Why the Houston Astros Should Hire Tony Pena as Their New Manager

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IJuly 23, 2012

PHOENIX - JUNE 22:  Bench coach Tony Pena of the New York Yankees watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.   The Yankees defeated the Diamondbacks 9-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Possibly the worst-kept secret in baseball is that the Astros will be replacing Brad Mills at the end of this season. So along with his massive overhaul of the team, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow needs to find a new skipper for his club.

While his roster moves and acquisitions will take time, the search for the next Astros manager should be quick. The best candidate for the job is available. They should hire one-time Astros coach Tony Pena for the job.

The former five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove-winning catcher has eye-popping qualifications.

He was an outstanding catcher in his day, leading staffs of three different division-winning squads, the 1987 National League champion Cardinals, the 1990 AL East champs Boston Red Sox and the 1995 American League champion Cleveland Indians.

He managed in the minors and the Dominican Winter League. Later he managed the Royals to their only post-strike winning season, netting him the 2003 American League Manager of the Year.

Since the end of the 2005 season, he has been on the Yankees coaching staff. He won his first World Series as a part of the 2009 coaching staff in New York.

He also has a connection to the Astros. Pena managed in the Astros system in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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How often is there an award-winning former manager with terrific player experience and has been part of a World Series-winning coaching staff just sitting there, available?

In 2003, he led a young group of Royals to a winning record. He can be the man to lead a new, rebuilt group of Astros youngsters to a winning record.

Do not do a big search, Houston. Just call Pena.

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