All through the final month of the season and into October, it was basically a forgone conclusion that the Texas Rangers would eventually name Tim Bogar their next manager.
After all, Bogar has been a managerial candidate for a few years now, worked under two of the game's great managers in Terry Francona and Joe Maddon and went 14-8 on an interim basis with the Rangers while being forced to play a bunch of minor-leaguers against teams jockeying for postseason position. Yet, he still won games, and a lot of them.
So when the Rangers announced the hiring of Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister on Friday over Bogar, it was not only a shock to Rangers fans and national experts, it had to have also been a shock to Bogar, who is still under contract as the Rangers' bench coach for the upcoming 2015 season.
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Banister said in his introductory press conference that he'd already met with Bogar and discussed his possible return but declined to go into any further detail or talk more about the chances of him coming back as bench coach.
You might think it'd be way too awkward for Bogar to return, and it very well could be after it was clear he was deserving of the job and didn't get it. But A) Bogar is still under contract and can only leave if Banister doesn't want him back or if he gets a managerial job, unless the Rangers release him from his contract and B) Banister was in this same position a few years back.
If you remember, the Pirates hired away Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle after the 2010 season to be their new manager. The guy Hurdle beat out? Yup, Jeff Banister, who was the Pirates' bench coach at the time. Of course, Banister stayed on in his role and now look where he is.
So it's not unprecedented for a passed-over staff member to stay on with the incoming manager, and having Bogar on the staff in such a crucial role would obviously be a big coup for the Rangers.