Astros Fire Brad Arnsberg, Replace Him With Doug Brocail

Some people aint no damn good
You can't trust em, you can't love em
When the walls come tumblin' down
When the walls come crumblin', crumblin'
When the walls come tumblin' down

-- John Mellencamp, Crumblin' Down

This was a shock.

At the same time, I really shouldn't have been surprised. When the Astros announced via a tweet from Alyson Footer that pitching coach Brad Arnsberg's tenure has come to an abrupt ending, it was a predictable end. After all, this season is quickly spiraling out of control. Ed Wade has even made comments recently about blowing up this team. 

When things reach that point, scapegoats are inevitable. In this case, it was Arnsberg, who was let go because of "philosophical differences." Maybe he was philosophically opposed to sending a 20-year old out for the seventh inning. Maybe he was philosophically opposed to Nelson Figueroa in the rotation or Brandon Lyon continuing to act like a closer.

We almost certainly won't know what those philosophical differences are, but I can tell you this. It's the start of the end for this Astros regime. Those walls are starting to crumble, and it goes all the way up to the top.

On the same day that Arnsberg is fired, a big expose comes out about Jim Crane. It's not discrimination this time; it's war profiteering. In case you're keeping count, Crane has now made enemies of Hispanics, African Americans, women and the right wing. That's a pretty hefty demographic to alienate before you even take ownership of the team.

And what if this latest round of accusations leads to Crane's bid being rejected by Major League Baseball? This team goes back to having a lame-duck owner with a front office that's breaking down and an embattled manager.

Let's face it. For as much as Mills has avoided criticism until lately, he's now had to fire both his hitting coach and his pitching coach in the last 12 months. He's gone through three total hitting coaches and now takes on an unproven guy in Doug Brocail to finish out the season. I'd put a pretty good bet on the next firing being Mills himself.

After that, who goes next? Is it Ed Wade? Tal Smith? Bobby Heck? How many people will survive this debacle of a season?

It's especially galling that Arnsberg of all people was let go. Just last season, he was heralded as a miracle worker. He fixed Brett Myers and was a big reason Myers signed a contract extension with Houston. He got Wandy Rodriguez back on track and even helped Roy Oswalt. Now, in a season where both Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles are pitching better than expected, he's no good? 

No, he's a fall guy for a bad team that doesn't know what it's doing. The way things are going, the Astros entire world is about to collapse, just as they're about to move to the American League.

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