Gotta say, this is shocking.
Six days after winning a World Series title, the Astros parted ways with general manager James Click on Friday, ending months of intensifying speculation with unprecedented action and throwing one of the sport’s most successful franchises into a new state of chaos.
In a three-year tenure marred by tumult he did not create and carried by a core of players he inherited from predecessors, Click sustained the franchise’s golden era, but could not coexist with an owner who demanded more. Click oversaw three American League Championship Series appearances, two American League pennants and, this year, the Astros’ second World Series title in franchise history.
“We are grateful for all of James’ contributions,” owner Jim Crane said in a statement. “We have had great success in each of his three seasons, and James has been an important part of that success. I want to personally thank him and wish him and his family well moving forward.”
An Astros spokesman said Crane would not be commenting further on his unprecedented action. No general manager in 75 years had lost their job an offseason after guiding a team to a World Series title.
According to the Society of Baseball Research, the last who did, Larry MacPhail, resigned in 1947 after entering the New York Yankees’ World Series winning clubhouse “in a “drunken stupor” during which he “unleashed a barrage of insults, punched a writer, and announced his resignation.”
Click authored nothing so absurd. His downfall came gradually, after a chasm among him, Crane and manager Dusty Baker festered behind the scenes of standout on-field performance.
Obviously there was conflict between the three team leaders, and in the end James Click was the odd one out. That doesn’t speak well for the Astros as an organization, but it’s unlikely to hinder them. They still have a ton of talent, and I’d say will have their pick of successors if they choose to go outside for the next one. They’ll continue to be among the favorites to win the pennant for the foreseeable future. It’s still a weird thing to happen. Fangraphs and Sean Pendergast have more.