Astros Fire Brad Mills

The Astros have fired manager Brad Mills, the team announced. Hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham have also been relieved of their duties. The club will announce interim replacements on Sunday.

Mills, 55, was hired by Houston prior to the 2010 season. They finished fourth in the NL Central that season (76-86) but finished with the worst record in baseball last year (56-106) and are on pace to do it again in 2012 (39-82). Mills was hired by owner Drayton McClane and GM Ed Wade, but Jim Crane has since purchased the team and Jeff Luhnow has replaced Wade. Overall, the team went 171-274 under Mills.

The Astros are in the middle of a drastic overhaul and the beginning of the rebuilding period under Luhnow, who will now bring in his own on-field management people. Last month we heard that Mills will likely to be replaced this coming offseason. He was under contract through the end of the season with a club option for next year.

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88 Responses to Astros Fire Brad Mills Leave a Reply

  1. Rabbitov 3 years ago

    Formannnnn Milllls

  2. Best of luck to his soon-to-be fired replacement.

    • Carl Langley 3 years ago

      This is a most-likely scenario, but if they find a manager like Buck Showalter, who has an obvious track-record of turning suck to good, then it’s looking good. The Astros made some decent trades this year and will have some decent prospects from drafts. By 2015, they could be sitting pretty, even in the AL West.

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        That’s a little overrated. The O’s had talent, they just needed somebody to straighten it out. The Astros have very few pieces, so it’s a completely different situation. Mills was as good for the job as anyone so if he got fired no one would last. Maybe he’ll find his way back to Boston.

  3. Chewtoy123 3 years ago

    Wowww. I figured they had just accepted this was going to be a go-nowhere season. Did not expect anyone to lose their heads mid-season.

  4. Guest 3 years ago

    Dave Clark gets my bid as interim

  5. Guest 3 years ago

    Were they expecting a better year…?

    • Kevin Chambers 3 years ago

      No but they weren’t expecting to suck so bad.

      • Tko11 3 years ago

        If you expect to suck, why does it matter how bad you suck? Either way you suck…At least they will have the first round pick.

        • Kevin Chambers 3 years ago

          There’s a difference between sucks and going on a 5 and 34 run I believe it was.

          • Tko11 3 years ago

            So they thought they can trade Wandy and Lee and not suck? They had to know they were going to be awful.

          • redsox4434 3 years ago

            Exaxtly. No one could win with that roster. It’s not Mills’ fault they’re crap. I find it hard to believe that the front office, after trading away most of their remaining good players, somehow expected the Stros to not be horrible?

            I really hope Mills gets another shot with a halfway decent roster.

          • Tko11 3 years ago

            Yeah, I dont understand how they can fire Mills after he took over a horrible team then they decided to trade almost every major league caliber player they had, leaving Mills with very little to work with.

      • Guest 3 years ago

        so yes, (you’re saying) they were expecting a better year…

  6. rovert22044 3 years ago

    Sad to see him go. He never had a chance to show what he really could do as a manager. The only opportunities he was given, there wasn’t a good enough team fielded. Oh well. Good luck elsewhere Mr. Mills.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      What was the general impression among Astros fans of his managing?

      • stroh 3 years ago

        Mills was a mediocre manager. Relied too heavily on lefty/righty matchups, even if the player he was pulling out was playing well or was hot. Usually left pitchers in there too long, or sometimes with no reason pulled a pitcher who was pitching well and inserted someone who had not been pitching well. Did not seem to have a clue in managing. I’m not saying the Astros would have won 20 more games with someone else managing, but what is apparent is that Luhnow could not put up with the incompetence any longer. Certainly Mills was not someone to go with for the next 3-5 years.

      • Anthony Rainier 3 years ago

        Over thought the game. Horrible at playing match ups. Mixed lineups too much, couldn’t get the right pitcher in the right situation.

        • Bob Hulsey 3 years ago

          Because usually there was no right pitcher. Managing the Houston bullpen was like a nightly game of Russian Roulette. You knew it was going to explode, you just didn’t know when.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          sounds like an inevitable problem with that roster

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Understand what think you are looking for.. If are thinking of a manager with former Sox ties and Farrell is out of play.. Lets forget the rest of Francona’s guys please, but I have an idea of one with ties much further past who was vilified by Astros fans and was pretty good in Boston and Milwaukee as a player and was known as very intelligent as a player, even then was known to be a future manager one day, just ended up with lousy Houston teams when he got his chance..

        Cecil “Flash” Cooper. He would also make Reich Kommandant Selig happy in another area and be a 1st in that same area for Boston also.

