How does a major-league manager spend part of his Friday night? Watching college baseball, of course.
That's not always the case for Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister, but he and third-base coach Tony Beasley made the short drive to Phoenix to watch the TCU baseball team play its season opener against Grand Canyon.
They weren't around for the Horned Frogs' three-run ninth-inning rally en route to a 3-2 victory; anything after 8 p.m. is past Banister's spring bedtime. But TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle sent a text to tell Banister what happened after he left following the top of the sixth inning.
The two have forged a friendship since Banister was hired late in 2014. They've even talked about if a college coach could survive in the big leagues.
"Look, he'd probably have to take a paycut, a significant one," Banister said Saturday. "Baseball is baseball, right? The reality is, once you get over the idea of it's college or it's professional, you're still doing the same thing. You're teaching individuals to perform. I think Jim is extremely good at what he does and what he's capable of doing."
But baseball isn't the only bond between Banister and Schlossnagle, though it got them on the road to friendship. Each has two children and places great value on his family, and they have adopted Tarrant County as their home.
Banister said that he was going to try to sneak back over to Phoenix for the Frogs' afternoon game Saturday.
"I respect what he's done and what he's built over at TCU," Banister said. "Anytime you study and watch successful organizations and people, you want to know what they do. But on a different level, just the friendship ... and shared experiences. We live in the same community and care about the same things. They're good people."