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Astros’ Hinch Picked for All-Star Game Coaching Staff

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Major League Baseball announced today that Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch has been picked to be a part of the American League coaching staff for the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Hinch was selected by reigning AL Champion Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost. The manager of the each league champion gets to hand-pick his coaching staff for the All-Star game, and according to A.J. Hinch, Yost made a personal phone call to ask the Astros manager to be a part of the staff. Lloyd McClendon of the Seattle Mariners will also join Yost’s crew.

This is a huge honor for the manager, and a compliment for the Astros organization. It has been nine years since an Astros manager was a part of the All-Star festivities with Phil Garner acting as the National League skipper for the 2006 All-Star game following the Astros’ 2005 World Series berth. Jimy Williams was the last Houston manager invited to be part of the All-Star coaching staff, when the game was hosted at Minute Maid Park in 2004, and he was roundly booed by the Astros’ home fans.

Hinch was hired after the 2014 season to replace Bo Porter because Hinch was thought to have a better synergy with Jeff Luhnow and the analytic aspect of the game. The hiring marked the first of many moves for the Astros during the busy offseason as they tried to claw their way back to respectability.

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Hinch’s selection is an acknowledgment of Houston’s surprising success, which is partially due to his managerial prowess. The Astros, who have the best record in the AL, were not picked by anyone to have the success they’ve experienced so far this season. Hinch brought in his Stanford pedigree, Major League playing and managing experience, and front office knowledge, and turned what many thought would be a fourth or fifth place team into a formidable opponent that has led its division since mid-April.

Hinch’s team has combined power hitting, aggressive base running, and stellar pitching to find success. He is also utilizing his Psychology degree to get the most out of his players and manage the psyches of these professional athletes. During Spring Training, Hinch used an open-door policy, and tried team-building exercises like having fun with a python and holding March Madness basketball competitions to help unite his club. He’s also managed to remain patient and show his faith in his players, even during extended struggles, in order to keep the teams’ wheels greased. So far, so good.

All-in-all, the move by Jeff Luhnow to hire A.J. Hinch has payed off, and the selection for the All-Star game is a feather in the cap for the rebounding organization.

Congrats, A.J.! We’re anticipating that you’ll be making the selections for the All-Star game staff sometime in the near future.

Next: Astros All-Star Update: Vote for the Infielders!

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