Astros hiring Bo Porter as 2013 manager

After running through a list of candidates, the Houston Astros have hired Phillies third-base coach Bo Porter as their next manager.

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Astros name Bo Porter new manager

Houston is expected to name Nats third base coach Bo Porter their new manager Thursday morning.

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Astros Narrow Managerial Search To 2 Front-Runners

The next manager of the Houston Astros will most likely emerge from the coaching staffs of AL East. Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar are the front-runners to take on the Astros' open managerial position, a major league source has informed Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Both candidates at least fit the "younger" criterion laid out by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow earlier this week.

Martinez, 47, is in his fifth year as Tampa Bay's bench coach. Though he has no professional managerial experience, working alongside one of the game's best managers, Joe Maddon, likely works in Martinez's favor. A shortstop for nine different organizations across 16 major-league seasons, Martinez is very familiar with the ins and outs of big league clubhouses.

Bogar, 45, is in his fourth year with the Red Sox organization but first as its bench coach. Unlike Martinez, Bogar has a wealth of managing experience at the minor-league level. The former infielder began his managing career with the Greeneville Astros -- Houston's Rookie League affiliate -- in 2004, leading the team to an Appalachian League title. Bogar moved up to the Astros' Single-A affiliate in Lexington the following year, winning a title there as well before moved on to the Indians Double-A affiliate in Akron for two seasons. In all, Bogar won three manager of the year awards in four seasons.

The Astros are expected to make their final decision on their new manager by the end of next week.

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Astros Might Select New Manager By Next Week

The Houston Astros hope to have their managerial search wrapped up by the end of next week, though they may have to wait a few weeks to officially name Brad Mills' full-time replacement. A few of the interview candidates are currently employed by playoff-bound teams, which means the Astros and owner Jim Crane must wait until the team has been eliminated before they can make an official announcement, per the Houston Chronicle:

Whether he’s hired to the full-time position, interim manager Tony DeFrancesco would finish the season.

"We wouldn’t want to pull anybody working for another team integral in making a playoff run," Crane said. "They wouldn’t come on board until everything’s over."

The Astros have interviewed six managerial candidates so far and are expected to speak to two more and then hold a second round of interviews before deliberating. Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and interim Astros manager DeFrancesco have been confirmed to be up for the position.

Former Phillies manager and current MLB Network studio analyst Larry Bowa was interviewed for the spot but has already been eliminated from the running.

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Larry Bowa Won't Be Next Astros Manager

The Houston Astros are looking for a new manager after firing Brad Mills in August, and reports on Tuesday confirmed the team was interviewing former Padres and Phillies manager Larry Bowa. According to Ken Rosenthal, though, the two parties agreed to go their separate ways:

Bowa, 66, said that while he was "very impressed" with Luhnow, the team faces a lengthy rebuilding process and would be better served by a manager who could grow with the club.

The Astros and Jeff Luhnow seem to be interested in the cutting edge of baseball, meshing together stats, pitch-based analytics, and traditional scouting in the post-Moneyball paradigm that's so fashionable these days. And when you think "cutting edge of baseball", you, uh, don't think of Larry Bowa.

"The interview was really professional. Jeff has his ducks in a row. It's just going to take some time."

It almost seems like it was blind date set up by a matchmaker who was simply picking names out of a hat, and everyone knew it was a non-starter before the interview even happened.

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