HOFFMAN'S 10 QUESTIONS

Houston Astros speedster Tony Kemp answers 10 quick questions

Kemp reveals the best clubhouse food and his favorite drive-thru. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

The 4th Annual George Springer All-Star Bowling Benefit drew 450 Astros fans and supporters of Camp SAY: A Summer Camp for Young People Who Stutter, who chipped in $200,000-plus — that’s more than double last year’s haul, and a record for the charity.

It was a pretty good day for Springer all around. Not only did his charity enjoy a mega-successful event, but the Astros finished a sweep of the Chicago White Sox, and he was named to the American League All-Star Team.

The fundraiser was held at Bowlmor Lanes. Celebrities, teammates, and athletes from other sports had Springer’s back. Some were good bowlers, some should never be allowed to rent shoes again. 

Among the local media superstars: Channel 11 weather wonder Chita Craft (her 15-month-old son’s favorite word is “bubbles”), Houston Live host Courtney Zavala, Great Day Houston host and songbird Deborah Duncan, debonair radio ace Michael Garfield, Channel 13 sports anchor (and my former radio co-host) David Nuno, KHOU news anchor Ron Trevino, and Houston Chronicle society reporter Amber Elliott.

Athletic supporters: Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus, Texans alum Chester Pitts, and new Rocket Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — who played his high school ball in America’s garden spot, Elizabeth, N.J. Astros teammates: pitchers Brad Peacock, Lance McCullers, Tony Sipp, and outfield speedster Tony Kemp.

As long as you and I are here, put it there (thanks, Paul) … 10 Questions, Tony Kemp.

Ken Hoffman: When was the first time somebody asked for your autograph?

Tony Kemp: It was my second year in college [Vanderbilt]. It caught me by surprise. I wound up printing my name: "Tony Kemp." 

Read more at CultureMap.

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Laremy Tunsil's absence is something to note after missing time last season. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The Houston Texans took to the field for OTA practice on Wednesday. Here are 11 observations from the practice.

1. Derek Stingley doesn't take full reps yet. Stingley is working up to full reps after last year's injury-plagued college season. Lovie Smith said the plan is to work to get Stingley, as well as other rookies, up to full reps in practice.

2. Despite not having full reps, it doesn't mean the third overall pick can't impress. Stingley did well in the drills with other defensive backs showcasing his agility and quickness. During one of the team drills, Stingley effortlessly matched step for step with Chris Conley on a play that finished on the other side of the field. It was also surprising to see Stingley working on punt returns as well.

3. It is just shorts and helmets so not much can be gleaned from the team's other first-round pick Kenyon Green. Green worked at left guard with a variety of other offensive linemen. Lovie Smith made it clear there are currently no first, second, or third teams for the Texans. Green's pre-season analysis will pick up when training camp and pads roll around.

4. Max Scharping looks to be in phenomenal shape. The former second-round pick has been a disappointment in his time with the Texans. Scharping enters a year when he will need to battle to remain on the roster. It seems the delicacy of his roster spot led to an incredible offseason for Scharping.

5. Laremy Tunsil and Maliek Collins are two veterans who are not at the optional team activities. Lovie Smith detailed he has spoken to any player who isn't here and understands this is indeed optional.

6. With Laremy Tunsil missing, Charlie Heck saw snaps at left tackle. The team's right tackle for the majority of last year looks, like the above-mentioned Scharping, to be in great shape. He was moving well on a few of the plays which required the line to get out and block.

7. Roy Lopez, who was a surprise contributor last year, had what would have been a great play in a full-speed game situation. Lopez darted past the offensive line sniffing out a reverse and tapped the receiver as he went by. It would've been a 10-yard loss and a smushed wideout in a live game.

8. Nico Collins had a few nice plays. Collins displays his athleticism and he made some nice cuts in his routes to get open.

9. Pharaoh Brown and Marlon Mack had two bad drops in the team portions. Brown made up for it later with the catch of the day, sliding to haul in a Davis Mills pass near the sideline.

10. This is not an impressive tight end group overall. Not yet, at least. There are several new faces and their actual tight end abilities are unknown to this point. Brevin Jordan had some nice plays in the open field and Davis Mills found him a few times on dump-off passes. Rookie Teagan Quitoriano didn't practice today.

11. Davis Mills operates with the calmness of a player who is the for sure unquestioned starting quarterback. As he should, that's what he is for the Texans. Mills didn't show off a lot in this practice but he didn't make too many mistakes. There was a wideout miscommunication that almost went for an interception. There is a clear emphasis on getting the ball out on time for Pep Hamilton's offense. Mills had a few chances to drive a deep pass, but opted for a quick pass to not hold onto the ball too long. This should be expected and obvious, but he isn't anywhere near the quarterback I saw last year have one of the worst training camp practices of all time.

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