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Astros fans: Read this interview with Bo Porter

Sep 27, 2012, 3:20 PM EDT

Davey Johnson, Bo Porter AP

Any Astros fans wondering what to think of the team hiring Nationals third base coach Bo Porter as the new manager should read this interview Porter did back in July with David Laurila of Fan Graphs.

He gave a ton of very detailed, interesting responses, most of which showed Porter to have a really good grasp of the analytical side of batting orders, bunting, defensive shifts, bullpen usage, and other in-game strategies. I’d almost go so far as to call him a stat-head.

For instance, while many managers prefer a No. 2 hitter who can bunt or hit-and-run, Porter mostly wants a guy who can get on base:

At the end of the day, the game is about scoring runs and stopping the other team from scoring. In order to score runs you have to get on base. Yes, you want the top of your lineup to possess speed, so that when the hitters in the middle of the lineup drive the ball into the gaps, those guys can score from first base on a double. But at the same time, they have to be on base to score on that double. In a perfect world, your number-two guy can hit-and-run, bunt and move runners. But I want to make sure that the guys at the top of the lineup are able to get on base at a high percentage.

Add all that stuff to what is a strong reputation among players as a clubhouse guy and … well, after reading the interview I’d definitely be feeling good about the hire as an Astros fan.

  1. El Bravo - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Whoa whoa whoa…slow down Bo….you said, “[b]ut I want to make sure that the guys at the top of the lineup are able to get on base at a high percentage.] What you meant to say was, “[b]ut I want to make sure that the guys [on my team] are able to get on base.” Baby steps, Bo. Baby steps.

    • El Bravo - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      …and yes, I understand he didn’t realize during this interview that he’d be managing the worst team in baseball of 2012 as an AL team in 2013, making them even worse-er.

  2. vallewho - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I like the fact that he did not hesitate to go to the Cubs dugout to yell back at their ish…

    • dcfan4life - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      I wonder if that was the tipping point for him to get a job. That was something only a leader does. Something teams want for their manager. I love Bo and wish him well.

  3. natstowngreg - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Now I feel even worse about Bo leaving the Nats. Still wish him well, though.

  4. jaysjunkie - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Very weird that the announcement has already been made, yet he’s staying with the Nats until the end of the season. I’m sure it probably has, but has that happened before?

  5. 12strikes - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Next year they will trade him to the Phillies for a bag full of the Phanatics navel lint

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Well the Astros and Phillies have a history of trades in recent years. Phillies have gotten a closer from them, a starter, an outfielder… Really, trading for their Manager is the next logical step in this relationship.

      • mgdsquiggy17 - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:12 PM

        except Ed Wade is no longer there to gift wrap deals for the Phils

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM

        Gift Wrap? I beg to differ. While the Astros have gone nowhere but deeper in the basement after their trades they still got some quality guys out of the Phillies: Michael Bourn went to Houston, but considering the Phillies got Brad Lidge and Brad Lidge had that 2008 Season I’d say it was worth it.

        The Oz trade was a bit weak since they still gave away Gose to Toronto (And eventually Happ who fizzled) not to mention they paid Philly a bunch of money to keep Oz for another year. They still kept Jonathan Villar though (the Jury is still out but he was having a great season this year before he had a temper tantrum and punched something harder than his hand)

        The Pence deal was better for Houston considering Pence was in Philly only for a season (counting from the last trade deadline to this year’s). Sadly he faltered in the NLDS. At the end the Phillies got one season service time for Pence and a Catching prospect but ended up losing Singleton, Cosart and Santana. Yes just prospects, but you can figure at least two of those guys (and Villar) will still be with the Astros for a number of years while those players the Philies traded for are nowhere to be seen (Oz, Pence and Lidge all gone).

  6. danaking - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Gotta root for the guy. I mean, Bo is just a great baseball name.

    • ptfu - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      Bo knows baseball. But we knew that already.

  7. hk62 - Sep 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Thanks Aaron!! I thought it would come down to Porter or Bogar – with Porter’s energy carrying the decision. Looks like they made the right choice!

  8. paperlions - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    He shows a lot of clear thinking and understanding about what in baseball contributes to scoring and run prevention.

    “You only get 27 outs, so you don’t want to give them away. If you do give them away, it should be because the next play is a huge advantage for you.”

    “You can say you’re going to be an aggressive manager and that we’re going to steal bases and hit-and-run, but if you have six guys in your lineup that can hit 25 home runs, it’s probably not a good idea to take too many chances of giving away outs.”

    Sounds like a smart man.

  9. natsattack - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    The only thing left is the players.

  10. billgatesbarber - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    The Astros fans should be excited because they hired someone who knows the role of the top of the order? That might get them from 55 wins to 58. Bo Porter can not teach talent, he can only manage it. It’s paper bag time in Houston for the foreseeable future.

  11. jeffa43 - Sep 27, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    El Bravo… We Astro fans don’t need your obvious comments that only you find humor in.

    We need to start somewhere, and it sounds like a intelligent hire.

    2015 ! Go Stros !

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