As the Houston Astros limp into the All-Star Break, they find themselves with the third-worst run production and scoring differential in the major leagues. They're mired in fifth place in the NL Central, 12.5 games behind division-leading Cincinnati.
Thus, as is usually the case with underachieving ballclubs, the purge is on, with coaches being the first against the wall. Sean Berry, the Astros' hitting coach for the past four years (almost to the day; he was hired on July 12, 2006), was just fired today, and replaced with Astros legend Jeff Bagwell.
As Pat Lackey of FanHouse notes, Bagwell has been involved in the Astros' front office, so he's already familiar with this iteration of the franchise. Lackey expresses doubt that Bagwell can effect a great deal of change with the Astros' current level of hitting talent, but that may not be the case. After all, with Bagwell teaching everybody how to hit, can the day be far away where everybody on the Astros uses the Jeff Bagwell Batting Stance? "Okay, Hunter Pence, here's the deal: they can't throw strikes if you have no strike zone, so let's really get that crouch going. No, lower. Looowwwerrrr..."