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Archive for April, 2010

Eight Houston police officers have been suspended with pay while being investigated for allegedly beating up a burglary suspect.  Their actions were caught on a video surveillance camera.  The DA’s Office, HPD, and Quanell X have copies of the video tape.  The FBI now wants a copy of the tape.  Once the video tape goes public every media outlet in the whole wide world will air it and H-Town will get a bunch of unwanted publicity.  A lot of folks like Quanell X and H-Town CMs Jones and Bradford will probably get some talking head time on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Fox News.

The H-Town Mayor saw the tape and here is what she told the Chron:  “I was extremely upset, angry and frankly disturbed by what I saw……The subject was not resisting at all when the incident occurred.”

It is kind of refreshing to get frank talk from the City’s CEO after something like this.   She is definitely not tip toeing around this.

Here’s what Quanell X said:  “Now I say to HPD.  We’ve got your behinds on tape.  You’ve been beating young brothers for years in this city. Ain’t no hiding on this one. There’s no sweeping this under the rug.”  Ouch!

Speaking of, the H-Town Mayor is rubbing shoulders with the best as she makes Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential in the World.  Here’s some of the company she’s keeping:  The President, Admiral Mike Mullen, Speaker Pelosi, Former Governor Palin, General McChrystal. Glenn Beck, Scott Brown, Bill Clinton, Jet Li, Serena Williams, Phil Mickelson, Ben Stiller, Lady Gaga, Conan O’Brien, Kathryn Bigelow, Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Neil Patrick Harris, Prince, Simon Cowell, Sandra Bullock, Ricky Gervais, Elton John, James Cameron, Steve Jobs, Paul Volcker, Justice Sotomayor, and a bunch of folks that I don’t know.   Way to go Mayor!

This former MLBer batted .500 (12 for 24) in the 1979 World Serious but wasn’t named the Serious MVP.  Who am I talking about?

The Harris County AFL-CIO put out their list of endorsed candidates yesterday and topping the list was Harris County Judge Ed “Hunker Down” Emmett.  Hunker Down was the only GOPer on their list.  Next time I run into the Working Man Hero, I’ll ask him to ‘splain to me their reason for endorsing Hunker Down.

The D-Backs visited Wrigley yesterday and were greeted with a protest rally held by Chicago area Latinos that don’t like what is going in Arizona.   Here’s from an AP story today:  “Activists gathered outside an Arizona Diamondbacks game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, chanting ‘Boycott Arizona.’  About 40 immigrant rights activists gathered outside Wrigley Field in Chicago Thursday as the Cubs open a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. A small plane toting a banner criticizing the law circled the stadium, and activist George Lieu said they’ve sent a letter to Cubs management asking them to stop holding spring training in Arizona.  A Cubs spokesman declined to comment. Arizona manager A.J. Hinch says the team is there to play baseball.”

The D-Backs visit The Yard this Monday.

The City of Austin is looking at how it can join the “Boycott Arizona” movement.  Way to go Austin!

Commentary was cleaning out more files yesterday and ran across a 1969 ‘Stros vs Cards souvenir program.  The most expensive ticket back then was $3.50 for box seats. The pavilion seats were $1.50.  Ladies got in for 50 cents on Ladies Night.  You could get a cold beer for 50 cents, a soft drink for 25 cents, a burger for 60 cents, a hot dog for 35 cents, peanuts for 25 cents and popcorn for 15 cents.  Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez’ dad was one of the ‘Stros Spanish language radio announcers.

Phil Garner of course had a good 1979 World Serious playing for the World Champion Pirates.  Willie Stargell won the MVP by also having 12 hits including 3 dingers and 7 RBIs.  By the way, Scrap Iron is celebrating his 61st BD today!

Numero 45 better pick it up at the plate.  Last night I looked up and only saw one Caballito on the concourse.  Let’s see now, Matusi is batting .147, Numero 45 is batting .177, Towles is .205, and Pence is at .228.  No wonder we got swept by the Reds and now we’re off to The ATL!

 

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Here’s a headline from an AP story that is in a few state newspapers today:  “Poor response to census may haunt Texas.”

