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Porter 'all in' as Astros begin new era

HOUSTON -- Throughout the course of the spring, Astros manager Bo Porter has done several things to change the culture in the clubhouse, including posting motivational signs around the ballpark, putting mirrors in players' lockers as a symbolic gesture and not allowing names on the backs of jerseys until the regular season.

Porter was at it again on Saturday following the club's exhibition-season finale against the Cubs. He set up a table in the middle of the clubhouse and gave each player, owner Jim Crane, team president/CEO George Postolos and general manager Jeff Luhnow 25 poker chips and started to bid. Porter went first and put in his all his chips and grabbed an orange T-shirt that read: I'm all in."

Porter said he got the motivational idea from Hayden Fry, his former football coach at the University of Iowa who was known for his motivational skills and psychological approach.

"Man to man, everybody had to come up one at a time and put their chips all in," Porter said. "When you go all in, that means you're willing to lose it all, but you're also willing to win it all. At no point can you say, 'No, no, no, I didn't want to be all in, I want to pull myself back.' It something ... we're going to win together or die together, but we're all in."

Crane, who purchased the team for $680 million in late 2011, appreciated the gesture, even though he did get a chuckle out of having to invest poker chips.

"I said I had already put them, but I'll do it again," Crane joked.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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