Astros fire Garner, general manager

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

HOUSTON -- Manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura were fired Monday by the Houston Astros, less than two years after leading the team to its first World Series appearance.

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

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.

Houston won its second straight wild-card berth in 2005 and defeated the Braves and Cardinals in the playoffs before getting swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

The Astros were 82-80 last year, finishing 11/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, and following the departures of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte slumped to 58-73 this year, nine games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs.

-- AP

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