Here’s the lead sentence of the story:  “Texas is among five states — New York, California, Arizona and Florida are the others — that are perilously close to losing out on congressional seats because of lackluster participation in the U.S. census.”  Here’s the story.

This is one time that Commentary doesn’t feel like saying I told you so but I will anyway – I told you so!

Commentary, local immigration reform activist Cesar Espinosa, and H-Town CM James Rodriguez said last year that the more we bang on paperless folks, the more we risk having folks stay away from 2010 census participation.  We were right and there is plenty of blame to pass around including the folks that advocated embracing ICE’s 287(g), the highly publicized job site raids, building fences, calling up the National Guard, and putting drones into the air.   It also doesn’t help that our national leaders continue to give the old doublespeak to the Latino community on when to move forward on immigration reform.

The Latino community including paperless folks is certainly paying attention and is saying in effect “we don’t need no steeenking census.” 

The GOP has made this a red meat issue.  Aside from Latino Dems, here in the Lone Star State, the Dems have pretty much stayed silent.  That’s a shame.  After all, it just might cost us a congressional seat – that’s all.

This MLBer had the MLB record for most games (2,583) played at shortstop.  The record stood from 1973 until it was broken in May of 2008 by Omar Vizquel.  He never played another defensive position.  He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1984.  Who am I talking about?

It looks like H-Town might get some nationwide negative publicity that we don’t need.  In today’s Chron there is a story about HPD officers using excessive force on a burglar suspect and it was caught on videotape – allegedly!  Of course, Quanell X has copy of the tape.  Why does Quanell X get a copy?  Stay tuned!

Commentary hasn’t snagged a foul ball this season but last night two came right at me that I could have easily scooped up.  One little problem – they were fair balls and I didn’t want to get relocated.

Former White Sox Luis Aparicio of course who also happens to be celebrating his 76th BD today and also threw out the first pitch in Game 1 of the 2005 World Serious between the White Sox and ‘Stros.  Aparicio also had stints with the Orioles and Red Sox.

Last night’s loss was ugly and included a costly three run error – ouch.  10,000 tote bags will be handed out tonight as the ‘Stros wrap up the homestand against the Reds.

 

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"When I say Whoa! I mean Whoa!  You long eared, fur bearing, flat footed varmint!”

That was supposedly said when Yosemite Sam, err Guv Dude shot him a coyote in self defense – allegedly – a couple of months ago while jogging up in the hill country. Commentary figures he finally let folks know yesterday in a move designed to wrap up the Lone Star State’s rancher vote.  Of course there are no witnesses and no proof other than Dude’s word.  You figure Dude would have thrown that dead coyote into a plastic garbage bag and taken it over to the local taxidermist and had it stuffed and mounted.

How come there are no pictures of him holding the dead coyote by his ears.  How come there are no pictures of Dude stringing up the coyote by its tail up on a tree branch or Dude having his foot on the dead coyote proudly holding his pistol.  Come on, if Dude was packing heat, he had to be packing an iPhone.

Dude also said he didn’t even give the dead coyote a proper burial.  He just left him out there.  Dude said the dead coyote “became mulch.”

I wonder if the Former H-Town Mayor will counter Dude by letting us know about his dead varmint experience.

The ownership of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been linked to supporting the efforts of those that pushed the Arizona legislation that goes after paperless folks.  I have been asked if I will be boycotting the D-Backs when they visit The Yard next Monday through Thursday.  The D-Backs don’t make money off of me when they visit us.  They don’t take a piece of the gate.  They don’t take a piece of the concessions.  All I would be doing is hurting the ‘Stros.  So I will be there.

Name the only MLB team that has never beaten the ‘Stros.

A prominent Lone Star State civil rights attorney said this about Guv Dude and the Arizona legislation:  “You can take the political temperature by just looking at Rick Perry being quiet.”  Dude figures he can score more votes going after coyotes.

The Toronto Blue Jays of course are 0-3 against the ‘Stros when they got swept here in June of 2005 in our only official get together.

Let’s see if we can get back on the winning track tonight.

