Great Scott, Houston!

Hometown rental?

Hometown rental?

Unless you’re a Delta Quadrant citizen, you know that the Houston Astros aren’t just a little bit ahead of their rebuilding schedule, they’re so thick in the thick of this year’s pennant races that you could afford to talk about them in such terms as, “What they need most right now is a starting pitcher who belongs in the front end.” And if the Oakland Athletics were willing to part with one, the Astros weren’t leery about dealing for him Thursday.

Of Cardinal sinners and Royal stuffers

Is hacking for the Redbirds?

Is hacking for the (Red)birds?

Boys will be boys, in baseball and elsewhere, and grown men will be boys, too. But some of what the Show Me State’s boys and girls seem to be showing don’t seem to be the kind of thing you’d like showing.

If the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office isn’t facing an investigation into whether people therein hacked into the Houston Astros’ internal data networks, Kansas City fans are gleefully stuffing online All-Star ballot boxes in favour of the Royals regardless of whether the players in question deserve to be in the starting lineup.

What Bo didn’t know . . .

Porter, fall guy?

Porter, fall guy?

Concerning Bo Porter’s summary execution by the Houston Astros last weekend, a few sobering thoughts:

1) I don’t know for certain, but it’s a reasonable guess that Porter’s days would have been numbered regardless, considering he was probably, really, the guy the Astros wanted to get them through the rebuild and little more. Rant Sports writer Lucas Davis isolates the point: “In all likelihood, the Astros were probably going to be headed in a different direction after season’s end anyway. 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 hire the 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.”

Mills Gets the Guillotine

It took over four months, but the Houston Astros have thrown out the first manager of the year. They fired Brad Mills and two of his coaches–batting coach Mike Barnett, first base coach Bobby Meacham—Saturday, after losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 12-4.

Mills’ overall record managing the team designated as the team to be named later in the deal that sent the Milwaukee Brewers to the National League: 171-273. That includes 56-106 in 2011, the worst single-season record since the Astros entered the National League (as the Colt .45s) in 1962. He became the full-time manager starting in 2010, after Cecil Cooper (canned after the ‘Stros were 70-79) and Dave Clark (a 4-9 finish) managed the club in 2009.