Results tagged ‘ John Gibbons ’

Macha, Banister interviewed by Bucs

Jenifer Langosch/

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 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 interview John Gibbons

Jenifer Langosch/

Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was in Pittsburgh on Monday to be interviewed for the Pirates’ open managerial spot.

A former big-league catcher, Gibbons began his Major League coaching career with Toronto in 2002. After beginning the year as the club’s bullpen catcher, Gibbons became the Blue Jays’ first base coach that summer. He was named interim manager late in the 2004 season and led a young Blue Jays club to a 20-30 finish.

Gibbons had the interim title removed at the end of that year and served in that capacity until being fired on June 20, 2008. In between, Gibbons led Toronto to a 305-305 record, including an 87-75 mark and second-place finish in the American League East in 2006.

Gibbons joined the Royals organization before the start of the ’09 season and has served as the club’s bench coach since.

After a playing career that included only 18 Major League games, Gibbons got his coaching start in the Mets’ Minor league system. He managed for seven years at four different levels and advanced to the playoffs four times. Gibbons twice led his club to league championships. He also spent four years as a roving Minor League instructor and coach.

This marks the third formal interview conducted by the Pirates, who are searching for John Russell’s successor. Eric Wedge and Bo Porter have already met with general manager Neal Huntington.

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