Archive for December, 2009

Every H-Town Latino political player ought to be embarrassed at the low Latino voter turnout in last Saturday’s run-off.  I know I am.  Many Latino precincts turned out in single digits.  I don’t want to hear excuses like the mayoral campaigns didn’t direct resources so our folks didn’t show up or we didn’t care.   We can obviously do a lot better.  In the meantime, mull over the following.

The first seven precincts are traditional Second Ward, Magnolia, and Denver Harbor neighborhoods.  The last two

are Northside neighborhoods.  Notice the higher turnout % in the Northside because there was  a Latina HISD



The H-Town Police Chief announced he’s resigning in a couple of weeks.  I guess he didn’t want to stick around and hear “you’re outta here” from the next Mayor.

Meanwhile at yesterday’s H-Town City Council meeting, the Harris County Tax Assessor Collector took some shots at the mayor. Check it out in today’s Chron.Now that the H-Town Mayor is on his way out and a candidate for Guv, expect local GOPers to slap him around on how he ran the city.  In the next eleven months, local GOPers will be telling folks across the Lone Star State their version on H-Town Mayor’s six years in office.  Stay tuned!

Joe Lieberman is an inconvenient d__khead if you ask me.  I can’t believe he was on our ticket in 2000.

The Chron has two pieces today on my pal Drayton entertaining selling the ‘Stros last year.  I don’t know about that.  Commentary’s influence over where to set up the St. Arnold kiosks would certainly wane.   I would also stop getting the cool Christmas ornaments.


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Hector did a quick run of a few precincts and here’s what he shows us.

Upper Income Anglo:  Parker 63%, Locke 37%

Middle Income Anglo:  AP 69, GL 31.

Mid Income African American: GL 83, AP 17.

Low Income African American: GL 88, AP 12.

Latino:  AP 63, GL 37.

That’s all I know.

In the HISD, District 1 race, in Round One:  Alma Lara 4,312, Anna Eastman 4,099, Linda Toyota 1,412.   In Round Two:  Eastman 4,959 (860 additional votes in Round Two) and Lara 4,766 (454 additional votes in Round Two).  In Round One, 11,576 cast ballots with 1,753 under votes (15.14%).  In Round Two, 10,576 cast ballots with 851 under votes (8.05%).

In the HISD, District 9 race, in Round One:  Larry Marshall 5,407, Adrian Collins 3,873, Michael Williams 1,518, and George Davis 1,501.   In Round Two: Marshall 6,295 (888 additional votes in Round Two) and Collins 6,012 (2139 additional votes in Round Two).  In Round One, 14, 314 cast ballots with 2,015 under votes (14.08%).  In Round Two, 13,503 cast ballots with 1,196 under votes (8.86%).

The Kinkhole has now decided to run for Ag Commish.  Oh brother! 

Way to go The Dean!  Check out The Dean in today’s Chron on getting our prison system working better.

From the frankly my dear I don’t give a darn department, 70 years ago today, “Gone With the Wind” premiered in the ATL.

The ‘Stros will have Jason Michaels return as a back-up outfielder.  I hope we didn’t spend too much money on him. 


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Of course, my favorite victory Saturday evening was the Anna Eastman victory over in HISD, District 1.  We hung out at Anna’s and Brad’s crib and banged the refresh button throughout the night looking for results.  Current and former HISD trustees dropped in hoping to give Anna a congratulatory hug.  The Election Day volunteers clad in their yellow T-Shirts mingled, ate pizza, and sipped on wine and St. Arnold.  Every time some numbers came in, all eyes focused on me – what does it mean, which precincts are still out, are you worried. (With all this new technology available, they ought to be able to tell us which precincts have been counted.)  At one point we were down by over 250 votes and some folks in the room started to get nervous.  Then the room erupted when we finally took a lead and confidence shot up when we led by 250 votes.  Then our lead shrunk to 97 votes with two precincts still out and nervousness crept back in to the room.  The final results gave Anna a win by 193 votes – whew!

My new real good friend Anna Eastman was a darn good campaigner.  Most of the endorsements and elected officials went with her opponent but it really didn’t bother Anna.  I’m betting that once players in this town get to know Anna and see her in action, they’ll come away thinking that she’s the real deal.  I’m glad I got the opportunity to oversee her effort.  Her campaign was interesting and a whole lot of fun.  Congrats go to Anna Eastman.

