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Bo's Statement and Justice's Big Scoop

Bo Porter's outgoing statement doesn't thank everybody and Richard Justice's body-still-warm post-mortem does scoop everybody.

Never Let Anyone Know What You Are Thinking
Never Let Anyone Know What You Are Thinking
Bob Levey

Bo Porter has issued a statement, according to a series of tweets by Mark Berman. According to the tweets, Porter begins:

I want to thank the baseball community for your kind words and the countless text messages, phone calls, voice mails and emails. Your support is what makes our game and industry so great! Last but surely not least I want to thank the city of Houston and the fans for the incredible support they have shown towards me and my family during your time in Houston.

He goes on to thank his fans and MLB and the Astros organization for the opportunity going so far as to "wish the Astros well in the future." He doesn't mention Luhnow or Crane.

Meanwhile, Richard Justice has published a scoop so intriguingly thorough regarding the organization's take so soon after the story breaks that one has to assume Justice has inside sources confident in his ability to stay off the record and report fairly. Regardless of when and how he got this information, it contains some pretty interesting new information. According to Justice,

  • Some unnamed players were weary of Porter's abilities as a manager from the very beginning.
  • There was tension between Porter and Luhnow from Day 1, with Porter reportedly interrupting Luhnow on multiple occasions during a meet and greet with the players.
  • Because of this tension, this was assumed to be inevitable, with Justice asserting Porter would have likely been gone during the offseason. The latest stories about unrest just sped things up.
  • Justice had an interesting take on Luhnow's statement:

Luhnow said the team's won-loss record -- 110-190 under Porter -- was his responsibility, which is damning to Porter on several levels. In other words, he didn't dismiss Porter for losing too many baseball games. He dismissed him because he no longer respected Porter's leadership skills and his ability to be a team player in the organization.

  • Some of Porter's managerial motivation tactics were deemed somewhat juvenile.
  • The Great Appel Bullpen Hubbub may in fact have been the "breaking point" for Luhnow and Porter.

My latest take on this is that it says as much about Luhnow's approach to secrecy and management as anything else. From the beginning there was discussion about the tight informational ship being run by Luhnow. But then things started leaking, like a sieve. Then players who weren't afraid to make public criticisms started dropping like flies. Then it was reported that Bo and Luhnow were on the outs. Now Bo is gone. Justice gets a scoop that feels 'teed up', while other reporters, who have reported these leaks, are left to bitterly tweet. I went out to walk my insane woofer dogs, thinking about this latest news and it kept reminding me of somebody or something. It was a movie. A famous movie. Maybe a series of movies. Ah yes, that's it -- The Godfather.

So Luhnow isn't just the data nerd. He's the Michael Corleone of GMs.