The Texas Rangers fired manager Jeff Banister on Friday after the team stumbled to its first consecutive losing records in 10 years after winning American League West titles in each of his first two seasons.

Texas announced the move with 10 games left in Banister’s fourth season, with General Manager Jon Daniels saying the record was not the reason and that the team needed a “new voice from leadership.”

In a season when the focus turned to the development of younger players, the Rangers had a 64-88 record heading into Friday night’s game against Seattle to open the final home series of the year. They had lost four in a row and 11 of 15.

Bench coach Don Wakamatsu will serve as interim manager for the remainder of the season, starting with the three-game series against the Mariners. The Rangers will finish the season on the road next week against the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle.

Banister, 54, was under contract through next season.

Banister was hired in November 2014 to replace Ron Washington, the manager who led the Rangers to their only World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 before his abrupt resignation for personal reasons late in the 2014 season. Banister had a 325-313 record in his first managerial job. The Rangers lost to Toronto in the AL Division Series after their AL West titles in both 2015 and 2016.

 

Cubs shortstop placed

on administrative leave

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was placed on administrative leave Friday following fresh allegations of domestic violence from his ex-wife.

Last year, Melisa Reidy posted a photo on her Instagram account with a caption suggesting her husband of about 18 months had been unfaithful to her. In another post, a user — described by Melisa as a close friend — made the accusation that Russell had “hit” his wife. The post was later deleted. Russell denied the allegation, and the two divorced.

Late Thursday, a blog post attributed to Reidy contained more detailed allegations, including years of physical and emotional abuse. Less than 12 hours later, Major League Baseball announced Russell’s leave in accordance with the MLB-MLB Players Association domestic violence policy. The Cubs said the leave is for seven days, but could be extended.

Russell can challenge the leave before an arbitrator, and the leave can be extended for additional seven-day periods if the union agrees. He continues to be paid his $3.2 million salary.