Author: Craig Calcaterra

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The Rangers to hire Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as manager


Most of the chatter before today was that interim manager Tim Bogar was the favorite to take over as the next Rangers manager. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that it’s Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister:

Banister has been the Pirates bench coach for the past four seasons. He has been with the Pirates since he was drafted by them in 1986. He got one major league at bat with them and it was a hit. So he has a career 1.000 batting average. Which is pretty sweet.

After his playing career ended at the end of the 1993 season he became a full-time coach and manager in the Pirates system and has held various positions in the organization since. The Rangers job will be his first for anyone other than the Pirates.

In an age where teams are hiring former big leaguers with no experience, the Rangers have gone decidedly old school here and hire someone who not only worked their way up through the system, but lived, breathed and basically became one with the system over decades.

Mark Grace to be named the Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach

Mark Grace mugshot

Mark Grace’s journey in and around the Diamondbacks organization continues apace. The former Dbacks player,Dbacks broadcaster, Dbacks spring training advisor and Dbacks minor league hitting instructor is now the assistant* hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks themselves:

Grace’s personal rebound continues as well. You’ll recall that multiple drunk driving convictions cost him his job in the TV booth and sent him to Sheriff Joe’s tent city as an inmate back last year. The organization stuck with Grace, however. Their loyalty to him, one assumes, played a vital part in his recovery and rehabilitation, which one hopes has not and will not see any setbacks.

*NOTE: This story originally said Grace would become the Dbacks’ hitting coach. It appears, instead, that he’ll be the assistant hitting coach.

Royals owner David Glass says Dayton Moore isn’t going anywhere

Dayton Moore

There is a certain segment of Braves people — some fans, some, it seems, in the front office — who seem to think that Dayton Moore would leave the Royals to take the GM job in Atlanta. Maybe this made more sense when Moore was on the hot seat before this year, but it makes little sense to me given what has happened in Kansas City lately.

But if there was any doubt, owner David Glass is going to clear that up for you. Via Heyman:

After the Royals won their first American League pennant since 1985, Royals owner David Glass said they are “absolutely” keeping GM Dayton Moore, a rising star who is reportedly a potential target of the Atlanta Braves, where Moore grew up in the game.

“Absolutely, he’s staying,” Glass said to in the afterglow of the Royals’ 2-1 victory against the Orioles that punched their ticket to their first World Series in 29 years. “We’re all part of this together.”

That leaves either John Hart — who may or may not have already turned the Braves down — assistant GM John Coppolella or, possibly, former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd.

We all missed a party at Paul Rudd’s mom’s house. Man.

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Every team has some celebrity fans. Usually we don’t hear about them until the team wins, but Paul Rudd and the Royals is something that’s been out there for a while. I vaguely remember him talking about the Royals back when they sucked, so there’s no sense that this is a bandwagon thing. Dude is from Kansas and he’s 45, so he grew up with great Royals teams and stuck through close to thirty years of bad ones. You gotta be happy for him and everyone like him.

Last night he was on the field at Kauffman Stadium after the Royals clinched the pennant. And he revealed his crazy Hollywood plans for the postgame: a party at his mom’s house. And we were all invited:

Here’s hoping he renews the offer for the World Series. And that his mom is out of town again.

Rest or Rust: Should the Royals worry about five days off before the World Series?


The Royals will have five full days off between their pennant-clinching win and Game 1 of the World Series. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I suppose it depends on who you talk to. Talk to some recent pennant-winners who had some time off and you may conclude that the Royals are doomed.

The 2006 Tigers had seven days off before facing the Cardinals in the World Series and they lost in five games.  In 2012 there were tons of stories about how the Tigers would be mindful of that lesson so, when they had another long break before the Series, they made a point to work out and stay fresh. They lost that year in four games. In between those examples the 2007 Rockies had a week off and, much like these Royals, were considered to be a rolling, lightning-in-a-bottle-catching juggernaut . . . and they got swept by the Red Sox.

Before these recent examples, long layoffs weren’t much of a hindrance. Prior to 2007, ten teams had pre-World Series breaks as long as five days. Seven of those ten won it all. Just as the 2006 and 2012 Tigers and 2012 Rockies may tell you that the long layoff created rust, those seven World Series winners would probably tell you that the layoffs gave them rest. Like that last post, people will likely look back and highlight the factors that fit the ultimate outcome.

Either way, if the Giants win tonight we get four full days without any baseball. Which is a drag for us, even if it helps everyone rest up.