The last place Houston Astros set fire to manager Brad Mills on Saturday night, leaving him with third-degree burns over 80-percent of his body. He is in intensive care in the burn unit at Houston's Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital.
"It's obviously never an easy decision to set someone on fire," said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow at a Sunday morning press conference announcing the brutal act. "But in my research of what bad baseball teams do to improve, 'fire' and 'manager' came up everywhere. I would have done it a few weeks ago, but it took me a while to acquire a flame thrower."
The Astros have far and away the worst record in Major League Baseball, have almost no core of young players to build around and are on pace to lose more than 110 games. Now the team's general manager, arrested immediately after his press conference, is facing attempted murder charges.
"Obviously, I should have done a little more research," Luhnow said today, after being arrested. "Fire is not literally involved. Well, lesson learned. Everyone in this organization is learning and improving. In the future, I won't set anyone on fire. I'm sure most reasonable people can understand the confusion."
Houston dropped their first game under Tony DeFrancesco. Players said seeing their former manager engulfed in flames was hard to shake.
"I'm not going to say that's why we lost," said outfielder Steve Pearce. "We lost because we're terrible. But the smell of burned flesh was still pretty strong in the dugout."
Despite the criminal charges, Luhnow's decision to set Mills on fire is the first move in his tenure that was widely applauded among Astros fans and local media.