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Archive for May, 2010

The Former Young Political Consultant That Used To Work Here, Bethany Arnold, will graduate from UH Law School this Sunday – wow!

Commentary will be there and I here that Rudy G will deliver the commencement address.

Commentary has known Bethany for over 16 years and watched her grow up.  She’s very smart.  She works hard.  She’s caring.  She speaks her mind and definitely has her opinions.  The last few years she’s been my Opening Day pal.  She and I also vote early together at Moody in every election – a tradition that we started years ago.  Now she’s beginning a new chapter in her life.  Congrats to Bethany!

The Chron has a piece today on The H-Town Mayor and her predecessor.   Check it out. 

Of course, The Mayor doesn’t need my advice, but she is better off running the City and not worrying about the race for governor.   She’s dealing with some pretty challenging issues and she doesn’t need to worry about how her words will end up in campaign brochures and radio and TV ads.

Here are two lines from the piece that are at odds.

“In somewhat stilted and carefully chosen comments this week, Parker and White praised each other and insisted they have a good relationship, although a spokeswoman for Parker said she would remain neutral in the upcoming November contest.”

“Harris County Democratic Party Chairman Gerry Birnberg predicted Parker eventually will campaign hard for White as the election nears.”

I don’t know about that.  I’m inclined to believe the first line.  I kind of think she will publicly stay out of the race.  Sure she will vote for the Former Mayor, but I don’t see her campaigning for him.   The GOP will probably still be running both houses of the state legislature next year so why put the City’s legislative agenda at risk.

Let’s also not forget that for the most part, the Former Mayor stayed out of partisan elections during his first five years in office.  I remember hearing the gripes from a lot of local Dem activists moaning about the fact that the Former Mayor wasn’t doing anything to help the local Dem candidates.  So there is precedent for The Mayor to stay focused on running the City and stay out of major partisan races.

Who are the two MLB teams that the ‘Stros have beaten only once?

According to the local sports media community, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has a credibility problem.  Nobody was buying his explanation on how his body was invaded by performance enhancers. 

The ‘Stros of course are 1-5 against the Yankees and A’s.

That was a pretty good sweep of San Luis if you ask me.  The Big Puma and Hunter Pence are now starting to hit.  The breaks are going our way.  The pitching has been steady.  Now it’s three in San Fran including tomorrow’s match-up between Roy O and Tim Lincecum on Fox!

 

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According to a poll released yesterday, folks in the U.S. of A. still support offshore drilling by 50% to 38%.  GOPers support drilling by a 3 to 1 margin.   Dems are against 52% to 36%.

In another poll released yesterday, folks in the U.S. of A. support Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” law 64% to 34%.  70% of Latinos oppose the law and 49% of Dems would support it in their own state.  I guess you could say that once you factor out the Latino Dems in the poll, a majority of non-Latino Dems support the Arizona law.

The Dem support for the law might surprise some folks but it doesn’t surprise Commentary.   Sure The President and his administration have problems with the law but most of the outrage against comes out of the Latino community.  I don’t feel any grass roots Dem outrage outside of the Latino community even here in the Lone Star State.

Harris County and the Houston metropolitan area have the largest Latino voting immigration population in the Lone Star State.  If this community feels like the Dem Party isn’t enthusiastically supporting them on this issue, don’t be surprised if they don’t enthusiastically show up at the polls.  Believe me when I say they are paying attention.

How many times did a “Stros pitcher win 20 games or more in the rainbow jersey era?

One of the Chron’s Columnists has a piece today on the City of H-Town and the “sanctuary city” status BS that Guv Dude’s campaign is throwing at us. Check it out.

The Texas Tribune recently had a piece on Dude’s claim about H-Town and asked if the Lone Star State was a “sanctuary state.”  Check it out.

I hate to say this but if all we end up talking about is “H-Town is a sanctuary city, no we’re not, the Lone Star State is a sanctuary state, no we’re not”, we’re playing into Dude’s hand.  This isn’t the kind of immigration debate that Latinos voters want to hear.  This is kind of like running away from Latinos.

