Jeff Banister's official title with the Pirates is special assistant to the GM and he was, in fact, brought back to the organization by Neal Huntington a year ago after losing his job as the Rangers' manager. But Banny hasn't been around much of late, and that's a departure from the norm that had been set most of the summer, when he'd been around the big-league club -- in uniform, I might add -- quite a bit.
So, where's he been?
I'd been wondering, and so I asked around over the past week, and he's been ... roving. I'm told he's been scouring the minor leagues, studying their personnel and practices, and that makes sense given that he long filled that role in his previous tenure.
But I'm also told, albeit with conflicting specifics, that he's a possibility to replace Clint Hurdle should a change be made at manager in Pittsburgh. And I know for a fact -- right from the man himself -- that Banister would welcome a second crack at managing. That's not to suggest anything sinister at play. Banister's a good man. Just laying out everything I've heard, most of this in the past 48 hours, and the common denominator among all of them was Banister as manager.
I'll remind, though: Any machinations currently being considered by Neal Huntington or Frank Coonelly are pending their own employment statuses. And those will be determined by Bob Nutting and no one else.