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Scrap Iron anyone?

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HOUSTON (AP) -- Manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura were fired Monday by the Houston Astros, less than two years after leading the team to its first World Series appearance.

Bench coach Cecil Cooper was appointed interim manager and team president Tal Smith will serve as interim general manager.

"I felt this was the time for a change," owner Drayton McLane said. "I just think we needed a fresh start."

Garner took over the Astros in the middle of the 2004 season after Jimy Williams was fired. The Astros went 48-26 in the second half and won 36 of their last 46 games to win the NL wild card, then defeated Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs before losing to St. Louis in Game 7 of the NL championship series.

Houston won its second straight wild-card berth in 2005 and defeated the Braves and Cardinals in the playoffs before getting swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

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