I know, it’s hard to be surprised when the worst team in the majors by record fires their pitching coach and the reaction is negative. Every reaction about this Astros team right now is trending toward the negative. But that’s what we’re working with right now. Here are some SB Nation takes on the story:
Ed Wade cites “philosophical differences” as cause of the firing. This might mean that Arnsberger and management fundamentally disagreed about the answer to Heidegger’s “Question of Being,” or it might mean the general manager needed a scapegoat for all the losing and didn’t want to fire himself.
Ed knows it, we know it, everyone knows it. Well, unless Jim Crane doesn’t get to buy the Astros.
It’s especially galling that Arnsberg of all people was let go. Just last season, he was heralded as a miracle worker. He fixed Brett Myers and was a big reason Myers signed a contract extension with Houston. He got Wandy Rodriguez back on track and even helped Roy Oswalt. Now, in a season where both Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles are pitching better than expected, he’s no good?
No, he’s a fall guy for a bad team that doesn’t know what it’s doing. The way things are going, the Astros entire world is about to collapse, just as they’re about to move to the American League.
Maybe Doug Brocail comes in and does a better job than Arnsberg, maybe he doesn’t. What I do know is that the Astros lost a good man today, probably over something even simpler than Philosophy. When things are going great everyone’s happy, when they’re not the finger pointing begins and with a new owner on the horizon this screams of desperation.
They’re taking it real well over there, as you can see.
So what exactly were the circumstances of Arnsberg’s firing? Would you believe that having a row with your manager in front of the entire team isn’t always the best thing for your job security?
And It all came to a head in the dugout on Monday night when Arnsberg openly argued with Mills in front of the players. Behind closed doors, we might call that constructive conflict. In front of other employees, we call it insubordination.
The former is often productive; the latter gets you fired. Hence, yesterday’s announcement.
In another case of team-based media often being counter-productive to the truth, that was about the only tidbit that reached the page about the actual circumstances of Arnsberg’s firing. You can ask questions about it, but as Astros County learned, that doesn’t always get you somewhere.