The Houston Astros fired skipper Bo Porter today and named Tom Lawless their interim manager.
Lawless managed five seasons in the Midwest League, for the Angels, Cardinals and Padres organizations.
His managerial career began with a three-year stint in Cedar Rapids. He managed the Kernels from 1994 to 1996, reaching the playoffs all three years. The 1994 Kernels won the Midwest League championship, defeating the Rockford Royals in the finals.
Lawless coached in the International League for three seasons before returning to the Midwest League in 2000. His Peoria Chiefs team didn’t make the playoffs, but he managed budding star Albert Pujols that year. (Pujols was the Midwest League MVP and shared Prospect of the Year honors with Dayton Dragons OF Austin Kearns that year.)
Lawless joined the Padres organization before the start of the 2001 season, when he managed the Fort Wayne Wizards to a 23-31 record before getting fired midseason by the Padres. He was replaced by Don Werner; the team finished with an overall record of 54-83.
Lawless has since managed in other leagues, and this year he worked as a roving infield instructor for the Astros organization, which includes the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Lawless didn’t play in the Midwest League, but Porter did. As a Chicago Cubs farmhand, Porter batted .271 in 66 games with the 1994 Peoria Chiefs and .241 in 105 games with the 1996 Rockford Cubbies.