Congrats go to Team Parker and their very impressive victory.  I tip my hat to Grant Martin and Adam Harris for steering their campaign into the winning column.  I wish the Mayor-Elect the best as she now has a little over a couple of weeks to put together her staff.

Congrats go to Keir Murray and Kyle Johnston and the folks over at Ron Green’s for helping him dodge a bullet.  Kyle also gets a shout out for getting Larry Marshall across the finish line first.

Congrats go to my pals Sue Davis and Kathryn McNeil for helping their clients – Steve Costello and Annise Parker.

Congrats go to Keith Wade for helping Jolanda Jones keep her City Hall parking space.

Of the major endorsers in the run-off:

Chron went 5 and 4.

Tejano Dems went 3 and 6.

GLBT went 4 and 5.

Local Dem Party went 2 and 3.

Harris County AFL-CIO went 3 ½ to 5 ½ (they had a duelie in the mayoral race).

Hootise Slate went 3 and 4.

HFT went 0 and 2 in HISD races.

In the Roundtable poll, Commentary got 8 out of ten right – they had a turnout question.

The Best Overall Mail Award went to Anna Eastman.

The Most Mail Award went to Annise Parker which also was referred to as the season’s USPS stimulus package.

The Best Individual Mail Piece Award went to Jolanda Jones for the train off the track piece against Jack Christie.

The Runner-up Individual Mail Piece Award went to Jack Christie for his pink slam on Jolanda Jones.

The Silliest Mail Piece Award went to Annise Parker for her board game slap on Gene Locke.

The Best Radio Ad Award went to Ron Green for his vicious hit on M.J. Kahn.

The Best TV Ad Award went to Annise Parker for the relentless hits on Gene Locke.

Now it’s time for the Dem Primary season!

Commentary took a break yesterday and went to see the Texans with My Best Friend.

Commentary got two cool ‘Stros Christmas ornaments this past Friday.  One was from the ‘Stros and the other was from my pal Drayton.  They’ll go up once I get my tree later on this week.


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The Channel 11 poll has it 49% to 36% for Annise.  Rice’s Bob Stein who conducted the poll predicts Annise will win by 7 to 8 meaning 53.5% to 46.5%.  We will see!

Aside from the expected bragging, crowing, and strutting by the winning side in the mayoral contest, here’s what we’ll also be talking about Sunday morning.  Were the five H-Town Council Members successful in running Jolanda Jones off?  Did the Houston Federation of Teachers go 2 for 2, 1 for 2, or oh for 2 in the HISD Trustee races?  Was there fallout from the Balls of Holly attack mailer against Jolanda?  Do Council Districts A and B stay in the hands of the GOP?  Does Latino turnout fall below 10%.  Does the Latino vote make up less than 10% of the total vote?  Do more folks show up in the run-off?  Do we see a return of the GOP to At-Large council seats?  Did IRS issues move the numbers in the race for City Controller?  Let’s talk Sunday over a nice bowl of menudo.

One thing is for sure, after Saturday, I have to get my arse in gear and go find a tree, gifts, and catch up on the movie scene.

Tiger’s women are starting to get paraded on the talk shows.  Is that all there is?

Gene Barry is no longer with us.  I liked him as “Bat Masterson.”  He was also in the original “War of the Worlds.”

Let’s see, this Navidad, the ‘Stros got us 34-year old Pedro Feliz, who spent the last two seasons going to two World Serious as a the Phillies’ third baseman.  We got us 29-year old Matt Lindstrom who was a Fish the last three seasons and has a 3.88 career ERA with 20 saves in 25 opportunities.  We’re also getting 30-year old Brandon Lyon who was a Tiger last year and has a 4.20 career ERA.   I hope these moves help us out.


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Awww shucks!  City hall insiders were betting that Annise Parker was going to use last night’s TV debate to announce her audits uncovered the problems at HPD’s fingerprint lab.

