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Rangers hire new manager


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  The man who steps into Ron Washington's position has large shoes to fill, and the Rangers front office believes Jeff Banister is that man.

The Rangers were managed by Ron Washington for most of the last eight years as he became the franchise's all-time winningest manager. The man who steps into his position will have large shoes to fill, and the Rangers front office believes Jeff Banister is that man.

He received a multi-year contract, according to a statement from the Rangers. The club will hold a press conference announcing the hiring at 11 a.m. Friday.

Banister, who was Pittsburgh's bench coach, comes highly recommended by Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who is held in very high regard by Rangers management. He beat out Texas interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland's Kevin Cash for the job.

Banister is a baseball lifer. He was drafted out of the University of Houston baseball program by the Pirates in 1986, then spent five years in their minor league system before being called up. Banister is a career 1.000 major league hitter; he had one at-bat on July 23, 1991, and it ended with a single.

His coaching career with the Pirates began in 1993 and lasted until today. Banister spent the last 21 years with the Pirates as a minor league coach, manager and field coordinator before getting the call to Pittsburgh to become the team's bench coach.

Banister, 49, is regarded as very open-minded - someone who's able to process numbers and scouting reports as well as trusting his gut. Jon Daniels said during his post-season address that he wanted his next manager to be a 'partner,' someone comfortable keeping track of the farm system and having regular conversations with management as well as managing the day-to-day locker room.

RELATED: Rangers find partner they were looking for in 'new-school' Banister

Banister worked very closely with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who Rangers management remembers fondly from his time in Arlington as the team's hitting coach.

Banister survived cancer and a broken neck to keep his baseball career alive - you can read more of that story here.

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I wish that I could say I knew more about him outside of what I read over the past week. But I know that Pittsburgh fans, coaches and players were all very fond of him. Hurdle speaks very highly of him and Hurdle is somewhat of a baseball genius so that sounds great coming from him. I think he's walking into a great situation getting a team who had a past season that is in no way, shape or form representative of the team they actually are. If he has a healthy roster, he just inherited a playoff ready team with a good developing farm system and a high draft pick. I could think of worse situations to walk into. As a Rangers fan, I'm obviously hoping for the best from him.

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