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:
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.