I guess me and the Chron saw a different mayoral debate last night because I thought the biggest news was Annise Parker appollyizing for running that deceptive $22 million TV ad.   When asked who their past favorite mayor was, Gene Locke said Bob Lanier, Annise would not name one which means she threw Kathy Whitmire in the ditch.  When asked what mistakes in life and career they had made, Gene said his first lawyer job and his first campaign team.  Annise mentioned the $22 million deceptive ad.  Annise also mentioned that if she gets elected, she’ll do away with the system of divvying up the CIP dollars evenly among council members.  That ought to go over well with district council members. 

Speaking of, the Chron has a front page story on CM Jolanda Jones and the five fellow council members that are trying to run her arse off of council.  Check it out. 

The article mentions the Balls of Holly mailer that cracks on Jolanda:  “Lovell said the mailer has nothing to do with party politics but is one council member calling out another for making “inappropriate” comments. She also said the piece should not be seen as an endorsement of Christie, only an effort to support Houston firefighters.”  I don’t know about that.

The KJDEVR has 63,520 voters in Harris County voting in the H-Town elections early in person or by mail.  16% or 10,520 are non Nov. 3 voters.   Of the 63,520, 59% are Anglo, 29% are African American, 8% are Latino, and 4% are Asian American.   61% are Dem, 28% are GOPer, and 11% are Indies.

Of the non Nov. 3 voters, 52% are Anglo, 33% are African American, 10% are Latino, and 5% are Asian American.  63% are Dem, 17% are GOPer, and 20% are Indies.

CEWDEM sent out the mean spirited crack on Commentary and CM James Rodriguez by Vidal Martinez.  I won’t dignify with a response because Vidal is an inconsequential fella. 

Speaking of, since the day Anna Eastman filed for HISD Trustee in District 1, some pitiful fella named Jesse Alred has been posting not so nice things about her.  CEWDEM sent out one of his missiles this weekend.  Somebody finally had enough and put out the following Dear Jesse lettter:

“It is very sad that your experience as a teacher has left you so obviously jaded and angry–angry at administrators, angry at parents, angry at students, and most of all, angry at Anna Eastman. Your name-calling, referring to Eastman as a "lifestyle liberal" and a "Grand Opera democrat" is beyond uncivil. Your claim that "Eastman is known foremost as a food activist" is not only false, but also offensively belittling, as it tries unfairly to minimize Ms. Eastman and the years of important work that she has done as a private citizen–for no compensation–in her children’s school’s PTA, and ignores the fact the she put out her own time and money to create an organization that rewards and encourages effective veteran teachers. Your bigoted and inflammatory rhetoric, such as your claim that, "These days we increasingly have one party with two branches–one ran [sic] by affluent vegetarians who support abortion on demand and who think being Gay is the coolist [sic] thing, and the other led by affluent red-meat-eaters who hate Gay people and think abortion is murder" is thoroughly bigoted, divisive, and disgusting, as is your suggestion that Hispanics and other non-whites should vote against Eastman and for Lara as a matter of racial solidarity. Taken as a whole, your now almost daily posts here on this blog and elsewhere, singling out Ms. Eastman and attacking her on any and every pretext, read like an obsessive cyber-stalker’s bizarre journal. I suspect that Ms. Lara herself would be ashamed to be associated with your remarks. Just think how different things might be for you if you had taken the time you’ve wasted stalking Anna Eastman these last few months and instead spent that time and effort on your own students.  So why don’t you give it a rest?  (Sorry to be so rough, but frankly you’ve had it coming for quite a while now.)”

Take that!

Commentary forgot to mention that sports talk radio is out for a while and Christmas tunes are in.  My little sister sent me CDs of Christmas tunes we used to listen to when we were little including Nat King Cole, Perry Como, the Lennon Sisters, and Eydie Gorme – cool.

The ‘Stros added Matt Lindstrom and Brandon Lyon too replace Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkin – interesting.


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It looks like over 65,000 folks have voted early in the H-Town election in Harris County.  That’s about 4,000 better than before November 3.  Of course it could be like November of 2008 when a lot of folks voted early and some of us thought that we might be breaking records then it turned out that folks just wanted to beat the traffic.  Folks might want to check back in with me later today once I get the KJDEVR.

