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Archive for May, 2011

Here is what the soon-to-be new owner of the ‘Stros said yesterday:

“There’s only a certain amount of money you can spend.  I can guarantee the partners in this room will not be happy writing checks every year. We will spend every dollar wisely. We will appreciate every dollar spent here.  Our style will be smart. I think it starts with the draft. We want to make sure we’re building the team for the future. If you look at the model teams that have been successful for long periods of time, build it from the bottom. That will be the style when we start.”

In other words, don’t expect drastic changes in the form of spending sprees for free agents in the foreseeable future.  So the Drayton haters will just have to be patient and keep blaming Drayton for every error, strikeout, pop-up, ground out, and stale hot dog until the team starts playing above .500. 

Don’t expect ticket prices to come down because they already have a bunch of discounted tickets deals.  Don’t expect to be able to take your own grub into The Yard because nobody else in town lets you including Reliant Stadium, Toyota Center, and movie theaters.  Don’t expect to see the price of grub come down because again they have some tickets deals in place that include free or discounted grub and drinks.  

The focus is going to be getting the team to start playing above .500 so folks will start returning to The Yard.

Who has the only grand salami in ‘Stros post season play?

Handing out pink slips to a couple of hundred firefighters or so isn’t going to play well today.  I don’t care how you look at it.  I sure hope the firefighters and The Mayor reach an agreement.  If you have to close a few stations and mothball a few trucks, service is definitely going to take a hit.  I guess folks don’t have a choice or do they?

The Donald and Mike Huckabee aren’t dumbarses.  Sure The Donald at times acts like one but we all know that is just an act.   If you ask me they are pretty smart fellas.  The Donald figured out that his act probably couldn’t even get him the GOP nomination so why go through all the scrutiny.  Huckabee figured he might get the nomination but why give up his TV career knowing that The President would probably kick his arse.  Good move fellas!

The Big Puma of course hit a grand salami in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 4 of 2005 NLDS against The ATL.

‘Stros batters struck out 15 times last night including three apiece by Brett Wallace and Bill Hall.   Maybe they were pressing too much as  they probably knew they were being watched by the soon-to-be new owner.

 

 

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This is from this past weekend’s Chron:

Drayton McLane will not leave the team on top, but only five clubs have posted more wins than the Astros during his 18-plus seasons owning the team.

It is being reported that a formal announcement will be made today at The Yard regarding my pal Drayton selling the ‘Stros. 

Saturday’s hard copy of the Chron had a story (can’t find it online) on the Harris County Attorney deciding to investigate Port Commission Chair Jim Edmonds and Port CEO Alec Dreyer after getting a request from Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman.  This comes a day after Port Commissioners Elyse Lanier and Janiece Longoria fired off a letter to Edmonds on alleged Port shenanigans.  Harris County Judge Ed Emmett doesn’t think the County Attorney should be meddling.  I don’t think the Judge is going to get far on this though as two Commissioners don’t seem to have a problem and I don’t think Commissioner Eversole will weigh in.  I’m sure it will get interesting in the days and weeks to come.  Stay tuned!

Since the Baseball Writers started handing out the MVP Award in 1931, name the only decade in which a Yankee didn’t win the award?

The H-Town City Council will take up redistricting this Wednesday.   Stay tuned!

Speaking of, I wonder if Dems ought to be bracing for the GOP drawn Congressional plan.  They say H-Town Latinos won’t get a second opportunity district.  Where does that leave the local Latino leadership? Stay tuned!

I will say this about the fella that wants to be the new owner of the ‘Stros.  It looks like he gives more campaign dough to Dems than to GOPers.  That’s a good thing.

The 1990s of course is the only decade in which a Yankee has not won an AL MVP Award.

The ‘Stros are on a 7 game road trip that will take them to The ATL, San Luis, and then Toronto as a muffed pop up by Numero 45 led to our demise yesterday.  We’re still in last place – drats!

