GROUP THINK

How Hall of Fame advisors could impact the Houston Astros front office moving forward

ESPN's Jeff Passan took us behind the curtains of the Houston Astros front office in an article released Tuesday morning. You can read it here: https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/stor...

Reading said piece, I was struck by a few things, like this quote which made me laugh: Though James Click wasn't indecisive, he did not preen about with what one person deemed Luhnow's “institutional arrogance,” which Jim Crane actually thought was an admirable thing.

But more than anything, the realization that Jeff Bagwell & Reggie Jackson have major roles in the Astros front office concerns me.

Crane, sources said, felt coming into the 2022 season that the team needed more “baseball men” involved in operations decisions and invited Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson into the team's weekly senior baseball-operations meetings.

So why is this a concern? Having too much influence from the ex-player realm could lead to a lot of gut reaction, shoot from the hip, and “trust me, I know because I played the game” thinking. Ideally, you want to balance the former player mindset, with modern analytics because a lot of things have changed in the past 15 years. Plus, we know James Click is no longer providing that analytical feedback, and they still haven't hired a GM to replace him.

At the end of the day, what they're doing is obviously working. Hopefully, they will continue to have that balance that's made them so successful.

Be sure to check out the video above for the full breakdown.

Listen live to the Paul Gallant Show every weekday 10—noon CT on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 Houston.

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James Harden returned to Houston Monday night and lost to the Rockets in double overtime. After the game, Harden complimented the maturation of the Rockets young players, and had some nice things to say about Houston.

Harden has a player option and can opt out after the season, which has some Rockets fans wondering if he would consider returning to Houston and taking over as the team's primary ball handler.

Plus, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has said he wouldn't rule out Harden returning at some point.

Be sure to watch the video above as we break down all the angles involving a potential fit for James Harden with Houston's young core of players, and much more.

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Catch The Bench with John and Lance weekdays from 7-10 AM on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5.

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