Every-Thing Sports

A letter to Bill O'Brien from Texans fans

Houston Texans fan stays late after the Texans' loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

A frustrated Texans fan

After their disheartening 16-10 home loss to the Panthers, I knew several Texans fans that are fed up. They're ready for change. Whether it's a new head coach, new play caller, or whatever, they're tired of the status quo with this team. There are people that put their heart and soul (not to mention a bleep-ton of money) into rooting for a team that doesn't give them much of a return on their investment. As a Saints fan, I know the feeling all too well. Been there. Done that. Got the scars to prove it. I asked a few of them to pen an open letter to Bill O'Brien since he seems to be the crux of much of their collective angst. Here's what they had to say:

Daniel B

Dear Coach O'Brien,

I can't stand your arrogance! You act like someone who's won more than what you have. Your arrogance should match your coaching: average! Win something more than a down division before you run around here thinking you're Bill Belichick.

Sincerely, @htxmyhome

Swan

Dear Coach,

I have a real problem with your stubbornness, and arrogance, especially when it comes to these things: your scheme isn't flexible unless on short notice, you're a poor evaluator of talent who overvalues leadership over talent, too loyal to a staff when it's obvious they're incompetent, refusal to delegate & accept that you can't do it all, poor game management and poor play calling. You’re ruining my quarterback! I would give more detailed answers, but I'm busy right now. Catch me later when I have more free time so I can tell you how I really feel.

With All Do Respect, @BlackSundayTxns

Dre

Dear Bill,

There's a few things I need to get off my chest when it comes to you man: your dumb ass challenges, you act like your sh-- don't stink, and you remind me of Kubiak with your sayings "we're gonna have to fix that" and "we're gonna have to look at the film." Either fix whatever you need to fix, or go back to college coaching! I never have a problem with Lil Dre having to go home sad after an Astros game because he's seen them win and win big so he knows that team plays hard. Until then, I'll root for the Cowboys chump!

Kindest Regards, @DRDREon290

Raul

Dear William James O'Brien,

First off: yes, I called you by your government name because you I'm not calling you anything other than what your parents named you, William. I no longer let you ruin my days with your foolishness. Matter of fact, I went to the casinos in the middle of that debacle against the Panthers. I’m not wasting any more of my time and money on a team coached by someone like you until you prove me wrong!

Later William, @CobosQue

As you can see, Texans fans aren't pleased with Bill O'Brien. Personally, I'm tired of writing the same crap over and over again when I watch Texans games. On The Sideline podcast we recorded today, I expressed some of the same concerns. One of my mentors, Craig Shelton, expressed some concerns as well. He said he's not a Texans fan, but wants the team to do well because Houston is his hometown. He also said he feels bad for fans who spend their hard-earned money supporting this team, only to get nothing back in return. That conversation took place a few years ago and still rings true to this day. I truly hope this team turns it around and does so quickly. This fanbase deserves more than what this organization has given them. As a resident of this city and a person who writes recaps of this team, I hope they improve and turn into a consistent AFC contender, as well as a Super Bowl threat. I'm tired of purgatory for this team. I'm tired of the fans having to suffer through mediocrity. This city and it's football fans have been through enough dammit! Give them a consistent winner, or get your ass out of town O'Brien!

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Will the Astros ever give Joey Loperfido a chance to fix the black hole at first base? Composite Getty Image.

So how long do you suppose the Astros will cling to the ludicrous notion that Jose Abreu will return to being a sustainably decent hitter (much less a good hitter)? The All-Star break? The trade deadline July 30? The day the Astros are eliminated from the playoff race? End of the season? End of his contract at the end of next season? Maybe they sign him to a two-year extension?

Since rejoining the team Abreu has played in 13 games, starting 12 of them. He has seven hits in 42 at bats for a .167 batting average. That’s only not horrible in comparison to the sub-pathetic .099 mark Abreu had when hiatus time arrived. Since returning, Abreu has walked once. If you remember or are familiar with Susan Powter you know what comes next. STOP THE INSANITY!

Kyle Tucker’s absence obviously punches a big hole in the Astros’ lineup. Still, that regularly running out Jeremy Pena in the cleanup or fifth spot in the lineup doesn’t seem completely ridiculous, is ridiculous! Pena has been abysmal for the last month. May 11 he put up his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. In 29 games since, Pena has added one more homer with an anemic on-base percentage of .238. Not batting average, OBP. Yuck. All teams solicit All-Star votes for non-worthy guys. Pena plays in the same league as Gunnar Henderson, Bobby Witt Jr., Corey Seager, and Anthony Volpe. Hyping Pena for the All-Star game is plain ol’ silly.

Jon Singleton ever slotting in the lineup fourth or fifth, sigh. He of one homer and 28 strikeouts in his last 79 at bats. It’s just a sad state of affairs that no one below Pena or Singleton in the lineup should obviously be higher in the lineup. Mauricio Dubon, Victor Caratini, Trey Cabbage are all bottom third of the lineup if in the lineup type guys. Chas McCormick seemingly losing almost all of his hitting ability has hurt. Yainer Diaz stinking for much more of the season to date than he’s been good has hurt.

The refusal to try Joey Loperfido at first base is somewhere from perplexing to stupid. Look, Loperfido is not an elite prospect. His poor contact skills may doom him from becoming a quality regular. But find out! He struck out a bunch in his first taste but also hit .333. The low upside of the Abreu-Singleton combo is obvious. Evidently to just about all but Astros’ decision makers. Going with Trey Cabbage over Loperfido in the outfield also underwhelms.

Chasing down the Mariners?

It could all still turn for the better, but the Astros are at increasing risk of fading to oblivion behind Seattle in the American League West race. They deserve to be 31-38. They have a losing record at home, they have a losing record on the road. They have a losing record in day games, they have a losing record in night games. They are 7-14 in games against left-handed starting pitchers, they are 24-24 (hey, .500, yippee!) vs. right-handed starters. It would take a serious collapse to fall entirely out of the Wild Card race before the trade deadline, but the Astros are flirting with danger there too. They have to leapfrog several teams to get to the third Wild Card position, currently held by the Minnesota Twins. This doesn’t seem to be a good weekend to gain ground on them. Not that A.J. Hinch’s Detroit Tigers visiting Minute Maid Park this weekend are anything special, though in Friday night’s series opener the Astros face the arguably best starting pitcher in the big leagues this season (Tarik Skubal). But the Twins have four games at home against the lowly Oakland A’s.

If Minnesota is not to overtake Kansas City and Cleveland to win the AL Central, you know Carlos Correa would love to make the playoffs at his ex-team’s expense. Wednesday Correa banged out the first five-hit game of his career. It’s pretty amazing that Jose Altuve has never had a five-hit game given how great a hitter he’s been and the relatively few walks he’s drawn. Sunday in Anaheim, Altuve racked up his 39th four-hit game. Remember, last September, Altuve hit five home runs over seven innings that overlapped two games against the Texas Rangers.

George Springer is the lone Astro ever to rack up six hits in a game, doing so at Oakland in 2018. So far this month, Springer is six for 40. Springer has two seasons left after this one on the six-year 150 million dollar contract he signed with Toronto. At 34 years old he is playing as if washed up. 2023 was the worst season of Springer’s career and he has fallen off a cliff from there thus far in 2024. Springer is batting .198 with his OPS at a sickly .582.

There is only one player in the modern era (1900 forward) of Major League Baseball to amass seven hits in a nine-inning game. In 1975 Rennie Stennett went seven for seven at Wrigley Field in a Pittsburgh Pirates 22-0 obliteration of the Chicago Cubs. The “Bleacher Bums” must have had fun that day.

Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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