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Houston Astros Fire Manager Brad Mills

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Brad Mills

 

The Houston Astros fired manager Brad Mills, along with hitting coach Mike Barnett, and first base coach Bobby Meacham after a 12-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

The Astros currently are in last place in the National Central Division, and have the worst record in baseball, at 39-82.

Mills was hired prior to the 2011, after the team flirted with current Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, and guided the Astros to a 76-86 record in his first year at the helm.

The Astros went 56-106 last year, the worst record in MLB, as the Astros lost 100 games for the first time in franchise history.

Mills, who went 171-274 as manager of the Astros, is the first manager to be fired this year.

The Astros will name an interim manager prior to Sunday’s game against Arizona.

This comes as no surprise, with the exception that I thought that Mills would finish out the year. The timing is a little perplexing to me. I don’t know what purpose it serves to let Mills go at this time, and to me, it just would have been better to let him finish out the year and not renew his contract, instead of putting the spotlight on him in a negative way when it doesn’t benefit your organization all that much. But that’s just me. In terms of next year however, I thought there was no chance that he’d be back.

Mills was in the last year of a three-year contract, the Astros are on pace to finish with the worst record in baseball for the second straight year, he was working for an owner who didn’t hire him, the team was making wholesale changes, and with the move the the American League next year, you knew the organization wanted a fresh start. You could certainly see the writing on the wall.

You certainly can’t blame the organization. Well, I guess you can criticize the timing. But in terms of making a change for 2013, they did what they had to do. That being said, don’t be so quick to bash Mills. He won as a minor league manager, he was a highly thought of bench coach in the majors, and he was really in a no-win situation in Houston.

Mills handled himself with a lot of class throughout it all, and even though his chances of managing again probably aren’t very good, he’d certainly be an asset to any organization as a coach, scout, or as some kind of special assistant.

That’s why I’m a little perturbed about the timing. Mills worked hard, showed a lot of class and professionalism, and protected his players, and the organization, so why show hm the door now, and let it be one of the hot stories in stories in baseball, putting both him and you organization in a negative light, instead of just letting him leave the organization kind of under the radar at the completion of the season?

In defense of the Astros, maybe something happened to necessitate the move. That’s also possible. But I just think the proper thing to do would have been to let Mills just finish out the year.

As an Astros fan, I’m sad. Teams normally don’t fire managers when the team is successful. Sure, the dismissal of a manager may give an organization a spark for the future, but it also means you haven’t been very good lately, and that’s an understatement when you talk about the Astros.

I, for one, thank Brad Mills for his effort and professionalism, and wish him the very best.

 

 

 

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