Nationals' Porter hired as Astros' manager

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Sports,MLB,Nationals,Brian McNally

Third-base coach will remain until postseason ends

Bo Porter is not from Houston. He grew up in Newark, N.J., and played college football and baseball at Iowa.

But the Nationals' third-base coach lives in that area in the offseason, his wife is from the city and he has run a select baseball program there. He is part of that community. Now he is also its manager.

Up next
Nationals at Cardinals
Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.77 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (13-13, 4.02 ERA)
When » Friday, 8:15 p.m.
Where »
Busch Stadium, St. Louis
TV » MASN2
Radio » 106.7 the Fan,
WFED 1500, WHFS 1580
The second-to-last series of the year could see the Nationals clinch the National League East if things break right. If not, the division race with the second-place Atlanta Braves will be a little tighter than hoped heading into the final series of the regular season. St. Louis has plenty to play for with a chance to clinch the second and final NL wild-card berth. They entered play Thursday with a 3?-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers and just six to play. Adam Wainwright, who missed all of last year's championship season after Tommy John surgery, starts for the Cardinals. He gave up six runs in 22Ú3 innings in a 10-0 loss in Washington on Aug. 31.

Porter was officially introduced as the new manager of the Houston Astros on Thursday, though he will not start his new duties until after the Nats' 2012 season ends. The team is on the verge of clinching the National League East title with six games left in the regular season and will participate in the playoffs, which start next week.

"I get to come home," Porter said.

Once Washington's season concludes, however, Porter won't be in for an easy job. The Astros have by far the worst record in the majors this season at 51-105. Houston had been outscored by 220 runs in 2012 and is in a full-scale rebuilding mode under new owner Jim Crane, who took over the team last summer and was approved by Major League Baseball in November, and new general manager Jeff Luhnow, who was hired Dec. 8.

Porter's combination of a relentlessly upbeat attitude, fire on the field and astute attention to detail were exactly what the Astros sought in a new manager for 2013.

"It's a contagious enthusiasm balanced by realism, and so it's not phony. It's genuine," Luhnow said. "And a real desire to win and he's not going to stop until he achieves his goal. And that's something that we feel we need."

Porter had previously interviewed for open managerial positions with the Nats, the Miami Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates. His interview in Washington came last fall before Davey Johnson was hired in a full-time role as field manager.

"Out of respect to what our team is doing here, I am going to take as many questions as I can, but after today when I get to the ballpark my immediate focus goes back to the job at hand," Porter said in a morning conference call with reporters. "And that is to try to do everything I can to help our team be the last team standing to win a World Series championship."

Porter was an All-Big Ten selection in both baseball and football at Iowa as a senior. After a 10-year professional career, including three stops in the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Oakland A's, he spent two years as a minor league coach with the Marlins. Porter was promoted to third-base coach for the big league club and spent three years in Miami before taking the same position with Arizona in 2010. He was hired by the Nats as their third-base coach in 2011.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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