1975–1986 was the rainbow jersey era and in 1976 J.R. Richard was 20-15, in 1979 Joe Niekro was 21-11 and 20-12 in 1980.

The Big Puma had him four walks and a two run dinger last night and we’re playing A-OK as we wrap up the series in San Luis this afternoon – who knows!

 

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Brock Golf Course is a City of H-Town owned and run facility located in Northeast H-Town.  It is now on the budget chopping block.  The administration is proposing to turn it into a park and eliminate the golf.  Commentary was watching the H-Town City Council meeting on the tube yesterday and saw a number of Northeast H-Town community leaders (all African American) ask council to keep Brock as a golf course.

The golf course loses money.   The revenue generated off of green and cart fees and concessions isn’t enough to cover operating costs.    The number of rounds played annually has decreased over the past decade.  Five years ago, a golf course consulting group hired by the City to review the City’s golf courses had this to say about Brock:   “Brock is the ‘Best Kept Secret’ of the Houston municipal golf courses as it is above average shape in 2005 after needed renovations in 2004 but not many Houston golfers seem to know about it.”

It sounds like the City of H-Town golf department never got around to putting together a marketing strategy for Brock.  That is not comforting to the folks in Northeast H-Town that would like to have their golf course kept intact.  Stay tuned for sure because I don’t think this is a done deal – at least not yet.

Who holds the World Serious career record for most at-bats, hits, and doubles?

The Texas House Speaker says that he wants the next legislature to put casino gambling on the table because taxes will not be raised to help deal with an $18 bil budget shortfall.   He says he’s tired of folks going to other states to gamble away their money.  Commentary is OK with casino gambling as long as everybody has a shot at owning a casino and not just those that have connections.

Remember when I talked about mixing sports and politics?  Next month the Phillies were supposed to go to Toronto to play the Jays in interleague play.  It turns out that the G20 nations will be holding their meeting in Toronto in a facility right down the street from the Jays’ yard.  For security reasons, they are moving the games to Philadelphia but the Jays will still be the home team in front of 45,000 screaming Phillies fans and bat last – got it?

Some group called bleacherreports.com or something like that didn’t have anything better to do, came up with the list of the worst pro team jerseys of all time and gave the ‘Stros rainbow jersey the top honor.  I don’t know about that.  I wonder what the top honors trophy looks like.

Yogi Berra of course has 259 World Serious at-bats, 10 doubles, and 71 hits and is also celebrating his 85th BD today. 

That was a nice come from behind win last night that included dingers by Hunter Pence and The Big Puma – who knows?

 

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One of the Chron’s Columnists has a piece today on the H-Town Mayor and how she’s handled METRO.  Check it out.

I think enough has been said and now it is time to move on.  The Mayor has her new METRO Board Chair and four other appointees in place so she now owns it.  It’s hers.  Former City Controller and City Council Member George Greanias who was The Mayor’s METRO Transition Chair is now the Interim CEO.  I don’t care what anyone says, Greanias is there because The Mayor wants him there.  Heck, the Chron even gave Greanias a glowing editorial in today’s Chron.  Check it out.

Frank Wilson’s and David Wolff’s names have been scraped off of their METRO Building parking spaces.   It’s a new day over there so let’s start talking about moving forward.  Of course, if Wolff decides to open up his piehole again and crack on The Mayor then it will be a case of “here we go again.”  Let’s hope this Wolff fella also moves on and lets the new folks handle things.

By the way, today’s column gave Commentary some run.  Hey, I can still come up with a one liner or two.  I’ll take it.

The ‘Stros open a three game series in San Luis tonight at Busch Stadium.  This the fifth season of play at the new Busch Stadium.  Who did the Cardinals play in the last game played at the old Busch Stadium?

More on Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” law.  Here’s what Texas Rangers third baseman had to say:  "It’s a ridiculous law. And it’s an embarrassment for American citizens."

Here’s a Star Telegram column.

