Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First to Third: Astros Fire Cecil Cooper

It was September 21st. There were 13 games left in the season and the Houston Astros were 70-79 on the season, 14.5 games out of the wild card, destined to spend October on the golf course. Nevertheless, the Astros believed it was time for a change and relieved Cecil Cooper of his duties as manager. With 13 games left.

The question, now, is not whether Cooper deserved to be fired. He wasn't likely to return in 2010, anyway. The question is: was it really necessary to fire Cooper with 13 games left? 13 games. Is interim manager Dave Clark going to make a difference in these 13 games? If he goes 13-0 or 0-13 does that impact his candidacy for the full-time job? Does it really send some sort of powerful message to the players if the manager is canned this late in the season?

My answer to all of those questions is no. Firing Cooper with so few games remaining does absolutely nothing and proves no point. There is no reason why the Astros couldn't let Cooper finish the season and then fire him the next day. It is pointless to shake up the coaching staff this late in the season. Unfortunately for the Astros, there are plenty of additional questions that need to be answered as the team begins preparations for 2010.

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Brett Smiley said...

I agree. The Rockies canned Clint Hurdle fairly early in the season and gave the reins to Jim Tracy. That worked out well... Did they immediately name Tracy the manager or was he interim and later named the manager?

This isn't a legitimate audition for Clark. Who do you see as candidates for the job?

Steve Shoup said...

I agree completely. I think Houston is in disarray and next year will be last in the Central.

Rob Burckhard said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Houston hired a manager with no major league managerial experience as sort of a "let's start this thing over" statement. If they do so, that puts the Astros in rebuilding mode and corresponding moves could include finding a taker for Roy Oswalt.