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Report: Astros likely to replace manager Brad Mills after season

Jul 6, 2012, 9:04 PM EDT

Brad Mills AP

The Astros stuck with manager Brad Mills this season, despite new ownership and a new general manager, but it appears they are already thinking about who will lead them into the American League West in 2013. According to Ken Rosenthal of, Mills will likely be replaced after the season.

Mills, who was hired in October of 2009 under former owner Drayton McLane and former general manager Ed Wade, is in the final year of his contract while the Astros hold a club option for 2013. Entering play this evening, he owns a 164-243 (.403) record as the Houston skipper.

As for Mills’ replacement, Rosenthal was told that new GM Jeff Luhnow will likely consider three candidates from his time with the Cardinals, including Astros bench coach Joe Pettini, former Nationals manager and current Reds Double-A manager Jim Riggleman and Cardinals first base coach Chris Maloney.

  1. js20011041 - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    If Luhnow hires Riggleman, he deserves to be fired. You can’t hire a guy who walked out on his team because of a contract dispute. I’m sure there are legitimate reasons for leaving the team in the middle of the season, but being pissed off that you don’t have an extension for beyond the current year isn’t one of them. I just don’t see how he could have any respect in the clubhouse. We’re not even talking about anyone special either. This is Jim Riggleman.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      I’m sure there are factors with Riggleman’s departure from the Nationals we aren’t aware of, but I don’t see how he is an upgrade over Mills either. I think .400 is actually not bad for this team. However, the manager always has and always will take the fall for the team record regardless.

  2. Glenn - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    What is Mills supposed to do with that roster?

    • raysfan1 - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:58 PM

      Lose. Then take the fall like a good soldier.

      “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die, into the valley of death rode the (manager)”

    • dan1111 - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:09 AM

      Apart from what many commenters seem to think, this does not necessarily mean they blame Mills for the team’s performance. More likely, they simply want to make a fresh start, hiring a coaching staff according to their own philosophy. This almost always happens when a new general manager takes over.

      • delchef9 - Jul 7, 2012 at 4:03 AM

        Then why not grab someone with a large name recognition…….personality……experience in the A.L. Draw up some fan interest and support….sign some players from outside ( please) and try to make a big splash in your first yr in the AL…..its a once in a lifetime oppurtunity and to do it any other way would be a disservice to the team and thefans……and I am not even an Astros fan aside from taking the challenge of tryinh to takethem to the WS in THE SHOW 2012!!!

      • 18thstreet - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:28 AM

        You can have Bobby Valentine.

    • delchef9 - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:49 AM

      Sacrifice, hit and run, safety squeeze……etc. Basic fundamental coaching…… have 4 OF all the same, no power decent speed gap hitters. Call up Paredes speed on the bases……anything but, stand around and watch the other team beat you every series!

      • dan1111 - Jul 7, 2012 at 4:01 AM

        I agree that the Astros should do more things that decrease their odds of winning.

  3. mybrunoblog - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Astros are changing virtually every phase of their organization. New league, uniforms, logo etc. They are going to look a lot different in every way in 2013. So long Brad Mills. Like Bruce Hornsby said “that’s just the way it is”

    • 18thstreet - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      I like the idea that someone in Texas saying, “You know, I was going to buy season tickets. New league, new uniform … everything’s new. But, dammit, they kept Brad Mills as manager. I’m going to watch NFL Network instead.”

  4. theaxmancometh - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Obviously he should be fired. Trade away Berkman, Oswalt, Pence, Bourn & El Cabayo & the entire team is minor league talent besides Altuve. How is he not managing this club into wild card contention!?!

    • 18thstreet - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      I like Mills because he did a nice job with the Red Sox and Francona always spoke highly of him. But it’s possible for him to be the wrong guy for the job even if he was handed a bad roster.

  5. gostros19 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:02 PM


  6. micker716 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Who’s Brad Mills? What happened to Bill Virdon?

  7. stex52 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Brad has lost his shine around Houston, but I’m not sure what people think he should be able to do. I don’t know if he is a good manager. But I don’t know how we can tell; with the situation he has been handed.

    But who said life is fair?

  8. okwhitefalcon - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    They could exhume Casey Stengall and it’s not going to help anytime soon in a division with the Rangers and Angels, loaded with talent and money to burn for years to come.

  9. jryanh10 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Maloney or Oquendo from St. Louis would be good options. But being the Astros will now be in the American League, it would probably do a lot better to get someone that has managed in the league with at least moderate success. Maybe look up Ken Macha or Jerry Manuel or go with a rookie coach like St. Louis and Chicago has done.

  10. Old Gator - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Well, since they’re going to be playing designatedhitterball from now on, which is nothing but a mammoth hunt for dimwits disguised as something like baseball, only duller, maybe the new owners should see if Alley Oop is available. There’s already a great walk-on song for him that’s probably in the public domain by now. Failing that, maybe they could extract some DNA from Fred Flintstone’s fossil, supplement it with some DNA from Joe Walsh – another Neanderthal – implant it into Bristol Palin, who’s readily available and needs anything she can get to boost her ratings, and presto! You’ve got a manager worthy to lead a proud franchise into the ennui of American League whatever it is they play over there.

    • dan1111 - Jul 7, 2012 at 4:08 AM

      Your whole prehistoric theme is an interesting choice. Because I can’t think of anything more rooted in the ancient past than complaining about the designated hitter. “Ooga booga! Me only like real baseball! In my day pitcher had to hit rock with club like everyone else! If you no like, me drag you around by hair while complaining about Miami!”

      • Old Gator - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:13 AM

        Sounds like you think all change for its own sake is good. It’s true that many of us have found the DH a dumbdown move since the day Ron Blomberg first picked up his 2001-monolith skullcrusher and went to work demolishing the entire concept of strategy in the game. Of course, your response ignores the issue of the loss of strategy, as well as the pathetic spectacle of the warehousing of old, broken down has-been ballplayers functional only from the waist up. In this regard, I suppose there’s a futuristic aspect to abhorrence of the DH – you know, as in the advanced cybernetics required to keep these has-beens functioning for a few more halfassed years. It could just be that you prefer pathos to having to think ahead about the game at all. This is not an uncommon phenomenon.

  11. jkaflagg - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Mills had an impossible job, and probably was brought back this year only because Luhnow realized the team was gonna get beat up again no matter who was managing – no reason to bring in a new guy and hang 90 + losses on him. Sure he has been quietly looking around for candidates this year, but I agree that Riggleman should not be a serious choice….he’s had plenty of chances but has not distinguished himself, and quitting on the Nats was pretty weak no matter what the circumstances……

  12. quintjs - Jul 7, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Something to consider is that maybe the Luhnow think Mills has done exactly as well, if not better than they thought he should have, but that they are not renewing his contract because they think he isn’t quite the right guy to manage and teach all the young players going forward.

  13. blazertop - Jul 7, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    Old Gator – what difference does it make regarding AL vs. NL?? If you don’t like it, find another team.

    Mills was a joke when he was hired. About 0.1% better than Cooper. You could give either one of those guys the ’27 Yankees lineup and they might win 85 games. Give Crane some time to get the disaster left behind by Drayton fixed.

    • stex52 - Jul 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Gotta disagree on the assessment of Mills. Cooper was the worst I ever saw in Houston (except for Leo Durocher’s short tenure in the ’70’s. No, cancel that, Cooper was the worst). With Mills I see no reason to believe he isn’t competent. A manager can’t make a bunch of no-talents hit or pitch.

      But like I said, who said life is fair?

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