 

 

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Commentary would sure not like to have Elyse Lanier on my arse.  She doesn’t let go.  In case you hadn’t heard, Port Commissioner Lanier and Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria sent Port Chair Jim Edmonds a letter criticizing the job performance of Port CEO Alec Dreyer.  Here is what Commissioner Lanier told the Chron after the letter was released:

"He (Dreyer) truly is not the right man for the job.  The last year and a half, it has been total chaos."

Ouch!

Apparently the Port CEO threw a party for a buddy on the Port’s boat, had the Port pay for the party, and then fixed with records.  The letter mentions conflicts of interest and ethics.  The two Commissioners also weren’t happy that Chair Edmonds had told Channel 13’s Wayne Dolcefino that an outside law firm would be hired to look into the mess.   They didn’t know about hiring an outside law firm and they don’t think a law firm should be hired.   They can handle it in-house they say.   Check out the Chron story on this.

It is interesting in that two powerful Harris County Commissioners – Radack and Morman – have weighed in and are standing behind the two Port Commissioners.  That’s not good for the Port CEO.

Commentary has said it before.  Do not underestimate my good friend Commissioner Janiece Longoria.  She is one of the sharpest, brightest, and toughest  leaders around.   I’m thinking that the Port CEO better line up some allies soon or else he’s a goner.

In the 1960s, Yankee greats scooped up the AL MVP Award four times.  Name the Yankee greats that took home the award?

Commentary thinks it is kind of silly for Dems to go after General Ric Sanchez when we haven’t even had a conversation with the fella.   Some Dem folks aren’t happy because he was handpicked.  Hey, at least he was handpicked by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.  They have a pretty good batting average if you ask me.  I’d be worried if he was handpicked by the folks that have been running the Lone Star State Dem Party. 

I also think it is kind of silly for folks trying to compare him with past candidates.  Unless you have a crystal ball, we don’t know how he will fare as a candidate.  A month or so ago when there wasn’t even a Dem U.S. Senate candidate in the mix, most folks were thinking the GOP would get a free pass.  Not anymore.  Let’s give General Sanchez the opportunity to make his case as a candidate before folks start dumping on him.

Yankee great Roger Maris (1960 & 1961), Mickey Mantle (1962), and Elston Howard (1963) of course were Yankee winners of the AL MVP Award in the 1960s.

Commentary and Dante will be sitting in my pal Drayton’s seats this Sunday so check us out on the tube if you can’t make it to The Yard. 

“Pink in the Park” will continue to be showcased this weekend with pink bags being handed out tonight and Chris Johnson bobble heads with a pink bat being given out Saturday.  Let’s hope that Hunter Pence’s hitting helps us make up some ground as we host the Mets. 

 

 

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The Texas State Senate redistricting maps were making the rounds yesterday.  The maps of course were drawn by the GOP.  Commentary is still in The Dean’s district.  The Dean’s district also took in Montrose.

The Chron has a piece on the proposed Senate plan today and here is an interesting bit from the Chron:

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said he doesn’t expect the changes to result in any significant turnover in the Houston delegation.

"All the incumbents have districts that they can run and win from," he said. Whitmire is the longest-serving member of the state Senate.

One of the biggest proposed changes in the Houston area involves moving the Montrose neighborhood from the historically black 13th District, which has long been represented by Sen. Rodney Ellis, to Whitmire’s district.

It’s a change that has left Ellis, a Democrat, rather nonplussed about the proposed new district boundaries.

"I represent the seat that Barbara Jordan held, and Montrose has been in this district since then," Ellis noted in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. "I will be shocked if this map passes the Senate, much less Justice Department scrutiny."

Whitmire said that he felt the new neighborhoods he would represent under the proposed plan were compatible with the rest of his district.

"It shouldn’t slow me down one bit," he said.

It looks like The Dean is Ok with the move and Senator Ellis isn’t. 

This is the second major move for Montrose in this year’s redistricting.  Under the City of H-Town’s revised plan that will be voted on next week, Montrose gets moved out of District D and put in the newly reconfigured District C. That is the proposed City Council district that former State Rep. Ellen Cohen is running for.   Stay tuned!

