MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Nationals third base coach Bo Porter has interviewed with Astros brass for their open managerial position. The position became available when Houston relieved former manager Brad Mills of his duties last month.
This is not the first time Porter has tried to take the reigns of a ball club. Porter interviewed for both the Marlins and Pirates managerial positions after the 2010 season, but lost out to Edwin Rodriguez in Florida and took his current position with Washington prior to Pittsburgh completing their search.
Porter, a Houston native, joined the Nationals after the 2010 season to replace Pat Listach, who left to become the bench coach of the Chicago Cubs under Mike Quade. Listach returned to his roots as a third base coach for the Cubs this season after serving as bench coach in 2011
Prior to his tenure as third base coach for Washington, Bo Porter built quite a large resume. Starting in 2005, Porter made stops in as the hitting coach for both the Class-A Jamestown Jammers and Greensboro Grasshoppers, and was then promoted to (then Florida) Marlins third base coach in 2007. During that time Porter also served as outfield and baserunning coach, which carried through 2009.
After declining Florida’s offer to remain with the team, Porter left for Arizona to join then-manager A.J. Hinch under the same position. Porter was then promoted to bench coach under interim manager Kirk Gibson following Hinch’s dismissal mid-season.
Before he began his coaching career in 2005, Porter also got a taste of big league ball. After being drafted in the 40th round by the Chicago Cubs in 1993, Porter made his debut with the club in 1999 before being Rule-5 drafted by the Oakland Athletics. The former outfielder also spent time in the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies organizations; posting a career .214 batting average with 27 hits and 2 home runs.
It’s completely understandable why an organization would want someone like Porter running their big-league club. Though his resume doesn’t scream “I know my pitching,” it’s undeniable that Porter knows the offensive side of the ball as well as anyone. He’s a very vocal leader, as demonstrated in the bench/bullpen-clearing incident he instigated last week against the Cubs. The man stands up for his players, knows the game, and clearly has many desired attributes of a potential first-time manager.
Though he does lack the actual manager’s title on his resume, baseball’s seen a large shift in what makes a good “manager’s profile” when it comes to hires. Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox had no managerial experience whatsoever when he was hired this past offseason, and former players such as Jason Varitek have had their names tossed around aggressively as future clubhouse leaders strictly based on their smarts and passion for the game. Porter has seen all sides of baseball, both on the field and in the dugout, and would be the perfect candidate for an opening.
All this being said, Porter is the first confirmed candidate to actually go through the interview process, meaning the Astros presumably have multiple other candidates under consideration; including current interim manager Tony DeFrancesco. The list of candidates is also rumored to include former Nats manager Jim Riggleman, as well as 3-5 other unnamed candidates.