Every-Thing Sports

3 reasons the Texans won't sign problematic players

Composite photo by Jack Brame

The Texans are in a unique position. They're coming off a playoff appearance, had/have a fair amount of cap space, need to use said cap space to resign their star quarterback, have very little draft capital to bring in cheap labor, and traded their quarterback's best offensive weapon. Maybe unique wasn't the word to use. Unenviable. Difficult. Predicament. Pickle. Maybe one of those better describes their state of affairs at the moment. While they could use an infusion of talent, I'll have to disagree with Coty Davis' article last week about them signing Josh Gordon.

Don't get me wrong. I know it may seem as if I'm being pessimistic, but it's hard to remain hopeful given the way Bill O'Brien has shaped this franchise in his tenure. Sure, he may be a mad scientist who finally figures out his magic potion. He could also be a tinfoil hat wearing buffoon who ruins a franchise. One thing that's clear in his approach: O'Brien will get rid of any player he perceives as a distraction despite what talent they may possess. Jadeveon Clowney: gone. DeAndre Hopkins: bye bye.

O'Brien is looking for guys that'll toe the company line. Anything outside that is seen as detrimental to the progress he's trying to make. Sure, guys like Kenny Stills could be viewed as someone outside that spectrum given his stance on kneeling for the national anthem, but it actually goes along with O'Brien's recent stance of supporting his players' ability to express themselves. The organization's recent stance on social justice issues doesn't mean they're willing to take chances.

History

Historically, the Texans have been an organization that has steered clear of guys who've been deemed not "Texan-Worthy." You have something questionable in your background? You're probably off their radar. They've passed on guys in both the draft and free agency based on character concerns. I simply don't see them shifting course all of a sudden.

O'Brien wants his kind of guys

As previously stated, O'Brien has gotten rid of extremely talented guys seemingly based off personal bias at worst, or a foolish professional bias at best. When Clowney nets loose cigarettes and Hopkins fetches leftovers from a buffet, you know it was more personal than personnel. O'Brien wouldn't trade a set of headaches for another headache. He may be crazy, but he's not that stupid.

Image/Optics

Part of the reason this organization has never signed guys with a little stain on them is the way they look. A guy who's socially conscious nowadays is much more acceptable than a multiple drug suspension guy. While our society may be forgiving, there's always a stigma attached to certain types of people. As a guy who's been in the cleaning industry for almost two decades now, I think I know a bit about what stains will and won't clean up. Multiple drug offenses/suspensions is like having a pet urine stain on handmade wool antique rug that was vegetable dyed. Google it.

Could a player like Josh Gordon help the Texans? Of course he could. Would the Texans ever sign a guy like Gordon? Highly unlikely. I would love to see Gordon in a Texans jersey whenever the NFL comes back, but it's about as likely as getting the Hatfields and McCoys together for a family dinner. We don't always get what we want when it comes to sports. Gordon making his way back to the NFL for his hometown team would be a redemption story for the ages. Hollywood would be chomping at the bit to produce a movie like this. Unfortunately, movies don't turn out the way we want them to. Some don't even make it past the idea room. This one appears to have been lost on the cutting room floor.

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After rallying in the ninth inning in Game 1 to take the pivotal opener of this best-of-three ALWC series, the Astros were in the driver's seat to try and end the series on Wednesday with another win at Target Field. Here is a quick rundown of Game 2:

Final Score: Astros 3, Twins 1.

Series: HOU Wins 2-0.

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier.

Losing Pitcher: Cody Stashak.

Houston gets the first hit and first run in the fourth

Through the first three innings, neither team could get a hit off of Jose Berrios or Jose Urquidy, though the Twins did load the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and an error, but Urquidy would strand the runners before getting 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Astros lineup was retired in order in three perfect innings by Berrios. That changed in the top of the fourth when Houston would get back-to-back two-out walks to set up the first hit of the game, an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dusty Baker makes another early call to the bullpen before Twins tie it up

Urquidy was able to keep the 1-0 lead by working around a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit for the Twins. He returned in the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout for the first out. Dusty Baker would pull another early hook, like Greinke the day prior, dipping into his bullpen early to end Urquidy's day at just 76 pitches in the fifth. His final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 76 P.

Brooks Raley was who Baker called on to face the top of the Twins' lineup. He would walk his first batter, putting runners on first and second, get a strikeout for the second out, then allow an RBI-double to Nelson Cruz that almost scored a second, go-ahead run. Instead, the runner was out at home thanks to a terrific defensive play by Carlos Correa, bulleting the ball to Maldonado at home, who made a great tag to save the run and keep it tied 1-1.

Correa homers, Astros advance to ALDS

After Raley completed the fifth inning for Urquidy, Cristian Javier was the next reliever out to begin the bottom of the sixth. He would toss a 1-2-3 frame, sending the tie game to the seventh. In the top of the seventh, Carlos Correa broke the tie with a long, loud two-out solo home run to center-field, putting the Astros back in front 2-1.

Javier held on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh by working around a leadoff walk, then returned for the eighth. He would get through it scoreless, despite allowing a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, who would be pinch-ran for by the speedy Byron Buxton. After a strikeout for out number two, Javier would catch Buxton between first and second base in a rundown, getting the big final out of the inning.

Houston added insurance in the top of the ninth, getting two on base before an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, his second of the day to make it 3-1. That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance of the postseason. He would notch the save, advancing the Astros to the ALDS for their fourth-straight year.

Up Next: The Astros will now have a few days off to travel to the west coast before starting their ALDS with the winner of the A's / White Sox ALWC series. Game 1 of their ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with start time TBD.

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