Tosca voices displeasure over the timing of Mills’ firing
Carlos Tosca has been rather reserved and a man of few words since becoming the Braves’ bench coach at the start of the 2011 season. But before Sunday afternoon’s game against the Dodgers, he made it known that he did not agree with the timing of the Astros’ decision to fire manager Brad Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham.
“Firing Brad Mills, Mike Barnett and Bobby Meacham is like telling Betsy Ross that she picked the wrong colors for the flag,” Tosca said.
Mills, Barnett and Meacham were relieved of their duties after the Astros lost to the D-backs on Saturday night and fell to a Major League-worst 39-82. The Astros were just one game under .500 as late as May 25. But a disappointing June combined with a flurry of trades led first-year general manager Jeff Luhnow to make these changes aimed toward building for the future.
Mills went 171-274 in 445 games as manager. He was in the final year of his contract.
Luhnow was part of the Cardinals’ front office before being hired by the Astros this past winter. Many within the baseball industry spent the past couple of months expecting him to hand pick his own manager before the start of the 2013 season. Mills was hired by former Astros general manager Ed Wade before the start of the 2010 season.
Tosca understood this line of thinking. But he felt this is a decision that should have been made before the start of this season or after its conclusion.
“I think it’s narrow minded to (fire them before the season),” Tosca said. “But I can certainly see from a philosophical standpoint, if he doesn’t agree with that, that’s fine. Do it then or do it at the end of the year. To do it in August, come on. Those are hard-working people. Those are good baseball people. What message are you trying to send to the industry?”
During his days as Toronto’s manager, Tosca employed Barnett as his hitting coach.