Bo Porter sits on a wooden bench in the middle of the Astros’ dugout, which has been cleared of cameras, players and clubhouse personnel on a bright Sunday morning in early May. Minute Maid Park is nearly empty when Porter begins running through his initial three months as Astros manager. He uses his normal clichés. He proudly employs self-help terms. He mentions being all-in, the approach and the process, defiantly staring through black sunglasses and sounding as much like a preacher or community youth coordinator as a first-year MLB manager. By the time he gets through the first wave of Porter-speak, a long line of children in baseball uniforms walking along the exterior of the stadium are filing past the dugout. “Astros!” they shout, as kids wave and adults smile at a man who’s become the most recognizable face for a team on pace for its third consecutive season of at least 100 losses. Porter quickly looks up from the darkness of the dugout to the light of the field, waves back, smiles and continues talking. He mentions his unwavering religious faith and his devoted wife, Stacey. He acknowledges being a workaholic who’s rarely been overmatched in 40 years and now must stomach defeat five to seven days a week. He discusses the detailed game lineup cards – on which he documents every break point the Astros win or lose – and the long nights when he forces himself to leave Minute Maid hours after the last fan has departed, so he doesn’t ignore the family he loves more than anything. By the time Porter’s done, he reveals the one truth he’s privately held since spring training began in February but only says publicly when the moment is right: He has no idea if the Astros’ rebuilding plan will work.
Porter doesn’t know if Astros’ plan will work, but he’s fully committed to vision
Houston Chronicle | May 12