THE COUCH SLOUCH

Looking at all the options for Tom Brady

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Tom Brady can take any job in America he wants.

Sure, many NFL teams would love to have him for the next season or two, but I guarantee you almost any organization – big business, Wall Street, law firms, Hollywood, ad agencies, even Spirit Airlines – would hire him in a Foxboro heartbeat.

What, if you're BBDO trying to convince Coca-Cola to let you run its next TV campaign, you don't think Tom Brady in the room can't help you seal the deal?

Who wouldn't want TB12 – the all-time QB1 – on their roster?

I know Brady never EVER gets hit in the pocket, but he could make a better, safer living without having to put on pads, cleats and eye black every Sunday. Heck, he's Tom Brady – he shouldn't even be working Sunday.

A bail bonds or check-cashing store would have lines around the block if Brady were working the night shift.

He could make Ben from Ben & Jerry's an offer he couldn't refuse and recast the ice cream powerhouse as Tom & Jerry's. He could turn IHOP into the International House of Brady. He could revive "The Brady Bunch" on ABC, getting Gronk acting work as the crazy neighbor next door.

For Brady, the implausible is plausible. Is there any other 42-year-old in the nation as healthy, handsome and happy? This man's version of a personal setback is having a baby with a model and leaving her for another model.

Yet despite a world of possibilities, Brady almost certainly will remain in the NFL in 2020.

Speculation has been rampant whether first-time free agent Brady will stay in New England or leave the Patriots. Almost daily, there are stories in which sources say which way Brady is leaning. I am not sure who these "sources" are – Brady only talks to Julian Edelman, his nutritionist and the fellow who handles the air pressure in his footballs.

Does Couch Slouch know what Brady will do? Of course not. However, through contacts of mine with the Patriots' video surveillance team, T-Mobile, ADT and Russian hackers, I have obtained access to a series of recent texts between Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, discussing his NFL options.

(Note: The texts have been edited for space and clarity.)

Gisele: San Francisco?

Tom: It's actually Santa Clara.

Gisele: Minnesota?

Tom: Mosquitos in the summer.

Gisele: Las Vegas?

Tom: Gruden in my face 24-7? I don't think so.

Gisele: Houston or Dallas?

Tom: I don't want to leave the U.S.

Gisele: Los Angeles?

Tom: Remember when we had a home in L.A.? Took 20 minutes just to pull out of the driveway.

Gisele: Jets or Giants?

Tom: I don't care if they name a rest stop after me, I'm not going anywhere near the New Jersey Turnpike.

Gisele: D.C.?

Tom: Let's wait and see if Trump is still in office.

Gisele: Jacksonville?

Tom: That's not even Florida – it's really Georgia.

Gisele: Chicago?

Tom: They already have Mitch Trubisky.

Gisele: Cincinnati?

Tom: I don't mind a team that is rebuilding but I don't want one that is reincarnating.

Gisele: Indianapolis?

Tom: Look at me. Look at you. Look at Indianapolis.

Gisele: New England?

Tom: Belichick.

Gisele: I'll call the movers.

Ask The Slouch

Q. The Seattle Dragons-Houston Roughnecks XFL game – still in doubt – ended with two seconds left, inexplicably. Is there an explanation? (Bill Sharpe; Houston)

A. If the game had gone to overtime, everyone gets paid overtime; wherever possible, the XFL is still cutting corners.

Q. I happened onto a PBA telecast recently and, as I watched, mesmerized, the thought came to me: How can we use instant replay to screw up bowling? (Jim Clanton; Spokane Valley, Wash.)

A. You cannot screw it up – just as bananas are nature's perfect food, bowling is nature's perfect sport.

Q. The Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim soccer clubs refused to play the final 10 minutes of their match due to vulgar signs in the stands. What would it take to get you to stop writing? (Jim O'Brien; Racine, Wis.)

A. It appears you have taken a huge first step.

Q. I read that Al Michaels might get traded from "Sunday Night Football" to "Monday Night Football." Any chance you could be traded from newspaper columnist to paperboy? (James Wagner; Akron, Ohio)

A. I wouldn't pass the physical for paperboy.

Q. Spike Lee vs. James Dolan – who you rooting for? (Michael Phillips; Charleston, W.Va.)

A. I didn't take sides during the Crimean War (1853-56) and I won't take sides here.

Q. Do you think the Astros have developed a way to tip their batter off that he's about to be hit by a pitch? (Kim Hemphill; South Riding, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!


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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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