Big Lead Sports Bar


Pirate Interview Banister, Macha

The Pirates interviewed two more managerial candidates today, bringing their total to five since firing John Russell after the 2010 season ended.

The team stayed local for the Tuesday interviews, bringing in Monroeville's Ken Macha and 25-year member of the Pirate organization Jeff Banister for a tire-kick. 

Macha, 60, is a Gateway HS and Pitt grad who also played in the bigs for the Pirates in the '70s. He's Pittsburgh through and through.

Macha managed the Moneyball Oakland A's from 2003-2006, never winning less than 88 games and taking home two AL West titles in that time frame behind the vaunted Zito/Hudson/Mulder pitching trifecta. He was eventually fired by Billy Beane after getting swept by Jim Leyland's Detroit Tigers in the 2006 ALCS and then moved on to Milwaukee, where he captained the Brewers to consecutive 3rd place finishes in the NL Central in 2009 and 2010.

He owns a career mark of 525-447 (.541), going 5-7 (.412) in the postseason. And he's inspired at least one blog completely devoted to trashing his name:

Banister, 45, obviously has a high threshold for pain having spent 25 years as a member of the Pirate family. He holds a career batting average of 1.000, going 1-for-1 as a Major Leaguer in 1991 as a replacement for the injured Don Slaught. By 1993, he had moved on to a player-coach role with the Pirates' Carolina affiliate, going full-time into coaching in 1994.

Banister spent 1994-98 coaching at various levels in the minors for the Bucs before getting the gig of Major League Field Coordinator in 1999. He was assigned the job of Minor League Field Coordinator from 2003-2010, and was most recently the Pirates' interim bench coach after Gary Varsho was canned.

The five Pirate candidates interviewed so far include Eric Wedge, Bo Porter, John Gibbons, Banister and Macha. More names have been mentioned throughout the process, so don't be shocked to hear additional interviews announced.

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc):

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