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Red Sox Bench Coach Brad Mills Named Houston Astros Manager

The search begins for a new Red Sox bench coach.

That's because Brad Mills, former partner in crime with Terry Francona, is now the manager of the Houston Astros:

The 52-year-old Mills has been Terry Francona's bench coach in Boston for the past six seasons. He'll manage in the majors for the first time, though he's managed a total of 11 seasons in the minors, with affiliates for the Chicago Cubs (1987-92), Colorado Rockies (1993-96) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2002).

The Astros fired Cecil Cooper on Sept 21. Third-base coach Dave Clark served as interim manager for the final 13 games and Houston finished 74-88. Clark was one of 10 candidates to interview for the full-time position, and he spoke for a second time with the team on Tuesday.

Great for Millsy, who has done only but good things with Tito and the Sox since his tenure in Boston. You know, it's really hard to judge what a bench coach actually does. My roommate just asked me. My answer: he pats Terry Francona's ass. OK, so maybe that's not all he does. I guess we can only really judge from Tito's praise of him, which was always extremely high.

At OTM's sister site Crawfish Boxes, they seem pretty happy that Millsy is their new coach:

Via my latest Tweetie refresh, Alyson Footer reports that Brad Mills is our new manager. Just forty-eight hours removed from screwing the proverbial pooch on landing Manny Acta, today we can spell redemption: M-I-L-L-S.

There was an intended level of sarcasm in that last line, but my continued ire at Drayton McLane aside, I'm truly thankful for Mills' name to have been announced. Like davoag and many of you pointed out yesterday, Mills is joining us straight from one of the smartest franchises in MLB, currently. There's a lot to be said from whatever trickle down of wisdom he's gained from seeing the Red Sox put together and operate their franchise.

As for who the Sox will replace Mills with, the Globe's Amalie Benjamin tweets that Tito would like an internal replacement:

Looks like the #RedSox might try to make an internal hire for the new bench coach. "I really hope so," Tito just told me.

The search is on! First priority: bench coach! Second: left field! Third: shortstop! Let the hot stove begiiiiin!