ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Texas Rangers announced Friday that Jeff Banister has been dismissed as the team’s manager. The move comes just before the end of what will be the team’s first consecutive losing seasons in 10 years.
“This was not an easy decision and comes after a long period of evaluation. However, we feel that a change in the leadership of our Major League club is necessary as we move forward,” said Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. “Once this conclusion was reached, I felt it was appropriate to make the move now. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Jeff and his family the best.”
Bench coach Don Wakamatsu will serve as interim manager for the remainder of the season, starting with Friday night’s game against Seattle that starts the final home series of the season. The Rangers announced Bannister’s dismissal earlier in the day.
The fired manager released a statement late Friday afternoon on his departure:
“I want to thank Rangers ownership and Jon Daniels for giving me this opportunity. We had some great times here, but it doesn’t last forever. I also want to thank the coaches, field staff, and especially the players who made it an honor for me to wear the Rangers uniform. And to the fans, I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated your support and kind words over the last four years. I certainly regret that we were not able to make a deeper playoff run for you in 2015 and 2016.
“Certainly I am disappointed that I was not able to finish the job. But this has been the experience of a lifetime. Thank you”
Banister, hired after the 2014 season, had a 325-313 record in his first managerial job. The Rangers won the AL West title in each of his first two seasons, losing to Toronto in the AL Division Series both times.
The Rangers had a 64-88 record going into Friday night’s game. They were 78-84 last year.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)