The Houston Astros made an odd move over the weekend when they fired their second-year manager Bo Porter, citing "a new direction," which basically translated to a difference of opinion between Porter and the Astros' front office.
It was surprising because Porter did everything the Astros asked in 2013 while watching his team limp through the season with a Triple-A equivalent lineup. Then, this season, the Astros started showing some fight and showed evidence that they might not be too far away from returning to prominence.
But now, Porter is gone, and the Astros might not look too far for his replacement.
Before he was hired in 2013, the Astros also had Tim Bogar as a finalist, who of course now is the Rangers' bench coach. So don't be shocked if he gets a phone call. There's also been discussion that the Astros could look to Rangers minor league manager Steve Buechele.
Then, there's Mike Maddux.
Maddux has thrown his name in the hat for managerial jobs before, and clearly wants to have his own team. He's been a highly successful pitching coach — one of the best in the game over the past decade — and obviously is very close to Nolan Ryan.
Ryan's role with the Astros is kind of cloudy when it comes to his baseball input, but he definitely has enough pull to make recommendations, and it'd make perfect sense to see the Astros give Maddux a shot.
Really, no matter what happens, if the Astros hire any of those three names, it'll be a big blow to the Rangers organization.