September 21, 2009
Get those résumés ready, jobless manager types!
No, not you Cecil Cooper.
At least not until another skip gets fired.
In a move that officially creates the first managerial opening for 2010, the 70-79 Astros handed Cooper his walking papers on Monday and named Dave Clark the interim manager for the season's final 13 games.
Cooper was 171-170 since taking over for Phil Garner in the middle of the 2007 season. He also had the 2008 Astros in contention until Hurricane Bud hit, but a disappointing season in '09 and the team's current seven-game losing streak were apparently too much to bear for a rudderless Houston front office.
Said general manager Ed Wade in a statement:
"Cecil Cooper has given his all to the Houston Astros. Decisions like this are never easy, but we believe that a change in a direction on the field is in order. By making the move today, we will have the ability to evaluate other facets of our operation as we move into the offseason."
No word on whether the final straw was Cooper taking part in an onfield celebration with the Brewers' Prince Fielder on Sunday (kidding ... I think), but it's hard to see why Wade couldn't give Cooper the benefit of finishing out the season. The Astros have already been eliminated from postseason contention and it's not as if he completely embarrassed the team or couldn't make a great roster work for a winning record. If Wade wants to move in a different direction for 2010 that's fine, but let's not act as if Cooper was such a big obstacle in the franchise's quest for success that he couldn't have done his job for two more weeks.