Fixing the disaster that is the Houston Astros is now up to a Penn State graduate, at least for the time being.
Penn State Behrend alumnus and Erie native Tom Lawless was named the Astros’ interim manager after they fired Bo Porter this week. Lawless holds a few baseball distinctions — he became the first Behrend graduate to be drafted into the MLB when the Cincinnati Reds picked him in 1978, and he made one of the coolest bat flips in baseball history during the 1987 World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“It’s very exciting,” Lawless said at a press conference Tuesday, according to the Penn State News release. “You’re in this game forever, and I’ve been doing this a long time. The nice thing about it is, I know a lot of the young kids that are up here, because I’ve worked with them the last three or four years.”
Lawless is the 21st manager in Astros’ history. In his major league career, he hit .207 with two home runs with four different teams.
He has a tall task. The Astros are 60-79 and have not had a winning season since 2008. Even worse, their last non-100-loss season came in 2010. To their credit, they do have promising prospect George Springer making noise in the big leagues and own the league’s leading hitter in Jose Altuve, so brighter days might be on the future for Lawless and his club.
Good luck to the Penn State grad!