With all the doom and gloom around Rangers Internet after those abominations against the Angels the last few nights, I thought it would be nice to shine a light on this article out there on Jeff Banister:
Texas Manager Jeff Banister a true baseball lifer: He owes his life to game
Banister, of course, comes with a heck of a story. It's no surprise that a lot of the marketing efforts of the team this season have centered around the native Texan leading his group of men (sorry, couldn't resist). Banister might be the first coach in sports history to get a twitter hashtag on a t-shirt.
In addition to bringing us #nevereverquit, Banister is having a solid first season as manager of the Rangers. He was billed as someone who would be at the forefront in the effort to bring data driven decisions to the dugout and, while we're limited in our ability to judge that quality, so far there's some been evidence (for example, Texas ranks high in infield shift effectiveness) that Banister is utilizing the numbers.
After the injury bug hit the team hard for the second consecutive year, Banister has figured out how to get solid contributions out of the likes of Delino DeShields, Hanser Alberto, and Kyle Blanks. He also deftly worked his way around moving Neftali Feliz out of the closer's role while championing a match-up oriented bullpen.
As for the thing people care about the most when it comes to a team's manager, Banister has the Rangers within striking distance of a Wild Card spot a season after the team had the worst record in the American League.
Anyhow, it's a good read that you should check out if for no other reason than it's cool that folks outside of this market are starting to take notice of Banister and the job he's doing.