The Houston Astros are turning to the best team in baseball for their manager.
Hey, when you are on your way to obliterating your all-time franchise record for losses — set to finish with the worst record in all of baseball for the second straight season — you need someone to show you how that winning thing is done. First-year Astros owner Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow are betting that Washington Nationals third base coach Bo Porter can be Houston's win guide. The Nats currently have the best record in baseball with 94 wins.
Porter will be officially announced as the club's new manager in a 10 a.m. Thursday press conference at Minute Maid Park. (Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was first to report Porter's hiring).
The 40-year-old Porter chooses to live in Houston during his offseasons, but it's his experience with the Nationals, a club that's gone from baseball's basement to its penthouse (at least in the regular season), that attracted the Astros.
Crane and Luhnow believe enough in Porter to wait for him — for he will continue coaching with the Nationals until Washington is knocked out of the playoffs.
Houston fired Brad Mills the night of Aug. 18 and named Tony DeFrancesco as its interim manager the next morning. Few expected DeFrancesco to have a real shot at the job.
Luhnow wants a manager who fits the Astros emphasis on player development and deploying statistical analysis to make decisions in something of a Moneyball way.
Porter takes over a Houston team that will set the franchise record for losses (they're at 105 now) with the only question how high the number will reach by the end of the regular season on Oct. 3. His job is made even more difficult with the Astros forced move into the powerful American League next season. The Astros have gone a combined 107-211 in their last two National League seasons.
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