Talk about strange timing. The Astros waited until a season had been lost to make a move they should have made months ago. The maddening thing is, the people in charge knew there was a problem.
They could see that Cecil Cooper didn't know how to run a game. They also knew he'd lost 75 percent of the players in his clubhouse.
I'm not saying this season could have been saved, but if Dave Clark had been given the job at the All-Star Break, it would have lifted a cloud from the clubhouse.
Players have been wearing t-shirts asking, ''Really?'' Really, as in, ''Did he really just do that?''
Lance Berkman might not have gone on a 40-game winning streak, but everything would have changed in terms of attitude and enthusiasm. In the end, it comes back to the players not doing their job, but in ways large and small, Cecil Cooper failed.
Dave Clark is held in enormous respect in the clubhouse. He paid his dues as a minor league manager, and players respect him across the board.
Will he be a good manager? There's no way to know. Managers can't really be evaluated until they have a chance to manage.
Justice weighs in...and I thought I should give a front page space to continue discussing this event.