Commentary is kind of disappointed with a number of so called “players” these days.  A lot of folks are justifiably outraged at the Hootsie deal and the money he’s getting and the folks he’s meeting.  Nobody gives a rat’s arse about the money paid to a Texas Minuteman by the Annise Parker campaign…..tsk, tsk, tsk. 

I don’t know about Balls of Holly coming out with a mailer against Jolanda.  Commentary voted yesterday and I voted for Dems – period.  It is going to be interesting to see if Dem activists retaliate against Balls of Holly if she decides to seek higher office.   If Commentary pulled a number like that, I’d be dragged through the political campaign grinder.  Let’s see if folks treat folks differently, errr we know they do when it comes to paying off Texas Minutemen.

I think I’ve gotten nine Annise Parker mailers in the runoff.  I think I stopped reading them after about the fourth.

Back to voter turnout, to increase turnout, maybe they ought to take a page from the ‘Stros and have giveaways at the polls like bobbleheads.  I think folks might turnout in higher numbers in Dem precincts if we gave out The Dean bobbleheads.  That would be pretty cool.

Commentary’s mention of CEP/HISD got a lot of run yesterday.  Here’s a taste:

“Possibly if Marc Campos looked beyond the handful of his LULAC 402 buddies who have a personal grudge against CEP he would find they have many supporters.”

“As Gayle Fallon so aptly points out, there are many supporters of CEP, including myself.  I have been to the campuses and I know how good their programs are.”

“I am sorry that many of the LULAC members in the Greater Houston Area were unable to attend the news conference, my Council in particular, to show our support of the decision by the new HISD Superintendent to audit and find the answers to the numerous questions that HISD Taxpayers have been asking for from HISD and CEP for many years.   We will not be deterred from finding a better way of handling our Youth that are at risk.  They deserve more than to just to be warehoused  and maybe setting them up to fail.”

“I am an attorney (not affiliated with LULAC) who has worked in the juvenile courts for the last 15 yrs.  Often when a child is arrested the child is moved out of the home school to CEP (there are a couple of other places as well).  After talking with my clients, children who have been arrested, after they have been in CEP for a few months it is VERY clear that they are learning nothing. The children are basically ‘warehoused’ for the school day.  Very few teachers to number of students.  Students allegedly “work at their own pace”  which is not at all without some direction.  Children who were doing reasonably well in their home schools (ABCs) fall behind while at CEP.”

“This is an absolute waste of our tax dollars.  Anyone who works with kids who have been sent to CEP knows that it is waste of time (the child’s) and money (our tax dollars).”

“In all the back and forth discussion yesterday about CEP, we have failed to hear from candidate Alma Lara who has attended community meetings and stated publicly her support for CEP.    My question to Ms. Lara is this….if elected, will you support the demands of various LULAC chapters and other community members that CEP be seriously reviewed and that its contract be brought to a swift end or will you simply follow your greatest supporter, Gayle Fallon, and turn a blind eye to the needs of our community’s children?  And will you also turn a blind eye because the President of CEP is one of your campaign funders?  And will you also turn a blind eye because your daughter is a CEP employee?   There seem to be too many conflicts of interest for you to be independent enough to do what is right by our children rather than continue to fund the powers that be.  I, for one, am tired of putting our children last when it comes to priorities.”

According to today’s Chron, it doesn’t look like we’re getting Miguel Tejada back – no se puede!

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CEP is an outfit based in Tennessee that handles HISD’s alternative schools. My pal Mary Almendarez, a couple of local LULAC chapters, and some Latino education activists claim CEP/HISD is nothing but a dropout mill.  They want CEP out of HISD.  This past Friday the new HISD superintendent announced a review of CEP.  I’m thinking that since he’s new, he’ll probably have the leeway to go after CEP if he finds that they aren’t worth the millions HISD pays them each year.  Other than a couple or so HISD board trustees, I can’t find anyone in town that supports CEP.

According to the KJDEVR, through Sunday in Harris County, close to 42,000 had voted by mail or early in person in H-Town (51,000 plus voted early or by mail before Nov. 3).  Of the 42,000, 59% are Dem, 30% are GOPers, 11% are Indies.  61% are Anglo, 26% are African American, 8% are Latino, and 5% are Asian American.  District D leads with 7,258 followed closely by District G with 7,156.

