FALCON POINTS

Let's discuss a controversial move the Texans must consider

Texans Deshaun Watson, Laremy Tunsil
You never know what could happen. Composite image by Jack Brame.
Let's discuss 4 outside the box trade scenarios for the Texans

It sounded crazy at the time, but there might be something to a theory A.J. Hoffman threw out on The Blitz on Monday.

Should the Texans sit Deshaun Watson for the rest of the season?

The reasons do make sense. Next year, the team should be better with a new coaching staff and some key acquisitions. Do you really want to risk injury in games that mean nothing? It's not like he will be developing chemistry with next year's receivers. It's not like he needs to learn more of an offense he won't be running. A major knee injury at this time of year could put the start of 2021 in jeopardy.

Would fans revolt? Probably. But would it have any impact on partially full stadiums? Absolutely not. Of course, the NFL would balk because of "integrity" issues, but they lost all right to that argument when they let the Broncos play with a practice squad receiver at quarterback. Worst case, you fake a hamstring injury and sit him. And let's take it a step beyond: While you are at it, give Laremy Tunsil a groin injury. Why take a chance on your two key players in a lost season?

The benefits are obvious, but Romeo Crennel would not make that call. It would have to come from higher up, specifically Cal McNair. Watson and Tunsil would probably balk, but even they have to see the big picture.

The negatives? These meaningless games become even more meaningless. Watson is one of the few players worth watching on the team. It's also something that just isn't done, although players skipping bowl games in college is a bit of a precedent, as is teams sitting stars when playoff berths are settled. Some of the other players might not approve, but it would make sense for the team to get some younger players some playing time and treat it like preseason games.

Of course it sounds silly on the surface. But diving in, would it really be that odd of a decision? And would it be the right one?

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These uniforms have to go. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

Major League Baseball will consider going back to having players wear their team uniforms for the All-Star Game.

Club uniforms were used by the American League from 1933-2019 and by the National League from 1934-2019. When the game resumed in 2021 following the pandemic-related cancellation in 2020, MLB had started a uniform contract with Nike and Fanatics, and All-Stars were outfitted in specially designed league uniforms that drew criticism from traditionalists.

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

This year's AL uniforms had a sandy base with red sleeves and lettering and the NL had a navy base with light blue sleeves and lettering.

“I’m aware of the sentiment on this issue,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday. "I think where my head is on it, it’s something we’re going to have a conversation about coming out of the All-Star Game. We've got a lot of uniform things going on. And, obviously, the conversations have to involve the players first and foremost but Nike, some of our partners. But I am aware of the sentiment, and I do know why people kind of like that tradition."

MLB and Nike were criticized for club uniforms this year and said in May that 2025 club outfits will have larger lettering on the back of jerseys and individual pant customization. Players complained this year that white pants worn by some teams are see-through enough to show tucked-in jersey tops.

Regional sports networks

Manfred said a national steaming package of local television broadcasts is a future possibility.

“I could see a situation where we grow into a 30-club model. It might start on the digital side, where you have 14 or 15 clubs, and, you start with a digital product there as your first alternative,” he said.

“I was in Sun Valley last week and I did the whole speed-dating thing with everybody who’s ever streamed anything. When you talk to people in the streaming business, they’re not really interested in buying the state of Wisconsin and two counties in Michigan," Manfred added. "They want to be able to stream quite frankly, all over the U.S. and Canada but more broadly internationally. So I think those conversations are a product of owners saying, holy cow, the RSN business is really deteriorating. We know the future’s going to be streaming. What we’re hearing from the streamers is they want a more national product, and we need to be responsive to what people want to buy.”

MLB took over production of Arizona and San Diego local television broadcasts last year following the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports’ Bally networks and said MLB will be available as an option for teams looking for new deals. He said Padres game are approaching 40,000 subscribers, which he called a good figure.

“Having said that, from a revenue perspective it is not generating what the RSNs did," Manfred said. "The RSNs were a great business. Lots of people paid for programing they didn’t necessarily want. And it’s hard to replicate that kind of revenue absent that kind of bundling concept.”

Offense

While offense is near half-century lows, it has picked up from early in the season.

“The decline in offense is something that we’re paying a lot of attention to and we’ll continue to monitor to make a decision as to whether we think we need to do something. You do hear a lot of chatter about the dominance of pitching in the game. That’s absolutely true.”

Birmingham

After the success of the June 20 game between San Francisco and St. Louis at Rickwood Field, Manfred said MLB will return to the ballpark in Birmingham, Alabama, but the “exact form” had not been determined.

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