Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



The Pirates hired Jeff Banister to be a special assistant, baseball operations.

Banister was Texas’ manager the last four seasons. Before that, he was the Pirates’ bench coach.

The B team and the Bucco blogs have leaped to their feet in celebration. We’re told that Banister is “a good baseball man.” I’m sure he is.

Harsh reality: Banister’s hiring will not help the Pirates win games.

Harsher reality: St. Louis got Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller. A slugger and a great bullpen arm. Cincinnati got Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood. Two big bats and a solid starting pitcher.

The Pirates got their old bench coach back.

That’s not exactly keeping up with the Joneses.

The Cardinals and Reds got better. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee are already loaded.

Can Banister’s hiring prevent the Pirates from finishing dead last in the NL Central?

Sure it can. The Pirates don’t need bats or arms. They just need more “good baseball men.”

P.S. – Should Clint Hurdle be looking over his shoulder? Is Banister the Pirates’ manager-in-waiting?

Nah. Not anytime soon. Hurdle is under contract through 2021. Owner Bob Nutting is loath to pay anyone to not work. He’s loath to pay anyone, period.

Image Courtesy of Getty Images.

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