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The Houston Astros have drawn plenty of attention, including significant criticism, for their long-term building plan, and certainly for some of their methods along the way. But former general manager Jeff Luhnow, architect of the plan, all along has insisted he has the backing of ownership.

There's little doubt of that today after Luhnow fired manager Bo Porter and bench coach Dave Trembley amid increasing reports of an ongoing rift between Luhnow and Porter.

Luhnow left little doubt about the motivation in his statement regarding the move, which puts longtime coach and instructor Tom Lawless in charge of the team that's fourth in the American League East with a 59-79 record. Lawless was serving as a roving instructor in the team's minor league system.

St. Louis Cardinals fans will remember Lawless for his memorable bat flip following his game winning home run in Game 4 of the 1987 World Series against the Twins.

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