Texas Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley excited about his first World Series
Beasley has built reputation as ‘baseball guy’ who knows the game inside out
ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Beasley’s relationship with former Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister brought him to Texas.
His knack for creating, cultivating, and managing relationships has enabled Beasley to survive two managerial changes and positioned the 56-year-old third-base coach for the Rangers to win his first World Series, which begins Friday night at Globe Life Field.
He’s earned it.
Banister, now a bench coach for the opposing team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, led the Rangers to American League West titles in 2015 and 2016. Texas didn’t win another playoff series until sweeping Tampa Bay Rays in the first round of the 2023 playoffs. From 2017 to 2022, the Rangers never finished above .500. They lost 102 games in 2021.
Beasley endured it all.
“It’s exhilarating,” he said of being in the World Series, “In ’15-’16, we’re in the playoffs, then six years later, we’re struggling bad. We’re rebuilding every year but never really got it built.
“This year, to see the team come together and put a winning group on the field, it’s just been a blessing. I’m so thankful to be here and witness it.”
Beasley’s knack for creating relationships has kept him in Texas. Banister, the man he calls his brother, needed a confidant on his first staff. His first hire? Beasley.
Now, one of them is going to be a champion.
“We’re two guys who have grinded through the game of baseball,” Beasley said. “Neither one of us knew that we’d get a big-league opportunity, but we both have, and we’re very blessed. I’m happy for him, and he’s happy for me.”
Banister managed Beasley in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor-league system. Later, they became instructors in the Pirates’ organization and roommates during spring training and the instructional league. They were on Pittsburgh’s staff from 2008 to 2010.
Their kids played together. Their wives text and chat often. When Beasley was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2016 and missed parts of the season, Banister supported him.
“He has a tremendous baseball mind. He sees baseball from a player’s perspective and a coach’s perspective,” Banister said. “He’s a connector like all of us who have been in this game a long time.
“He communicates, and he’s trustworthy. He can take care of situations inside the clubhouse, and if there were things he felt I needed to change from my perspective — my attitude, or my emotions — he had the ability to have that conversation with me.”
Those traits appealed to former Rangers manager Chris Woodward and current manager Bruce Bochy. Each wanted a coach with insight into the players on the roster.
“I didn’t know Tony, but I heard nothing but great things from mutual friends about what a great baseball guy he is, what a positive influence he is, and how popular he is with the team,” Bochy said. “We hit it off right away. If you can’t hit it off with Beas, then you’re the problem.”
Beasley has been a third-base coach his entire time in the big leagues. It can be a thankless job.
“He’s truly a good third-base coach. He does his homework. He knows how everybody throws. He knows how they move. He knows how we move,” Rangers shortstop Corey Seager said. “He always tells us to give me everything you have coming into third, and I’ll stop you. It’s a trust factor both ways.”
Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien said Beasley earns trust with his preparation.
“He’s been through a lot of stuff here,” Semien said. “He’s been on playoff teams here before for Texas, and being a World Series third base coach, there’s obviously a lot of pressure to make the right sends.”
Baseball seasons stretch from February to November. It’s a game of failure, so frustration can fill the clubhouse as players and teams slump.
“I try to be a light to those I come in contact with,” Beasley said. “If you can do that daily and consistently, then good things will happen to you.”
This spring, first baseman Nathaniel Lowe asked Beasley to make him a better defensive first baseman. During spring training, they met every day at 7 a.m.
“We just started from scratch. Nate put the work in. He was coachable. He was willing to take constructive criticism,” Beasley said. “Things I didn’t like or didn’t see, I told him. I loved that.
“He was relentless about his work, he was consistent. He was committed to it, and he has a chance to win a Gold Glove.”
For Beasley, it’s about establishing a connection and building a rapport with players so they understand he cares about them. In the past, he did this with former players such as Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus.
“I’m honest. I’m not going to sugarcoat things. I tell the truth the way I see it. I don’t have to yell and scream to do that,” Beasley said, “When you invest in people, and you care about people, and you love them, and you want the very best for them, then when you know they’re not doing their part and you come to them legitimately as a man and you speak the truth, that cuts a man to his core — to his heart.
“It forces them to look at himself, and if he looks at himself and knows that he’s cut himself short and hasn’t done his best and he’s failed because of it … if that doesn’t hurt you, then you’re not passionate, and you don’t want to succeed in life. These relationships, when you invest right and build them right, last way past the game of baseball. They last a lifetime.”