Deservedly So, Banister Wins the AL Manager of the Year Award That Counts

The writers got it right.

I wrote last month that the Rangers’ Jeff Banister should be a no-brainer for AL Manager of the Year. Inexplicably, The Sporting News disagreed.

I figured the baseball writers would correct that mistake when handing out their more prestigious award, and sure enough Banister received the honor Tuesday.

While TSN somehow gave the award to the Twins’ Paul Molitor, the writers handed it to Banister in an appropriate landslide. After finishing third behind Molitor in the TSN voting, Banister received 17 first-place votes to finished well ahead of the Astros’ A.J. Hinch (eight votes) and Molitor (two).

Banister joins Johnny Oates (1996) and Buck Showalter (2004) in winning the award for the Rangers, and I still don’t see how any baseball expert could have viewed the voting otherwise.

Remember Banister’s obstacles:

He took over a team that had the worst record in the AL last season and promptly lost stars Jurickson Profar and Yu Darvish to season-ending injuries during spring training.

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Early in the season Opening-Day starter Derek Holland was shut down and closer Neftali Feliz flamed out and was released.

The team started 8-16 and was only 42-46 at the All-Star break. But, fueled by Banister’s “Never Ever Quit” mantra, the Rangers went 46-28 in the second half to win the AL West and then push the Blue Jays to a Game 5 in the ALDS.

From what we all expected from Banister and the Rangers to where they ended up, no doubt he did the most with the least among AL managers.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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