 

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Today’s political chatter in the Lone Star State is about Guv Dude and the Former H-Town Mayor weighing in on the debates.  The Former Mayor wants to debate right now.  Dude says he wants the Former Mayor to release his tax returns first. 

Last year, the Annise Parker campaign released her tax returns and called on Gene Locke to release his.  The Parker campaign hammered away until Gene finally released his and what resulted was this big old yawn.  Gene was doing A-OK as a lawyer/lobbyist.

I suspect Dude will stick to his guns for now on this issue.   He knows that the E-Boards from newspapers across the Lone Star State will probably side with him because they love to have public officials release their tax returns.    What the voters think is a different matter.  I don’t think they care right now.  Stay tuned!

“The City of Houston shall not use photographic traffic signal enforcement systems to civilly, criminally, or administratively enforce any state law or City Ordinance against the owner or operator of a vehicle operated…….”, so starts the petition calling for an H-Town referendum on banning the red light cameras.  The petitions were mailed out to those in H-Town that have violated local traffic laws by the law firm of Paul Kubosh and Associates.  The petitions already have your name, birthday, and address and just need the old John Hancock.  Heck, they even included a prepaid postage envelope.  If they get the required signatures, we may have it on the November ballot. 

The Kubosh group is called Citizens Against Red Light Cameras and they can be found at  www.nocamerashouston.com .   This would be an interesting election because it would involve public safety, city finances, and corporate profits.  I don’t run red lights so I don’t have a problem with the cameras.

The Lovelier Wendy and CM James Rodriguez along with the Port’s AJ got their mugs in today’s Chron for co-chairing a fundraiser for an East End non-profit.  Cool!

Ten years ago today, the ‘Stros gave up four dingers in one inning at The Yard.  Who were we playing, who was our pitcher, and in what inning?

Tyler, Texas GOP State Rep. Leo Berman recently said “I believe that Barack Obama is God’s punishment on us today, but in 2012, we are going to make Obama a one-term president.”   I can’t decide if Berman is a dumbarse, ignorant, or an idiot.  Heck, he’s probably all three.

Continental Airlines and United Airlines are in merger talks.  If they merge, the corporate headquarters are rumored to be located to Chicago.  Adios to H-Town. As if the H-Town Mayor didn’t already have enough on her plate, now she has to do some more heavy lifting and try to talk Continental into keeping their corporate headquarters in H-Town.   It looks like Guv Dude will also weigh in and maybe offer up some of his Enterprise Fund loose change.

The U.S. of A. reads Commentary.  The City of San Francisco decided to boycott Arizona.  The nation’s largest Spanish language newspaper, La Opinion, also called for a boycott.  Hotel operators in Arizona are already fielding cancellation calls.  Meanwhile, someone painted a swastika in Arizona and the ink used was made from refried beans.  I don’t know about that kind of art.

The Cubbies hit four dingers in the first inning off of Jose Lima Time on April 27, 2000.  I remember watching the first three standing in the concession line waiting to get a hot dog and watching the fourth walking down the aisle to my seat.  Lima Time gave up a fifth dinger in the fourth and lasted five innings and gave up 12 earned runs – yikes!

The Chron Sports Section has a couple of upbeat and optimistic pieces on the ‘Stros today.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m glad we’re doing a lot better but remember we’re playing 15 out of 22 in April at The Yard.  In May we play 16 of 29 on the road and in June we play 16 of 28 on the road.  

‘Stros third baseman Pedro Feliz is celebrating numero 35 today as we take on the Reds tonight at The Yard!

 

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First of all, Commentary isn’t heading to Arizona anytime soon.  Commentary also won’t be buying anything that is made in Arizona.   Of course, I don’t even know what they make in Arizona.

It is hard to say how this is going to play in November.  On the news talk shows yesterday morning there was a lot of discussion about Latino voters staying home in November if Congress fails to act on immigration reform.  Heck, I’ve been saying that for a while.    There was a lot of news coverage this past weekend on the signing of the Arizona legislation.    Univision and Telemundo devoted more air time to the issue.   Latino voters are closely watching how the immigration issue will be handled.  Stay tuned!

