Astros fire Bo Porter
Porter was in just his second season with the Astros, who are 59-79 this year and sit fourth in the American League West. Houston has already eclipsed last year's win total of 51 and will likely end a three-year run of 100-loss seasons.
"Bo's passion and energy are unparalleled, and his desire to win unquestioned," said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow in a statement Monday. "This decision was not made because of our current level of competitiveness in the Major Leagues. I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible. Rather, I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse."
Luhnow's decision comes amid speculation of a deteriorating relationship with Porter. The Houston Chronicle reported last week that Luhnow and Porter have been at odds, primarily over the manager's in-game decisions.
"What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization," Luhnow's statement continued. "It is essential that as an organization we create an atmosphere at the Major League level where our young players can come up and continue to develop and succeed. Ultimately, I am responsible for creating that culture, and I will do everything in my power to do so -- even when it means making difficult moves like the one we made today."
Bench coach Dave Trembley was also relieved of his duties.
Tom Lawless will take over as interim manager for the remainder of the season, while Adam Everett will join the staff as bench coach.
Luhnow said a managerial search will begin immediately.
"I am optimistic about the direction of our team," Luhnow concluded. "Our young core continues to progress, and I believe wholeheartedly that our plan -- while at times challenging -- is working and will bring a consistent winner to Houston in the very near future."
The Astros suffered through the worst season in franchise history in 2013 -- their transition to the American League -- at 51-111 and have not been to the postseason since reaching the World Series for the only time in 2005.
"This was not an easy decision to make," said Astros owner Jim Crane. "We wish Bo nothing but the best in the future. Jeff has my full support moving forward. Our goal to bring a championship to Houston remains."
Porter, who played three seasons in the majors with the Cubs, Athletics and Rangers from 1999-2001, had never been a major league manager before taking the Houston job. He was the Washington third base coach in 2012 after also serving as third base coach with the Marlins and Diamondbacks.
Lawless has close to 35 years of experience in baseball as a big league player, minor league manager and coach. He served as the manager for Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this season while Tony DeFrancesco was on medical leave, then returned to his role as roving infield instructor.
Everett spent seven of his 11 major league seasons as a shortstop with the Astros, then rejoined the club in 2013 as a minor league infield instructor.