Voicing your opinion in the workplace is generally viewed as an okay thing to do. Making your opinion known so that your boss knows where you stand on issues is fine within reason. Being very combative almost to the point where there is a lack of respect shown will get you fired. This is what happened to former Houston Astros manager Bo Porter.
As reports continue to leak out, Porter did not seem to be doing himself any favors in terms of job security. Arguments with his boss, general manager Jeff Luhnow, had gotten pretty heated over differences of opinion. The problem with that is, in a rebuilding mode, the manager is almost surely the first one to be let go. This was the case with Porter.
The Astros were not winning. Sure, they had a better record than last year. However, with how well the starting pitching had done this season, they should have had at least eight more wins added on to their 70 at this point. The misuse of the bullpen has been an issue all season long. Both candidates could be at fault for this issue.
Is it Porter’s fault that he has, at times, overused the bullpen, or not used the guy with the better season in favor for someone who was on a hot streak? Or is it Luhnow’s fault for assembling a bullpen, which has been the biggest area of concern over the past few seasons, that has struggled mightily again this year? Porter has not helped himself with some of the very questionable moves he has made this season when calling upon a reliever. It is, however, Luhnow’s job to get talent in that bullpen, which the Astros do not have for the manager to rely on in a daily basis.
The Astros have shown in the past that if you do not tow the company line, you will be dealt your parting-papers. Former pitcher Bud Norris was known to have his run-ins with the current regime, and he was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles. Jarred Cosart was another player jettisoned after having known confrontations with management. It was almost inevitable for Porter once all of the news started leaking out about the dissolving of the relationship with Luhnow.
With a young team that the Astros have, you cannot have a manger visibly challenging management at every turn. It sends the wrong message to the players who may think they can do the same thing. There had to be an example set, and Porter gave the Astros no other choice. The Astros made the move as soon as they felt they may lose control of the situation in the eyes of the players.
In all likelihood, the Astros were probably going to be headed in a different direction after season’s end anyways. Porter always seemed like the guy to get them through the bad times, not get them out of the bad times. The Astros will now look to higher their manager they want in place for the long haul. It will either be someone with past managerial success or a former player they have always viewed as a potential manager.
Former player Craig Biggio, who is already the special assistant to the general manager, will be a popular name that gets brought up often. He may even bring his buddy, and greatest Astro of all time, Jeff Bagwell along to be the hitting coach, which he has shown success in doing in the past. The thing to be cautious of in that scenario, if things go wrong, is how do you fire two of the all-time greats and fan favorites of the organization? The Astros better make sure that if they make the move to hire Biggio they are ready to do whatever it takes to win from that point forward, because the rebuild will officially be over.