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Friday's Three Astros Things

Talking about Dallas Keuchel, facial coding experts and ham rumors...

Some things to talk about while you wade through wrapping paper for days and days and days...

1) Dallas Keuchel's upset

Things are not good in the Keuchel home. It hasn't been this bad since that family of birds nesting in his beard left for the winter.

Who knew that Keuchel's nickname was "Diesel'? Who knew this? WHO KNEW?

Did no one tell me? Please send all nickname-related tips to me directly. Kthxbai.

2) Facial coding expert?

Weird story here from the New York Times on what the Milwaukee Bucks are doing with a facial coding expert. What in the world is that?

So in May, the team hired Dan Hill, a facial coding expert who reads the faces of college prospects and N.B.A. players to determine if they have the right emotional attributes to help the Bucks.

The approach may sound like palm reading to some, but the Bucks were so impressed with Hill's work before the 2014 draft that they retained him to analyze their players and team chemistry throughout this season.

Market inefficiencies are now measured in how many phrenologists are on a team's analytics staff.

Seriously, though, what is going on here? Do we believe people can see in a person's soul by studying their face? Are the eyes the gateway to the soul or is it the nose? The hair part?

There is a legitimate reason for this, especially in basketball, where team chemistry affects how a team plays in that fast-paced, loosely-flowing game.

Yet, it also makes sense in a major league clubhouse. Think about the "chaos" that erupted when the Astros clubhouse was so mad about Mark Appel pitching in their (THEIR) bullpen.

Maybe, though, instead of mapping out their faces with a computer program, teams can just talk with a dude first. Or, maybe they hire a manager who can control diverse personalities. Hi, A.J.!

3) A honey ham miracle

We have #HamRumors, people. This is not a drill. #HamRumors is a thing and it's glorious.

For those of you who were doing "important" things on Christmas Eve and missed the best story of the year, SB Nation's MLB page has you covered. Just check out the bestest headline, then go read all about the Great Ham Rumor of 2014.

A.J. Pierzynski signing with Braves first reported by guy in ham store

If I had a chance to use that headline in an actual, real-life newspaper, it would make my career complete. It may top the time I used the "Panda knows Kung Fu" headline to describe Pablo Sandoval's All-Star Game in 2012.

My favorite ham story of all-time came courtesy of a friend of a friend and cannot be repeated on a family blog. It did inspire me to improvise a catchy, "Gonna get some ham! Gonna get some ham!" song that I still pull out to this day, whenever I read stories about ham-related happenings.

I mean, you know that this guy's dad was totally singing that tune to himself as he walked into that particular Honey Baked Ham.