MESA, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has been a fan of Joe Maddon for years and spent part of Sunday morning chatting with the Cubs' skipper before their clubs' game at Sloan Park.
"He actually took the time to shake my hand and congratulate me [at the Winter Meetings] and tell me how awesome it was," Banister said of his hiring by the Rangers. "For me, I appreciated the time."
Banister said he admires Maddon's progressive style and how the Chicago manager gets the most out of all of his players. Banister also likes that Maddon "is not traditional" and how he can "keep a team loose, but also in the zone for three hours."
"I'd like to think I sit right in the middle and utilize both worlds," Banister said. "I do believe in tradition. I believe in history. But I also believe there is a certain evolution to the strategy of this game and how this game is played."
Like Maddon's teams with Tampa Bay, Banister was part of themed road trips during his years with the Pirates, and the Rangers manager didn't rule out a similar practice for his club's road trips this season.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.