How losing to the Falcons could dictate Bill O'Brien's future

POINT BLANK PRESENTED BY FITZ ROOFING

The Texans suffered a tough loss to the Panthers on Sunday despite playing against their backup QB Kyle Allen.

With Houston's record sitting at 2-2, losing to Atlanta this Sunday could send the Texans into a tailspin with a lot of tough games coming up on the schedule.

ESPN 97.5's Joel Blank discusses how this game against the Falcons could be the catalyst that gets Bill O'Brien fired. Point Blank is presented by Fitz Roofing.

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Do the Astros miss Dusty Baker? Composite Getty Image.

One of the big stories across MLB this season has been the Astros shockingly slow start. It's the first day of May, and the 'Stros are nine games under .500 and in last place in the AL West.

With so many Astro haters across the country and in the national media, it's no surprise they are enjoying Houston's struggles in 2024.

However, it is fair to question why a team with such high expectations is not living up to them. One of the first things to consider is, what's changed since last year?

Enter the Dusty Baker narrative. USA Today's Bob Nightengale wrote about the Astros slow start out of the gate and how the loss of Dusty Baker is having a negative impact on the club. He also stated that Baker retired because of “the constant media criticism and interference” from the Astros’ analytics team.

Which as an Astros fan sounds odd. Baker was known in Houston for not following the analytics by starting Martin Maldonado over Yainer Diaz. He also took heat for not using Chas McCormick enough, despite him being one of the team's best hitters in 2023. Baker was also constantly asked about Jose Abreu hitting in the heart of his batting order, even though he would finish with the ninth-worse OPS in baseball.

Since there weren't any quotes in the article, it makes us wonder. Is this something Nightengale believes, something he heard in passing, or was he told this by a current or former member of the organization? Hard to know.

Nightengale also said in the piece that “the Astros now are recognizing just how much they miss the future Hall of Famer.”

Here's something else to keep in mind. Baker was in the news just last week for winning a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Baseball Digest. Nothing against Nightengale, but this does feel like convenient timing at the very least.

Also, a Houston media outlet recently published a piece about when Baker leaves an organization, the team falls off. The article does a fine job of pointing out how that was the case in some circumstances. But if you dig deeper, you'll see that's really not the whole story, or true for that matter.

Be sure to watch the video above as we examine Baker's role in the Astros' 2024 woes, and analyze if teams really take a step back when Baker is no longer their manager.

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