through each game or start, and they certainly don’t consider those issues to be insignificant. Some have felt that their concerns fell on deaf ears when presented to Banister.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:39 PM (#5749370)
Strange that it's been going on for some time ... and a strange thing to do ... and doubly strange if anybody had ever raised it with him and he stuck with that approach. That said, the answer to "when am I starting next" is basically always "5 games from now" or "you're going to the pen" or "ask your AAA manager."

I'm reasonably agnostic on managerial effects and I have no idea how he is as a tactician but it does seem like their young potential stars have mostly failed to develop. Odor is, if anything, worse; Mazara has not improved; DeShields still can't hit; Gallo has become useful but that's about it. They haven't really had any young pitching to develop that I can see. Maybe none of those guys would have jumped ahead under any other manager either -- Mazara is probably the only genuine disappointment -- but the Rangers are in need of a rebuild and I can see concluding that Bannister isn't the right guy for that.

I don't follow the Rangers but from this distance, this looks like a standard "GM under pressure, first step is fire the manager" move. That rarely forestalls anything and I won't be surprised if Daniels is out the door next year. This team looks to be at least a few years from contention -- i.e. old and untalented with too many holes and too little payroll to fill enough holes in 1-2 offseasons.

EDIT: I should have noted that Mazara will still only be turning 24 and it's fairly common for a prospect like this to take a big step forward around 24-25, so I'm not writing him off. Even Odor will be turning just 25 and clearly has the potential to be next season's Javier Baez (on offense).
   10. The Duke Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5749853)
Is it really a crime for a manager to change his mind about who’s playing. Shouldn’t you come to the park ready to play?
   11. BDC Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5749868)
Through mid-June this year, Rougned Odor was batting .217/.292/.309 and I didn't see how he was going to remain in the major leagues. Since then, he has hit .280/.352/.509 and suddenly you can more than live with him, again.

Odor has turned into a genuinely good second baseman. In his first couple of seasons he reminded me of Alfonso Soriano in that at times he looked brilliant, and at others spacy and sloppy. He now makes fewer miscalculations (and fewer scored errors, too). The metrics bear this out, so all of the sudden, with his average offensive year overall, he was at 3 WAR for 2018.

Banister used a lot of different lineups this year and shuttled players around various positions quite a bit. That might have annoyed some of the players. He was dealing with numerous injuries and also with the fact that none of the players he kept moving around were playing very well. I criticized him a lot for using two journeymen (Drew Robinson and Ryan Rua) who have no future or present, but as it turned out the guys they were blocking (Carlos Tocci and WIllie Calhoun) didn't do much when they got to play. So as you say, Walt, they head into 2019 with Gallo, who is a unique player but not great; Mazara, who needs to take a step forward; Andrus & Odor, who are decent players but not All-Stars at this point, and … nothing. They've got four OK players and no pitching whatsoever. This is going to be a long few years ahead.

But what the heck, cheap tickets, relaxed atmosphere, Mike Trout coming in to play often, and in 2020 AIR CONDITIONING.
   12. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 23, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5749870)
You should but as with anything proper preparation is key.

I’m an accountant and I have to give quarterly presentations to our Board of Directors to update them on the financial situation. It’s a 10-15 minute exercise and not that difficult. I usually get about a week or two notice “the meeting is Friday” so I can put things together, research potential questions that the board might ask, that kind of thing.

Now, if tomorrow morning my boss says to me “you need to do your presentation in an hour” I could do it. I wouldn’t be as ready as I’d like and I likely wouldn’t be able to answer some questions as effectively as I’d like and the Board wants/needs.

I assume the same is true for players. There is a physical and mental preparation that is useful. Knowing when you are playing is helpful. Obviously for starting pitchers there is a need to prepare that isn’t true for position players but I think position players benefit too.

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