How Astros, MLB may be on verge of solving their umpire problem

FINALLY!

The Astros have seen their fair share of bad umpiring over the years, from Angel Hernandez to Joe West, but this week things seemed to escalate to another level when Jerry Layne got in the face of Jeremy Pena.

Pena took exception to a pitch that was clearly out of the zone, which was called a strike, and hitting coach Alex Cintron was ejected for defending Pena. The altercation even made national news, with outlets picking up the story across the country.

This is just the latest example the Astros have experienced. Even going back to the 2022 playoffs, the Astros dealt with a different strike zone when they went on the road to play the Mariners, Yankees, and Phillies.

It's gotten to the point where even the broadcasters calling the game have openly accepted that the home team was going to get calls in their favor from the umpires. The strike zone should not change based on where the game is being played.

So how does this get fixed? MLB is currently testing out two different systems in the minors that could be implemented in the big leagues in the next year or two. One system uses computer technology to call all balls and strikes, while the other operates with a challenge system.

Be sure to check out the video above as we discuss which system will be the best option going forward, how soon it will be implemented, and much more!

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What could hold the Texans back this season? Composite Getty Image.

We made it! Training camp is officially here, with all the Texans players having reported to the team and set to take the field this Thursday.

And while the Texans are the favorites to win the division, there are some areas of concern heading into the season.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show and shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a lot of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Kimes also pointed to Slowik's insistence on staying committed to the running game even when the team was having zero success on the ground. Hopefully that issue will get corrected either through better results in the run game, or putting the ball in CJ Stroud's hands when the ground game is repeatedly getting stuffed.

On defense, both Kimes and Bien-Aime named Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. He also strongly believes that rookie cornerback Kamari Lassiter will start opposite Stingley as the team's No. 2 corner.

The Texans certainly have concerns at defensive tackle with Sheldon Rankins and Malik Collins gone, but the secondary has to be the biggest worry in a pass-heavy NFL. Not to mention the level of quarterback play the Texans will face while dealing with a first-place schedule this year.

If you love hearing informed football analysts talking ball, this is the video for you. They cover all things Texans and give a full preview of the AFC South, plus predictions!

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