MLB: Houston Astros fire manager Phil Garner and GM Tim Purpura

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Houston Astros have fired manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura less than two years after leading the team to its first World Series appearance (2005).

Bench coach Cecil Cooper was appointed interim manager and team president Tal Smith will serve as interim general manager.

"I felt this was the time for a change," owner Drayton McLane said. "I just think we needed a fresh start."

Garner took over the Astros in the middle of the 2004 season after Jimy Williams was fired. The Astros went 48-26 in the second half and won 36 of their last 46 games to win the NL wild card, then defeated Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs before losing to St. Louis in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series.

Garner managed Milwaukee from 1992-99 and Detroit from 2000-02. He has a 985-1,054 career record as a major league manager, including 277-252 with the Astros.

Purpura joined the organization in 1994 and directed player development and the Astros' six minor league affiliates before taking over from Gerry Hunsicker as GM before the 2005 season.

The Astros are currently in fifth place in the National League Central with a record of 58-73.