TEXANS IN TURMOIL

Texans latest example of getting in their own way has strained yet another relationship

Texans latest example of getting in their own way has strained yet another relationship
The Texans can't get anything right. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Late last year the Houston Texans paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a high-falutin', nationally respected search firm to help them find their next general manager.

The Korn Ferry company did deep background checks and proposed two names as the most qualified candidates: Pittsburgh Steelers executive Omar Khan and ESPN football analyst Louis Riddick.

Last Friday the Texans called a major press conference to announce their new hire as general manager: Nick Caserio.

Huh? What happened? Why would the Texans pay all that money to a headhunter … and then ignore its advice?

Here's what reportedly happened: Jack Easterby, the Texans butt-smooching, back-stabbing executive and personal Svengali to Texans CEO and Chairman Cal McNair got involved.

According to reports from ESPN, ProFootball Weekly and other national media, Easterby convinced McNair to hire Caserio. You remember Easterby, the focus of a long, vicious profile in Sports Illustrated that painted him as a sneaky, conniving, not always truthful office snoop.

McNair confirmed, "I sought out Jack's feedback on Nick." Caserio added, "Jack and I have a really special relationship." Easterby and Caserio formerly worked together with the New England Patriots.

McNair's announcement of the Caserio hire reportedly infuriated Deshaun Watson, the Texans' divinely talented quarterback. Watson claims that McNair promised that he'd be involved in the general manager decision. Watson wasn't. He learned about the Caserio hire on social media.

Watson also has urged the Texans to consider Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as their new head coach. So far, the Texans have failed to invite Bieniemy for an interview. The Texans are the only team with a head coaching vacancy to snub Bieniemy for at least an interview.

Watson reportedly feels betrayed by the Texans' hiring practices and failure to be more active on social issues. ESPN said reports of Watson's unhappiness with Texans' management are true. According to ESPN sources, Watson would accept a trade to the Miami Dolphins. Hypothetically, the deal would have the Texans receiving Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and a bunch of draft selections. That's the Texans' style, exiling an All-Pro and getting far less in return.

Houston now has a football team with its best player wanting out, a basketball team with its best player wanting out, and a baseball team with one of its best players accepting offers from other teams.

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Braves beat Houston in extra innings, 5-4. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Marcell Ozuna hit his major league-leading eighth homer and Orlando Arcia’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

It completes a three-game sweep of the struggling Astros and is Atlanta’s fourth straight victory.

The Braves scored two runs in the eighth inning to tie it at 4-4. Michael Harris II started the 10th as the automatic runner on second and there was one out in the inning when Seth Martinez (1-1) intentionally walked Matt Olson.

Ozuna lined out to right field to send Harris to third base. Arcia then singled on a ground ball to left field to score Harris and put the Braves on top.

Pinch-runner Jake Meyers was on second when Kyle Tucker walked with no outs in the 10th. Meyers moved to third on a fly out by Yainer Diaz but Jeremy Peña grounded into a double play to end it.

A.J. Minter (3-1) got the last two outs of the ninth for the win and Raisel Iglesias earned his fifth save.

Reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. added his first homer of the season to help the Braves to the victory. Ozuna also leads the majors with 23 RBIs and he extended his hitting streak to 16 games, which ties his career best and is the longest active streak in the majors.

Yordan Alvarez and Mauricio Dubón both homered for the Astros, who fell to 6-14 and are last in the AL West.

There was one out in the first when Alvarez connected on his homer to the seats in left field to put Houston up 1-0.

Ozuna opened the second with his 432-foot shot to left field, which bounced off the wall and tied the game.

Acuña put the Braves up 2-1 when he sent the first pitch of the fifth inning to straightaway center field.

The Astros tied it on an RBI single by Alex Bregman in the fifth and Kyle Tucker’s RBI double came next to put the Astros up 3-2.

Dubón hit his first home run of the year off Jesse Chavez to start Houston’s sixth and push the lead to 4-2.

Harris singled to start the seventh before a ground-rule double by Austin Riley. Olson reached, and Harris scored on a fielding error by first baseman José Abreu when he couldn’t grab a routine ground ball.

There was one out in the inning when Riley scored on a sacrifice fly by Arcia to tie it at 4-all.

Houston starter J.P. France allowed four hits and two runs in five innings.

Max Fried gave up seven hits and three runs in five innings.

UP NEXT

Braves: Atlanta is off Thursday before opening a series against Texas on Friday night with LHP Chris Sale (1-1, 4.58 ERA) on the mound.

Astros: Houston is also off Thursday before ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night against Washington. The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder.

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