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Astros fire manager Cecil Cooper

The Astros have fired manager Cecil Cooper, replacing him with third base coach Dave Clark for the rest of the season, the Houston Chronicle is reporting.

"Cecil Cooper has given his all to the Houston Astros," general manager Ed Wade said in a statement. "Decisions like this are never easy, but we believe that a change in a direction on the field is in order. By making the move today, we will have the ability to evaluate other facets of our operation as we move into the offseason."

The Astros were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, and have dropped 8 of their last 10. 

The Astros can now start their search for a new manager. Wade said that Clark is in the running for the job, but you can expect the Astros to explore other options. 

Willie Randolph of the Brewers and Alan Trammell of the Cubs are possible options within the division. They could look to former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, who led the team on an impressive run in 2007.

Expect to see Giants bench coach Ron Wotus appear as a candidate, along with Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell.

If you were Astros GM Ed Wade, who would you want to manage the Astros in 2010?