My old pal David Mincberg had an interesting Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron on term limits.  Check it out.   David kind of wants them for Harris County and has no problem with them at the City of H-Town.

Somebody asked for my thoughts on Guv Dude spending this past Saturday morning with that Glenn Beck fella.  Hey, Dude’s gotta keep his based fired up.

Who was the ‘Stros Opening Day starting pitcher for five straight years (1987–1991)? 

I guess folks now know that Pam-In-Charge is also “Ace Cookie Baker Pam Gardner” according to the Chron’s Ken Hoffman in yesterday’s Chron.  Hoffman definitely got it right on that one. 

Pam-In-Charge and her crew are feeling good these days as the team is playing the way they are supposed to be playing.

Mike Scott of course who also pitched that division clinching no-no against the Giants on September 25, 1986 and is celebrating his 55th BD today!  10,000 Mike Scott Bobbleheads will be given away on Saturday, July 10.

The ‘Stros have today off and will be back at The Yard tomorrow evening as the Reds come in for three.

 

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Commentary and some of the GLBT leadership showed up last night at City Hall to attend the meeting of the City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission but there wasn’t a meeting.   Apparently the meeting was held Tuesday night.   I got my info on the meeting from Chron.com because you can’t find anything about the Commission on the City of H-Town’s website.  Chron.com said the meeting was supposed to be held last night.  I actually spent some time putting together some stuff for a presentation.  I don’t know about this.

A moronic GOP congressman said on the tube the other day racial profiling would not be used if the Arizona law designed to run paperless folks out of their state became law.  Instead, wardrobe profiling will be used.  He says you can tell if folks are here without papers by what they wear.   Commentary is anxious to see the wardrobe handbook they’re going to distribute to Arizona law enforcement types.  

Who was the only pitcher to strike out 19 batters twice in the same season – Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, or Bert Blyleven?

I’m thinking that the State of Arizona will probably mess up and stop and harass some visiting Latino MLBers when they play the Diamond Backs particularly those that don’t have command of the English language.   The good news for the ‘Stros is that they don’t have to head out to Arizona until Labor Day so that gives Wandy and Paulino plenty of time to brush up on their English.

It looks like the Houston METRO CEO got him a reprieve of sorts.   He’s off the hook for now.   Of course, if he didn’t do anything wrong, how come he didn’t look into the cameras a few weeks ago and say so.  Instead he looked like one of those fellas that had been advised to take the fifth.  After all, he’s a public official and should answer questions that are asked.  I don’t think this one is over if you ask me.

After Wednesday night’s ‘Stros game, the Skipper was asked about The Big Puma getting caught trying to steal third base.  Here’s how the Chron reported Brad Mills’ response:  “His name is ‘Puma’, I don’t think he demonstrated any Cadillac actions right there.”

Commentary was trying to figure out the “Cadillac” reference then I went to Alyson’s Footnotes and here is how she reported what Mills said:  "His name is Puma, but I don’t think he demonstrated cat-like actions right there."

Got it!

Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson of course struck out 19 batters twice as a Mariner in 1997. 

Since there wasn’t a meeting last night, Commentary headed out to The Yard and snagged a last minute ticket from Pam-In-Charge.  We lost the game but in honor of Earth Day, they handed out the curly energy efficient light bulbs on the way out as the Pirates come in for three this weekend.

 

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The H-Town City Council voted yesterday to increase our water and sewer rates by 30% over the next three years.  Apparently the water and sewer system has been operating in the red over the last few years.   The H-Town Mayor thanked the council members for casting a “tough vote.”   It was a tough vote and once we start getting our water bills, we will really find out how this is going to play.  Stay tuned!

The embattled CEO of Houston METRO got slammed today in the Chron by one of the columnists.  Check it out.  The column makes the CEO look like some sort of shady and unethical fella.  The column also makes the former METRO Board Chair look like a complete dumbarse.  Expect things to get messier over at METRO before they cleaned up.

For those of you that are interested in what the City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission is up to (and not very many of you are), try going to their meeting this evening at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Name the ‘Stros opponent who has the most career dingers at Minute Maid Park.

