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Mired in tailspin, Astros fire Williams

Updated: July 15, 2004, 8:36 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- The excitement that the Houston Astros created with the offseason additions of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte quickly withered away as they slipped in the standings.

Phil Garner, so fiesty as a player that he was dubbed "Scrap Iron," is the man charged with getting the enthusiasm going again.

Garner replaced Jimy Williams as the Astros' manager on Wednesday, a last-ditch effort to rescue a season that started with World Series expectations.

"The message ...

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