McLane stands behind Garner, Purpura Print
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Thursday, 31 May 2007 13:48
MLB Headline News

 HOUSTON (AP) -Astros owner Drayton McLane voiced support for manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura on Thursday amid the team's longest losing streak in 12 years.
``This is a team that has great potential,'' McLane said before Houston wrapped up a three-game series against Cincinnati. ``The challenge I see is for Tim and Phil, how can we make this team successful?''
Entering Thursday's game, the Astros had lost 10 in a row, their longest skid since they dropped a franchise-record 11 straight games in August 1995. They were 21-31, a game out of last place in the NL Central.
McLane blamed the players and said the jobs of Garner and Purpura are secure.
dence in both of them. The team needs to perform.''
McLane met with Purpura, Garner and other team executives Thursday, but McLane said no major personnel or roster moves were made.
``We just talked overall, where we are today, what are some of the issues,'' McLane said. ``We discussed a number of things. No big decisions at this point.''
The Astros have mustered four runs or fewer in each of their consecutive losses and Garner has repeatedly shuffled the lineup, trying to hit the right combination to generate more offense.
Franchise stalwart Craig Biggio, just 26 hits from 3,000, has stayed in the lineup despite a .212 average in May. McLane suggested that ``concessions'' may be needed to spark the offense without Biggio. But McLane also said Biggio remains a key member of the team.
``Craig is not playing as he did 10 years ago, and that's natural,'' McLane said. ``Concessions need to be made, but he is so important to our franchise.''
McLane wouldn't specify what he meant by ``concessions'' for Biggio.
``We've got 25 players on the team,'' McLane said. ``We need to continue to look at that. That was no reflection on Craig Biggio. Craig Biggio is an important part of the Houston Astros.''
McLane said the Astros ``need some tweaking,'' but he also said he thinks the current roster is capable of reversing the tailspin.
``I'm still convinced we have a very good team,'' McLane said. ``We just need to play better baseball.''
 

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