San Antonio is studying the possibility of banning texting and other related stuff while driving.   The City of H-Town is not.  What’s up with that!

A movie studio is thinking about making “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”  It is a prequel of sorts.  It is about how the Wizard became a Wizard.  That’s OK with me. 

Last night, Numero 45 got his first RBI of the season.  He also got picked off of base.

Albert Pujos of course has 22 dingers at The Yard. 

Tiger announced yesterday that he’s in the Players Championship.    Tiger a player – what else is new?

Hey, I’m not going to say anything about the ‘Stros winning four in a row.  Tonight is Play Green Day at The Yard as the first 10,000 fans get Play Green lids – be there!

 

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Commentary grew up down the street from the San Jacinto Battleground and Monument.  The elementary schools in our ISD were named after the heroes of the Texas Revolution – Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, Stephen F. Austin, Mirabeau Lamar, James Bowie and Lorenzo DeZavala that only Latinos like Commentary attended.  We were taught Texas history like what happened on March 2, 1836 (Texas Independence Day), March 6, 1836 (the fall of the Alamo), and April 21, 1836 (the battle at San Jacinto).  April 21 used to be a school holiday in our ISD.

These days there is barely a mention of San Jacinto Day in the media.   The Chron usually carries the story about the folks that reenact the battle but that’s about it.  It doesn’t seem to be a big deal.  I don’t even know if a whole lot of time is spent teaching Texas history to the kids.   Does it matter since most folks aren’t from these parts these days?  As long as we still go by H-Town, err Houston, it ought to matter.

In their history, the ‘Stros have turned 9 triple plays.  Former ‘Stros shortstop Roger Metzger was involved in 4 of them – the most.  Which ‘Stro was involved in turning three triple plays (the second highest)?

It looks like Illinois Cong. Luis Gutierrez is not giving up on immigration reform.  He was involved in a press conference yesterday and was very critical of The President.  Hey it takes guts for a Democratic congressman from The President’s home state to call him out.   It looks like some Latino leaders want to keep this issue on the front burner during this election year in hopes of getting The White House and Congress to act.     Failure to act might keep Latinos at home this November.

Last night at The Yard, some fella didn’t appreciate getting on the KissKam so he shot the bird at the camera – a Yard first I think.

Ken Caminiti of course was involved in turning three triple plays and was also born 47 years ago today.  He left us way too soon.

‘Stros shortstop/second baseman Jeff Keppinger is celebrating his 30th today.  Keppinger is currently batting .342.

Last night we saw Numero 45’s first extra base hit of the year, a Jason Michael pinch hit dinger, 2 RBIs for The Big Puma, a squeeze bunt, and our first win at The Yard this season.  You should have been there!

 

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In yesterday’s Chron there was an Op-Ed that was penned by two local educators warning us about the fiscal crisis in public education throughout the state.

In a newspaper this past weekend, there was an article about our state legislative leaders looking at those goods and services that are currently exempt from the sales tax.

In today’s SA Express News, the Former H-Town Mayor cracks on Guv Dude for letting the college tuition rates soar in the Lone Star State.

State agencies have been asked to cut budgets by five percent.

We don’t have enough revenue to provide the services we need.

As usual, we’re not going to hear any credible solutions to our state’s budget woes.  After all, we’re in campaign mode and nobody wants to give the other side any ammo that can be made to look like a tax increase.   Stay tuned!

Who is the only MLBer to compete in World Seriouses with four different teams?

Bonus:  Who hold the record for most dingers in Colt Stadium, the Astrodome, and The Yard?

The good news for the Former H-Town Mayor is that he’s only four points down against Guv Dude in the latest poll.  The bad news for the Former H-Town Mayor is that he’s only four points down against Guv Dude in the latest poll and he has yet to take incoming.

Lonnie Smith of course with the Phillies (1980), San Luis (1982), Royals (1985), and The ATL (1991 & 1992) – picking up World Serious rings with the Phillies, Cards, and Royals.

Bob Aspromonte (21) at Colt Stadium, Jeff Bagwell (126) at the Dome, and of course The Big Puma (144 so far) at The Yard.

