The memory of Ron Washington isn’t quite gone. And the entire squad isn’t yet here.
But already at Rangers’ spring training in Surprise, Arizona new manager Jeff Banister’s tone is announcing its arrival.
Pitchers and catchers have been working out since Saturday and one difference between old and new is apparent: Speed. Not necessarily the mph of fastballs, but more in the urgency and efficiency with which Banister likes to inject into workouts.
While Washington allowed the Rangers a leisurely gait with a “that the way baseball go” leadership, Banister will obviously ratchet up the tempo. On Saturday, for example, the pitchers and catchers completed their work – sans live batting practice – in 75 minutes. A similar workout early in spring training under Washington could last a couple hours.
Banister, of course, spent 29 years in the Pirates’ organization and is charged with yanking the Rangers out of last year’s 95-loss ditch however he sees fit. It will be interesting to see how players who were comfortable with Washington’s relaxed atmosphere adapt to the increased and condensed work ethic of their new skipper.
Not that faster is necessarily better. Remember, the former manager led this team to back-to-back World Series.
But no doubt it’s different.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.