With all of the big postseason awards set to be announced next week — Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year and manager of the year for each league — finalists are beginning to trickle out, and on Tuesday, Rangers manager Jeff Banister was named one of three finalists for AL Manager of the Year.
Banister is joined by Minnesota Twins skipper Paul Moliter, a fellow rookie manager, and Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch as the finalists for the award that will be announced next Tuesday. The award is voted upon by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Banister led the Rangers to the AL West title, edging out Hinch's Houston team that led the division for much of the season. The Rangers finished with 88 wins, which was a league-best 21 games better than their 2014 record.
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But it wasn't how the Rangers finished that was so impressive, it was more of how badly they started with an awful April that left them as the worst team in the American League. Yet, they were able to claw their way back into contention and eventually overtake the Angels and Astros, and a lot of that credit goes to Banister for being able to keep a steady ship.