Astros extend coaching staff
Posted on: September 25, 2010 9:54 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 9:54 pm
Have you taken a look at the Houston Astros lately? After the way they quickly made themselves irrelevant with a poor start to the season, there's no real reason you should have, but there's really a lot to like there.
Since their 17-34 start, the Astros have gone 57-46 (while trading Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman), a winning percentage of .553 that, extended over a full season, would have them at least in the playoff discussion. And much of the credit for that has been given to first-year manager Brad Mills and a coaching staff the players routinely praise.
The Astros want to make sure that group stays together, and announced Saturday they had given two-year contract extensions to the entire coaching staff. The exception is hitting coach Jeff Bagwell (pictured), who was offered the same extension but said that he wanted to discuss his future with his family after the season (Bagwell took over the job at midseason).
It's a pretty extraordinary gesture for a team that will finish with a losing record, but general manager Ed Wade told MLB.com he felt the team was headed in the right direction and wanted to remove any uncertainty.
"I just think the way that they've come together as a unit and the way they've worked with Millsie and the way they've been able to carry the message and the plan out on the field and communicate it with the players has put us in a position where I really think we have a strong, stable staff we'd like to keep together for an extended period of time," Wade said.
"I think we were all caught by surprise that they wanted to do that, but I also know they're looking at the big picture," said third-base coach Dave Clark, who finished last season as interim manager. "This is a good staff they've put together. We do a real good job of working together and complementing each other and we're really feeding off each other."
By all accounts, there's a good vibe in the Houston clubhouse these days, and Wade is wise to recognize that and make a proactive move toward maintaining it.
-- David Andriesen
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