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Astros fire their pitching coach

Jun 14, 2011, 12:29 PM EDT

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The Astros have announced that they have fired pitching coach Brad Arnsberg. He is being replaced by an interim: Doug Brocail, who if you put a gun to my head I probably would have guessed was still pitching mopup duty for someone out west because I tend not to track guys like Doug Brocail very well.

The reason cited for his dismissal was “philosophical differences,” which given that Brad Mills is pretty secure in his job as manager — and should be, frankly — is likely true. It’s usually managers who are themselves on the firing line who use or allow their coaches to be used as scapegoats.

Still, it ain’t all philosophy. Houston has one of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball. Overall, they give up more runs a game than every other team. On an ERA basis they’re second to last, ahead of only the Cubs. They have up a decent amount of runs to the Braves over the past four days, and that should be enough to have anyone fired, but I’m assuming there is more of a season-wide assessment at work.

As for the exact nature of the philosophical differences, I have an insider who tells me that it was really a grand thing about free will vs. determinism, and that Arnsberg was really fixated on all of that Pierre Simon Laplace stuff, which just drove Mills batty.

  1. purdueman - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    When broadcaster Hawk Harrelson heard about the news, he quipped: “He Gone!”

  2. Jonny 5 - Jun 14, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    “The reason cited for his dismissal was “philosophical differences,”

    Arnsberg: You traded away Oswalt, and now we have.

    Wandy Rodriguez
    Brett Myers
    JA Happ
    Bud Norris
    Nelson Figueroa

    Closer: Brandon Lyon

    Yeah, I’d say they should if you expect anything better than below average from that crew.

  3. sportsdrenched - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Congrats to Brad on his parole

  4. mcsnide - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Sounds like Millsy considered competing complex ideas on what was causing the Astros’ pitching problems and finally decided to take Occam’s Razor to Arnsberg.

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