The Rangers pulled a “Maddon” with Banister
As a Major Leaguer, Jeff Banister batted 1.000 [you can look this up, pinch-hit single in his only at-bat, July 23, 1991].
As a general manager tasked with hiring his first manager in nine years, Jon Daniels is also batting 1.000. He is going with Banister.
To me, this has “Joe Maddon” written all over it.
Maddon spent 31 years filling a garden variety of roles as an overlooked, enthusiastic member of the Angels organization, the last six as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach. In 2005, he was finally drawn out of the shadows by Tampa Bay, which gave him a shot to manage. The Rays hadn’t had a winning season in their history. We’ve seen how their gamble worked out.
Now you can place your bets on Banister, who for 29 years has filled a garden variety of roles as an overlooked, enthusiastic member of the Pirates organization, the last four as Clint Hurdle’s bench coach.
Don’t you just love symmetry?
Banister was deflated to lose out on the first job for which he was up this offseason, when the Astros instead went with A.J. Hinch. A Houston native and resident, Jeff thought it would have been pretty cool for him and his family to work 20 minutes from his home.
This will be cool enough: Pulling into Minute Maid Park, and into his driveway, three times a season to manage against the Astros. The 2015 dates are May 4-6, July 17-19 and Sept. 25-27.
In many ways, Banister symbolized the Pirates’ buried lost generation. He was the only guy in uniform for all of the 20 down years. When he celebrated the end of the gloom, champagne and tears both flowed.
So it is entirely apt for him to be the first to reflect the upside of the team’s breakthrough, deserving people getting a chance to fly on their own.
Banister never went around applying for other jobs.
“If you’ve done well and people recognize it, they will find you,” he said.
The Rangers found Banister. They found a good man.