Astros owner Drayton McLane, on speculation that manager Cecil Cooper is on the verge of being fired:
Firing the manager is not in the cards. He's only been the manager for a year and a half. I think that's somewhat premature. When you're real good that doesn't last forever. When you're playing real bad that doesn't last forever. That's not in the cards. We've got to work through this.
McLane's comments are particularly interesting because earlier this week general manager Ed Wade refused to "play the vote of confidence game" when asked if Cooper's job status was in question. Here's exactly what Wade said at the time:
I've been a GM now for 10 years. I don't get into votes of confidence. I don't think there's any value to it. In 10 years as GM, I never asked for votes of confidence, and I've never given votes of confidence. It's just media speak and doesn't lend anything to the situation.
Wade is right that a "vote of confidence" is basically meaningless, except the fact that it's even an issue tends to signal that a manager is very close to being fired. Obviously the owner of a team saying that "firing the manager is not in the cards" is a pretty strong indication that Cooper's job is safe in the short term, but the Astros are in last place at 18-27 and the clubhouse appears to be unraveling.
According to Jose Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, Cooper "has lost a great portion of his clubhouse's support and with some players even their respect." Ortiz reports that earlier this week one Astros player told him: "It's going to be Coop or me soon. Just watch."