        Since he never got an invite the last time they had hires and all of the ones invited were less than promising to put it nicely.. LaMont the most curious name… He probably won’t this time either, but I always did want Flash back in the system again

    • Kyle Cotton 3 years ago

      well he was part of the problem too seeing as he can’t keep a young team confident, couldn’t light a fire under them when they were down, and would use half the bullpen in one inning just because of left right match ups. Honestly good riddens the guy couldn’t handle the pitching staff, and any young players that did well regressed because he didn’t show confidence in them.

  7. blagblag4488 3 years ago

    The Astros finished with the world record in baseball last year. Why’d he get fired?

    *edit: they changed world to worst

    • 1. The Astros have a new owner and a new GM, and neither of those guys were involved in selecting Brad Mills as manager. I’m sure they want their own guy. Why fire Mills now instead of at the end of the season? I can only speculate, but perhaps to give themselves more time to look at candidates?

      2. Independent of the team’s record, Mills is not a very good manager. He doesn’t manage a pitching staff well and he overmanages the day to day lineup, with constant changes and over-emphasis on platoon advantage. His decisions seem more about trying futilely to win games instead of providing stability and a good learning environment for young players–and he’s much too hard on pitchers’ arms.

  8. babaganoosh 3 years ago

    I guess the Astros expected themselves to be slightly less mediocre this season?

  9. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    Nobody could have done much better with the team he was given. Its unfortunate, Mills is a good guy.

  10. Chiburgh 3 years ago

    Maybe he can go fishing with Mike Quade next season.

  11. $4697104 3 years ago

    This is absolutely ridiculous that the Astros have fired Brad Mills Hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacha. In a way I bet Brad Mills Mike Barnett and Bobby Meacha are all happy that they got fired. Honestly who would in there right mind would want to coach a team that has no good player on the roster.

    • Carl Langley 3 years ago

      Thousands of potential MLB managers. Who in their right mind would turn down any MLB managerial job?

    • ssjchaseutley 3 years ago

      I dunno, Jose Altuve is pretty good.

    • RedEyedDream 3 years ago

      If no one else is going to do it can I?!? I’ll take one for the team and manage that Astros!

    • itsmewade 3 years ago

      Would you rather be a coach for a championship AA team taking bus trips everywhere? I didn’t think so.

      • On the other hand, do you take a job, knowing that in 2 years you will be fired, and potentially ruining any chance you ever have to manage again at the big league level?

        • LayerCake 3 years ago

          Who says your chance will be ruined? Sure he managed one bad (stresses bad) mlb team but many owners and GM’s know that and take that into consideration. They look at managers for their value at managing their respective teams not solely on what they were dished in the past. Hell Bobby Cox wouldn’t fair much better with that AAAA squad.

          • mlbscout6 3 years ago

            It’s not right, but many coaching careers end because of short failed tenures like this.

    • Bob Hulsey 3 years ago

      And yet somehow pitching coach Doug Brocail still has a job.

  12. Guest 3 years ago

    I feel sorry for the guy. Come on, Joe Torre couldn’t have avoided a 100 loss season with that roster.

    • macdice 3 years ago

      Joe Torre was only a good manager when he had the Yankee payroll behind him. Buck Showalter would have those title if he was given one more year.

      • Matthew Williams 3 years ago

        The point is even if they had a hall of fame manager this team was never going to accomplish anything this season.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      It’s a business, and with a new ownership there was turnover in employees.

    • Kyle Cotton 3 years ago

      well he didn’t help matters seeing has he would use half the bullpen in one inning because of left right match ups and not because the pen was struggling.

  13. macdice 3 years ago

    Craig Biggio?

    • Anthony Rainier 3 years ago

      Biggio would be great, but he is coaching his son’s high school team.

  14. Blue387 3 years ago

    I think the Astros should consider Brad Ausmus for manager. He sounded smart and intelligent in an interview on NPR last year.

  15. It will be some dude from St Louis.

  16. It’s not about the win/loss record. Mills had made numerous stupid moves, such as his constant shuffling of lineups. A player hits a homerun or goes 3/4, gets benched for 3 games. Players couldn’t get into a groove with his constant juggling. One game he brought in Welsey Wright to pitch to a LH batter, then moved him to right field for one batter (who was RH), then when the next batter came up, moved Wright back to pitcher. After GM Jeff Luhnow stated late last week/early this week (to the press, mind you)1B/3B Brett Wallace needs to play every day, Wallace was benched for several games afterwards.

  17. NomarGarciaparra 3 years ago

    Besides perhaps some extremes, how much does a manager really matter? Terry Francona never had a winning season with the Phillies. Joe Torre wasn’t highly regarded before he managed the Yankees. There must be a ton more examples.

    Most moves that managers make are classic and knowledgeable fans would arguably be no worse at it. As long as the manager is able to keep good relation (i.e. not Bobby V), how much does manager really matter?

