Joe Blanton and pitching coach Mike Butcher had a heated exchange

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Joe Blanton allowed four runs in four-plus innings of work this afternoon, ending his first half with a 5.53 ERA, the second-worst mark in the American League behind Wade Davis at 5.89. After Blanton was taken out after allowing the first three batters he faced in the fifth inning to reach base on a single, a walk, and a double, Blanton threw a temper tantrum in the dugout and got into a heated argument with pitching coach Mike Butcher. Teammates had to separate the two and the situation ultimately resolved without any further aggression.

Mike DiGiovanna tweeted about the incident:

You can also watch a clip of the incident on Instagram. (Tip of the cap to Jeff Fletcher.)

The Angels wrapped up their first half with a sweep at the hands of the Mariners, losing 4-3 today. They sit at 44-49, 11 games behind the first-place Athletics in the AL West.

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.