Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deputy Jason: Brad Mills, Value or Just Cheap?

Deputy Jason has been laying low lately, and has chosen now for the time to strike with his thoughts on the hiring of Brad Mills:

What do we know about Mr. Brad Mills? Not much. We can reasonably deduce that he is going to be very similar in personality and style to Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, whom Astros GM Ed Wade has a serious man crush on. (Side Note: Up front this seems like EZ Eddie did a real sell job on this hire to Drayton McLane. Drayton I’m sure would have liked a little more major league managing experience but he wanted to let his baseball people make the baseball decisions.) Francona is widely considered to be a good game manager and a favorite of the players. Hopefully, Brad was taking mental pictures, because while it's one thing to ride the team bus; it’s another to honk the horn.

The training wheels are now off for Coach Brad. The fans will likely focus on how he brings along the young guys and how he gets the vets to buy into his philosophies. We do know that the stern guidance of Cecil Cooper did not mesh well with our teams collective personality, so seemingly going the other direction might just be the best fit (fingers crossed). Brad has some legitimate All Star level major leaguers at his disposal, so success will no doubt be expected again this season by fans and ownership alike.

To that end, his coaching staff will be important in his transition to Chief AstBro. Most new managers tend to have a seasoned managing veteran on their staff, and ours likely will be no different. He’ll need someone that can give them the heads up on the daily nuances of his new job. Whether that’s dealing with the media, using the bullpen or making a lineup card with no DH. Bringing in a Don Zimmer type is what I’m envisioning.

The business side of this decision no doubt played a large role in picking Brad. If he’d asked for 3 years like Manny Acta, we wouldn’t be talking about him today. Drayton got a man who is a baseball lifer, coming from a top organization and on the cheap. Either this move will pay off by getting a good guy for very reasonable salary, or it will go bad. In that case Ed Wade signed his own ticket out of town by hitching his wagon to this horse. Only time will tell, so here’s hoping the baseball guys made the best baseball decision.

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