Cleaning House

The Astros fired Tim Purpura and Phil Garner today, as Drayton said because of the poor performance of the team over the past two years. I think the move was also driven in large part by the fan’s demand for someone’s head. The timing was surprising, but neither could have felt confident about their jobs in the offseason.

Tal Smith will be the interim GM and the new search will start immediately. Cecil Cooper will be the interim manager and get to audition for the chance to continue next year. In my opinion the Astros problems have been talent-related, rather than any serious deficiency on the field level, I think the GM question is the more important of the two. Cecil Cooper seems capable enough, he’s been around forever and knows the team.

The Chronicle writers are divided in their loyalty to Drayton McLane. The general impression is that he may meddle to much in baseball operations and that’s why Hunsicker left and maybe Purpura didn’t have the freedom a GM usually does. Drayton and Tal need to find someone, maybe more in the Theo Epstein mold and give him the freedom to run the team. The Jerry Jones syndrome has to go.

Drayton sounded defensive in the news conference when he said that the team is not rebuilding. I can see the sense of that because you do have Oswalt, Berkman and Lee, but really they don’t have a team built to compete. The pieces aren’t there right now. I don’t understand why Tal Smith hasn’t received more blame. He’s been in a leadership position for all of the failures just like Purpura and Garner have been.

Drayton said there were a lot reasons why he did what he did, but he mentioned fan’s feelings, not signing draft picks, Hunter Pence injuring himself with bad sliding techniques among other things.

Fan reaction at the Crawfish Boxes

And Fire Phil Garner gets his wish. Photo is pretty funny.

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