It looks like the campaigns are acting like the current weather – very messy.   According to today’s Chron, Ned Holmes wrote a check to Hootsie.  Bob Perry wrote a check to the police union – HPOU.  Annise Parker funded a mailer of a bona fide Texas Minuteman – Roy Morales.  Of course, nobody gives a rat’s arse about the “hate” the Minutemen spread.

I guess we now know why Tiger doesn’t play in that many PGA Tournaments.

‘Stros closer Jose Valverde said adios to us yesterday.  He said we had our chance.  Stay tuned!


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Commentary just learned that an Early Voting location where African American and Latino voters participate was broken into.  Minority voter suppression?

Saturday night will end this year’s campaign season here in H-Town – the sooner the better.  Here’s a bit of what was said on a recent radio program.   (Remember, Commentary is part of Team Locke.)

Question:   I would like find out the position on the illegal immigrants in the City of Houston?

Annise Parker:  I wish we didn’t have illegal immigrants in the City of Houston, but that is a federal issue.  What happens is cities are left to deal with the situation.  I have been clear throughout the campaign I believe that if someone is arrested here in Houston for a violation of a local law and goes to the City jail, we should ask everyone who is booked into the City jail what their immigration status is either through using the 287g program or what’s called the secure communities program.  We need to find out just as they do at the Harris County Jail but I don’t want anybody to ever ask someone on the street and I don’t want my police officers to become immigration enforcement officers.  But, if you go to jail, you can take your consequences and then you’re going to be turned over to ICE if you’re here illegally.

Gene Locke:  That has been my platform position from day one. I don’t believe that we as a city can determine the immigration problem and hope that because it is a federal problem.  We have to end up living with the consequences with a failed federal problem, um, policy and it plays out certainly in the issue of public safety.   For me, I too would not have police officers asking people about citizenship on the streets.  I think that goes to racial profiling that they could also be constitutionally impermissible and it’s, uh, with our police department so small it is not the appropriate use of the meager resources that we have, having said that if somebody is arrested we need to screen people in our jails so that we know who is in our jails.  I believe that screening should take place in the jails.  I think that is the appropriate place for it.

Be careful what you wish for Annise Parker.  Like it or not, paperless folks have contributed mightily to H-town’s economy and they were there to help clean up the Ike mess.

This past weekend, the Chron called out the Parker campaign by pointing out a “glaring error” in their latest TV ad.  The ad says as City Attorney, Gene Locke blew a case and it cost the city $22 mil.  The ad doesn’t say that the city won on appeal. The ad is still running.

A panelist at yesterday’s Channel 11 TV debate pointed out that the latest Parker radio ad was trying to trick voters into thinking that Parker had the support of the major police officers union – HPOU, when in fact, HPOU was supporting Locke.  The ad is still running.

A Chron reporter on the panel pointed out that under Parker, the city lost millions in a deal similar to the Sports Authority deal that Parker is criticizing Locke on in her TV ad.  The ad is still running.

Meanwhile, HPD wants a $4 miil special expenditure because the finger print department is messed up which I’m sure the GOP will use against the H-Town Mayor next year.

It looks like Hutch stopped reading Commentary because she will be filing against Guv Dude today.

Harris County Department of Education Board Trustee Jim Henley said this about Anna Eastman yesterday (she’s Commentary’s client):

“HISD board candidate Anna Eastman knows full well that it will take all of us, teachers, parents, students, community and business leaders to break the status quo that is currently failing a large percentage of our children. We must not allow efforts toward true school reform to be characterized as an anti-teacher movement. The goal of candidates such as Anna Eastman, is to attract, retain and reward teachers who are effectively teaching their students.  We cannot allow school reform to be characterized as public schools VS public charter schools, we need to strengthen and improve both.                                                                                                                                                                      

“Every student deserves the opportunity of an excellent education. Today, that opportunity is extended to less than half of Houston’s children. Are there ineffective teachers? Yes. Should they be replaced? Of course, along with an ineffective governor, legislators, superintendents, board members, and administrators. No one should be allowed to stand in the way of children achieving their God given potential.”

That’s politics.

