If you’re looking for a scapegoat for the Astros’ poor season, look no further than the dugout. Think about it: Jim Crane could fire Jeff Luhnow. Luhnow could fire Bo Porter. Who’s Porter going to fire?
Nope, unless there is a turnaround this summer, other than a handful of pitchers and hitters, Porter is the man in the hottest seat. Let’s have a conversation.
Is Porter really on the hot seat?
- Fair or not, Porter was on the hot seat when he became the manager of the Houston Astros in late 2012. Some might say he never had a chance. Others would suggest that a young, rebuilding team didn’t need a novice as a manager, rather a leader who was experienced and seasoned. This may sound like an obituary, but for the record, Porter is still manager of the Houston Astros. For now. But the seat is heating up quickly. Jeff Luhnow may be giving Bo a vote of confidence, but if the Astros are 20+ games out at the All Star break and headed for another 100+ loss season, Luhnow would have to convene his inner circle and make a change.
If not Bo, then who?
- There are some options. However, if Bo is dismissed in mid-season, it’s likely the Astros will only bring in a care-taker for the remainder of the season. The leading candidates for that role would likely be third base coach Pat Listach or Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco. Dave Trembley? No thanks. Does anyone remember the three other finalists when Porter was hired? For what it’s worth, none are managing today in the majors. Interestingly, Listach was the Nationals’ third base coach before Porter. A native of Natchitoches, Louisiana, (my hometown), Listach was the PCL manager of the year in 2008.
Did the Astros miss it?
- That’s an open-ended question for which I’m sure many people will respond with a resounding “YES!” But the real question is did the Astros miss it by not hiring Brad Ausmus? You may say Ausmus didn’t want to be in Houston, but part of that reason may be because the Astros didn’t pursue him heartily. Perhaps the Astros wouldn’t give him carte blanche with his coaching staff. Maybe there were other red flags for Ausmus. But, there is little doubt in this fan’s mind that Ausmus was the guy, especially when you consider the team will have a young — very young — pitching staff for the rest of this decade.
- If not Ausmus, who would you have hired instead of Porter two years ago?
And, a few other managerial questions to start your weekend.
- D0es Porter finish the season as Astros’ manager?
- If you were named Astros’ manager today, what are the first three things you would do?
- Who do you consider to be the best 2-3 managers in the game today?
- Ausmus (Tigers), Rick Renteria (Cubs), Matt Williams (Nationals), Bryan Price (Reds), Lloyd McClendon (Mariners) were hired by their teams in the off season. Which of these would you prefer over Porter?
- Which of these old-timers interests you as manager: Tony Larussa (68), Bobby Valentine (63), Charlie Manuel (69), Jim Leyland (68), or Dusty Baker (64)?