Dave Brown of Big League Stew is about the nicest guy I’ve met since I started meeting baseball writery-types a couple of years ago. He’s funny. Disarming. Straight shooter. If there’s anyone who isn’t going to misrepresent you in an interview it’s Dave. Quite the opposite in fact. His forte, via his Answer Man interviews, is to simply let ballplayers be themselves. It’s not Dave’s fault — even if it is his genius — that that tends to often not work quite the way the subjects might envision.
So you can imagine how sad I was when I read his latest installment — Jose Canseco — and learned that Canseco won’t talk to anyone unless they pay him $2,000.
Dave makes the most out of it though and, as usual, you learn more about the subject than they probably intended. Good stuff.
The best part: the teaser on the bottom for the next installment: “Coming Monday: Breakfast in Vegas with Pete Rose. No, really.”
Anything to get us through the offseason.
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.