Justice: Bagwell should manage the Astros

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Despite what Roy Oswalt has to say about motivation and all of that, the Astros’ problems run a heck of a lot deeper than Cecil Cooper.  But that’s not stopping Richard Justice from speculating about how installing a new manager will make everything all better:

The
first thing Drayton McLane ought to do this morning is telephone Jeff
Bagwell and ask him to manage the Astros for these final 33 games.

If Bagwell is reluctant, McLane can turn on that Temple charm. The Astros need a makeover, and this is a good place to begin.  If
McLane is thinking clearly, there will be a buzz back at Minute Maid
Park when the Astros return home next weekend. His bad, boring team
will become interesting overnight.

To be fair, Justice has some other suggestions too, such as moving Tejada to short, benching Kaz Matsui and giving a bunch of other kids a shot.  Not that that will help too much given the sorry state of the Astros’ system.  Bagwell  is certainly the centerpiece of Justice’s plan.

And I agree with him insofar as the kind of interest and excitement such a thing would create in Houston.  But I am dubious about whether it’s a good idea in a competitive sense.  There’s a sense out there that Hall of Fame types don’t make the best
managers because they aren’t able to teach players to what came to them
as easy as breathing. Maybe that’s baloney, but ask yourself: who was the last superstar, Hall-of-Fame talent that made a mark as a manager?  Frank Robinson, I guess, and that’s only if you allow for a rather loose definition of “made a mark.”  And unlike Bagwell, he had a lot of years under his belt before he was considered a somewhat solid manager. 

Ultimately, however, the problem in Houston is the roster, not the manager, and until that is addressed they can install anyone they want at the helm and it won’t make too much of a difference.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.