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Houston Astros Relieve Manager Brad Mills, Two Others, Name Replacements

Bob Levey, Getty Images
Bob Levey, Getty Images

The Houston Astros sent skipper Brad Mills and two others packing Saturday night following the ballclub’s 4-12 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Removed from their duties along with Mills were hitting coach Mike Barnett and first-base coach Bobby Meacham.

The Astros had no comment following the news breaking Saturday night, but Mills said he wasn’t entirely surprised.

“You know when you’re having a rough season and everybody always brings it up, nobody lets you forget it,” he said. “The only thing I really have to say is I feel horrendous for Mike Barnett and Bobby Meacham. … I just feel terrible for them and feel some responsibility there.”

Mills, who was in the final year of a three-year contract, went 171-274 in 445 games as manager. The Astros lost a club-record 106 games last year and are 39-82 this season, good enough for the worst record in baseball.

Houston held a press conference Sunday morning at Minute Maid Park to announce Mills successor, naming Tony DeFrancesco the interim manager. DeFrancesco joins the big league club after managing the team’s Triple A-Affiliate, the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

The Astros interim hitting coach is Ty Van Burkleo and the interim first base coach will be Dan Radison.

Prior to being named manager of the RedHawks, DeFrancesco spent six years managing the Sacramento River Cats, Oakland’s Triple A team, before spending one season as the A’s third base coach.

At the press conference Sunday morning Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the decision was made last week not to renew Mills’ contract, but thought it was best to make these changes now.

Luhnow said an announcement will be made later about who will manage at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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