THE PALLILOG

Texans-Jags leaves a lot to be desired, and George Springer may have gotten good news

Springer could be closer to a big payday. Photo by Bob Levey /Stringer/Getty Images

Not the busiest of sports weeks around here. Or anywhere. If COVID had never happened or at least had magically disappeared back in the spring, we'd have the new NBA season underway. Alas, we'll have to wait until Christmas week to get pro hoops going again.

This Sunday's Texans at Jaguars matchup looms as one of the least interesting games in franchise history, if not one of the least interesting games in NFL history. Evidently Cal McNair doesn't see it that way. Suckling at the teat of in-house Texans Radio earlier this week, Cal termed himself "extremely optimistic" and opined that the rest of the season "is going to be fun." There's a difference between optimistic and detached from reality. I guess the rest of the season can be fun, given an alternative of being stuck in an elevator until Thanksgiving. Sunday's matchup is a pair of 1-6 teams going nowhere. Vastly more interesting matchups in the noon window Sunday include Ravens at Colts, Bears at Titans, and Seahawks at Bills.

The NFL trade deadline came and went with the Texans doing nothing other than trading a defensive lineman who never played a snap for them for a seventh round draft pick in 2022. Yippee! Whatever confused or inert state of the Texans' football operations at the moment, they didn't screw up the deadline. The Texans had very few players of any interest to anybody. If they could have given away wide receiver Kenny Stills for the more than three million dollars in salary cap savings that would have been gained, not doing so was stupid. I give the Texans the benefit of the doubt that no team wanted to pay Stills the balance left on his seven million dollar salary. If the best offer for Will Fuller was a fourth round pick, not dealing him was a reasonable call. If the Texans wouldn't take a third for Fuller? Silly. What other viable trade candidates did the Texans have that would generate A. interest and B. a worthy return? Answer: none other than J.J. Watt, who the Texans were presumably too scared to trade. As if the Texans' fan base would have marched on NRG Stadium in protest.

The old college try

Having a hard time getting engrossed in the college football season? Texas and the rest of the Big 12 are already essentially eliminated from any shot at the playoff. Texas A&M should win its next four games which would have the Aggies 8-1 heading to Auburn for their season finale. Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State seem a cut above the field. 9-1 Aggies with the lone loss to Bama would have a better claim than undefeated Cincinnati or BYU. If an Ag wanting to think big, root for Florida to beat Georgia Saturday and for Trevor Lawrence-less Clemson to win at Notre Dame.

Meet the Mets?

The pandemic economy probably results in the Major League Baseball free agent market moving sluggishly. George Springer will certainly have his suitors. He may have gotten very good news with the final approval of the sale of the New York Mets to reeeeeally rich guy Steve Cohen. Reeeeeally rich meaning estimated net worth 14 billion dollars, by far the richest of all current MLB owners. Cohen did not buy a team for it to be a Big Apple afterthought to the Yankees. While the team was no good, the Mets actually got excellent outfield production in the shortened 2020 season. An important variable in a Mets' pursuit of Springer may be if and when this offseason the National League permanently adopts the designated hitter it used in 2020. Four good outfielders work just fine with a DH spot to be rotated among them.

Even if the Mets have no Springer interest, as I have noted before the Cardinals, Nationals, Giants, are all legit playoff hopeful teams and well-heeled franchises who would make sense. I presume Dallas Keuchel would agree that the White Sox would be a great fit. And never rule out the Yankees, though pitching should be their upgrade emphasis.

Writer Ben Reiter (he of the Astrodamus 2017 World Series Champs prediction) over the past six weeks has been releasing a podcast series called "The Edge" digging deeper into the Astros' cheating and culture of the era, in part wondering how he missed any clues about it while granted insider access in writing his "Astroball" book. Fired Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow was the main subject this week. One nugget I found interesting/amusing: Luhnow says Jim Crane fired him in a 29 second phone conversation. That was January 13. They have not spoken since.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. It's not surprising that Houston weather is beautiful this time of year, but it sure is working out nicely for the first Houston Open at renovated Memorial Park.

2. George Costanza: "It's not a lie, if you believe it." George was full of it. Lies are lies.

3. Most famous clowns: Bronze-Krusty Silver-Ronald McDonald Gold-Bozo

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The Skeeters will have a new name for the 2022 season. SugarLandSkeeters/Facebook

The Houston Astros Triple A affiliate will soon have a new name. While it be tempting to call them the Gangsters of Love, that name won't be on the jerseys.

Instead, the team will announce that the Sugar Land Skeeters will become the Space Cowboys, according to multiple media reports. Images of a potential new logo have been circulating online.

An event on Saturday, January 29, at Constellation Field will make the change official. Held from 4-7 pm, it will introduce the team's new mascot, logo, and uniforms. In addition, Astros prospects Brett Conine, Chad Donato, JP France, Korey Lee, and JJ Matijevic as well as Sugar Land manager Mickey Storey will make appearances and hold autograph sessions.

The event also features live music. No word yet on whether Steve Miller Band is on the setlist. A fireworks display will close out the evening.

Continue on CultureMap to learn more!

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