JUPITER, Fla. -- The Astros may not be expected to contend this year, but they had some championship-level talent at batting practice on Monday.
Two-time Super Bowl champion and soon-to-be Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells attended the Astros-Cardinals game in Jupiter, where he lives seven months out of the year, on Monday watching batting practice and talking to Astros manager Bo Porter and his players.
"This here was my favorite sport. I love baseball, I love it to this day, I watch all the time," Parcells said. "And I know just enough to be dangerous."
Parcells said he met Porter a few years ago when Porter was a coach with the Marlins. Parcells, who has Texas ties from coaching at Texas Tech and later with the Dallas Cowboys, was an executive with the Miami Dolphins at the time.
"It's great that Bo has contacts like that," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "I think any time you can learn from somebody who's had that kind of success, even if it's in another sport, and has been that inspirational and that successful, that it can only help."
Porter and Parcells spoke again about a month ago when Porter arrived in Florida, and Parcells offered him some advice about being a young coach in the league.
"I know he wants it bad," Parcells said. "That inspires me to give him everything I've got."
Porter inherits an Astros team that's coming off a 107-loss season and moving to one of baseball's most challenging divisions, the American League West. Parcells is widely considered one of the all-time best football minds, but even he went 3-12 in his first year with the Giants in 1983.
"My first year, I almost got fired," Parcells said. "Sometimes the situation won't let you win. …If you start to make progress, you start to get some credibility and things can move forward and the organization gets confident in you and the direction you're trying to take the team."