Commentary was at the “in” party for “players” Saturday night and the topic of the evening was – you guessed it – who is going to win.  Afterward, as I was waiting for my car in the Hotel ZaZa valet parking line with my security detail and I heard shrieking – Jay Leno, Jay Leno.  The man himself Jay Leno walked right past me into a limo.  He did pose for a few pics with some fans – cool.

A lot of folks across the U.S. of A. are wondering if the big guy upstairs was wearing burnt orange Saturday night.

Commentary likes the head coach of the Texans but I don’t think he’s going to be here much longer after that botched call yesterday.

Let’s hope the ‘Stros pick up some players at the Winter Meetings.


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According to the KJEVDR, after the first four days, in Harris County, 29,931 have voted by mail or in person in the city elections.  61% are Anglo, 28% African American, 7% Latino, and 4% Asian American.   58% are Dems, 32% are GOPers, and 10% are INDs. (FYI:  51,000 cast early votes in person in round 1 – early voting before Nov. 3, so far 23,119 have voted in person early.)

Of the mail ballots, 68% are Anglo, 27% African American, 4% Latino, and 1% Asian American.  55% are GOPers, 41% Dems, and 4% INDs.

3,722 (12%) are non November 3 voters.  52% are Anglo, 33% are African American, 9% are Latino, and 6% are Asian.  61% are Dems, 26% are GOPers, and 13% are INDs. 

In the first round, close to 10,000 mail ballots were cast in the city elections.  To date, in the run-off, 8,193 have been returned and 10,000 are still out there in the hands of mostly 65 and older voters.

Commentary got called last night and participated in a poll/survey.  It was kind odd because they asked a few questions about head to head matchups between the H-Town Mayor and the GOP Lite Guv for U.S. Senate.

The H-Town Mayor will officially get into the race for Guv today but the bad weather will be this evening’s lead new story.

Other than getting their mugs on national news programs, I don’t understand why Dems hold congressional hearings on the White House party crashers.

Next week the ‘Stros go the MLB Winter Meetings and maybe they can pick up a player or two – stay tuned!

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I signed on to help Gene Locke close to a couple of weeks ago to help out wherever I could.  I asked for and received the latest payroll info regarding the Controller’s office.  I crunched the numbers and found out the following:

Average salary for Anglos:  $80,596.

Average salary for Asian Americans: $59,088.

Average salary for African Americans:  $54,086.

Average salary for Latinos:  $53,980.

Of the top ten paid employees in that department:  8 Anglos, 1 Latino, 1 Asian American.  African Americans didn’t crack the top ten.

Don’t even try to defend this.  This isn’t right.  There is no excuse.  This has been going on for the last six years. 

The Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) and Houston Black American Democrats (H-BAD) called out the Controller on her hiring practices.  This is a valid issue to some folks like me.  HCTD and H-BAD were attacked for putting it out in a press release.

The city is over 70% Latino and African American.  Look, in the private sector and the public sector, the folks that draw the bigger salaries are usually the ones that are the most important and make the decisions.  These are just the facts.

I’m sure someone will see fit to crack on me and try to make me look contradictory by pulling out some stuff that I said in the past.  Just don’t try to spin these bad numbers in some other direction.

Yesterday the Controller’s Office got very political and put out a report calling for the County to get off of it’s arse and sign on to the soccer stadium deal.  I kind of found it a bit disingenuous in light of the fact that she cracked on the soccer stadium in her earlier TV ads.

According to the KJEVDR, 10% of the voters are non Nov. 3.  They are Latino at 9%, African American at 34%, Asian American at 6%, and Anglos at 51%.  They are DEM 59%, REP 21%, No Primary 20%.  I wonder who this helps.

From MLB’s Brian McTaggart:  “Free-agent infielder Placido Polanco, who won his second Gold Glove this year for the Detroit Tigers, has drawn serious interest from the Astros, according to baseball sources.

Polanco, 34, is a 12-year veteran who batted .285 with 10 home runs and 72 RBIs last season with the Tigers and finished 25th in the American League voting for Most Valuable Player. A two-time Gold Glove winner, Polanco was the MVP of the 2006 AL Championship Series.   He’s a .303 career hitter.”

Former ‘Stro Billy Wagner is now with the Braves.


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