Of the 10 AL MVP Awards in the 1950s, Yankee players won 6 of them.  Name the Yankee greats that won them?

This is from the Chron today on General Sanchez deciding to get into the U.S. Senate race here in the Lone Star State:

"Our confidence in this race comes down to the simple fact that Texans do not support Barack Obama’s liberal, tax-and-spend agenda and whoever the Democratic nominee ultimately is, that individual will be campaigning side by side at the top of the ticket next year with President Obama," said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is chaired by Texas Sen. John Cornyn.

The GOP is setting the trap.  Then want the General to run from The President.  Don’t fall for it. 

If you are old school like Commentary and go out to your front yard to pick up the fish wrap every morning, you got to check out the story about H-Town Latinos probably not getting a second opportunity congressional district.  Oh, well!  I guess we’ll just have to settle for the first opportunity congressional district.

Yankee greats Phil Rizzuto (1950), Yogi Berra (1951, 1954, & 1955), and Mickey Mantle (1956 & 1957) of course combined to win 6 AL MVP Awards.  Yogi Berra is celebrating his 86th BD today. 

Like Yogi once said:  "You can observe a lot by watching."

If the ‘Stros are sold, I hope the new management continues to post Commentary in the team clubhouse.  They obviously checked out what I said yesterday and played well and got us a victory in dramatic fashion.  The ‘Stros take the day off then host the not-so amazing Mets this weekend.

 

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The administration is proposing handing off the City’s Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department to a non-profit organization and already they have messed up which leads me to believe that I don’t think they have thought this through.  Most of the facilities are in Downtown Houston and they forgot to brief the council member whose district includes Downtown – James Rodriguez.   I don’t know about this deal.  The Houston Press has a piece on the handoff and here are bits:

Basically, the merger would create a nonprofit organization called the Houston First Corporation. Pending council approval on May 18, Houston First would lease out the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Wortham Theater, Jones Hall, Jones Plaza, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Sesquicentennial Park, Root Memorial Square and several other smaller park and performing arts facilities from the city for a one-time cash payment of $8.6 million, followed by yearly payments of $1.4 million over the next five years.

Amid the drone of acronym-laden, jargon-heavy talk that followed (amid the alphabet soup, we got to hear the word "visioning" quite a bit), and a few questions from mostly contented council members, there suddenly erupted a volcano in the form of Councilman James Rodriguez, whose District I encompasses downtown, the site of most of the venues and the home of many arts donors and patrons.

"I have several serious concerns about the proposed Hotel Corporation/CEFD organizational changes, including failure to communicate this information to me as the downtown district Council Member," he began, in a cold fury.
"For several years, I have worked tirelessly to improve facilities in District I, including those in our downtown. I find it ironic that in the past, I have been asked to build consensus and garner support for matters pertaining to these facilities and didn’t even get a phone call to brief me on this matter."

While several other members thanked Icken and Campo for briefing them as early as last Thursday, the two men evidently forgot to bring the guy whose district this would be affecting most into the loop. Interesting — it was either incompetent or nefarious.

Without waiting for answers, Rodriguez asked Campo and Icken which stakeholders were part of the discussions, and how they felt about the proposed deal. He wanted to know what the short- and long-term impacts would be to the Theater District, convention business, and local arts programs. He wanted to know how all these facilities would be improved, and who would be held accountable should they fall apart, or should customer service erode. He called for more in-depth public discussion and pointed out again that these are taxpayer assets. And he closed by demanding to know who was on Campo’s board, and wanted to know if it was both diverse and had at least some members with experience of running multimillion dollar facilities.

First of all that Andy Icken fella and Ric Campo are pretty arrogant if you ask me if they didn’t even bother to brief CM Rodriguez.  It goes to show that they don’t think much of James and don’t know James’ history with the Downtown facilities.  As former CM Alvarado’s Chief of Staff, James work tirelessly on Downtown entertainment projects and as a Council Member – well you get the picture.  I worry that if an arrogant fella like Campo is in charge, is he really going to listen to folks in the future.  If Icken and Campo have that attitude going into this deal, no telling how they will screw up the so-called merger on down the line.

