Monday, September 1, 2014

Astros fire Porter and Trembley on Labor Day

The Labor Day bit just adds to the irony.

As of a few hours ago, the Astros announced that Bo Porter and Dave Trembley have been "relieved of their duties", and replaced with organisational managerial stand-in Tom Lawless and ex-player/roving instructor Adam Everett respectively.

The Front Office Press Release specifically stated that the firing was nothing to do with current record, but more to do with differing philosophies.  In fact, Luhnow specifically takes the blame for the win-loss record, while pointing out that perhaps Bo was not paddling in the same direction.  The press release provides no real further detail.

The shakeup comes on the first off-day after Ken Rosenthal's story broke that cited numerous anonymous sources that discussed "tension" in the front office.  The Chronicle Astros Blog commented on the story, seemingly pouring cold water on it.  Fangraphs, in an earlier conversation, detected no animosity or hint of difficulty between Porter and Luhnow.  Then this happened, and it appears that Rosenthal's sources were correct, and that the Astros may have been waiting for the off day to do the firing.

I may perhaps publish a long and rambling, overly wordy article on this later in the day, but my first thought is that this must relate to a relatively recent event or series of events that made Porter's position untenable.  As the interface between the number-inclined Front Office (all decisions made by a computer algorithm, donchaknow!) and the human-beings with thoughts and feelings running around on the field, there is always going to be some friction, and the job is more about how that friction is handled.  Handle it the wrong way, and the wrong message gets sent to the players; handle it right, and that is important in getting the buy in of everyone.

My second thought is one likely shared by most of you.  Man, the hits for the PR side of the organisation keep coming.  When do the Astros stop resembling a joke??  Winning is going to cure a lot of hard feelings (if it ever happens) but at the moment, the organisation looks chaotic and disorganised at times, with periods of relative calm in between.  The Ground Control leaks were bad, this is bad, Jarred Cosart's chip is bad, Bud Norris' earlier comments were bad... you get the point.  Sheesh, when will this all stop.

Finally, it seems that Bo Porter is the first casualty of the new regime.  He came in at the very bottom - at a critical time of the rebuild - and won't get to see the fruits of his labours, or the rewards for lots of losing.  That, to me, is sad.  Best of luck, Bo.

ESPN has a good early take which is very speculative here.  I am sure more ink will be spilt about this story in the next few days.

Enjoy Labor Day.


ntxlfty said...

Luhnow nailed it. He's responsible for this mess. He should have been fired after the Aiken debacle.

Lyle said...

I trust Crane's trust in Luhnow. Porter was immature not to understand his part to be played. I wish Bo the very best though. He's a good man and should get another opportunity to manage a team.

Anonymous said...

When will this all stop?

When Crane and his incompetent buddies sell the club.

Anonymous said...

Porter was not the first casualty of this regime. We are. Houston Astros fans are dreading the sheer stupidity and lack of good baseball sense from this regime. Tens of thousands of us hate what is happening.
Signed 1oldpro

JoeinAlaska said...

I don't see the Aiken deal as a debacle. Situations like that will be unavoidable until there is a pre-draft physical. I think this had more to do with how Porter handled the players after the Appel buulpen session. Porter is an emotional guy and the strain of losing probably affected his relationship with Luhnow. He is a good man and I wish him well. Maybe they'll replace him with Jerry DeFrancisco?

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one completely happy to see BO go?? He was terrible, without getting into detail, this should have happened when he brought in Jerome Williams in the 9th instead of qualls when we had a 7 game win streak going.. Yea it was no big deal, but even a 2nd grader wouldve known not to use williams

Anonymous said...

let me preface this post first by saying I love Nolan Ryan. However, I find it odd that the organizational rift began after he started working for the Astros.


Anonymous said...

Porter was not a good manager. Made many bad late game pitcher changes. Time to get a manager that can grow with the team.

John Martin said...

Bo was not a good manager. The bullpen issues were obvious but it was the times where it was clear he misunderstood different procedural rules of the game that made him really scary in that position. I think Bo is a genuinely good man and I wish him well but I'm not sorry to see him go.