Astro pitcher Osuna’s charges dropped in Canada

Roberto Osuna had his charges dropped. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

This afternoon we learned that the charges of domestic violence against Astros’ closer Roberto Osuna were dropped. Here are the statements issued:

"The Astros remain committed to increase our support regarding the issues of domestic violence and abuse of any kind," the statement continued. "We have engaged with a number of local, state and national organizations -- and we look forward to working with them in the short term and over the long term."- Houston Astros

"I am pleased and relieved by today's court decision. Now I can begin to put these allegations behind me and focus on baseball. I want to thank my family, teammates and fans for believing in me. I am grateful to the Astros for providing me with the opportunity to play baseball and compete for a World Series championship. I will make no further comments about this matter, as I plan on moving past this and look only to the future."- Roberto Osuna

Feelings and emotions run very hot on this topic. Some feel as if this changes nothing because we will never know what truly happened and the extremists on both sides will always politicize their point of view. Some feel as if the Astros are being fake with their statement because of they had a zero-tolerance policy, then about faced and support of Osuna after trading for him. Some say it is what it is and that this is par for the course in domestic violence cases, except that Canadian laws prevent us from ever knowing the actual facts of the incident. Some are indifferent, yet upset the team attached themselves to a guy like Osuna. They could have understood standing by Altuve or Springer, but not a guy known for domestic violence before they traded for him. However, the fact that charges were brought up after the arrest means something happened, but again, we’ll never know.

As a father, husband, brother, son, etc, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I feel he deserves a second chance just like anyone else that does dumb stuff. On the other hand, I wish he had gone to trial and gotten whatever punishment he deserved.

This issue of domestic violence unfortunately won’t ever go away. Neither will false accusations. But let’s not turn a blind eye to it because every situation is different and should be handled as such. The Astros made a move they felt would help them win. The fact that Osuna’s charges got dropped helps grease the skids. It feels like falling off a speeding motorcycle, except they wore a helmet, gloves, and a protective riding jacket. So the Astros won’t need skin grafts or too many stitches, but they will have broken bones, concussion, and a heavily bruised ego.

This couldn’t have worked out better for them. They will take a public relations hit, maybe even some monetary hit, but it won’t be enough to discourage them. Hell, they may even have to do more domestic violence activism than they’re currently doing. The only way it works out even better for the Astros is if Osuna goes on to record the final out in a World Series clinching game. But even then, will it have been worth it? More importantly, will the fans that were totally turned off by the whole deal be more accepting of the team and/or Osuna?  I hope we get to see that moment because I’m dying to find out…and celebrate another Astros World Series win.


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Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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