Results tagged ‘ Jeff Banister ’

Pirates name coaching staff

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Manager Clint Hurdle has assembled his coaching staff. It includes:

  • Jeff Banister: bench coach
  • Ray Searage: pitching coach
  • Gregg Ritchie: hitting coach
  • Nick Leyva: third base coach
  • Euclides Rojas: bullpen coach
  • Luis Silverio: first base coach
  • Mark Strittmatter: coach (will assist as pitchers’ hitting coach and will assist the catchers and the hitting program)
  • Heberto Andrade: bullpen catcher

Here is the full story, with background on each coach.

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Monday morning musings

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

A few notes before I leave to drive downtown for Clint Hurdle’s introductory press conference:

  • I’ve gotten a lot of questions regarding names for Hurdle’s coaching staff. Hold tight. That’s obviously one of the questions I intend to ask him today. He’s not going to name his coaches today, but by the end of the press conference, we should better know how many of the team’s former coaches (including other managerial candidate Jeff Banister) might have a chance to stick around.
  • For those who have questions you want to ask Hurdle yourself, you’re in luck. At 2 p.m. ET today, Hurdle will have a live web chat on www.pirates.com. You can log on a bit in advance of 2 p.m. to start submitting your questions.
  • While the Pirates’ managerial hire will no doubt dominate headlines, don’t forget that Rookie of the Year winners will be announced at 2 p.m. today, too. Buster Posey and Jason Heyward are the favorites to compete for the National League award, though Pittsburgh should be represented in the voting by some combination of Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez. I’ll be sure to post the results shortly after the announcement.

Busy day ahead. But be sure to check back for updates here and on the main site throughout the day.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Clint Hurdle hired to be Bucs manager

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The next manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates will be Clint Hurdle, who, industry sources have confirmed, has agreed to a three-year deal with the club. The Pirates have planned a press conference for Monday at PNC Park to announce the deal.

Hurdle was one of two final candidates being considered by the Pirates, who interviewed eight different people for John Russell’s former job. Jeff Banister, who has been with the organization for 25 years, was the other person still under consideration.

Hurdle also recently interviewed for the Mets’ managerial opening and was reported by multiple outlets to be receiving a second interview next week. However, Hurdle apparently did not want to pass up the offer of a guaranteed job for a potential one.

Hurdle, a former Rockies manager and hitting coach for the Rangers in 2010, was unable to be contacted until after Texas was eliminated from the postseason. That is why he didn’t interview with the Pirates until November 4.

Hurdle, 53, spent parts of eight seasons managing the Rockies, who advanced to the World Series under Hurdle in 2007. He took over early in the 2002 season and remained in that capacity until being fired on May 29, 2009. At that time, he was replaced by Jim Tracy, who managed in Pittsburgh from 2006-07.

The Rockies went a combined 534-625 under Hurdle, who led the club to one winning season in his years with Colorado.

Hurdle began his managerial career in 1988, when he led the Single-A St. Lucie Mets. He went on to manage two seasons at the Double-A level and another two years in Triple-A before joining the Rockies in ’94 to serve as the organization’s Minor League hitting coordinator. Hurdle was named Colorado’s hitting coach in 1997.

Hurdle’s playing career began when he was drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 1975 First-Year Player Draft. Hurdle made his Major League debut with Kansas City two years later and went on to spend parts of the next four seasons with the Royals.

Before retiring after the 1987 season, Hurdle played for the Reds, Mets and Cardinals. He played five different positions in the Majors and finished with a .259 career batting average.

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About that manager search…

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Yes, it is still ongoing.

No, you haven’t missed any news.

In fact, it’s been eerily silent on the managerial front. I would imagine the Pirates would ideally liked to have had someone in place by now since the team is deep into its offseason building plans. The free agent market is open, and player pursuits are something that a manager typically has input in.

As it is now, the Pirates still have two candidates: Clint Hurdle and Jeff Banister. Hurdle interviewed last Thursday, so you’d have to believe that the Pirates have had plenty of discussion over which man is the right man and know who they want. So why no announcement then?

Well, Hurdle is scheduled to interview for the Mets’ manager opening on Wednesday. That appears to be the catch. If Hurdle is the Pirates’ first choice — and this delay of an announcement surely suggests that is the case — the club is stuck in a holding pattern because of Hurdle’s interest in New York’s opening. How long the Pirates will be willing to wait for the Mets isn’t known, but the club’s level of patience will likely be determined by how much they want Hurdle.

So continue to stay tuned. All this waiting doesn’t mean that a decision couldn’t come this week, especially as more should be known after Hurdle’s interview on Wednesday.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

Pirates conduct interview with Hurdle

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Pirates interviewed Clint Hurdle for the club’s managerial opening on Thursday, marking the first interview conducted by the organization since October 14. It could also be the last.

Hurdle, a former Rockies manager and current hitting coach for the Rangers, was unable to be contacted until after Texas was eliminated from the postseason. That happened on Monday, when the Rangers lost to the Giants in Game 5 of the World Series.

Hurdle was the eighth candidate interviewed by the Pirates for the job most recently held by John Russell. Of the previous seven, only Jeff Banister is still under consideration. Banister spent the final two months of the 2010 season serving as the club’s interim bench coach. He has been with the organization in varying roles for 25 years.

Hurdle, 53, spent parts of eight seasons managing the Rockies, who advanced to the World Series under Hurdle in 2007. He took over early in the 2002 season and remained in that capacity until being fired on May 29, 2009. At that time, he was replaced by Jim Tracy, who managed in Pittsburgh from 2006-07.

The Rockies went a combined 534-625 under Hurdle, who led the club to one winning season in his years with Colorado.

