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Rangers continue skipper interviews with Banister and McEwing

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continued their interviews with managerial candidates by meeting with Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister and White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing on Wednesday.

The Rangers have already interviewed pitching coach Mike Maddux, Triple-A manager Steve Buechele and Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. They are still planning to interview interim manager Tim Bogar, Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash and Puerto Rico winter league executive Alex Cora.

Banister has been the Pirates bench coach for four years and was highly recommended by Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. A native of Texas, Banister also managed in the Pirates system in 1994-98 before spending four years as the Major League field coordinator and eight years as the Minor League field coordinator.

He played at LaMarque (Texas) High School, Baytown Lee (Texas) Junior College and the University of Houston before being drafted as a catcher and a first baseman by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 1986 First-Year Player Draft. He played in just one game for the Pirates in 1991.

That he was able to play one game in the Major Leagues is in itself an incredible story. In high school, an ankle injury led to the discovery of cancer in his left leg. At one point amputation was considered but the leg was saved by seven operations.

Then at Baytown, he was involved as a catcher in a collision at home plate that shattered three vertebrae in his neck. He was paralyzed for 10 days but recovered to resume his baseball career. He was the first winner of the Gilda Radner Courage Award in 1991-92.

McEwing has spent three years as the White Sox third base coach after three seasons as a manager in their farm system. He had a .531 winning percentage in two seasons in Class A and one in Triple-A.

McEwing spent all or parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues as a utility infielder. Two of those seasons were with the Cardinals in 1998-99 under manager Tony La Russa. McEwing interviewed for the Cardinals job in 2011 when La Russa retired and is also a candidate for the D-backs job. La Russa is currently the D-backs president of baseball operations.

Bogar, who led the Rangers to a 14-8 record as interim manager, is also expected to interview with the D-backs. The Rangers are hoping to have a new manager by the beginning of the World Series.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger
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