TEXANS IN TURMOIL

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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Houston loses in San Francisco

Astros drop back-and-forth middle game to Giants to even series

Houston's offense couldn't keep up with the Giants on Saturday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With the impressive win in the opener to start the series, the Astros entered Saturday's middle game against the Giants with an opportunity to not just secure the series but surpass San Francisco for the best record in the league. They'd have to wait to take that crown, as the Giants would out-slug the Astros to even the series.

Final Score: Giants 8, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 64-41, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jay Jackson (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-3)

Teams trade blows early, Giants chase Greinke out early

The teams traded blows early in this one, with the Giants tagging Zack Greinke with six runs, all on homers. The first was a solo shot in the bottom of the second to start the scoring before hitting one in each inning through the fourth: two-run blasts in the third and fourth, then a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-5 at the time. Greinke would face one more batter, allowing a single to end his lackluster day: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 93 P.

Houston's offense kept things close to try and keep Greinke in a position to win, going up 3-1 in the third on a two-run Aledmys Diaz homer and another coming in on an error. After San Francisco scored four unanswered to make it 5-3, Diaz homered again in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one run before Yuli Gurriel would tie it with an RBI double.

Astros stay in it, but Giants even the series by winning the slug-fest

With Greinke exiting with no outs in the fifth, Houston handed the ball to Phil Maton, acquired in the recent Myles Straw trade, to make his debut for his new team. He worked himself into a jam, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to strike out the side and strand all three runners, keeping it a one-run game.

That proved pivotal in the top of the sixth, as with two outs, Martin Maldonado would launch a game-tying solo homer, making it 6-6. Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but would face just three batters, getting two outs while leaving one on as Dusty Baker moved on to Cristian Javier. Javier would watch the Giants retake the lead, getting back-to-back singles to bring in a run and make it 7-6.

Javier stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it by striking out the next three batters. Still a 7-6 game in the bottom of the eighth, Yimi Garcia made his Astros debut but did not keep the score there, allowing a leadoff solo homer to make it a two-run game. The 8-6 score would go final as Houston's offense came up empty again in the top of the ninth, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The series finale will get underway at 3:05 PM Central on Sunday in San Francisco. Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.19 ERA) will take the mound for Houston, going opposite Logan Webb (4-3, 3.36 ERA) for the Giants.

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