    Of course, there are probably exceptions…but I mean in general.

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      Managers need to know when to call for pitchouts, shift defenses, call for a hit and run…they need to know how to manage egos and create a fun, yet accountable environment for the players. They need to form a trusting relationship with the players so they feel comfortable telling him when they are injured… yeah, they matter. I know I might get some negativity for this because baseball fans these days feel the need to assign quantitive credit/blame for everything, but in in my opinion, it’s a complex relationship between a player and manager that can’t be measured in WAR.

  18. Infield Fly 3 years ago

    That is one heck of a revolving door the ‘Stros have going where managers are concerned but it’s been clear for a long time that no amount of manager swapping is going to address the problem. That’s really a sad state of affairs.

  19. Eric 3 years ago

    Once the Astros cut ties with Bourn, and Pence it was their downfall from there.
    Tampa Bay finished dead last every year but ended up being good because they had an eye for good talent in the Draft.
    The Astros will have to try to find some gems and just go through the growing pains.

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      I agree, but the upside for the Astros is that unlike the Rays, they have the market to add some impact free agents once they have established a core through the draft. The hardest part for the Astros is going to be assembling a quality rotation through the draft before players like Altuve become expensive, and Jed Lowrie falls apart from injuries (always been a big fan of both of these guys, btw)

  20. Jack Cox 3 years ago

    And we were so close to having no managers fired this season.

  21. mickblue66 3 years ago

    JJose oquendo

  22. Jack Cox 3 years ago

    BTW it was clear Mills was going to get the Axe but I figured it was going to be after the season. It’s stunning to me how he’s out this fast and Jim Tracy is still clinging to a job.

  23. Jack Cox 3 years ago

    I bet you it is Jose Oquendo who’s managing the Astros next year, I am almost certain Luhnow wants to bring some cardinals over.

  24. Jack Cox 3 years ago

    Well the Astros have managed to become the first team this year to have a losing season.

  25. Wilsonl 3 years ago

    Might as well fire the next person to take his spot too.

  26. Not sure what the point of firing him at this point of the season. They punted a long time ago, thought he did a good as he could do with a roster that would have a hard time winning in the PCL…

    • Guest 3 years ago

      I’m guessing–and it’s nothing more than that–

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      My guess would be to get a chance to evaluate their in house coaching options for a couple months.

  27. Bob Hulsey 3 years ago

    Give a guy a AA roster and expect him not to lose 100 games. That makes a lot of sense. Mills was publicly the most positive manager you could imagine despite being stuck with a completely unfair situation. I hope he gets another major league gig where he gets a fair chance.

    • dc21892 3 years ago

      He will for sure. His next suitors are going to look at what he did overall as a manager and not his wins and losses with the team.

  28. Brian 3 years ago

    That doesn’t seem fair considering the team he was given. However, I can see where they’re coming from since the new front office probably wants their own guy in there.

  29. mills never had a chance with this organization, his replacement will go through the same channel. people speak of torre, but torre ruined every team he managed, proof being that when zimmer left yankees torre downfall began there too

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Don Zimmer couldn’t manage an ant farm. ANyone with 7 AS on their roster (1978) who cannont get a team to the post season is a born loser and that is Zimmer.. Knows nothing about pitchers, blew out the arm of the 2nd best closer in the game from improper use (Bill Campbell) 1st year he had him, would hold a SP back 1-2 days because he **thought** they would be better against 1 team than another??

      Bill Lee had this marvelous quote with regards to Zim.. Never trust a man with a steel plate in his head, some of that steel might have sunk inward…Bill was priceless…

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        Pitchers that blow out their arms are due to overuse, yes, but if their mechanics are clean it wouldn’t happen. If you pitch the wrong way, and are logging a lot of innings, you’re going to blow out your arm. No hidden secrets there. Zimmer played a very minimal role there.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Zimmer didn’t play any minimal role in throwing Soupy Campbell 3 IP 1 day, 2 IP the next and having him work every game of a series.. THAT was what blew his arm out.. i remember him even having him warm up when he couldn’t pitch, just for the “psyche” effect that 77 season.

          Throwing his ‘guy” all those games and innings, plus the well documented antidotes of Zimmer holding back SP several games so they could face another team are my reasons Zimmer understood nothing about pitching period.

          he blew out Campbell’s arm, Bugsy Burgmeir got hurt later on, luckily Bugsy threw junk anyway and no loss in a “power sinker” which was what Campbell had.

          Don’t think you can bring up a lot here, unless you remember those days.. i recall many like were yesterday and most of the times were not pretty with Zimmer either ranting when the team would lose 5-6 in a row, or praise the same guys when they would win 7-9.. A 100% buffoon.

