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Bo Porter isn’t messing around with Astros’ hitters

Apr 9, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

Astros cleanup hitter J.D. Martinez was pulled early from last night’s game. When asked why Martinez was pulled, manager Bo Porter said this:

Porter was asked following the Astros’ 3-0 loss to the Mariners if Martinez, who was hitting cleanup for the first time this year, had been injured, and he told reporters to ask Martinez what happened.

“That was a manager’s decision,” Porter said. “You go ask him why he didn’t finish the game. I’m actually interested in what he’s going to tell you.”

Go read Martinez’s answer. It sounds like a combination of scolded child and pre-Seppuku samurai. The upshot:┬áhe didn’t follow the hitting approach discussed pregame and popped out on a first pitch swing. But there was definitely a “yes sir, may I have another?” element to it all.

Which, hey, whatever works. It’s good to see that Porter has his young hitters thinking about approaches to at bats and stuff. That said, it’s weird to see these kinds of teaching moments in the major leagues. That’s where the Astros are, though.

  1. leerosenthall - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Is Porter taken with referring to himself in the third person or does this piece need a good edit???

  2. realgone2 - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Bo ain’t taking any shit.

    • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Bo don’t play no shit. You hear me, you feel me? Bo ain’t never been about that, ain’t never, never been about playing no shit.

  3. darthicarus - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    One could say the reporter swung & missed in their attempt to get an answer from Porter, which is status quo for Houston.

  4. mungman69 - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    What a bad organization.

  5. ptfu - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Bo knows baseball. It’s best for the Astros to accept that.

    • stex52 - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Whether he does or not, they had clearly better accept that he is the boss.

      • jeffa43 - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Stex… I may owe you some wings in September. Still hoping for 63 wins…in the words of Elmer Fud Gantry, ” It takes a big man to admit he is wrong… and I am not a big man”

        Ps… What’s up with no Astro tv on MLB package? I am getting all opposing teams broadcasts.

      • texxxasmade - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Jeffa43, if you’re in the Houston market watching the game it’s not going to show you the local broadcast. Maybe you’re familiar with the disput b/w Comcast and the other cable outlets? You can’t weezle around it Mr. Sneeky lol

  6. Sideline Mob - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    There’s really only two ways to look at this story:

    a) Bo Porter refers to himself in the third person, like Rickey Henderson; or

    b) Bo Porter didn’t know why he pulled J.D. Martinez, and was hoping Martinez did.

    Bagwell and Biggio must be sick to their stomachs right now. What a disgrace.

  7. APBA Guy - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    As I said in my comments on the Astros 3 games with the A’s, the Astros are pathetic. I’m not sure what Porter is intending in his comments to the press, especially after his handling of pitching during the first loss against the A’s, when he left Norris in past 110 pitches and then brought in a lefty reliever to face Derek Norris who kills lefties, with predictable results.

    In any event, everyone knows he’s the boss. But the boss made a two rookie mistakes in that game, and I didn’t hear the players telling the press how interested they would be in hearing Porter answer the question about why he did what he did.

    • jeffa43 - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      If you saw game 2…. You would agree with how Bo handled Bud. Leave it in Buds hands for one more batter, or turn it over to the worst bullpen in MLB history.

      It was a gamble, and you are on the right page, but he had no option than to roll the dice and hope.

      Let’s face it, fat era’s, drunk hitters, and stupid signings(pena) is no way to go through a season.

  8. natslady - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Fangraphs wrote up Ankiel’s contact problems. Veteran presence or no, you have to wonder how long he will be on that team. They can hire him as an outfield instructor, he’d probably be great at it. He was excellent helping Harper when he first came up, and in addition to the “Arm” he’s excellent at getting jumps and positioning. He made himself into a good outfielder with zillions and zillions of reps, but he’s never been a good hitter.

  9. unclemosesgreen - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Low class move by Bo Porter – you just don’t do that to a kid in the press. If you pull him, you pull him, I’m not a fan of that type of “motivation” – but to then throw him to the writers like that? Bush league move – I’m definitely beginning to wonder if he’s the right person for this job.

  10. paperlions - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    I’d love to know what Porter’s K-rate is while throwing batting practice…gotta be at least in the 20% range.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      I was hoping you’d read this post.

  11. stex52 - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    My God, I hope it’s not cecil Cooper all over again. He couldn’t miss as a manager, either. Until they found out he had a bad temper and a Napolean complex.

    • jeffa43 - Apr 9, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Dear God… He can’t be as bad as Cooper…. That is tough to replicate.

  12. dondada10 - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    So, he was pulled because he swung at the first pitch?

    First pitch swinging isn’t a good strategy to apply all the time. Ask Miguel Olivo. At the same time, what if a hitter is sitting on a pitch and gets it? Should he not swing for fear of being unsuccesful and benched?

    If the Astros come to the plate afraid to swing first pitch, they’re going to find themselves behind in the count constantly. For a team with contact issues, they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    There’s managing, and then there’s overmanaging. This is the latter.

    • ptfu - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      If you defy the boss, you had better succeed. If Martinez had gotten a clean hit instead of popping up, he’d probably have been allowed to keep playing. Though even if it does work…

    • js20011041 - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      To me, it kind of sounds like Martinez disobeyed a directive from Porter to take the first pitch. If that’s the case, then I get pulling him. I’m not a huge fan of telling the media about it, but it also sounds like there might be an issue with Martinez regarding trust and attitude. It’s possible that there is an ongoing issue with Martinez not “following orders.” Unless Porter has a really bad anger problem, I don’t see him pulling Martinez simply for popping out on the first pitch.

    • jeffa43 - Apr 9, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Carter lead off the inning and swung at the first pitch and flew out. This is after Phil Humber had a long inning, and the we went 3 up 3 down the inning before on very few pitches…

      JD steps in and swings at the first pitch as well… I flipped out before JD was pulled, and I was not shocked at all by the move.

      If you are going 123, 123, 123, and your pitcher is throwing a lot of pitches, you can not let that trend continue. You need to work the count or attempt to. If the first guy up swings and pops up on the first pitch, you can’t have the next hitter repeat that.

      The writer should have explained what Carter did before and the situation.

  13. deathmonkey41 - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I wish GIrardi would start benching some Yankee hitters who swing first pitch every time.

  14. coryfor3 - Apr 9, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    He can only pull this stuff because of who has on that roster.

  15. beefytrout - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    He got some pretty damn good results tonight.

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