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Pettini, Maloney and Riggleman seen as Astros permanent managerial candidates

Joe Pettini, Chris Maloney and Jim Riggleman are viewed as three potential candidates for the Astros' permament managerial job after the late Saturday dismissal of Brad Mills as manager.

Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco was named the interim manager Sunday morning. It isn't known whether he is also a candidate for the permanent job.

The Astros' abject failure in 2012 is not Mills' fault, of course, as they were otumanned from the start, then held a firesale. Mills, a former Red Sox coach, was a holdover from the Ed Wade regime, and new GM Jeff Luhnow logically wanted his own staff in place. Along with Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett and first-base coach Bobny Meacham were dismissed.

Pettini was the Cardinals' bench coach before joining Luhnow in Houston. Maloney is the Cardinals' current first base coach. Riggleman, previously the manager of the Cubs, Padres, Mariners and Nationals, is managing the Reds' Double-A team at Pensacola. Luhnow came to Houston from St. Louis, where he was a longtime executive.

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