Jeff Banister out as Rangers manager

On September 21, 2018, in Texas
Rangers manager Jeff Banister was dismissed and bench coach Don Wakamatsu was named interim manager through the remainder of the season on Friday.
A news conference, which can be seen live on and, has been scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CT/4:30 ET.
"I informed Jeff Banister of our decision earlier today," said Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels. "I want to thank Jeff for his dedication and efforts with the Texas Rangers over the last four years. This organization is very appreciative of what he has contributed to the club on the field and in the community.
"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 Major League club is necessary as we move forward.
 Once this conclusion was reached, I felt it was appropriate to make the move now. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Jeff and his family the best."
Banister had a record of 325-313 since being appointed as the 18th full-time manager in club history on Oct. 16, 2014. He led Texas to American League West titles in 2015 and '16, and he won the AL Manager of the Year Award in his first season. The Rangers dropped to 78-84 last season and are sitting in last place with a 64-88 record this year.
Wakamatsu rejoined the Rangers on Nov. 6, 2017, after four seasons as the bench coach in Kansas City. He previously served on Texas' Major League coaching staff as bench coach (2003-06) and third-base coach (2007).
The 55-year-old Wakamatsu managed Seattle from the start of 2009 until Aug. 9, 2010, and had a 127-147 overall record. He also has been a big league coach with Oakland (2008) and Toronto (2011-12).
The Rangers entered the season admitting that this was not a year in which the club would be "all in" toward contending for postseason. They were frugal with their offseason approach to building a pitching staff, declining to get heavily involved in the free-agent market. Daniels stated early on that their success would be measured by how much improvement was seen in their young players, and the results have been mixed.
The Rangers fell out of the race early because of injuries and poor starting pitching, going 11-19 in April, and they never recovered. Texas' starters are 42-63 with a 5.45 ERA, the second-highest mark in the AL. The pitching staff was essentially gutted as the season progressed, and the Rangers are ending the year experimenting with the curious idea of using relievers as "openers."
The Rangers began the season with a rotation of Cole HamelsDoug FisterMatt MooreMartin Perezand Mike Minor. Only Minor has made it to the end of the season. Hamels was traded to the Cubs, Fister was lost for the season because of a right knee strain and Moore and Perez ended up in the bullpen. Texas has tried to piece it together with Bartolo ColonYovani GallardoDrew Hutchison and others, without any sustained success. A crush of injuries to its Minor League pitching staff also inflamed the situation.
The Rangers also depleted their bullpen with midseason trades involving Keone KelaJake DiekmanJesse Chavez and Cory Gearrin, while Matt BushChris Martin and Tony Barnette were limited by injuries.
A losing season invites a review of Texas' clubhouse atmosphere and communication, and the club's lackluster finish could mean it's likely that other changes will be made among its field staff.
T.R. Sullivan/

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