Courtesy of The Nefster, here’s what the Governator had to say:

"I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend. But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me."

On October 19, 2005, before 52,438 fans, the ‘Stros beat the Cards in Game 6 of the NLCS 5-1.  The win got us to the World Serious.  Jason Lane hit the games’ only dinger – the last dinger ever at old Busch Stadium.  Lane by the way is hitting .262 for the Triple A New Orleans Zephyrs.

Speaking of the “House of the Rising Sun”, Eric Burdon is celebrating his 69th BD today – yikes!

At this point in the season, only three ‘Stros are All-Star Game worthy:  Roy O, Michael Bourn, and Matt Lindstrom.  Hopefully, some more can get going.

 

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For the past 30 years, adman Lionel Sosa from San Antonio has made a ton of money selling the GOP to the Latino community.  Way back in 1978 he coined the “John Tower Con Nosotros” phrase during GOP Sen. John Tower’s race against challenger Bob Krueger.   In today’s SA Express News, Sosa is sounding a little weepy because these days the GOP is picking on paperless folks.   Check out the article.

Don’t make me gag.  That “Con Nosotros” BS is just what it is – BS.  He’s been trying to fool Latinos into thinking that the GOP was good for our community.  It turns out Sosa’s been made to look like a fool of by his own GOP.

Last year’s top draft choice by the Texans, Brian Cushing, has been suspended for four games by the NFL for having a banned substance in his system.   It brought on this reaction from The Big Puma:  “The man’s a beast; I know that. I didn’t see what exactly he tested positive for… I will say that what will be interesting will be the reaction, because generally when that happens to a football player, it’s kind of ho-hum.   They’ll write a story and he’ll serve his four games and nobody will ever say anything else about it.  If that happens to a baseball player, they’d want to strike him from the record book. It’s just a totally, totally different reaction, and I don’t know why that is.”

The Chron’s Sports Columnist basically echoes The Big Puma’s response.  Check out the piece.

Here’s what he says:  “If Cushing played major league baseball, he’d be all over the news. He’d be the object of ridicule, and his reputation would be gone forever…….Baseball commissioner Bud Selig curses the fact that his sport is held to a different standard, but he should be proud of it. There’s still outrage when a baseball player cheats, and that’s a good thing.”

Cushing definitely makes the knucklehead list.  He issued a statement over the weekend that said he wasn’t taking steroids.  Oh yeah!  He needs to do some ‘splaining if you ask me.   That’s not likely though.  It didn’t even get a mention in today’s Chron so maybe folks are just moving on.

How many members of the Baseball Hall of Fame have ever worn a ‘Stros uniform as a player, manager, or coach?  Who are they?

Yesterday, A’s pitcher Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in MLB history.  How many of the perfect game pitchers have ever worn a ‘Stros uniform?

Since BP is now considered a weapon of mass destruction, I wonder if BP employees are on the “no fly” list?

Not a single Caballito or Little Puma showed up yesterday.  That’s too bad because they missed Numero 45 and The Big Puma come alive.

Seven of course and they are players Eddie Mathews, Nellie Fox, Nolan Ryan, Joe Morgan and Robin Roberts, Yogi Berra as a coach, and Leo Durocher as a manager.

Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson and Don Larsen of course have worn a ‘Stros uniform.

Pink dominated Pink at the Park this past weekend at The Yard.  Even Dante donned a pink jersey yesterday at some breaks finally went our way yesterday and we won in eleven innings as the team starts an eight game roadie tomorrow in San Luis.

 

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This past Wednesday the local sports talk radio shows were buzzing with a back and forth on the Phoenix Suns’ decision to don Los Suns jerseys to protest Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” law and show support for the Latino community.  Talk show hosts and phone callers had their say on the issue – should politics be injected into sports.   Today’s Chron has a piece on the issue.  Check it out. 

From what I heard, if you were for the new Arizona law, you wanted politics out of sports.  If you were against the law, you supported Los Suns.

