Texas Rangers: Why Did the Team Decide to Move on from Jeff Banister?

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 31: Manager Jeff Banister #28 of the Texas Rangers looks on from the dugout during the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Diamondbacks won 6-0. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 31: Manager Jeff Banister #28 of the Texas Rangers looks on from the dugout during the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 31, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Diamondbacks won 6-0. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Here’s why the Texas Rangers decided to go ahead and part ways with Jeff Banister despite his successful tenure with the club.

News broke early Friday afternoon that the Texas Rangers had decided to part ways with club manager, Jeff Banister, reported by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. This came just a day after a report that the Rangers were considering moving on from Banister at the end of the season. It didn’t take even a full day before Banny was no longer the manager of the team. Don Wakamatsu is tapped to be the interim manager for the remainder of the season and will take over starting Friday night against the Seattle Mariners.

The Move Was Not A Referendum On This Season

Since the move was announced, many fans have voiced impassioned displeasure with the Rangers front office questioning what direction the club was trying to take. If the reasoning behind the split was the poor season Texas has had this year, then the move is wholly unfair considering Banister didn’t have much to work with in the first place. In the press conference announcing the move, GM Jon Daniels echoed this sentiment in which he took a lot of the blame for the performance this year.

It’s pretty universally known that Jeff Banister was not at fault for a lot of the problems Texas has had this year. While fans, including myself, may not agree with every move he makes, in a lot of people’s minds, this season was essentially a wash and the manager spot wouldn’t be evaluated until next season. So if the performance wasn’t the reason for the split, what was?

The Decision Was Made With Eyes To The Future

While it may not seem deserved to fire a manager who has lead this club through tons of success, it was a justified move. The Texas Rangers decided that as they move into this new era that comes with being a rebuilding franchise, a different leader in the clubhouse was needed. Banister, who had managed the club since 2015, didn’t fit the mold that the organization was looking for in it’s leader of the future.

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I wrote earlier this week that I thought the rebuild may help Banny stick around at least for another season before the Rangers decided on their long term manager options, but it seems the rebuild actually worked against him in this case. Considering the 2019 season looks to be a heavy rebuilding year for Texas, it seems like the organization wants to have “their guy” in place before the start of next year. And according to Jon Daniels, once the decision was clear that it was time to move on, he felt it best to not wait to make the move.

"“This was not an easy decision and comes after a long period of evaluation. However, we feel that a change in the leadership of our ML club is necessary as we move forward. Once this conclusion was reached, I felt it was appropriate to make the move now. ”"

In defense of Jon Daniels, this was probably the right decision and I find it hard to imagine Jeff Banister was not at least aware of the possibility. Still, it does not take the sting out of the move for fans or the now former Rangers manager Jeff Banister. After the announcement, Jeff Banister gave a strong statement thanking the organization for the opportunities they afforded him and lamenting the fact that they weren’t able to achieve more in his time as manager.

Reflecting On Banister’s Time As Manager

As manager of the Texas Rangers, Jeff Banister led the team to a 316-294 regular season record. Under Banister, the Rangers made two playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016. Texas won two AL West titles under Banister and he was named AL Manager of the Year in 2015.

Between 2017 and 2018, Texas has had back to back losing seasons for the first time since 2007 and 2008.

No Word On A Replacement

No real discussion has circulated around a replacement for Jeff Banister at this time. Don Wakamatsu, who has taken over as the interim is sure to be considered for a permanent role and has already said he’s interested. Jon Daniels likely already has a shortlist of names he’ll consider but don’t expect anything until the conclusion of the season.

Next. Rangers Pick Up New Triple-A Affiliate in Nashville Sounds. dark

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