Approach the signing of our new manager from that perspective and you can't help but be optimistic about the winter and the regular season ahead. So Manny Acta turned us down, because our owner wouldn't throw an extra year on a contract. Can anyone honestly say that they didn't think Drayton McLane would mess up the negotiations process? How that man is a success in the business world is a mystery to me. Bottom line, TCB's main man got away and there's a new man to denigrate/laud depending upon the outcome of a particular game. It's the nature of the beast, and Brad Mills is going to learn that from the get go.
After thinking more and more about what to write I sort of encountered a mental brick wall. DQ and David have ably analyzed Mr. Mills' career to this point, and I don't think I could have done a better job. At this point let's just be thankful that the process is over, Mr. Mills is in tow, and the Astros coaching staff is about to come together.
The bench coach is to baseball as the asst. head coach/coordinator is to football. When an NFL team hires an offensive/defensive coordinator to be a head coach, at least a fan knows what his track record is. How does he handle a particular defense? What are his tendencies? Game management, interaction with his players and preparedness would all be fairly evident from his previous job held. In baseball, we don't have that luxury. Terry Francona, as much as we maybe don't want to hear this, is not Brad Mills. The man Drayton hired as our manager is going to develop his identity as an Astro. Michael Bourn, Lance Berkman, Sammy Gervacio and Bud Norris are going to help define Mills' status as a major league manager. Cecil Cooper wasn't able to do enough with what he was given. Hopefully Brad Mills can.
The Astros' roster is not the Red Sox' roster (in case you hadn't noticed). Kevin Youkilis is not walking through that door, but neither are the higher than high expectations that accompany the Sox year in and year out. Nope, the buzz surrounding Mills' maiden club is low and probably will stay that way until Opening Day. Unless Drayton's stock portfolio improves and a free pitcher lands on his door step, Mr. Mills is going to have a roster that lacks talent and is in need of a major dose of motivation. Some players are going to improve upon their 2009 seasons. Others will go the opposite direction. How Mills deals with all of them will determine whether or not he will be viewed as an improvement upon his predecessors.
Houston Astros manager, Brad Mills. Looks good to me. Now it's time for our new head man to define himself and his team, so that it's the Astros that look good.