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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After rallying in the ninth inning in Game 1 to take the pivotal opener of this best-of-three ALWC series, the Astros were in the driver's seat to try and end the series on Wednesday with another win at Target Field. Here is a quick rundown of Game 2:

Final Score: Astros 3, Twins 1.

Series: HOU Wins 2-0.

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier.

Losing Pitcher: Cody Stashak.

Houston gets the first hit and first run in the fourth

Through the first three innings, neither team could get a hit off of Jose Berrios or Jose Urquidy, though the Twins did load the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and an error, but Urquidy would strand the runners before getting 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Astros lineup was retired in order in three perfect innings by Berrios. That changed in the top of the fourth when Houston would get back-to-back two-out walks to set up the first hit of the game, an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dusty Baker makes another early call to the bullpen before Twins tie it up

Urquidy was able to keep the 1-0 lead by working around a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit for the Twins. He returned in the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout for the first out. Dusty Baker would pull another early hook, like Greinke the day prior, dipping into his bullpen early to end Urquidy's day at just 76 pitches in the fifth. His final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 76 P.

Brooks Raley was who Baker called on to face the top of the Twins' lineup. He would walk his first batter, putting runners on first and second, get a strikeout for the second out, then allow an RBI-double to Nelson Cruz that almost scored a second, go-ahead run. Instead, the runner was out at home thanks to a terrific defensive play by Carlos Correa, bulleting the ball to Maldonado at home, who made a great tag to save the run and keep it tied 1-1.

Correa homers, Astros advance to ALDS

After Raley completed the fifth inning for Urquidy, Cristian Javier was the next reliever out to begin the bottom of the sixth. He would toss a 1-2-3 frame, sending the tie game to the seventh. In the top of the seventh, Carlos Correa broke the tie with a long, loud two-out solo home run to center-field, putting the Astros back in front 2-1.

Javier held on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh by working around a leadoff walk, then returned for the eighth. He would get through it scoreless, despite allowing a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, who would be pinch-ran for by the speedy Byron Buxton. After a strikeout for out number two, Javier would catch Buxton between first and second base in a rundown, getting the big final out of the inning.

Houston added insurance in the top of the ninth, getting two on base before an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, his second of the day to make it 3-1. That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance of the postseason. He would notch the save, advancing the Astros to the ALDS for their fourth-straight year.

Up Next: The Astros will now have a few days off to travel to the west coast before starting their ALDS with the winner of the A's / White Sox ALWC series. Game 1 of their ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with start time TBD.

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