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Banister's Mantra Proved True and He Was Rewarded

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister looks on from the dugout before game two of the American League Division Series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

    As a lifelong follower of the Rangers, it just seemed like we were going to be thrown a curveball on Tuesday and see Paul Molitor or A.J. Hinch take home AL Manager of the Year honors, leaving Rangers rookie skipper Jeff Banister in their wake.

    It wouldn't have made any sense, but it's just the way things tend to go.

    But that didn't happen. Banister was named the AL's top manager for the 2015 season by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday night, and it was a no-brainer. Banister received 17 first-place votes to Hinch's eight and Molitor's two. In other words, it was quite the landslide.

    And it should've been.

    Remember how dumb and empty "Never Ever Quit" sounded in early May? I do. It was laughable after they finished April 8-16 and was below .500 at the all-star break. Then, the Rangers made a couple of trades and turned things around to surge and catch Hinch's Astros for the AL West crown in the final weeks of the season.

    Banister inherited a talented team that finished in last place in 2014 and all was supposed to be back to being good in 2015. But it wasn't. Yu Darvish blew out his elbow in spring training and didn't throw a pitch for the Rangers. Derek Holland pitched one inning in his season debut and then sat out for four months. The bullpen was a joke for the first four months of the season. Mike Napoli played left field, for crying out loud.

    The odds were stacked against the Rangers all year and, in turn, against Banister. All the rookie skipper did was take the West in his inaugural campaign. Not a bad start, eh?