I also worry about the diversity issue.  How many Latinos are on the Convention Center Hotel Corporation that Campo chairs?  I didn’t see any on the list.

Does Council really want to handoff jewels like the Wortham Theater, Jones Hall, Miller Outdoor, and the Convention Center to an unproven entity?  These are our most precious Downtown facilities.  They are what help make Downtown special.

Is the Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department bleeding? Not to my knowledge.  It is a department that seems to be working so why hand it off?

Have the stakeholders truly been engaged in this process.  They are the ones that have made the facilities what they are today.

City Council needs to push back on this deal and delay it for a while.  Maybe they ought to put together some sort of citizens group to study this. 

This deal reeks of arrogance.  I don’t think they have thought this through.  Again, you would think that they would have gone to CM Rodriguez in the initial phase and gotten his thoughts.  They didn’t because they think they know better – but they don’t.

If Council lets go of these facilities, they are going to lose a measure of accountability that they may regret in the future.  This show must not go on!
Check out the entire Houston Press article here.

On this day in 1999, the Rockies hosted the Mets at Coors Field.  The starting pitcher for the Mets was a righty, the Rockies started a lefty.   What did the starting pitchers have in common?

Yesterday at the H-Town city Hall there was a celebration of diversity of sorts as The Mayor and leaders of the city’s African American, Asian American, and Latino communities came out to support the revised redistricting plan.  Here are bits from the Chron on what happened yesterday:

"We’re the growth," (CM James) Rodriguez said in announcing his support of the map unveiled by Mayor Annise Parker on Tuesday morning. "We need a plan that’s equitable and reflects our growth."

And:

"If you look at, historically, the progress that has been made by Latinos, it’s been incremental, step by step," said Marc Campos, a political consultant for Rodriguez and veteran of past redistricting battles who worked extensively on this year’s plan. "Redistricting has always been a weapon that we’ve utilized to make gains."

And:

"This is an opportunity. It’s not an answer," Parker said. "If the Latino community gets together behind the right candidate, funds that candidate, assists that candidate in mobilizing voters, there’s no question in my mind that this district can elect a strong Latino leader to City Council to join those that we already have, but it’s not going to happen automatically."             Here is the entire Chron story.

The two starting pitchers at Coors Field on May 11, 1999 shared the same name of course:  Bobby J. Jones for Mets and Bobby M. Jones for the Rockies.

Commentary got some run in Politico.com today.   Check it out.    General Sanchez will formally get into the U.S. Senate race today.  If he runs a credible campaign, maybe The President’s campaign will put some resources into Texas – maybe.  Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros once again were terrible last night.  Oh, the misery!  They have that look. The look that says:  “When are we going to win?”

 

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Here in H-Town, we have control of the redistricting process thanks of course to The Mayor and the local Latino leadership.  Commentary saw the plan yesterday and it works for us.  Here is what CM James Rodriguez said yesterday:

I am proud to announce my support for the redistricting staff proposal that was presented today by Mayor Annise Parker.  I ask that Houston’s Latino leadership join me in endorsing the plan.  The proposal incorporates the recommendations submitted by the Latino leadership on April 20.   The proposal provides an opportunity for the Latino community to gain representation on the Houston City Council.

I urge Latino leaders to sign up and speak in support of the redistricting plan at the public session of tomorrow’s (Tuesday, May 10) Houston City Council meeting.  The public session begins at 1:30 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.   You can sign up to speak by calling the City Secretary’s Office at 832-393-1100.

I want to thank the Mayor and her staff for working with the Latino community leadership on this critical issue.  I want to thank the Latino leadership for stepping forward and making the case for a redistricting plan that is fair to all communities.   I also want to thank Dr. Laura Murillo and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for facilitating the Latino leadership effort during the past month and a half.

The Mayor will hold a press conference this morning at 10 am on the redistricting plan then you should be able to go to the city’s website to check it out.  All Dems should now step forward and support the plan.

