Many people have expressed surprise that Phil and Timmy were fired with 1 month to go to finish off one of the worst Astros seasons in many years. I certainly expected that one of them would be fired at the end of the season, as SOMEone would have to pay for the putrid performance of this team. I was both surprised and impressed that Drayton had the sense to fire them both NOW. Sure it “could” have waited until the end of the year, but he needed to do this to secure the fan base, most of whom were EXTREMELY unhappy with Phil’s roster shuffling and Tim’s seeming inability to either sign draft picks or acquire players who didn’t practically beg to play here. I simply can’t give Tim “credit” for signing Carlos Lee, Woody Williams or Mark Loretta, for that reason.
What is VERY interesting to me is that national baseball commentators, such as Steve Phillips on BBTN and Jayson Stark, writing for ESPN, have BOTH stated very clearly that McLane is seen as, uh, meddling, or too hands on. And they both said, as I have many times before, that McLane needs to hire good baseball men and let them do their jobs.
Timmy, at this time, is not talking to the media. IF he has had exactly no ability to make essentially any decision, I wouldn’t blame him for not being happy that he has been appointed a scapegoat. On the other hand, he must have known he had taken a job as a yes-man, and he’s too old to not know that the fate of a yes-man is to be a designated scape-goat.
At this point, I would guess that McLane has 2 options: 1 – find another yes-man and repeat the same path to failure and 2 – find a decent baseball man such as Dan Evans, and actually give him control of the club. McLane clearly wants to win (unlike other owners I won’t mention) but at some point, he has to come to grips with the fact that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and that he has no idea how to make a purse in the first place. The most important hire will be the GM – he has to completely re-do a great deal of the badly broken system, from the non-existant Venezuelan (and other Latin American) pipelines, the poor player development system, the poor scouting (or is it the refusal by McLane to sign the more elite and more expensive prospects) and trade for actal prospects to restock the virtually empty minor league system.
We all know that new GMs usually prefer to hire their own managers, so Cecil Cooper may or may not last more than the rest of this year. However, I SERIOUSLY doubt that McLane will hire DePodesta as GM or Joe Girardi as manager. And if Larry Bowa ever gets another job, it most DEFINITELY won’t be here in Houston as the players will rebel against him even faster than they did against Terry Collins…
Anyway, I received this email this morning from Anne Onnamuss, who passed along what appears to be McLane’s performance evaluations of Phil and Tim:
(1) “This employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.”
(2) “His men would follow him anywhere, ……. but only out of morbid curiosity.”
(3) “This employee is really not so much of a ‘has-been’, but more of a definite ‘won’t be’.”
(4) “Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”
(5) “When he opens his mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.”
(6) “He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.”
(7) “He has delusions of adequacy.”
(8) “He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”
(9) “This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.”
(10) “This employee should go far, ….. and the sooner he starts, the better.”
(11) “Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.”
(12) “A gross ignoramus – 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.”
(13) “He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless.”
(14) “He has a knack for making strangers immediately.”
(15) “He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.”
(16) “When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.”
(17) “If you see two people talking and one looks bored, ….. he’s the other one.”
(18) “A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.”
(19) “If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you’d get change.”
(20) “Some drink from the fountain of knowledge;….. he only gargled.”
And my very favorite (printable in this squeaky clean blog) critique of Phil Garner from an internet Brewers fan named “harvey’s wallbangers” – Phil couldn’t manage a lemonade stand at the corner of “Thirsty” and “Parched.”
Tags: Houston Astros