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Philip Mason Garner (born April 30, 1949, in Jefferson City, Tennessee) is a former infielder in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants from 1973 to 1988. He was manager of the Astros from July 14 2004 to August 27 2007, leading Houston to a World Series appearance in 2005. He is currently in the running for the vacant Houston Astros managerial position.
Nicknamed "Scrap-Iron" due to his gritty style of play, Garner's best year as a player was 1979, when he was a member of the World Series champion Pirates, batting .417 in the NL Championship Series and .500 (12 for 24) in the World Series. His icon at the time was the scrappy, similarly-mustachioed cartoon hero Yosemite Sam.
In 1992, Garner replaced Tom Trebelhorn as manager of the Brewers. He quickly installed a running-focussed style of play as every starter that year stole at least 10 bases. Standing out were 1992 AL Rookie of the Year Pat Listach who stole 54 bases, veteran Paul Molitor stealing 31, and outfielder Darryl Hamilton stealing 41. This gave the 1992 Brewers a 2nd place finish in the competitive AL East but Garner's teams in later seasons in both Milwaukee and Detroit would not finish at .500.
The 2004 season was different for Garner. After a slow start under then manager Jimy Williams, Garner was brought in mid-season to replace Williams and led the Astros to a National League Wild Card berth, eventually losing to St. Louis in the National League Championship Series in seven games. The team experienced another slow start in 2005 but made a run once again late in the season and came back to win another National League Wild Card. This time, Houston would beat The St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in six games and win the pennant only to be swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.
Under his leadership in the last 12 games of the 2006 season, the Astros won 10 and lost 2 putting them a game and half behind the Division winners. Garner's contract was extended through the end of the 2008 season by the Astros. As manager of a pennant winning team the year before, Garner managed the 2006 National League All-Star Team in Pittsburgh on July 11 2006. Garner cites Chuck Tanner, his manager during his time with the Pirates, as one of his biggest coaching influences .
Garner is a strong advocate of having six relief pitchers on the roster as opposed to an extra hitter on the bench.
On August 27 2007, Phil Garner was released from the position of Manager from the Astros, along with General Manager Tim Purpura. Cecil Cooper was named interim manager for the remainder of the season .
|Year||League||Division||Team||Age||Games||Won||Lost||Win%||Finish||Playoff Record||Playoff Result|
|2004||NL||Central||Houston||55||74||48||26||.649||2nd||6-6||Lose in NLCS|
|2005||56||163||89||73||.549||2nd||7-7||Lose World Series|
- Garner was involved in the two longest post-season games in the history of baseball, played almost 20 years apart. He was the Astros' manager in the 18-inning victory over the Atlanta Braves on October 9, 2005. In the 16-inning loss to the New York Mets on October 15, 1986, Garner was the starting third baseman for the Astros, going 1-for-3, before being replaced by a pinch-hitter. Both games had the final score of 7-6. Interestingly, he also managed the Astros for the longest World Series game in length of time (five hours and forty-one minutes). The Chicago White Sox won the game, 7-5 in the 14th inning (tied for longest by innings).
- Garner, when playing for the Oakland Athletics, got the club's 10,000th hit.
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2006
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2007
- Baseball-Reference.com - career playing statistics
- Baseball-Reference.com - career managerial record