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 dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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