Pirates Bench Coach Jeff Banister: ‘We Are Ready For The Challenge’
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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Pittsburgh Pirates Bench Coach Jeff Banister joined The Fan Morning Show Wednesday morning to talk about how overwhelmed he felt when the Pirates clinched their first playoff berth since 1992.
“It’s been a long ride,” Banister said. “It’s been a real grind. “
He has been a part of the Pirates organization since 1986 and has seen the highs and lows. He said his emotions poured out after watching that final out in St. Louis that saw the Pirates clinch a spot when the Cardinals won to eliminate the Washington Nationals. He told the guys he remembered all of the great men who have come through over the past 20 years who tried to make this happen – tried to make this proud organization a winner again.
Banister was right in the middle of the locker room celebration Monday night. He said he refused to wear the protective goggles because he wanted to feel the sting of the champagne.
Banister said it was a great celebration but these guys know there is more work to be done.
Will this team have enough offensively to win the World Series? Banister tells the guys that they only need one more run each night. It has been the way they have played all year. They always feel that they are going to win and they get a big hit from someone else each night.
Banister said he could recognize that this team had something special developing at the end of last season and that he really knew this thing had a chance when they arrived at Spring Training and really went to work.
As good as the clubhouse was, Banister admits that the additions of Marlon Byrd, John Buck and Justin Morneau were a huge boost. He said these guys came in and really wanted to make a difference.
“These guys want this as much as the city of Pittsburgh does,” Banister said. “It’s these guys’ mission to play for a World Championship. How we get there, time will tell but we are ready for the challenge.”
You can hear the full inetrview here: