Falcon Points

With busy day of trades, O'Brien's transformation to villain is now complete

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

We all love super heroes and comic book movies. A hero fights for good, does his or her best to protect us from evil and those who would destroy our world. They keep the villains from eliminating all we love.

In reality, super heroes don't exist. But sadly, super villains do.

Bill O'Brien's transformation to the latter is now complete.

With Saturday's trade of Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks for basically a warm bucket of spit was the final step in his transformation from slightly above average coach to a Chip Kelly-type destroyer of worlds.

O'Brien basically sold Clowney off for a pair of fringe players and a third-round pick. The simple question is why? Why not just keep him this season, when you claim to be a contender? Especially considering the other moves the team made, this makes little sense.

Bullying the bully

O'Brien, the ultimate bully, allowed himself to be bullied into a bad trade because he was too stubborn to suck it up and realize for the now, they were better off keeping Clowney. If you were going to trade him, it should have been on your own terms. Or done months ago. But what happens when someone bullies a bully? He folds.

So the Texans give away an asset for next to nothing.

No offensive tackle to protect Deshaun Watson. Not even a running back. Not even a premium draft pick. O'Brien's rise to the top of the power structure has put the Texans in a precarious position. He has basically solid off assets for almost nothing, simply because he believes he knows better than anyone else.

A real super hero - or, even a GM - would have stepped in and stopped it. But O'Brien has consolidated all the power. In Dark Knight, we learn you die a hero or live long enough to be a villain. O'Brien should have been fired - or at least had his wings clipped - two years ago. Instead he has lived to be the villain.

Tearing it down

There really is nothing positive to pull out of this trade, The Texans are not better. O'Brien dismantled Gary Kubiak's talented offensive line, letting Ben Jones and Brandon Brooks walk in free agency and dealing Duane Brown for nothing. He has yet to rebuild it and they have suffered ever since. Now he has given away a solid if slightly overrated defensive asset for nothing.

Why? Uncontrollable ego? Stubborness? The idea that he knows better than everyone else? That has not worked out very well so far. Short of winning a Super Bowl, which seems incredibly unlikely, O'Brien has once again set himself to look like the bad guy.

Every villain tries to get on your good side

O'Brien finally landed the much-needed left tackle later in the day when he picked up stud Laremy Tunsil from Miami. But the price was incredibly high. Two first rounders, a second, Julien Davenport and Johnson Bademosi for Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills. He also dealt Martinas Rankin for running back Carlos Hyde. While adding those two was a huge positive, the price just makes the Clowney trade look worse. Rankin becomes yet another failed third-round pick. They could have gotten a Tunsil like haul for Clowney before the draft and failed. And if they had never traded Brown, this isn't even necessary...so even the good moves make him look like a dictator. A coach who is playing GM (again, see Kelly) does not look ahead.

And thus here we are

He might not be the villain we wanted. But he is the one we have.

And there are no heroes left in the world. We have to hope it all works out.

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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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