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Barry Warner: What's next for the Texans and other assorted sports takes

Barry's back with a variety of takes. Barry Warner

Now that Brian the cheater Cushing is off the Texans books, who is next?

Look for them to waive Jeff Allen, brought in when they lost Brandon Brooks to the Eagles.  Allen looks like a fat, out-of-shape construction worker, not a pro athlete.  Couple that with his injuries and concussions and he has no future here

That would free up $4.875 million of cap space.

They will not break the bank with a Monopoly Money deal for Xavier Su’a Filo, the left guard.  He is a terrible pass blocker, who is the best pulling offensive lineman on the team.  But how many pancake blocks do you see him make at the second level?

Look for seventh round pick Kyle Fuller from Baylor to get a lot of work in OTA’s and training camp. He was drafted a a center, but with his size -- 6-5, 310 pounds -- and average feet, he is better suited for guard. But the kid needs to get stronger.

Say goodbye to tough guy right tackle Breno Giacomini, the human turnstile as a pass blocker.  

He will be replaced by last year’s fourth round pick, Julian Davenport.  The 6-7 tackle from Bucknell is green as grass, but needs to play now.  Sure, he will make mistakes, part of on the job training, but with his size is worth coaching up.

The biggest difference this off season is in the leadership of GM Brian Gaine.  Rick Smith never lifted a finger last year to get help for Bill O’Brien in this all important offensive line.  Slick Rick failed to even buy a plane ticket for a single offensive lineman to visit.

Gaine has made this a priority.  The problem is this year’s free agent class for lineman stinks.

Big money for QBs

Deals for quarterbacks have become like salaries of Wall Street hedge fund managers. Here are three salaries:

A.J. Mc Carron $19 million (projected). Not bad for a guy with four career starts.

Deshaun Watson: $3.463 million. Slotted rookie deal from 2017, as the No. 12 pick.

Dak Prescott: $680,000. By rule, he can’t sign a new deal until after 2018. What a bargain for Mr. Plastic Face, Jerry Jones.

More on the NFL

By signing John Pagano as linebacker coach, Bill O’Brien got Romeo Crennel’s replacement when the legend retires...The NFL Draft on Fox from Dallas will be the first over air free programming of the draft.  It was a little present to the Foxies for overbidding on the Thursday Night Football package. They  will compete with the NFL Network and ESPN. Yet another example of the white cartel known as the NFL ownership is squeezing every dollar they can. Just what football fans need, another set of talking heads for three days.

Semi-pro hoops scandal

Where there smoke there is fire.  Cheating in semi pro sports goes back to the days of party line telephones, to be shared with your neighbors.  Greed did not just now jump into the news. The legendary John Wooden, UCLA guru, was a religious man who checked on his players academic grades as well as the box score.

But always lurking in the background was a self-made millionaire, sleazy, slimy Sam Gilbert.

According to the LA Times, Gilbert held dinners at his home, provided UCLA players with advice, counsel and much, much more. He was "Papa Sam" to UCLA's parade of All-Americans — he even negotiated contracts, usually taking only a dollar, when the NBA beckoned various Bruins.

Now some of the biggest programs and coaches in the nation are under the watchful eye of the feds.

The holier than though hypocrites, the suits at the NCAA

hide behind an outdated rule book and greed.

But like the owners of Major League baseball teams during the steroids era, acted like an ostrich, burying its head in the sand.

It is not quite as simple as paying the so called “student-athletes,” but clearly something must be done to clean up this cesspool.

But understand something else:

Paying the jocks won’t stop the cheating any more that it is stopping hurricanes.  Boosters and sneaker companies will not vanish into thin air.   The same with the group with no conscience: agents.   Football and hoops generate the revenues to carry all other sports, including Title IX for women.

Around MLB

The so called national pastime wants to cut the time of the games by limiting mound visits.  They could cut several minutes, but that would eliminate new streams of revenue, which has put a price tag on everything but the marketing departments rely on...Even though it just spring training, the untouchable first round pick three years ago, Kyle Tucker is turning heads with his powerful left-handed swing with two home runs in the past two exhibition games. He’ll start the season in Triple A Fresno.

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After the Mariners came alive late in Monday's series opener to hand the Houston the loss and keep their playoff picture hanging in the balance, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Tuesday to try and decrease their magic number. Here's how the middle game went:

Final Score: Astros 6, Mariners 1.

Record: 28-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (5-3, 3.57 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Casey Sadler (1-2, 5.40 ERA).

Both teams trade first-inning runs

The Astros struck first in Tuesday's game, not waiting around until the ninth inning to get on the board. Instead, they jumped out to an immediate 1-0 lead after a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker in the top of the first. The Mariners responded quickly, though, getting a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning before a two-out RBI-double of their own to tie it 1-1.

Astros score five in the sixth

The 1-1 score held all the way until the top of the sixth when the Astros would flip the script from the night prior, taking advantage of some mistakes by Seattle to put up a big inning. First, Michael Brantley started the inning with a solo go-ahead homer to make it 2-1. Then, Kyle Tucker would get his third hit of the night with one out before eventually scoring after a walk and two wild pitches, making it 3-2. With two walks to keep the inning alive and put some insurance runs on base, Martin Maldonado took advantage with a big three-run home run to extend the lead to 6-1.

Valdez finishes seven strong, Astros even series

After allowing the one run in the bottom of the first, Framber Valdez recovered and put together a solid outing on the mound. He allowed just five hits total, two of which came in the first, then back-to-back singles in the fourth and a single in the fifth, while otherwise keeping the Mariners at bay. He would end up completing seven innings of one-run baseball while striking out eight. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 0 HR, 108 P.

After Valdez, Enoli Paredes would take over in the bottom of the eighth, working around a leadoff single to get a scoreless inning to keep it 6-1. In the non-save situation, Josh James would come in for the bottom of the ninth and finish off the win for Houston.

Up Next: The finale and rubber game of this three-game set will start a bit earlier on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:40 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Nick Margevicius (1-3, 5.35 ERA) for the Mariners going against Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.90 ERA) for the Astros.

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