Atlanta, Ga. 8/28/2007 05:35 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)
The Houston Astros fired manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura on Monday after owner Drayton McLane declared the franchise “needed a fresh start” in response to the clubs 58-73 record this season.
With Garner out bench coach Cecil Cooper was named interim manager while Tal Smith will take on the role of general manager in addition to his current position as team president.
McLane stated that Cooper was offered the position with the intention of allowing him to use the remaining 31 games as an opportunity “to show us his leadership.”
For Garner the season has been a disappointment following the clubs 2004 playoff appearance and the 2005 run that put them in the World Series. The Astros very nearly made it to the playoffs for the third straight season last year but finished 1 ½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.