The Astros released manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura yesterday, temporarily replacing them with bench coach Cecil Cooper and the president of operations Tal Smith. The Astros, who have sunk to 58-73 under Garner and Purpura, are tied with Pittsburgh for last place in the National League Central, and owner Drayton McLane says it's "time for a change."
Though Purpura has declined to comment, ex-skipper Garner says he wasn't entirely shocked by the news. Garner, however, seems less willing to blame his helmsmanship for the team's fortunes than the vicissitudes of the sport. "Things happen in baseball, and sometimes you never know," he said.