photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
I've listened to all the bull bleep and crap spewed after Jim Crane allowed Rob Manfred to clip his manhood and put them it a glass case with the heavy handed punishment in regards to the Astros sign stealing scandals. He then bowed down even further by forcing his players to publicly apologize at Spring Training. It was despicable. In the first hour of Late Hits, Patrick Creighton and Jayson Braddock laid out how many times throughout history teams were caught stealing signs and how they were doing it. This crucifixion of the Astros as if they're some sort of lone bandit is sickening!
All the people bitching and complaining, the frivolous lawsuits, the blatant ignorance, the spreading of baseless accusations...This should all serve as fuel to the Astros and their fans this season. They got caught. They thumbed their noses at the whole apology thing, especially Alex Bregman (shot out to Justin Verlander for wearing the "Nobody Cares" hat at the golf outing). Bleep it! Let's go full heel mode! The heel turn is complete.
First Things First
A heel turn is a wrestling term used to describe a good guy (a babyface or face) turns into a bad guy or heel. The Astros were the fun-loving bunch of homegrown talent of a franchise that endured tanking in order to restock their minor leagues. That paid off in a major way in 2017 when they won a World Series. It was extra sweet considering Houston was hit by Harvey that August. Most of the world fell in love with them. They were the John Cena of baseball. They were beloved by most, and still hated by a good amount of folks for their antics.
Scandals Tear Away At Their Image
Sign stealing was the straw that broke the camel's back. When they signed Roberto Osuna, there was a ton of backlash and understandbly so. He was suspended amid a domestic violence incident and they traded for him anyway. That lead to another incident in which former GM Brandon Taubman was fired for causing a stir in the locker room for being obnoxious about the Osuna trade towards some female reporters. Top this bleep cake off with thew fact that former GM Jeff Luhnow created a toxic work environment, and you have the making of a heel turn.
Heel Mode: Activated
Back in 1996, Hulk Hogan turned heel when he joined the nWo. The wrestling world was turned on its ear. Everyone actually thought WWE sent them to take over WCW. Fans were shocked to see their hero of the last 10-plus years turn heel. This is how Astros fans must feel right now. Their beloved team got caught stealing signs. Now what? Bleep it! Go with it. Yeah they got caught. No they weren't the only ones. Sure the punishment is harsh. And yes, the trolls and piece-riders in media and other fan bases are annoying AF, but embrace it!
Relish The Role
You know what happened to the nWo? They ended up becoming the hottest act in wrestling. Stone Cold Steve Austin did something similar. Both were supposed to be heels, but were so good at it and so cool, people ended up liking them. They were cheered, sold a ton of merch, and drove ratings through the roof. So much so that WCW actually beat WWE in the ratings for over a year. This is what the team and fans need to do. I don't give a flying flip that they cheated! "If you aint cheatin you aint tryin!" and my other favorite line "It's only cheatin if you get caught!" Become the cool heels. Celebrate homeruns and big hits by simulating buzzers and banging trash cans. Have a trash can bobblehead giveaway. Pretend to talk into fake buzzers and devices in the dugout. Fans: wear "Steal It Back" shirts and create other parody paraphenelia to thumb your noses at the crybabies from other teams.
I don't give a damn what people may think. If they stink, do it anyway. Do it more if they're mashing the ball and leading the division. During the All Star festivities, keep it going by pretending to steal signs and bang trash cans. That World Series win isn't going anywhere. It's history, it happened and they can't undo it. Ignore the dumbasses online and in the media. They're going to say all kinds stuff to keep this going, so don't feed them MLB can pretend to investigate other teams all they want, but we all know they want this to go away faster an unwanted rash in their nether regions. So let's go full heel Houston! Screw them! It's us versus all yall mentality from here on out!
One of the big factors that led to the Texans' loss to the Jaguars on Sunday was the secondary. Multiple flags for pass interference gave Jacksonville more opportunities to pick up first downs and score points.
Can confirm #Texans backup CB Shaq Griffin was cut.
Griffin started 6 games this year when Derek Stingley was out with a hamstring.
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 29, 2023
So it's no surprise that DeMeco Ryans is making some changes to his defense this week. According to several reports, Texans corner Shaq Griffin has been cut.
Nickel corner Tavierre Thomas was flagged for PI more than once on Sunday, and was burned badly by Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley for a touchdown.
DeMeco was asked after the game if he considered replacing Thomas with Desmond King or Shaq Griffin. Ryans didn't give a definitive answer, but it looks like we got one today.
One has to wonder if Desmond Kings' experience playing nickel was the reason for his promotion to the active roster and why Griffin was released. If Thomas continues to struggle, King looks like the next man up to replace him.
#Texans activate Denzel Perryman, promote Desmond King to active roster, release Shaq Griffin, sign Matt Ammendola and Garret Wallow to practice squad, released Gerrid Doaks from practice squad and placed Tytus Howard (knee-patellar tendon surgery pending) on injured reserve https://t.co/knyyoqo7yC
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 29, 2023
The Texans also made some other adjustments to their roster on Wednesday, per Aaron Wilson. Linebacker Denzel Perryman returns from suspension, kicker Matt Ammendola and linebacker Garret Wallow join the practice squad. They also released Gerrid Doaks from the practice squad.
The other big piece of news involves left guard Tytus Howard. He heads to injured reserve, ending his season after hurting his knee against Jacksonville.