The minefield Houston Astros must navigate as manager search heats up

tread carefully

Last week manager Dusty Baker made it known that he's stepping away and will not be managing the Astros moving forward. With the Astros now looking for a manager, several reports dropped naming some possibilities for the position.

Also,'s Brian McTaggart released a report claiming owner Jim Crane and Jeff Bagwell will lead the managerial search, with GM Dana Brown also having a say in the process.

Which immediately caused a firestorm of outrage on social media, as Bagwell and Crane were viewed as the main reasons the Astros had such a disappointing offseason in 2022. Both were blamed for firing then GM James Click, which led to signing 3 free agents without a GM in place. And those free agents were Rafael Montero, Jose Abreu, and Michael Brantley. All deals Astros fans would come to regret after the 2023 season.

The other main point of tension involves Jeff Bagwell's friendship with former Astro catcher Brad Ausmus. This relationship played a role in Ausmus being a finalist for the GM position before Dana Brown was hired.

And guess who is now being reported as a top managerial candidate for the Astros? None other than Brad Ausmus.

With all of this in mind, who will/should the Astros target as the next manager of the club?

Be sure to watch the video above as we examine all the reported candidates, and share our picks for the job.

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How Texans' CJ Stroud got the last laugh on Panthers entire organization

When Bryce Young and CJ Stroud were drafted with the first two picks of the NFL Draft, we knew they would be compared to one another for years to come.

And here we are just 11 games into the season and one quarterback has already seen his head coach fired. Panthers owner David Tepper spoke to the media on Wednesday and discussed his decision to fire Frank Reich, and also set the record straight on how they arrived at the decision to draft Young.

In so many words, Tepper basically blamed the Texans for how the top of the draft played out. He mentioned Stroud by name and said the Panthers were ready to draft him at No. 2 overall until the Texans backed out of the three-team trade with the Bears.

Tepper made a point of saying everyone in their building had Bryce Young as the top player on their draft board, despite rumors about Frank Reich preferring Stroud.

CJ Stroud and the Texans have been so much better than Bryce Young and the Panthers that Tepper clearly felt it was necessary to defend himself, and the decisions he's made for the organization.

In the end, the person that gets the worst end of the deal is Bryce Young. Coaching changes can be very difficult on young quarterbacks. And it looks like he'll have to learn a new offense in his second year when the Panthers hire a new coaching staff.

How fortunate we are as Texans fans to have DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud leading the team moving forward.

With all of this in mind, is there a reason Texans fans haven't fully bought in to the new-look Texans? JJ Watt was a guest on The Pat McAfee Show this week and was asked about the team's inability to fill the stadium on Sundays.

As a former player for the Colts, McAfee always thought Houston had the loudest and best fans in the NFL. And while the Texans are 9th in attendance this year according to ESPN, even CJ Stroud has asked for the fans to fill the stadium.

So there is something to it. You can see the empty seats in photos. So why aren't the Texans packing NRG with a shiny new franchise QB?

We believe the recent history of the team is why fans are slowly coming back. McAfee wasn't here for:

Bill O'Brien cussing at fans during games

Trading DeAndre Hopkins away for next to nothing

The Jack Easterby disaster

Deshaun Watson allegedly blaming ownership for why he wanted out

The Deshaun Watson scandal

Firing back-to-back coaches after one season, and the list goes on.

Don't miss the video above for the full conversation!

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