The Big Puma makes his 2010 debut tonight at The Yard against the Fish – be there!

 

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Here’s what Newsweek cover boy  Guv Dude said this past weekend: "It was very disconcerting for me to see the president at Kennedy Space Center (in Florida) making the announcement about they’re going to increase some jobs there. Not one word spoken about the Johnson Space Center. The message there was: ‘You’re from Texas. We don’t care about you.’ I tell people this president has put a target on Texas’ back."

Dude ought to know something about targets since he’s had an old bull’s eye on The President for a while.  Get real Dude!  You railed against the stimulus even though you pocketed the money.  You railed against healthcare reform.  You railed against The President’s education grants. 

Here’s the problem for all of us that support the Johnson Space Center.  Let’s say there is public support for continuing to go to space, aside from the folks from Alabama, Florida, the Lone Star State, California, and a couple of other states with smaller research facilities, the rest of the U.S. of A. doesn’t give a rat’s arse who gets the funds or where we train the next generation of astronauts.  We’re not going to knock Florida out of the running, because they already have the launching facilities.

At some point some folks outside of the Lone Star State are going to start saying – hey wait a minute.  Don’t you guys in the Lone Star State want a federal government that is not relevant to your lives?   Don’t you guys have a governor that wants to secede? Don’t you guys want a smaller government?  Weren’t you the guys that didn’t want stimulus dollars?

The H-Town Mayor and the local congressional delegation have to convince the rest of Congress on the importance of the Johnson Space Center.  Remind them that it were folks at the Johnson Space Center that turned Apollo 13 into NASA’s most successful failure.  Of course they are going to have to do this convincing while Dude is railing against The President.  Dude’s in a reelection mode that doesn’t include a photo-op with The President in the Oval Office discussing the future of NASA in H-Town.

It probably doesn’t help that Dude has snagged a soon to be released Newsweek cover with the “Don’t Mess With Texas” screaming headline.  Sure it gives Dude more national exposure.  It makes him one of the faces of the national GOP right up there behind Former Governor Palin and excites his base here in the Lone Star State.  However, like I was saying, Dems outside of the Lone Star State are probably thinking, why do we want to help out this fella’s state?  Stay tuned!

The Chron had a reader poll they published this weekend on tearing down the Astrodome – 55% for the wrecking ball, 45% for preserving the Dome – take that!

Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies threw a no-no in Atlanta against the Braves this past Saturday.  It was the first no-no in Rockies history.   Name the only three MLB teams that still don’t have a no-no.

A double bonus: How many no-nos do the ‘Stros have and has a ‘Stros catcher ever caught more than one?

Commentary watched the ‘Stros and Cubbies on the tube this past Saturday then afterwards I started to watch the Mets and Cards on Fox.  After about 30 minutes I headed off to the gym then to run some errands.  When I got back the Mets and Cards were still playing in the tenth inning.   I watched as the game went 20 innings and ended after 10 pm.  652 pitches were thrown in a game that lasted 6 hours and 53 minutes.  The Cardinals used two position players (non-pitchers) to pitch. The game was scoreless for the first 18 innings.  Oh yeah, the Mets won 2 to 1. 

In case you missed CM James Rodriguez’s Op-Ed on the Downtown Soccer Stadium in Saturday’s Chron, we have it for you.  Check it out.

The Mets, Rays and Padres of course are the only teams without no-nos.

The ‘Stros have ten no-nos of course thrown by Don Nottebart (1963), Ken Johnson (1964), Don Wilson (1967 & 1969), Larry Dierker (1976), Ken Forsch (1979), Nolan Ryan (1981), Mike Scott (1986), Darryl Kile (1993), and Roy O/Pete Munro/Kirk Saarloos/Brad Lidge/Octavio Dotel/Billy Wagner (2003).

Alan Ashby of course was behind the plate for Forsch, Ryan and Scott.

Fox Sports Southwest has a neat 30 minute “Spotlight” on my pal Drayton.  It is a nice piece. Check it out while it is still airing.

The ‘Stros just had them a 3-3 road trip and The Big Puma finally gets to see some MLB action starting tomorrow night against the Fish!

 

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