Let’s not forget in early 1990 the NFL announced that Phoenix would get the 1993 Super Bowl on one condition – approve a statewide Martin Luther King Holiday.  Later that year Arizona voters narrowly rejected the Dr. King Holiday and a few months later the NFL voted to take the Super Bowl to California.

Earlier this week, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) Executive Director came out against the Arizona measure.   Hey, 27% of MLBers are Latinos!

After September 11, 2001, the seventh inning stretch was stretched to include the singing of “God Bless America.”  Now it is just sung on Sundays and holidays at MLB venues. 

Remember the African American Olympians bowing their heads and defiantly raising their black gloved fists on the medal stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

We didn’t use to let South Africa come to the Olympics until they did away with apartheid.

The U.S. of A. boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics because the then Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

So what the Suns did was not without precedent.  It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen.

The MLBPA is a very powerful entity within Major League Baseball.  If they join Latino leaders in calling MLB to move next year’s MLB All-Star game scheduled for Phoenix, well we just might have us some more discussion on sports talk radio.  Stay tuned!

Who holds the ‘Stros individual pitching record for most consecutive innings pitched without issuing a walk?

There was only one lonely Caballito at The Yard last night.   The dreaded paper bag also made its debut.  A Little Puma put one on during the game – ouch!

Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts is no longer with us.  He left us yesterday at the age of 83.  He made his bones with the Phillies and helped get them to the 1950 World Serious where they were swept in four by the Yankees.  Toward the end of his career he played parts of the 1965 and 1966 seasons with the ‘Stros.  One of his most memorable appearances was Labor Day Weekend in 1965 in the Dome when he went up against another future Hall of Fame pitcher named Sandy Koufax in front of an SRO crowd.   Koufax lasted seven innings and left the game with the ‘Stros leading 2-1.  In the top of the ninth, with two on and two outs, Roberts served up a triple and we ended up losing 4-2.   I was there.

Robin Roberts of course in 1965 pitched 38 consecutive innings without issuing a walk, a team record that still stands. 

This is Pink in the Park Week at The Yard.  Tonight they will hand out 10,000 pink caps.  Tomorrow they will hand out 10,000 pink tote bags.  Sunday the women get 10,000 pink jerseys.   There will be a Women in Baseball Seminar this evening at Union Station that I will check out.   Players from both teams will use pink bats on Sunday.  FYI: The Padres are in for three.

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There is an interesting column in today’s Chron about Houston METRO.  The former METRO Chair David Wolff apparently is not going to be kicked around by The Mayor without a fight.  Check it out.  

Here is what Wolff said about The Mayor:   “She knew so little about Metro that she had to have 40 people study it for three months before she knew what was going on.” 

Here is what The Mayor said:  “I don’t know what universe Mr. Wolff lives in, but it’s apparently a different one than the one I live in.”

I guess this Wolff fella is intent on protecting and defending his record, reputation, legacy, and pride.   Of course, I don’t think he is going to win any arguments with The Mayor anytime soon.  She has the bully pulpit and he doesn’t.   She won an election and one of her promises was to shake up METRO.  You wonder why Wolff just didn’t quietly ride into the sunset after he was replaced.

Wolff says that METRO CEO Frank Wilson is being fired “for political reasons.”  No sh_t, Jack!

Hey fella, everything is political.  The Mayor is doing exactly what she said she was going to do during her campaign.  She got scoreboard!

Wolff appears to be the only voice in H-Town defending METRO.  I don’t see anybody else stepping up to join Wolff.  Is there anybody else willing take Wolff’s side.  I doubt it.

You have to hand it to the management of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns for making a national statement last night by wearing “Los Suns” jerseys.  It is kind of like flicking the bird at Arizona’s Governor and State Legislature.  Way to go Los Suns!

At last night’s Cinco de Mayo White House reception, The President made reference to Los Suns.

Yesterday’s Chron editorial also took a shot at Arizona.   Check it out.

I think Commentary mentioned some of that a few days ago.

