No one could've honestly looked you in the eye back in April and told you the Texas Rangers were going to win the AL West, much less make the postseason.
But that's what happened as the Rangers surged in August and September to pass the Houston Astros and win the AL West crown on the season's final day before taking the first two games of the ALDS against World Series favorite Toronto before collapsing in Game 5 to end their season. Even still, it was a fantastic year for the Rangers and an even better year for rookie manager Jeff Banister.
Now, Banister is being rewarded, not by money or fine foods and wine but by more trust from his front office.
That's becoming more and more evident by the day. This isn't to suggest Banister didn't get along with Mike Maddux, the longtime Rangers pitching coach who has meant so much to this organization since he joined it in 2009. But Banister has his guys, and now he's going to get a chance to bring them in.
In Banister's first year, there was a lot of status quo. Now, there's going to be a lot of change as Maddux's departure became the third opening on the coaching staff, joining hitting coach and bullpen coach.
While Jon Daniels will have input on those hires, you best believe Banister will have the most say in who is on his staff, and that might not be the case if Banister and the Rangers hadn't shocked the baseball world.