Monday afternoon, Astros owner Drayton McLane held a press conference to announce the dismisal of Tim Purpura and Phil Garner. Go ahead. Scream of pure elation. Now continue reading...
After Purpura's not-so-warm "welcome" by the fans Sunday during Jeff Bagwell's retirement ceremony, McLane felt it would be a suitable time to express his dissatisfaction with the now former GM's "performance" by "replacing" him. Monday morning, Phil Garner got the same disappointing news (by telephone, mind you). And according to Drayton's description of the conversations with Phil & Tim, Garner seemed a little more understanding of the situation. Which is not surprising. As a GM you always think the moves you are making are the best possible moves for your team. As a manager, you are able to discern first-hand the effect of those moves. And I don't think Garner & Purpura were ever on the same page--even though they made it sound like they were.
As for the replacements? Tal Smith (of Tal's Hill notoriety), the Astros' current President of Baseball Operations, will act as Interim General Manager. And Phil Garner is finally replaced by the man whose talents he has touted for so long, bench coach Cecil Cooper.
You can view the press conference on Astros.com.
As for my humble opinion on the matter. I absolutely, whole-heartedly agree with the decision to fire GM Tim Purpura. He has been with the Astros organization for far, far too long. It really is time to move in a new direction. Phil Garner, on the other hand is probably not so much to blame. With the players that Purpura "gave" him, I'd say he's done a pretty adequate job, and has probably taken a lot of the heat that should have been directed more toward Purpura. However, because he is being replaced by Coop, I nonetheless have to agree with the decision. I'd love to see what CC could do with this team in the future (and from the PC, it sounded as if he'd be in talks later to take over the job for next year).