In 1990, this ‘Stro was traded to the Boston Red Sox in what is now called one of the most lopsided trades in sports history and one of the worst in Red Sox history.  Who did the ‘Stros get in the trade and who am I talking about?

Last night I checked out the Latino immigration activists protest across the street from The Yard.  About 30 folks showed up including Macario who was holding an “Arizona S__ks” poster.  My Uncle Jesse was also there.

Larry Andersen of course was traded away to the Red Sox for Jeff Bagwell.  Andersen is celebrating his 57th BD today.

Willie Mays is celebrating his 79th BD today.

Numero 45 is celebrating reaching the Mendoza Line after last night’s walk-off dinger to put away the D-Backs – wow!  Maybe we can get another over the D-Backs tonight!

 

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Some fella has a piece in today’s Chron about folks in the U.S. of A. making too big of a deal over Cinco de Mayo.  Check it out.   He says folks in Mexico treat it as just another day or a minor event.  He says Cinco de Mayo has been commercialized here and that folks incorrectly think we’re celebrating Mexico’s Independence.  So what?

At least we’re celebrating a culture and in the process getting under the skin of those English-Only and anti-paperless folks arseholes. 

Local Latino immigration reform activists will head to The Yard tonight to protest Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” law.  The protest will actually take place across the street from The Yard on the Texas Avenue side.  The protest coincides with the Arizona D-Backs being in H-Town even though the D-Backs’ managing partner issued a statement this past weekend opposing the “Show Me Your Papers” law.  

After the protest, maybe the Latino activists will walk down the street and take part in the ‘Stros’ pregame Cinco de Mayo and have a few cervezas and nachos and chile con KAYSO!

What was the big news in the MLB on Cinco De Mayo of 2004?

A few days ago the Tucson, Arizona City Council came out in opposition to the “Show Me Your Papers” law.

At The Yard last night, Hunter Pence let the bat slip out of his hands and it flew into the stands but nobody got hurt.  Pence sent someone up to retrieve it and the fans booed.  Of course, Pence is batting .215 so I don’t why he’d want that bat.

GM Ed Wade still reads Commentary.  After last night’s game, he told catcher J.R. Towles that he would be spending Cinco De Mayo with the Double A Hooks – adios! 

The ‘Stros got beat last night on a dinger to dead center field – about 440 feet.  Michael Bourn tried to chase it down up Tal’s Hill but could not get there on time.  It has been that kind of year as the team stranded nine base runners.

On Cinco De Mayo in 2004, The Rocket of course struck out his 4,137th hitter at The Yard to climb to second all time past Steve Carlton.  The Rocket is now at 4,672 in third place behind Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson (4,875) and Nolan Ryan (5,714).  The ‘Stros beat the Pirates 6-2 that night which by the way was the last time we played a Cinco De Mayo game at The Yard.

Hopefully wearing my “Los Astros” gear tonight will bring us some luck! 

 

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“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.”

Forty years ago today on the Kent State campus events inspired Neil Young to pen these words.  Four students lost their lives.  I remember watching the evening news that day and getting more pi__ed off.

The campaigns certainly read yesterday’s Commentary when I wondered aloud about when the campaigns for governor would start.  Both campaigns put out ads yesterday.  The Former H-Town Mayor has one running in the H-Town market letting us know that he did a good job as mayor.  Guv Dude put one out on You Tube smacking the former mayor around on the city’s budget, not releasing his income tax returns, and doing shady foreign business deals.  I guess we’re getting a taste now on where Dude is heading.

The Continental CEO wrote H-Town a full page letter in today’s Chron.  Here’s one of the lines:  “You will continue to see our logo emblazoned across banners at the Alley Theater, Wortham Center and Hobby Center, which house the arts organizations we support, as well as at the stadiums that are homes to the professional sports teams we sponsor.”  Whew!

Who holds the record for most consecutive hits in a single World Serious?

Commentary does not approve when idiotic fans at ballgames run on to the field during the game.  Of course, I don’t think they have to be tasered either like they did that fella in Philly last night.

