Last week, we all felt pretty good for Texas Rangers skipper Jeff Banister after it was announced he was a finalist for the AL Manager of the Year honors, awarded by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
On Tuesday, we'll learn if he is the last man standing among the three finalists, as he's joined by Houston's A.J. Hinch and Minnesota's Paul Molitor. All three were first-year managers with their respective teams and Banister and Molitor were first-time managers.
They all have good cases, as all three teams were bad last year, but you have to think Banister has the best case for consideration after taking a team that lost nearly 100 games last year (the worst of the three teams) and started off with an awful April while Houston and Minnesota both got out of the gates hot.
Then, Banister turned it around and eventually caught the Astros in the final weeks of the year to win the AL West, as the Astros were stuck with a Wild Card spot. The Twins battled until the bitter end at a wild card spot before eventually losing out to Houston.
If Banister wins the award, he'll become the third Rangers manager to win the award, following Johnny Oates (1996) and Buck Showalter (2004). The club's all-time managerial wins leader Ron Washington, who led the team to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011, never won the award.