Hurdle began his managerial career in 1988, when he led the Single-A St. Lucie Mets. He went on to manage two seasons at the Double-A level and another two years in Triple-A before joining the Rockies in ’94 to serve as the organization’s Minor League hitting coordinator. Hurdle was named Colorado’s hitting coach in 1997.

Hurdle’s playing career began when he was drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 1975 First-Year Player Draft. Hurdle made his Major League debut with Kansas City two years later and went on to spend parts of the next four seasons with the Royals.

Before retiring after the 1987 season, Hurdle played for the Reds, Mets and Cardinals. He played five different positions in the Majors and finished with a .259 career batting average.

Though the Pirates have left the door open to additional interviews, it’s likely that Hurdle’s interview concluded the search process. That would seem to suggest that the Pirates should be ready to make a decision on the hire soon.

If Hurdle is the Pirates’ choice, however, there could be one catch. He is widely speculated to be a candidate for the Mets’ managerial opening, and if Hurdle wants to pursue an interview with New York, the Pirates may be forced to push back their timetable.

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Macha, Banister interviewed by Bucs

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The pool of candidates for the Pirates’ managerial opening moved to five after Ken Macha and Jeff Banister were both interviewed in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Macha, a native and current resident of Western Pennsylvania, has managed twice in the Majors previously. He guided the A’s to two division titles in his four years at the helm in Oakland. He was removed from the position in October 2006, following Oakland’s run to the American League Championship Series.

Macha, 60, was hired to manage the Brewers prior to the ’09 season, but after leading Milwaukee to a pair of third-place finishes in the National League Central, he was let go at the end of the 2010 season. In his six managerial seasons, Macha is a combined 525-447.

If the Pirates are seeking a manager with Pittsburgh connections, Macha has plenty of them. Not only did he grow up outside of the city, but he played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh. The Pirates drafted him in 1972, and two years later, Macha made his Major League debut with the organization.

Macha’s playing career spanned six seasons. In 180 games for the Pirates, Expos and Blue Jays, he hit .258.

Banister, 45, may not have grown up in Western Pennsylvania, but his ties to the organization run even deeper than Macha’s. Banister just finished his 25th year with the Pirates, who drafted him in the 25th round of the 1986 First-Year Player Draft. Banister’s only Major League appearance with the club came on July 23, 1991, though he has served as a coach/instructor every year since 1994.

He was a Minor League manager for four seasons and served as the Pirates’ Major League Field Coordinator from 1999-2002. He then moved into a role as the organization’s Minor League Field Coordinator, which he held until becoming the Pirates’ interim bench coach in August.

Banister, along with the rest of the Pirates’ coaching staff, was told by general manager Neal Huntington after the season that while he could look elsewhere for job opportunities, he would be considered to be retained in some capacity. Asked by MLB.com if he wanted to remain with the Pirates, Banister didn’t hesitate.

“That’s an obvious yes,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys I know very well who’ve come up through our system that are there. They’ve developed, they continue to develop. They’re not finished by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to continue that if Neal, [president] Frank [Coonelly] and [owner] Bob [Nutting] allow that to happen.

“My passion is for this organization and where I think we can go and where I think we are going. It’s unfinished for me. I grew up in this uniform and there are a lot of things I think we can and will do. I’m sure some people think we are a ways away. I see it every day, and I know we’re not that far away. There’s a really strong nucleus of talented athletes that take the field every day. There is some finishing that needs to go along with their Major League experience before they truly know what it takes to win on an every-day basis. Hopefully, I’m part of that, in whatever capacity that is.”

Banister and Macha join Eric Wedge, Bo Porter and John Gibbons as the five candidates to formerly interview for the managerial vacancy.

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Bucs name Minor League coordinators

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

On Monday, the Pirates announced the hiring of four new Minor League coordinators, which includes the addition of former big-league infield Steve Lombardozzi.

Lombardozzi replaces Carlos Garcia as the organization’s Minor League fielding coordinator. Garcia was hired as the Pirates’ first base/infield coach earlier this offseason. This will be Lombardozzi’s first professional coaching job, as he has been coaching youth baseball since retiring in 1990. Lombardozzi spent parts of six seasons in the Majors, primarily as a second baseman.

The Minor League pitching coordinator post will be filled by Jim Benedict, who shifts into the role after serving as a special assistant to general manager Neal Huntington last year. Benedict, who is replacing Troy Buckley, has previous experience as a pitching coordinator, having done so with the Expos (1994-98) and Dodgers (1998-2000).

The organization’s other two coordinator additions include Bernie Holliday (mental conditioning) and Anthony Telford (personal development). Holliday joins the Pirates after spending the last six years as a sports psychologist in the army. Telford worked as a pitching coach for the Aiken (S.C.) Foxhounds last year.

In conjunction with these announcements, the Pirates also confirmed that the following coordinators will be returning in 2010: Jeff Banister (field), Gregg Ritchie (hitting), Kimera Bartee (outfield and baserunning) and Euclides Rojas (Latin American field).

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Arizona Fall League Rosters Announced

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Outfield prospect Jose Tabata is among the Pirates’ organizational prospects heading to the Arizona Fall League, which announced its rosters on Tuesday.

Tabata will be joined by pitchers Daniel Moskos, Donnie Veal and Tony Watson. Infielders Brian Friday and Chase D’Arnaud will also be playing in the league. The Pirates have one other pitching spot still left to fill.

Pirates Minor League field coordinator Jeff Banister will be managing the Scottsdale Scorpions club, which will include prospects from the Pirates, Phillies, Giants, Diamondbacks and Rockies.

The AFL begins on Oct. 13 and continues through Nov. 19, not including the championship game.

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