Astros Fire Bo Porter

The Astros have fired manager Bo Porter, according to a team press release.  Bench coach Dave Trembley has also been relieved of his duties.  Tom Lawless will be the club’s interim manager for the rest of the 2014 season.

As reported last week by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, a divide had grown between Porter and Houston GM Jeff Luhnow.  Porter felt that Luhnow was overly critical of his in-game strategy, and he also didn’t think his own opinions were being heard within the front office.  Porter was also upset that he wasn’t consulted when Mark Appel was brought to Minute Maid Park for a throwing session in July, a move that also drew complaints from several Astros players.MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers

As part of the team’s official statement, Luhnow predictably didn’t address any specific issues between he and Porter, yet hinted at differences of opinion by saying “I believe we need a new direction in the clubhouse.”

What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization.  It is essential that as an organization we create an atmosphere at the Major League level where our young players can come up and continue to develop and succeed.  Ultimately, I am responsible for creating that culture and I will do everything in my power to do so — even when it means making difficult moves like the one we made today.”

Porter was hired as the Astros’ manager in September 2012 and officially took over the job on Opening Day 2013.  He had a 110-190 record with the rebuilding club, and Luhnow noted in his statement that Porter’s record wasn’t the issue: “I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible.”

This has not been a stellar year for the Astros front office, as the Porter firing is the latest in a series of controversies that have emerged in Houston this season.  There was a dispute over George Springer‘s promotion, several of the team’s trade discussion notes were leaked online and the Astros were heavily criticized for both their failure to sign first overall pick Brady Aiken and their subsequent decision to pull out of an agreement with fifth-rounder Jacob Nix.  It’s not surprising that Luhnow won this apparent power struggle with Porter given how much the franchise has invested in Luhnow’s rebuilding plan, yet the questions about Luhnow’s stewardship of the team will inevitably continue until the Astros start to produce on the field.

This is Lawless’ first time managing at the Major League level, as he has worked as a manager, coach and roving instructor within the Astros’ organzation for several years.  Former Astro Adam Everett has also been hired to take over as bench coach.  According to the club’s press release, the Astros will “immediately” begin looking for next long-term manager.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports Images

65 Responses to Astros Fire Bo Porter Leave a Reply

  1. agureghian 11 months ago

    What did the Astros expect? The 2001 Mariners?
    The roster performed adequately imo.

  2. MB923 11 months ago

    At first I wondered why, but after searching, it appears there was major tension between Porter and GM Jeff Luhnow. Specifically Luhnow criticizing Porter on his in game managing.

    • MadmanTX 11 months ago

      Porter and players were upset at Ludhow’s interference and slaps in face, like giving mediocre prospect Appel a bullpen session at Minute Maid.

    • stl_cards16 11 months ago

      Most managers are poor in game managers. It’s just accepted in baseball that managers make weird decisions. Maybe the Astros will be the first team to hire someone who actually improves his teams chances at winning games. I wish the Cardinals would.

    • josebatista89 11 months ago

      So the owners expect Luhnow to be a gm and manager.

  3. ProjectNeo 11 months ago

    Guess the FO wants to get someone in they can control completely. I feel like Porter never really got a shot to show what he could do, he had a bad team and it was being micro managed by the people above him.

  4. Willmac7496 11 months ago

    Why fire him? Why Now? He has connected well with the Astro’s young players and has proven to be a solid manager despite a poor team

    • Jon 11 months ago

      He did not connect well with the GM, so the one with more power gets to keep their job.

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

    Well, I didn’t see this coming despite some of the articles to the contrary.
    I would love for the O’s to add him to the nest, however I don’t see much room at the inn. I thought Bo Porter was doing a good job.
    Then again, who really knows what is going on behind the scenes in AstroWorld.

    • MadmanTX 11 months ago

      It was obvious to people in Houston, though surprise was not to wait til season over.

  6. Dbacksfan44 11 months ago

    I’m hoping Dbacks finally fire Gibson and maybe Porter could be a candidate to replace him

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

      That’s an idea. I still kind of like Kirk Gibson though, but maybe it’s for what he did in the past, rather then what he’s currently accomplishing.

  7. GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

    If the padres decide to fire Buddy Black Id like to see Bo Porter as our manager.
    Also anyone else find it a bit funny that the interim coaches last name is lawless- seems like that’s how Luhnow runs the team sometimes.

    • Beersy 11 months ago

      I agree, but to be honest neither one of them have ever really been given a team that should/could contend.

      • GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

        Agreed. But with Preller taking over he may want to bring in his guy. I like Buddy. He’s done great despite Gyorko bring injured Alonso injured, Maybin Quentin injured, Cashner missing time, Cabrera missing time, Vincent Missing time. The fact they’re 5 6 games under .500 is remarkable IMO with how much time guys have missed.

