Jeff Banister was dismissed as manager of the Texas Rangers on Friday.
Bench coach Don Wakamatsu was named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season starting with Friday’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
“I informed Jeff Banister of our decision earlier today,” Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels said in a statement. “I want to thank Jeff for his dedication and efforts with the Texas Rangers over the last four years. This organization is very appreciative of what he has contributed to the club on the field and in the community.”
Banister had one year remaining on his contract. The Rangers were 64-88 this season and 325-313 in four seasons under Banister.
“This was not an easy decision and comes after a long period of evaluation,” said Daniels. “However, we feel that a change in the leadership of our Major League club is necessary as we move forward. 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.”
A disappointed Banister released a statement through the team later Friday.
“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”
Wakamatsu, 55, rejoined the Rangers last year after four seasons as a bench coach with the Kansas City Royals. He was 127-147 as the Mariners’ manager from the start of the 2009 season to Aug. 9, 2010. In addition to previous stints with the Rangers (bench coach from 2003-06 and third base coach in 2007), he has also has been a big league coach with Oakland (2008) and Toronto (2011-12).
—Field Level Media