Within the last few minutes, reports have began surfacing that the Texas Rangers have made their hire to replace Ron Washington as the team's new manager, choosing Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister over longtime favorite Tim Bogar, who was Washington's bench coach before leading the Rangers to a 14-8 mark as interim manager to end the season.
The 49-year-old has 20 years of coaching experience, all with the Pirates organization, but he's never been a big-league manager. He served the last few years under Hurdle, who the Rangers have very high regard for after he served as the team's hitting coach for one season in 2010 before landing the Pirates managerial job.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com originally broke the news via Twitter.
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Bogar had been the odds-on favorite the entire time until Wednesday evening when reports surfaced in The Dallas Morning News that he had perhaps been passed by both Banister and Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash.
Bogar obviously got a bunch of kids to play very hard for him down the stretch, and put together a fine resume as the interim manager. Bogar could stay on as the Rangers' bench coach if Banister chooses to keep him on staff and assuming Bogar doesn't get a manager's job this winter. He's already been up for the Diamondbacks job that went to Chip Hale.
Earlier this week, the Rangers' front office told the Rangers' coaches they could begin looking for other jobs if they so desired because the new manager would be able to assemble his own staff, as it should be. It'll be interesting to see who Banister keeps on board, and how much his close tie with Hurdle has to do with those decisions. For instance, Hurdle and Maddux were on staff together in 2010, so you'd have to think Hurdle would put in a good word for Maddux, who's already regarded as one of the best pitching coaches in the game and has already said he wants to return in that capacity in 2015.
Change is coming, and it's not what many expected. But there you have it, Rangers' fans. Your new manager is Jeff Banister.