The Texas Rangers hired Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their new manager.
Banister got the nod over two other finalists, interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash.
General Manager Jon Daniels said Thursday night that Banister won over the Rangers during the interview process. Daniels described Banister as the best fit for a team that quickly wants to recreate a winning culture after its most losses since 1985.
“Jeff really impressed us across the board,” Daniels said. “From people that he works with now with the Pirates, the people that used to work there, and players that he’s had recently and some years back, stars as well as role players, and everyone came back with the desire to win, a love for the game, the love for people, the ability to reach people, the ability to connect with a variety of people, an interest in learning more.”
Banister will be introduced as Ron Washington’s replacement during a news conference Friday at the Rangers ballpark.
The 50-year-old Banister has been Pittsburgh’s bench coach for Manager Clint Hurdle the last four years and in the Pirates organization for 29 seasons. Hurdle was the Rangers’ hitting coach when they went to their first World Series in 2010.
The former owner of a South Florida anti-aging clinic pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of illegally providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes including high-profile Major League Baseball players, most notably New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.
Anthony Bosch, former owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone before U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles. Bosch, who was not a medical doctor yet called himself “Dr. T,” faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence but is likely to get far less because of cooperation with prosecutors and with MLB’s investigation into player drug use.
Rodriguez has denied taking illegal substances while with the Yankees but did admit to doing so earlier in his career with the Texas Rangers. He remains on the Yankees’ roster for next season.
MLB previously sued Bosch and his clinic but withdrew the lawsuit in February. The league had accused Bosch and others with conspiring to violate player contracts by providing them with banned substances.
In a plea agreement, Bosch admitted to providing testosterone to baseball players, from professionals to high school athletes. Six other people are charged in the case, and Bosch has agreed to testify against them if they go to trial.
Sentencing for Bosch is set for Dec. 18.