“At the end of all of this, the one thing you’re not going to write about is [that this team] quit. I can promise you that,” Banister said before Friday’s series opener against the Orioles.
Banister said certain trades might be perceived by outsiders as the team “selling” but that’s not how he views it.
“On the inside, we still look at it like we’re acquiring players who are going to help us win,” he said. “Are you not recovering back players that you feel like are going to come in and help your team? Why else would you trade for them?”
All of that’s true, of course, but what if you’re trading away an established major leaguer, say Yu Darvish, for two or three minor league prospects who may or may not be ready for the big leagues?
Banister deferred to general manager Jon Daniels and the front office with regard to an actual move, before saying his job doesn’t change either way.
“You tell the GM thanks and you write a lineup and you go out with that team and say, ‘This is who we are boys, let’s go win baseball games,’ ” Banister said. “There is no white flag here. It ain’t happening. We’re going to go out and scratch and claw to win baseball games.”
As for the next two months and the Rangers’ postseason hopes, Banister has history on his side. The Rangers, who are coming off a 22-10 loss Wednesday to the Marlins, were in a similar situation in 2015. They lost at home 21-5 to the Yankees on July 28, 2015 and were five games below .500.
How did they respond?
They finished 41-22 and won the American League West.
“When you’ve done it before there is something to draw on,” he said. “You can say, you know what boys, we’ve done this. We’ve been here. This is not a time to turn your back, not a time to look down. This is a time to be head up, eyes up, move forward.”
Banister understands those thinking is club, at 49-52 and 4 1/2 games out of second wild card spot, have an uphill battle on their hands.
“Write that we can’t. Write that we’re not going to,” he said. “Piss them off. I want you to. We’re going to figure it out here in about 2.5 hours.”