‘’Stros reserve outfielder Sean Michaels is celebrating his 34th BD today.  Michaels is batting right on the Mendoza Line right now so I hope he gets some better At-Bats for his BD.

Billy Hatcher (a former ‘Stro) of course had seven consecutive hits in Games 1 and 2 with the 1990 Reds and ended up as the MVP of the World Serious.

The ‘Stros are not a good team right now.  We are so bad that Los Caballitos and the Little Pumas stopped showing up.  We are so bad that we’re nine and a half games out and we haven’t even been playing a month.  We are so bad that the players in Round Rock don’t even want to be called up.

The only MLB team with a more awful record is B-More.  Guess what?  They have four former ‘Stros – Ty Wiggintonner, Luke Scott, Julio Lugo, and Miggy.  Go figure!

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The Arizona Republic, Arizona’s largest newspaper, ran a full page editorial on their front page yesterday calling out their state on their “Show Me Your Papers” law.

Here’s part of what they said:  “Arizona politicians are pandering to public fear.  The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration.”

When the Arizona “Show Me Your Papers” law went into effect, Commentary pointed out the implications to Major League Baseball.   It looks like Commentary is still being posted in MLB clubhouses.

Michael Weiner the Executive Director of the Major league Baseball Players Union had this to say this past Friday:  “The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team.  The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October.  In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks.  And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected.  Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status.”

FYI:  Latinos make up 27% of Major League Baseball team rosters so it comes as no surprise that the players union came out in opposition.

Here’s what Padres closer Heath Bell said:   “Baseball is part of the culture of Arizona.  For Arizona to do something like? Mind-boggling.?”

White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen also put in his two cents worth by saying he would boycott next year’s MLB All Star game that will be held in Phoenix.

Hoping to clear the air, Ken Kendrick, the managing partner of the D-Backs, came out in opposition to the measure.

Who was the first Latino elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame?

R.G. of the Chron had a piece yesterday on the race for governor.  Check it out.

Here’s a line from the piece that caught my eye:  “Perry also is in danger of becoming a cowboy parody of himself much as Republican Clayton Williams did in losing the 1990 governor’s race to underdog Democrat Ann Richards.”

Guv Dude ain’t Clayton Williams.  This is Dude’s sixth statewide race.  He is not a novice when it comes to running.   Dude has been playing the swagger card his entire political career.  Remember the ad a while back where he is leaning back chewing on a piece of straw.  This isn’t new territory for Dude.  What is new is that the national media now has an interest.

I suspect Dude listens to his campaign consultants and they pretty much are packaging him for this race.  So they know what they are doing.

Remember, last year some of us thought Hutch would take him down.  I also said that voters would get tired of his act and vote him out. 

The other thing is we haven’t really seen him in person go after the Former H-Town Mayor.  Yeah, his campaign has gone down the Mr. Bill is a liberal trial lawyer trail, but Dude has spent his time attacking Washington and the President.   Dude himself hasn’t really set his sights on The Former Mayor.

Speaking of, are we in race mode yet?   Does the race begin when the state conventions end?  How about when the first ads run?  How about when we look at the July 15 campaign reports?  Stay tuned!

H-Town CM James Rodriguez is celebrating his 35th BD today!  Jose Soto is celebrating his 41st today!

Yankee pitching great Lefty Gomez got into the Hall of Fame in 1972.  He was Mexican American.

Pirate great Roberto Clemente got into the Hall in 1973.  Clemente was from Puerto Rico.

Red Sox great Ted Williams got into the Hall in 1966.  He was part Mexican American but he never told anybody so some folks say that doesn’t count.  He probably didn’t tell anybody because they probably would have made him play catcher.

The Chron said the ‘Stros would go 9-13 in April.  We went 8-14 and are now 8-16.   When the heart of the batting order – The Big Puma, Numero 45, Pence, and Feliz – is not hitting, bad things happen.  I think it is also time to get Jason Castro up here. 

The D-Backs are in for four starting tonight.

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