UPDATE: Blanton to the Red Sox may not be happening

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UPDATE: Now ESPN Boston and the Boston Globe are hearing that a Joe Blanton deal is not close and may not, in fact, happen.

For the next 24 hours, I think baseball is going to be like the people of Los Angeles in the movie “1941.”  Panicking. Seeing things behind every corner. Americans fighting Americans.  And if there’s one thing I can’t stand seeing, it’s Americans fighting Americans.

Or does no one besides me remember that flick?

8:47 AM: Joe Blanton probably feels a bit unwanted right now. That may change soon as multiple sources are reporting that the Red Sox and Phillies are deep in discussions to get Blanton.

This move is probably essential for the Phillies, in that they’ll certainly want to unload some of the $17 million Blanton is still owed. Far too much for a [gulp] number five starter.

I joked last night that the Red Sox should snag Blanton simply to make it more likely that the Yankees wouldn’t get Lee, and that seems to actually be happening.  I worry about Blanton’s performance in the AL East — he allows way too many base runners to hold his own against much, much stronger competition — but the Sox have had Dice-K for several years now and they have somehow survived.  Having both Blanton and Dice-K is gonna make them really, really hard to watch, however.

How about this: the Yankees need pitching! The Sox should make a very public offer of Dice-K to New York.  It would never ever happen, but the screw-you value of such a move — to both the Yankees and Dice-K — would be unrivaled in baseball history.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.