Exposing a hack

Will the real clown please stand up? (Hint: he works for Yahoo)

Clown column, bro. What were you thinking? Getty Images.

When news broke that the University of Houston was parting ways with Head Coach Major Applewhite, Yahoo Sports! Pete Thamel wrote a scathing article calling UH's big 3 of Chancellor Renu Khator, Regent Chairman Tilman Fertitta, and Athletic Director Chris Pezman "Houston's clown triumvirate" which is "being cackled at around college sports."

You can read it here.

Or not.

Quite frankly it's a hatchet piece not worthy of your time. Forget the inaccuracies and the ridiculous pot shots taken at the big 3 that missed their marks, the level of disrespect is infuriating. Who the hell is Pete Thamel? A middling college sports writer calling accomplished administrators at a major university "clowns" and "puppets" who are "the definitive embarrassment of college sports" that "everyone in college sports" is laughing at is laughable in itself.

I wasn't aware that Pete Thamel spoke for everyone in college sports. He had one quote from a "Big 12 source" and if I were a betting man I'd wager that was the only person he spoke to on this subject. Of course I don't know this just as he doesn't know everyone in college sports but since it's OK to make wild assumptions on a previously well respected website we can do it here as well.

Dr. Khator, Tilman Fertitta and Chris Pezman don't need me to defend them, but they're too classy to fire back at an intellectual inferior. What these people have done in their lives is amazing and for Pete Thamel to belittle them is comical.

DOCTOR Khator, BILLIONAIRE Fertitta, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR Pezman. They're all successful and excellent at what they do.

I'm pretty sure none of the other presidents are "rolling their eyes" at Dr. Khator. Hey Pete, let's ask them what they think of a woman who sits on no less than a dozen boards ranging from Homeland Security to The Texas Medical Center. Let's ask them if they're impressed that she has guided The University of Houston from 502nd on the Forbes Top Colleges list in 2008 to 330 in 2018. U.S. News & World Report ranks UH #171 which is ahead of Texas Tech and West Virginia (a couple of those Big 12 schools that are "laughing" at her).

Tilman Fertitta probably laughed at your comment on how vain he was to call into a radio show to give the hosts the low-down on how a coaching search went. You added "(Yes, he actually did that.)" which is something that many A.D.'s and general managers and regent chairmen do after a coach is hired. (Yes, they actually do that).

We often joke that UH is Fertitta U. which is no different than T. Boone Pickens U. (Oklahoma St.) or Phil Knight U. (Oregon).

When you donate $20 million to build a basketball facility for your university, you are beloved and your opinion holds a great amount of weight. Oh and he's the chairman of the board of regents. He makes major decisions like the hiring and firing of the football coach. It's his job.

But I'm positive that that billionaire isn't losing any sleep over what Pete Thamel thinks of him. He's too busy buying professional teams, casinos, restaurants and hotels to worry about some petty sports writer.

And Chris Pezman is busy building winners. I know it's not how Pete Thamel wanted it done but oh well. Pete has the luxury to sit back and collect his check. Chris Pezman doesn't. Unfortunately ticket sales with Major Applewhite at the helm were lagging and public confidence was down, especially after a 70-14 shellacking at the hands of Army. Not Alabama. Not Clemson. Army.

I think Major is a fine coach. Did he have enough time to get it done? Probably not but the bar is high at UH. Kevin Sumlin finished third and first in his division in his first two years. Tom Herman won a New Year's Day Bowl and beat Oklahoma in his two. Yes, you have to win at UH. There's no reason not to, not with the foundation they have built.

Thamel even criticized the three for waiting until Jan. 1 to make the move to Dana Holgorsen. By waiting they saved $1.5 million. Dana's buyout went from $2.5 million to one million as the calendar turned. Thamel called it some type of GroupOn move. That's about as stupid as anything I've ever read. If they didn't wait a week to save $1.5 million it would have been moronic. They are very smart people but that didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out.

It seems Thamel has some disdain for the university trying to better itself by aspiring to be in the Big 12. Maybe they'll get there. Maybe they won't. That they are striving to be there though is not something that should be criticized. That "clown triumvirate" he referred to all came from relatively meager beginnings. What made them successful? They don't settle for good. They always want to be great. They think and act big. Nothing short of that is good enough. It's why they are hugely successful and not a website sports writer.

I have no dog in this fight. I know Tilman a little bit but Dr. Khator and Chris Pezman wouldn't know me from Adam. That a guy who's probably never met any of them would take uninformed pot shots from the cheap seats is why athletes and administrators don't trust us. People probably bought what Pete Thamel was selling that day and that's a shame because the only clown in all of this writes for Yahoo Sports!

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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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