        • Beersy 11 months ago

          I hear ya, but I am not one for making a change just to make a change. If Black were given teams that were supposed to contend and he kept falling short he would have been gone long ago, but he obviously is doing something right for him to survive 4 GMs and 3 ownership[ groups, if you count Moorad. However I do think that the most important guy in that dugout is Darren Balsley. If the Padres do bring in a new manager, he had better be offensive minded and hopefully will be open minded as to what Balsley says about the pitchers, if of course Balsley wants to stick around.

    • Seamaholic 11 months ago

      Why on Earth would the Padres fire Black? IMO, he’s one of the best managers in baseball.

      • GetToTheChoppa 11 months ago

        Why? Cause it’s the padres. When have they ever made a smart move for the long term? I’m a huge fan. But with Preller in town he may want to bring in his own guy. There’s no guarantee Black stays. I think he’s a great guy awesome coach but I’m not making the decisions. If he is fired id like to see porter replace him.

    • Smrtbusnisman04 11 months ago

      Every year, it seems that Black ‘s teams always go on a tear in the second half, and he manages to save his job in the end.

  8. Leon Barry 11 months ago

    Such an awkward fit from the get go. Bo will land on his feet somewhere that isn’t 150% saber I’m sure.

  9. Adam D Valle 11 months ago

    Wow that was kind of surprising to see when I woke up this am. Although there were a lot articles recently talking about tension between luhnow and porter

  10. Mang 11 months ago

    Lol the GM stocks a team with minor leaguers and then fires the manager… Yeah cuz it’s his fault…

  11. mstrchef13 11 months ago

    Maybe they will hire Keith Law to be their manager, since you know he will buy into the all-sabremetric approach to running a team.

    • JCurrie39 11 months ago

      I was thinking Brian Kenny…

    • Teufelshunde4 11 months ago

      Would be funnier if they hired Joe Sheehan as manager.. Rany Jeezarly as bench coach. Klaw 3b coach and Carson Cistuli as 1b coach..

      That would be crew there

  12. A Lone Star 11 months ago

    Tensions have been rising since the Mark Appel fiasco..

    • Federal League 11 months ago

      There was no fiasco. Nobody on a major league roster should have cared that some prospect was brought in to pitch a bullpen session for team management.

    • Smrtbusnisman04 11 months ago

      Who cares if the organization gave him a private session? Did some players panic and think Appel was getting promoted? Do Astros pitchers not know how to lookup a pitcher’s stats on baseball-reference?

      It’s not like anyone in their bullpen is putting up Mariano Rivera numbers.

      • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

        It’s the fact they treated him like Mariano Rivera despite not being worth it with how poorly he’s pitched in A-Ball. It’s like giving John McDonald the entire batting facility for a day when guys like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols want to use the facility.

        • Federal League 11 months ago

          It isn’t really like that at all. It’s just a bullpen session for a struggling player the team has a lot invested in. Nobody on the team should care about Mark Appel.

          • Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

            It’s the rational the other players are thinking about that I’m sure fired up Porter, I’m sure some guys in the clubhouse were talking about how they had to scratch and claw to get the majors and it’s like: “Why does this guy get special treatment?”

          • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

            He was their all everything pick. They are heavily invested in him. It’s not “special treatment” per se, it’s a logical response to a player you have so much invested in. Porter’s job should have been to “manage” that. He is apart of the management side of the management-labor equation.

          • Federal League 11 months ago

            Mark Appel didn’t get to the majors, though. It was a bullpen session not a promotion.

  13. BAINES03 11 months ago

    Honestly, I don’t know why Porter was hired in the first place. That being said, it’s obvious Lunlow thinks a manager is just another chess piece he can move around on his board. From what I understand, Porter was well liked in the clubhouse, and Lunlow isn’t really making any friends within his own organization.

  14. jb226 11 months ago

    “What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization.”

    In other words, he didn’t toe the line enough.

    Ultimately that’s fine; the GM is entitled to whatever type of manager he wants. Just be careful what you wish for, Jeff. If you get your “consistent message” and your team is still awful, you’re next on the chopping block.

  15. Mike1L 11 months ago

    A manager can only work with the pieces given to him, and Luhnow has made it amply clear that dollars, getting the maximum number of high drafts picks, and playing hard ball with potential draftees are his priorities. Presumably, they reflect ownership thinking.

  16. Nathan Boley 11 months ago

    Questionable move but I honestly think Porter was in over his head as a manager. He’s a good baseball guy and maybe he’ll find a job coaching again, gaining more experience, until he gets another shot at managing in a better situation than Houston.

  17. CandyMaldonadoLand 11 months ago

    Bo Porter always came off as short tempered and unprofessional.

  18. richardb21 11 months ago

    Time to try something new. The last two guys who were hired had never been major league managers before. Why don’t we go out and get someone who has done this before and isn’t growing up on the job with the players. I think Porter did a great job with what he had but he wasn’t the answer. They have the opportunity (and money) to go out and make a big splash on someone with experience. Maybe it’s time to bring back Phil Garner.

    • Federal League 11 months ago

      The problems in Houston go deeper than just the manager. If you look at Houston’s record from the past decade plus, the team performed at a very consistent level from Terry Collins right through to Cecil Cooper. They had a few bad years, and a couple years where they won 90+ games, but for the most part they put together a winning record while falling short of 90 wins.