Who holds the ‘Stros record for most games played as a rookie?

“Bad jokes, Lord, I love ’em.  Bad jokes, can’t get enough of ’em.  Ooowhee, bad jokes for me!”

I think Dusty and Lefty were talking about what is going on in Austin these days. 

I hope The President doesn’t pick up any of the state’s fish wraps while he’s town today.  He would probably think that we’re already on our way to secede. 

Hall of Fame great Joe Morgan of course played in 157 games for the ‘Stros back in 1965.

About the only thing positive from The Yard last night was a cool lid given to me by my pal VP Jamie.  It is a low profile lid that some of the players wear.  Jamie went down to the clubhouse and fetched it for me.   A low profile lid has a slightly shorter crown.  Meanwhile, Nelson Figueroa who started out in the pitching rotation has been sent packing so let’s hope more moves are on the way. 

 

 

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I guess the Star-Telegram still reads Commentary.  There is a story in today’s Star-Telegram about the not-so-welcome The President will get from the Lone Star State’s leadership when he comes to our state tomorrow.  Here is from the piece:

A Texas Democrat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity in the state over the issue, says that with Gov. Rick Perry and every other GOP lawmaker slamming Obama at every turn, the state should not be surprised if it’s losing out. "We’ve done everything we possibly could to be offensive to the Obama administration," said the Democrat, a former Texas elected official.

Why be anonymous when you say this?  Commentary has been saying this time and time again like when we lost the shuttle a few weeks ago.  Then last week Guv Dude and the Lite Guv didn’t give The President the credit he deserves on taking down Bin Laden.  Then a bunch of GOP State House members removed their names from a resolution praising The President.  I don’t see why anyone should be afraid of pointing this out publicly. 
Check out the Star-Telegram story here.

Today The H-Town Mayor will lay out the redistricting plan she will put on this week’s City Council agenda.  Council could act on the plan as early as Wednesday but in all likelihood it will be tagged.  Stay tuned!

What two MLB teams were involved in the highest scoring game in MLB history?

Last night’s “60 Minutes” interview with The President was as good as you can get.   Way to go Mr. President! 

You knew sooner or later it was going to happen.  I’m talking about photo shopping the Situation Room Photo.  There is one of The Situation in the Situation Room.  There is one with the Raptor from “Jurassic Park”.  
Check them out.

On another website there is one with The President dressed in Lollipop Guild gear.

I didn’t have a problem with folks laying down as background music Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” when they were showing Bin Laden watching himself on the tube or watching Bin Laden slapping on the Just for Men.

The Cubbies beat the Phillies of course on August 25, 1922 by a score of 26-23 for a total of 49 runs that were scored. 

About the only good thing to look forward to during the upcoming 6-game home stand that begins tonight at The Yard is the “Pink in the Park” tribute to breast cancer awareness.  There ought to be plenty of pink to check out.    Meanwhile, our relief pitching stinks, stinks, stinks……

 

 

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Earlier this week the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution praising The President for his handling of the Bin Laden take down.  After the resolution was read, a GOP legislator made a motion to add every member’s name to the resolution and nobody objected.   It turns out some GOPers did object and went back and asked that they be recorded as a no vote.   Now that’s what you call a bunch of chumps.   We got the world’s most wanted terrorist and these GOPers are playing petty politics.  There is nothing The President can ever do that would get a “way to go” from these chumps.   The President could announce tomorrow that the cure for a major disease has been discovered and these folks would still not give him praise.  I’d be ashamed if these folks were representing me.

I’m betting that if The White House would send over to these GOP chumps a copy of the now famous Situation Room Photo signed by all in the photo, they would probably throw it in the can or secretly put it on ebay for sale.

OK, you get what’s going on.  Many on the far right have been going after The President from Day 1.  They have viciously attacked him on the stimulus.  They have viciously slammed him on health care.  They have viciously attacked him on how he saved General Motors.  They have viciously attacked him on how he took on the credit card companies.  The underlying theme they push that nobody talks about openly is a “Black guy can’t run the federal government.”   Today they are in denial.  Get over it!

