Red Sox hire Matt Stairs as television analyst

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Matt Stairs, who retired in August after being released by the Nationals in his 19th big-league season, has already found a new gig as a part-time television analyst for the Red Sox’s local broadcasts.

Stairs will serve as a studio analyst for NESN, which also hired Jenny Dell away from ESPN.com to replace Heidi Watney as their sideline reporter.

Stairs is from Canada, but the Red Sox are one of the 12 teams he played for–albeit for just 39 games in 1995–and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe notes that the 43-year-old has been coaching high school baseball in Maine.

“Swing really hard.” – what I imagine him telling every single hitter every single day.

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. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however, and 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 rebuild is in the club’s future.

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