DeFrancesco getting his bearings in new role

DeFrancesco getting his bearings in new role

DeFrancesco getting his bearings in new role
ST. LOUIS -- Houston interim manager Tony DeFrancesco is down to the bare minimum.

"I've got one pair of slacks and one collared shirt," he said. "That's it."

It has been a whirlwind 72 hours for DeFrancesco, who was named manager of the Astros early Sunday morning.

The 49-year-old met with management and players before Sunday's 8-1 loss to Arizona in his Major League debut. He had another meeting at Minute Maid Park on Monday before the team flew to St. Louis.

For the first time since his managerial appointment, DeFrancesco got to relax a little Monday night and early Tuesday.

It was at that point that he realized it might be time to go shopping.

"I saw a big Macy's downtown," he said.

DeFrancesco said his head is still buzzing. After 26 years as a player, coach and manager, he has finally reached his goal.

"It is an honor to be named manager at the Major League level and the opportunity is right here for me," he said. "I'm as thankful as I can be."

DeFrancesco, who was managing the Astros' Triple-A squad in Oklahoma City, compiled a 1,235-1,088 mark in 17 seasons.

"We're going to keep playing hard, we're going to keep grinding it out," he said. "We've got almost 40 games to go. Let's see if we can turn this thing around."

In a team meeting before Tuesday's contest, DeFrancesco told his club to embrace the spoiler role that it will play over the last few weeks of the season.

"There are some teams that are trying to get into the playoffs and if we can go out there and take two out of three from them and make it hard on them, that's what we're looking forward to the rest of the year," he said.

Houston has nine games remaining with St. Louis counting Tuesday's contest. The Astros will play the Reds and the Pirates six times each.

"We could be a factor in some of the decision-making down the end," DeFrancesco said.