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Jeff Banister was named the 2015 A.L. Manager of the Year and he absolutely deserved it. Regardless of his victory, his consideration is a reminder of how money the Rangers' front office has been. Of all the crucial moves they've made to set this team up for success, none might be as important as this particular hire and, frankly, none might be tougher. Front office teams are without the depth of analytics to assess managers--especially those without MLB managing experience--that they have with the players.

How often do you see a team go on a managerial carousel with three different guys in seven years because they just can't get it right? That sets an organization back and, in the case of the Rangers, would possible torpedo their high potential during a great window of opportunity.

When everyone thought it was Tim Bogar's job, the Rangers' front office team took a chance and gave the job to Jeff Banister, a move that's unequivocally helped the them win the 2015 AL West and one that will hopefully help them accomplish more over subsequent seasons. It's undoubtedly a very tough decision that is of great significance and Jon Daniels and company absolutely nailed it.

The Banister Impact

We can spend plenty of time debating--or, arguing--over how a manager impacts a team or over how this particular manager impacted this team. These are some (and certainly not all) of my thoughts on how Jeff Banister impacted the Rangers from my time spent around the team this season.

*He immediately secured the respect and the ear of the players in that clubhouse. In my opinion as a manager, without that, you have very little. It's really easy to differentiate between players who repeat the company line about someone versus a guy who genuinely means what he says. When multiple players, including team leaders like Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder, go out of their way to bring up their manager and his impact on the team, you know something is clicking.

*Prince Fielder received a lot of credit for raising his right hand and "volunteering" to move off of first base in favor of the better defender, Mitch Moreland. But if you think Banister was not involved with that, you're mistaken. For one, it was the culture he created that helped convince Fielder that this was the right move, something previous managers--and good ones, like Jim Leyland--were unable to do. Then, once the move was made, Jeff Banister allowed Prince Fielder, a star player, to receive the credit for what was a humbling decision.

*How about Shin-Soo Choo? Go back and check out how he was used shortly after the All-Star Break. Jeff Banister cherry-picked only the most favorable matchups for Choo so that he could get his confidence back and look how that turned out. Don't be mistaken, Choo deserves a ton of credit, but when I asked him about his second-half, he told me Banny's impact was "huge."

*His unwavering demeanor played a big role, as told to me by many players, in helping the team weather through some challenging storms, whether it was the 8-16 start, their mid-season swoon, the collapse in game 161, and everything in between.

Was Jeff Banister perfect? No. He'd be the first to admit it. No manager is. But hopefully this gives some folks who are inclined to always second-guess the skipper some perspective in how good of a job he did and how good of hands this ball club is in moving forward.

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