Astros Fire Manager Cecil Cooper With 13 Games Remaining
The Astros are 70-79, 16 games in back of the NL Central-leading Cardinals. Their season is over and it has been for quite some time now.

Why wait another couple of weeks for the official end of the season before they start cleaning house?

Houston made a preliminary move on Monday, firing manager Cecil Cooper with just 13 games remaining in the 2009 campaign, according to He will be replaced by third-base coach and interim manager Dave Clark, who will attempt to halt the Astros' recent seven-game losing streak.

Cooper has been at the helm of the Astros since Aug. 27, 2007, when he replaced Phil Garner, who led Houston to a World Series berth in 2005. Cooper served as Garner's bench coach from 2005-2007.

The Astros went 171-170 under Cooper.

General manager Ed Wade told that the firing will allow the organization to evaluate "other facets of our operation" as the offseason approaches. He also told the Web site that Clark will be considered to take over permanently.