HERE'S WHAT THEY'RE WAITING FOR

Put your Watson trade bias aside: here’s critical context for the open-minded

Sometimes it's best to go your separate ways. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images.

It's time for the Houston Texans, specifically owner Cal McNair and Geppetto Jack Easterby, to get off the pot, forget about making kissy-face with Deshaun Watson and trade the gifted quarterback now – and end the most embarrassing soap opera in Houston sports history.

OK, maybe it's not as shameful as the Astros cheating scandal, but it's up there.

Wednesday, ESPN unleashed a scathing feature about Texans v. Watson in "J'Accuse" fashion, like a prosecutor presenting evidence to a grand jury.

Watson wants to be traded out of Houston because he feels the Texans betrayed him by breaking their promise to let him help pick the team's new general manager and head coach. It's about trust.

"Once trust has been broken, it can be nearly impossible to get it back. Even if a couple (Watson and the Texans for example) manages to forgive and move on, it can still take years to get back that bond they once shared."

No, that's not from Captain Obvious, although it could be. That simple fact about the wreckage of violated trust is from Divorce Magazine. Watson and the Texans don't have years to work on their relationship. Watson is entering his fifth NFL season, coming off a year when he threw for 4,823 yards (most in the NFL) and 33 touchdowns with a sparkling passer rating of 112.4. He's entering his prime and his trade value couldn't be higher. So what are the Texans waiting for? Just git-er-done so everybody can start life without Watson. It's elementary.

Teams reportedly are falling over themselves offering trade packages that include an armful of draft picks and a lesser quarterback. The Panthers, Dolphins, Vikings and '49ers all seem to be in play for Watson. Probably more teams are holding back their offers till the dust settles. The Texans swear (fingers crossed behind their back) that they're not listening to any trade proposals and have no intention of dealing Watson. Yeah, sure.

Here's what the Texans are waiting for. They're hoping that new general manager Nick Caserio, who's never been a general manager before, and new head coach David Culley, who's never been a head coach before, can sit down with Watson and explain that they weren't part of the process that hired them over Watson's preferred choices.

But the bigger problems, namely owner Hillbilly Cal and Brother Love Jack Easterby, are still here, and they're the ones who call the shots at Texans headquarters.

It's not like Texans fandom doesn't know what's going on behind the scenes, and who's to blame for the Texans circling the drain. Last month, fans held "Fire Easterby" signs over the Southwest Freeway. Sports Illustrated ran not one but two long articles about Easterby's questionable past maneuvering. Chuy's Mexican restaurant, famous for its creamy jalapeño dip, says it has a table reserved for "anybody other than Jack Easterby."

Can Watson and the Texans work it out? Unlikely. It used to be that parents who didn't get along stayed together for the kids. But their disagreements only intensified and the relationship grew only more bitter each passing moment.

As distinguished psychologist Dr. Rick, author of How Not to Become Your Parents and star of Progressive Insurance commercials, will tell you, love doesn't flourish in a home filled with distrust and deep-rooted hostility. It's better for everybody if the parties find love elsewhere.

The ESPN piece was a dramatic closing argument against Texans management, going back to original owner Bob McNair's ultra dumb, yet revealing (he claimed misinterpreted), statement in 2018, "We can't have prisoners running the prison."

The network ran video of former first-round pick Duane Brown expressing anger over McNair's comment, then a graphic, "Brown was traded three days later." The implication was clear.

It should be noted that, at the time, Watson was asked what he thought about the elder McNair's comment, too. His answer: "Next question." I'm confident that Watson would have a different answer now. Watson is a bright man deeply concerned about social issues.

The team was 4-12 last season despite Watson's sterling performance. They traded away his favorite receiver for little in return. The Texans currently have little to look forward to in the draft. A roster housecleaning is looming. After the last game, as they left the field, Texans legend J.J. Watt told Watson, "I'm sorry we wasted one of your years." Watt later asked for his release from the Texans so he could sign with a team with a prayer of winning the Super Bowl. The Texans are in shambles.

If Watson leaves, who will be the face of the franchise? Will there be one Texan left who can rally this city like Watt and Watson? Heck, is there one Texan you'd recognize in line at Cleburne Cafeteria?

ESPN concluded its piece on Watson and the Texans with, "the story will work itself out over the next few months."

Few months? It's over now. Watson wants to get away from the Texans, Jethro and the TV preacher. Trade Watson now and end this dissolution of a marriage.

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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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