Archive for November 23rd, 2011

Newt is way smarter than Guv Dude and that’s for sure.  Al last night’s debate, Newt was able to articulate his position on immigration and he held his ground.  He made his point with sound reasons that focused on keeping law abiding, taxpaying families together.  It looked like he even made Mitt squirm a bit.

Dude just can’t seem to explain his position on immigration.  He gets on the defensive rather than take a proactive stance like Newt did last night.  I just don’t think that Dude can think on his own two feet.

What can I say about Herman Cain?  I can say that he lacks depth and is shallow.

Brewer left fielder Ryan Braun won the NL MVP Award yesterday.  Braun is one of most exciting players to watch so I don’t have a problem with him winning.  Who was the last Brewer to win an MVP Award?

If you are of the Spanish-Speaking persuasion and watch Univision, you have probably checked out the third party ads being run locally by the American Chemistry Council saying good things about Cong. Gene Green and his efforts to create jobs in the H-Town area.  The ads will run for a couple of more weeks.

The Houston Association of REALTORS put out their run-off endorsements and Andrew Burks in At-Large 2 was on the list.  HBAD put out their list yesterday and Kristi Thibaut was on their list in At-Large 2.  Huh!

Hall of Fame great Robin Yount of course won the AL MVP Award in 1989 as a Brewer.

Yesterday my pal Drayton turned over the team.  Here is what State Rep. Carol Alvarado put out:

“Drayton McLane, Jr. will forever have a place in the heart of Houston; over the last nineteen years, Mr. McLane’s gregarious leadership has made our Astros a champion on and off the field.  Anyone who has visited Minute Maid Park will miss seeing Mr. McLane walking through the concourse, interacting with fans in a way no one else could.  It is a bittersweet day as we thank Mr. McLane and his family for nearly two decades of dedication to the greater Houston community.  My family and I are honored to call Drayton McLane our friend.”

Here is today’s Chron Op-Ed by CM James Rodriguez:

Drayton McLane turned over ownership of the Houston Astros last week, ending an 18-year run that has earned him a place among the city’s most accomplished men. He is at the forefront of those whose contributions to our city over the past 20 years have made Houston a better place to live.

I represent Houston City Council District I, which includes Minute Maid Park. McLane was at my swearing-in ceremony on a frigid January morning in 2008 at the soon-to-be completed Discovery Green. As I sat there and looked out across the city, I couldn’t help but think that it was McLane’s vision that sparked the development in the eastern part of downtown.

Prior to the opening of Minute Maid Park in 2000, there weren’t a lot of destinations to complement the George R. Brown Convention Center in that part of downtown. In 1996, McLane spearheaded a countywide election to let the voters decide on funding the construction of a baseball stadium at the old Union Station. He assembled business, civic and political leaders to get behind the referendum. He put in some of his own money and raised the rest necessary to finance a winning campaign. He organized a group of corporate leaders to raise the cash to acquire the land for the ball park.

Once construction started in 1997, developers, entrepreneurs and planners started looking at east downtown for viable projects. The construction of Toyota Center followed, along with a number of first-class hotels and fine restaurants. There’s been a growth in residential units in the area, including lofts, a luxury high-rise, apartments and townhomes. Construction of the new Dynamo Stadium, which is located a few blocks from Minute Maid Park, will be completed next year.

A community is steadily growing around this development. We still have obstacles to overcome, but the area looks a lot different than it did 15 years ago. McLane accurately predicted that a new baseball park would greatly affect the quality of life in the area. Today in its 12th year of operation, Minute Maid Park continues to be a first-rate destination for baseball fans. Despite the team’s recent failings on the field, families continue to attend and enjoy the stadium’s amenities.

McLane’s commitment to make a positive difference in the community has touched us all, from chairing a key initiative for the Greater Houston Partnership, to his involvement with United Way, and even having the Astros in Action Foundation participate in endeavors that included raising $1 million for Hurricane Ike victims. The Astros Urban Youth Academy that opened last year has served hundreds of inner city kids as well.

A champion of diversity, McLane made sure women and minorities played a major role in the design and construction of the ballpark. In fact, 30 percent of the current food service operation at Minute Maid Park is owned by local women and minority investors. He named Pam Gardner as president of business operations in 2001 and she has earned the distinction of being the longest-tenured female chief executive in Major League Baseball.

I first met McLane when I was a batboy for the Astros, which was also McLane’s first year as the owner. He was the real deal. It didn’t matter who you were; from future Hall of Famer to batboy, he treated everyone with kindness and respect. He led the team by example, asking every employee he encountered what they were doing that day to make the club a champion. The positive culture, can-do spirit and drive to make the team the best was embodied from the front office to the clubhouse and on the field.

When McLane took over the Astros, the team had been in playoffs only three times in its 31-year history. Under McLane’s stewardship, the team has been to the playoffs six times, including the World Series in 2005. Media critics have taken McLane to task for the team’s poor performance over the past couple of years. How quickly they forget that McLane signed players like Randy Johnson, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens to help the team.

Houston is a better place because of McLane’s tenure as owner of the Astros. We owe him our thanks.

Nice job James!

We’ll miss you Drayton!

Commentary will be taking a few days off and I’ll see you Monday so go have a Happy Thanksgiving!



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