The Astros lost again last night, 6-1, to the Cincinnati Reds. And the rumblings about manager Cecil Cooper's job are growing louder and louder. Now Cooper has seemed to be a bit oblivious to the obvious in his two-plus years as manager, so here's a little list for him to use in figuring out his job status.
1. Cooper, when you start calling out ace and franchise-icon Roy Oswalt after a loss, your job's in trouble.
2. If the fans are excited about the return of Brandon Backe, then you should be troubled.
3. When the best news for the Astros this week is Backe being cleared by a Galveston grand jury, the team's in trouble, and you're in trouble.
4. If your team has just been swept by the Cincinnati Reds for the first time in five years, then your job future is hazy.
5. If your star shortstop, who you refuse to give a day off, is responsible for allowing seven unearned runs to score in a game, then your job is probably in trouble.
6. If your team is trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates, your job should be in trouble.
7. When your high-powered offense has scored more runs than only four other major league teams, you should be worrying.
8. When the MLB Network shows highlights from an Astros game, but shows only the other team, you're in trouble.
9. If you call a clubhouse meeting but it turns into a meeting about players discussing you with the media, you might soon be on the unemployment line.
10. When Bronson Arroyo defeats your team by throwing just 92 pitches in a complete game, you better start worrying.
11. When even Jose de Jesus Ortiz starts to turn to you, that's a really bad omen.
12. If your closer is LaTroy Hawkins, you should worry.
13. If you gave Jason Smith 25 at-bats despite his having .000 average, your job is probably about to be non-existent.
14. If the fans are booing and not saying "Coop," worry.
15. If Wandy Rodriguez is the rock of your starting rotation, update your resume.
16. If Brian Moehler is still in your rotation despite an 8.81 ERA, forget about updating your resume. You should start looking for a spot on a street corner instead.
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17. If your players are texting Jose de Jesus Ortiz and calling you an idiot, you probably don't have the best job security.
18. When Richard Justice says it's over, well, it's probably over.
19. If you weren't hired by the general manager, then you should probably worry.
20. When your players don't trust you, you're probably toast.