    • Slopeboy 3 years ago

      @Charles Tetterton
      Absolutely…thank you for revealing the secret for the Yankees’ dynasty all those years! It wasn’t their great pitching, or the outstanding players or the phenomenal
      OBP, clutch hitting or even luck. It was the great Don Zimmer. I’m amazed no one picked it up sooner!

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        I get a chuckle everytime someone says anything positive regarding that buffoon Slopeboy. zimmer truly was without a clue.

        I think he stayed in the game all those years mostly because he actually did resemble Popeye and people wanted to throw darts at him more than his baseball knowledge.

        • Slopeboy 3 years ago

          To be fair, Torre did credit him with a good deal of his success. Could be that he’s just being gracious or the case of ‘even a blind squirrel finds a nut…’

  30. Whole_New_World 3 years ago

    Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where they flash to the WWII fall of Berlin, Hitler in his bunker. Grabs a teddy bear and screams, “This is all YOUR fault!!!!!!”

  31. VadaPinson 3 years ago

    This is a joke to me. Unless Mills was insubordinate, the GM that a lot of folks are applauding just took yet another step down. Can you do anything more gutless than fire a manager that you handed those players to work with? Again, unless he committed some major breach of contract or showed up the GM publicly, this is a joke and you may be looking at years of recovery after this clown runs them further into the ground.
    I feel terrible for Brad Mills. Great baseball person and teacher. He was literally put in a no win situation. He may never manage again, but he’s one heck of a bench coach.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      “He may never manage again, but he’s one heck of a bench coach.”

      Tommy Harper was one heck of a 1b/3b coach for decades, but doesn’t mean he should have been a MLB manager and don’t think Mills was a manager either, even though Francona was always blowing hot air about how good he was as his “RH Man”. He was good at what he did.. Being a No. 2 guy and some are like that, Mills WAS good as a bench coach, just like Harper was (to me) one of the better base coaches have seen for Boston over the coarse of my decades as a fan before they finally had enough of each other.

      • mlbscout6 3 years ago

        Another example is Ozzie Guillen. Great 3b coach; terrible manager.

  32. richardb21 3 years ago

    While I do feel for the guy given the circumstances, he left me questioning many of his decisions. It was just time for him to go and unless you are in Houston watching what he did you’ll blame it on bad players. While that is true, he didn’t use his bullpen well and the way he made his lineup didn’t make sense. He over managed on a regular basis and even over managed during a blow out. It was just his time. It also seemed that very few players were actually developing under his watch. As for a replacement any of these 5 in this order: Francona, Ausmus, Bagwell, Biggio and Garner.

  33. $20404099 3 years ago

    I would find it hard to believe or understand why the Astros would hire someone like a Francona or any other “grizzled veteran” ex manager. I also think it would be in the organizations best interest not to hire from another organization at all. The Astros have a long and steep climb back up to respectability ahead of them and fans would be much more acceptable of things if a hire was made from a group that they respect from their playing days with the Astros. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the next manager has no previous experience at any professional level.

  34. MadmanTX 3 years ago

    Not a good sign for the Astros if they think Mills needs to go mid-season after a fire sale. The smart play is to stick with their manager during the rebuilding phase. Rome isn’t built in a day.

  35. camerondatzker 3 years ago

    I agree that Brad Ausmus would be a great managerial guy. Another name is Jose Oquendo who will be a manager some where. The Astros need to start fresh from scratch.

  36. hawkny1 3 years ago

    Nothing wrong with Mills as a manager. Remember though, he was Terry Francona’s bench coach on a team with a $140M+ payroll. Much more of a talent base to work with in Boston than Houston. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up in Chicago or perhaps Boston, again, as a coach. He is a good baseball man just not the right one for Houston at this point in their history.

  37. Kevin Chambers 3 years ago


  38. Odawg8 3 years ago


  39. Slopeboy 3 years ago

    @Henry Armstrong
    Riggleman is better suited to manage a newsstand rather than a MLB team.
    His record shows that he is nothing more than a mediocre manager, who cannot sustain success and is full of himself. Everytime his teams showed any positive results, it was followed by failure the following season.

    His biggest shortcomings seem to be handling players as well as in game descisions. After winning MOY with the Padres, he quickly wore out his welcome there. Then he went a long time before being given another opportunity to manage again. Once more after having a bit of success with the Cubs, and winning another MOY award in ’98, he rode and alienated his players such, that they quit on him.

    When the Nats gave him another chance to manage, he tried to publicly strong-arm them into giving him an extension, just when the team was beginning to play well. With that type of resume, I can’t see any solid organization giving this guy a team to manage.

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