) Brad Mills, who spent the last six years as the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox, has been named the manager of the Houston Astros. He beat out former Astros manager Phil Garner and interim manager Dave Clark for the job. Mills, who was Red Sox manager Terry Francona’s right hand man at Boston, takes over a team that has not made the playoffs in four years and finished 74-88 last season. His selection as manager may be somewhat of an after thought, since Manny Acta turned downed the same offer this past weekend; opting instaed to accept the head job for the Cleveland Indians. Mills spent 11 seasons as a manager in the minor leagues with the Chicago Cubs from 1987 to 1992, the Colorado Rockies from 1993 to 1996, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002. He has also spent 11 years in the Major Leagues as a coach. The question that is burning up the sports talk radio shows in Houston is whether Mills is the right man for the job That is a question that will be answered in time. The key to Mills’ success in Houston will be the talent he inherited. The Astros current roster is filled with aging players and a minor league system that, in the past few years, have failed to produce few, if any impact players. Veterns such as Roy Oswald, Carlos Lee, Miguel Tejeda, and Lance Berkman's skills are take up a huge slice of the payroll. Their contributions to the Astros have been in the past and cannot be counted on to contribute that "much-needed team effort" that is going to be required to advacne this team in the future. No matter who was hired to lead the Astros; it is going to be an uphill struggle to get them back on track There are many issues for Mills to deal with. Front office personal, decisions over which he has no control and a team with little tradition of winning is just a few of the problems he will have to overcome Will Mills make a great manager for the Astros Only time will tell. If I knew the answer to that, I would be laying down some of my hard earned money on the Astros. Until then, I will keep my money in my wallet and see how the 2010 season goes..
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.(Business Wire)The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institutes (PBMI) 2009 Drug Benefit Conferencescheduled for March 4-6 in Phoenix offers free continuing education credit forprofessionals involved in drug benefits. "Our 2009faculty brings some of the best thinking in the marketplace about how toeffectively manage drug benefit programs. Its especially important in todayseconomic climate for human resource and pharmacy professionals to have the bestinformation available for drug benefit decision making." The PBMI conference is dedicated to curbing costs and maximizing quality in drugbenefit plans. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education asa provider of continuing pharmacy education. Participants attending onepre-conference workshop and all three conference sessions in the Managed CarePharmacy Perspectives track may earn up to six contact hours of continuingeducation credit.
Candidates must complete anonline CE program evaluation to receive credit. HR ProfessionalsPBMIs conference has been approved for 17.25 (Specified-Strategic)recertification credit hours toward the Human Resource Certification Institutesaccreditation programs, including Professional in Human Resources (PHR), SeniorProfessional in Human Resources (SPHR), and Global Professional in HumanResources (GPHR). Recertification credit also is available for the Certified CompensationProfessional (CCP), Certified Benefits Professional (CBP), Global RemunerationProfessional (GRP), and Work-Life Certified Professional (WLCP) designationsgranted by WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals. AttorneysHealthcare attorneys interested in obtaining MCLE credit should contact theirstate bar associations to request credit for attending the PBMI conference. Conference Agenda, Registration OnlineConference and workshop details, speaker information and registration detailsare available at The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute provides research, continuingeducation and Web resources that help health care benefit executives workeffectively with their pharmacy benefit managers to improve the design andmanagement of drug benefit programs.
Learn more at Benefit Management Institute, ScottsdaleMaggie Bruce, 480-730-0814Cell: 602-318-5003Email: Copyright Business Wire 2009. ) Regardless of how Virginia Tech has played during the regular season, one thing is alwaysguaranteed for a Thursday night game. Lane Stadium will be electric.The Hokies have had an up-and-down season to say the least, but after a bye week, which followed a loss, Hokie fans are ready for some football.Virginia Tech dominates on Thursday night games, and the only team that seems to give them trouble on this particular day of the week is Boston College who will not be in attendance. Instead, North Carolina will be playing their second Thursday night game this season, and the second Thursday night game in school history.Nothing can prepare a team with the atmosphere Hokie fans provide on Thursday nights. Lets take a look at the last three Thursday night games in Blacksburg.In 2006, Virginia Tech went from the 10th ranked team in the country to unranked after a couple of losses. Clemson came into town with the No. 10 placed to the left of their name, then the Tigers left with their tails between their legs.The Hokies won 24-7, and held the "Thunder and Lightning" tandem (James Davis and C.J. Not to mention a long, cold, wet walk home.Lane Stadium went from the loudest it had ever been, with people jumping to "Enter Sandman" as it was played before Boston College's first scoring drive, to the most deafening silence one could imagine with 66,000-plus people at any one place on earth.Then last year the Hokies hosted Maryland and Darren Evans ran over the Terps, breaking the school record for rushing yards in a game while he did it.So the Hokies are 2-1 the last three years on Thursday night in Blacksburg, and could easily be undefeated in that span, but I'm not about to play the "What-If" game.North Carolina is coming off a tough loss after blowing a large lead to Florida State in Chapel Hill, and Thursday night won't be any easier for the Tar Heels.Playing in Blacksburg is tough enough, but under Thursday night lights it's close to impossible to beat the Hokies on Worsham Field. That is, except when lightning strikes.Will the Tar Heels be able to muster any thunder come Thursday I guess we'll have to wait and see.. WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - A pro-business group isurging tax credits for companies that buy back debt at adiscount in hopes of reassuring banks about their level ofrisk.