Who holds the record for most career hits in MLB All Star Games?

Meanwhile, The President is coming to the Lone Star State next Tuesday so expect a heavy dose of disrespect from our state’s leaders. 

Speaking of, the woman in the Situation Room Photo not named Madame Secretary is getting a lot of internet hits.  Who is Audrey Tomason?

Hall of Fame great Willie May of course had 23 career hits in All Star Games.  The Say Hey Kid is celebrating his 80th BD today!

The ‘Stros visit PNC Park to take on the Pirates this weekend.  Hey fellas, let’s start winning some games!

 

 

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Commentary wanted to see the photos of Bin Laden but The President said no way.  I’m OK with that.  He knows more about this than I do. 

CEWDEM distributed a take from a Lone Star State Dem Party Chair candidate on how to get the Latino voter to the polls ….. blah, blah, blah, blah. 

Latinos vote if they have a reason to vote.  In 2008, they turned out big time during the presidential primary here because America was watching and America started talking about the Latino vote here in the Lone Star State.  They are not going to turn out if Dems talk about getting tough on border security because they know who you are talking about.  To me that is disrespectful.  That is also falling into the trap set by the GOP.  We’re not an ignorant community.  How do you explain the fact that the 10 pm local Univision newscast here in H-Town is often the most watched of all local newscasts?  How do you explain the fact that one of the highest rated drive time morning radio shows is a Spanish language program?  We pay attention to what is going on.

In 2009, the major candidates for H-Town mayor didn’t spend a whole lot of time engaging the Latino voter and guess what?  They stayed home.

The problem is the Lone Star State Democratic Party and the Harris County Democratic Party isn’t having a conversation with the Latino community and when they do, they often show disrespect or talk down to Latinos.  Commentary mentioned yesterday the GOP fella that is running for Harris County sheriff.  It looks like he is going to run as a Joe Arpaio lookalike.  They are setting a trap for Dems.  If Dems respond by saying we can be just as tough on paperless folks, then the local Latino voter is going to get the message and stay home and the local Dems could be losers.  Think about that and stay tuned!

This ‘Stro hit his first career dinger which was also a grand salami on Cinco de Mayo a few years ago.  Who am I talking about?

On Chron.com there is a piece about a candidate for H-Town City Council, District C.  He wants the current CM from District C, my pal Anne Clutterbuck, to surrender her list of civic club contacts.   Check out the story.  I don’t think the candidate is paying too much attention to redistricting because District C is not going to look like District C after all is said and done.

Hunter Pence of course hit his first career dinger – a grand salami- on Cinco de Mayo, 2007 in San Luis.

Brandon Lyon blew another save yesterday and now he’s on his way back to H-Town to get his shoulder checked on.    We wrap up the Cincy series this afternoon. 

 

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All I have to say about the Bin Laden fella is all those times he posed with those AK-47s turned out to be his undoing.  He may have been unarmed this past Sunday but he left every impression that he would be armed.  You would have thought that he went to bed every night with an AK-47 right next to himself and his wives.

A fella named Carl Pittman is running for Harris County Sheriff next year and is having a fundraising event in a few weeks with the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio.  Arpaio is best known throughout the country for banging on paperless folks.  I guess this Pittman fella is going to make banging on paperless folks a central part of his campaign theme.  Let the spewing of the hate venom begin!  Stay tuned!

Francisco Liriano of the Twins tossed a no-no in a 1-0 win over the White Sox last night.  When was the last time the Twins were victims of a no-no?

At CM James Rodriguez’s BD event last night, Commentary ran in to my old pal Kenny Friedman who has put together a group that is interested in buying the ‘Stros.  We had an interesting conversation.  Stay tuned!

On May 7, 1998 of course, David Wells of the Yankees pitched a perfect game against the Twins in a 4-0 victory.

The ‘Stros won their third in a row last night and first baseman Brett Wallace is batting .383 – not bad!

 

 

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