      And that consistency was because they had guys like Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman, Pettitte, Clemens, Oswalt, Mike Hampton, Richard Hidalgo, Morgan Ensberg in his prime, Brad Lidge, Billy Wagner. Houston doesn’t have that kind of talent on the team anymore and hasn’t for the last few years.

  19. It’s not fair to blame Porter for this team’s futility, but it’s clear he’s not their guy either.

  20. Dynasty22 11 months ago

    This has quite the year for the Astros, hasn’t it? And most of the it for all the wrong reasons…

  21. EndlessMikeJr 11 months ago

    Big fan of Porter.Guess Ludnow is having a hard time being a GM than he thought.Just trying to get first round picks isn’t a way to be a great GM.Why not spend a few dollars on the team.

    • dwarfstar 11 months ago

      They did spend some money this year 3/30 on Scott Feldman need I go on..

      • EzRider 11 months ago

        I alway hate this reasoning. “Spend some money and they’ll be better.” How about the players PLAY better no matter how crazy the amount their paychecks are. We payed Curtis Granderson 60 million dollars and he stunk this year. David Wright is making 138 million and he better be injured or were in BIG trouble. $$$ does not = wins.

        Besides, i think Luhnow spent plenty enough money on all those high priced draft picks.

  22. fireboss 11 months ago

    This was about the intersection of baseball and statistical analysis. Luhnow wants a statistics driven ball team in game and out. Porter wasn’t going to do that. Since his system was put in place he’s run into non-statistical obstacles; injuries, players not performing as predicted etc Time will tell is he can find a manager who will suit his desires. I doubt that guy is managing or coaching anywhere now. Interesting to watch from the outside.

    • cynicwithtaste 11 months ago

      Joe Maddon would probably fit that mold, not that he’s available.

  23. EzRider 11 months ago

    Welcome to the wonderful world of useless yes men Managers sitting in the dugout never doing enough to help win games but always doing just enough to help you lose. Astro fans, i feel your pain.

    Sincerely Yours,
    An understanding Mets Fan.

    • $21621694 11 months ago

      Mets might get rid of Collins and Astros would jump all over that. Mets might hire Porter in return. That would be funny

  24. hozie007 11 months ago

    Jeff Luhnow is not a baseball guy and does not understand what it takes to manage a team on the field, in the clubhouse, in the media and then with a front office that is not player friendly. If you’re a top draft pick next year, I wouldn’t want to be picked by Houston.

  25. Jim Low 11 months ago

    Feel bad for Porter, hope he gets a REAL shot at being a manager or at least bench coach

  26. josebatista89 11 months ago

    So Jeff Lunhow’s job isn’t in jeopardy because???

    • Smrtbusnisman04 11 months ago

      He’s cut payroll numbers to the bare minimum and increased the team’s income.

      • josebatista89 11 months ago

        Granted on that but how many losing seasons have they had under him. Also this is what his third manager.

        • Smrtbusnisman04 11 months ago

          The owner gave him full control to rebuild a futile farm system. However, I don’t know if Mclane’s opinion has changed since then.

          • Smrtbusnisman04 11 months ago

            Pardon me. Jim Crane is the Astros owner, not Drayton McLane.

  27. Sage 11 months ago

    On the upside, Tom Lawless may now be the coolest name among MLB managers.

  28. Jaysfan1994 11 months ago

    Bring him in Jays, would do wonders having him share some of the Astro’s scouting secrets against the AL West which has had the Jays numbers for years now. Make him some sort of coach!

  29. Matt Musal 11 months ago

    Maybe they should talk to Craig Biggio and see if he might want to be manager. The fans love him, he was one hell of a player. If not him then you have, Jeff Bagwell. I doubt Nolan Ryan would want to do it.

  30. 108 stitches 11 months ago

    This is the new era. Managers have to be in sync with the General manager more than ever. The lineups and rotations come down from the front office more than ever. Strong personalities like Wedge and Porter are going to have a more difficult time getting/keeping jobs in the future. Front offices are leaving less and less up to the manager.

  31. This move is crazy and I feel badly for Bo Porter, being fired less than two years into a no-win situation. I suspect people around baseball know Porter’s a good baseball guy. I wish him luck.

  32. While I certainly didn’t think Porter was the guy to take the Astros back to relevance, to fire the guy that battled with the young kids you gave him all season long with only a month left in the season? That is just as low as you can get. Because of that I went from cheering on the Astros prospects to immediately hoping they all fail with the Astros just so I can laugh at Lunhow. That is classless Lunhow.

  33. handsomerandyblackladbrad1953 7 months ago

    GetToTheChoppa,it’d be quite interesting is a dude called Bo replaced a dude called
    Buddy as Padres skipper,but….Porter,from what I heard,did a credible job managing the criminally player-starved (save Altuve,Springer and a couple others) ‘Stros,but he and the GM were at odds,and,well,guess who won.Bo likely will manage somewhere by ’18,when I receive my first Canada Pension at age 65!!!

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