HOUSTON -- Rick Smith, the general manager of the NFL's Houston Texans, took in batting practice with his son Saturday at Minute Maid Park as a special guest of Astros manager Bo Porter. The two have become friends in recent months.
"I appreciate watching him and the leadership he displays," Smith said. "I think it's important. They're building something very special here, and to watch him go through what he's going through now and continue to lead the way he is leading is very impressive."
Porter, of course, has a football background and played at the University of Iowa around the same time Smith played at Purdue University.
"We were in school in the Big 10 around the same time," Smith said. "I did not know him personally when he got the job. We had dinner and got to know he and his family and have just been impressed with him."
With their busy schedules, Smith and Porter haven't had much time to spend together, but they stay in touch.
"There's not a lot of opportunities to get together," Smith said. "That's why it was so special for me to bring my son down today for BP. We're about to get going. We're happy to be hometown teammates and excited to support each other."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.