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Archive for May, 2013

The Chron E-Board today mentions a rumor that Guv Dude may resign after the special to prepare for another run for Prez.  The E-Board take isn’t online yet.  I find it hard to believe that Dude would quit.  I find it harder to believe that he would run for Prez. 

This time it’s Lisa Falkenberg from the Chron putting a spanking on the Lite Guv.  He deserves it.  You can only read it if you are a subscriber or have a hard copy.  Here are parts:

The Houston businessman, a Republican who has led the Senate for more than a decade, has been flailing about ever since (actually, long before) he got whipped by then-unknown primary opponent Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate.

His failures in the past legislative session have taken him to new lows in trying to revive his sagging political prospects by pandering to the tea party faction that snubbed him.

"I think he’s running scared now," says Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson.

And:

"It doesn’t speak well for the lieutenant governor," Rice political science professor Mark Jones said of Dewhurst’s predicament. "… The only reason I could see him running for re-election now is not to end his career on a low note."

Commentary has said before that I am not an expert on GOP politics but I can say this, I don’t think the GOP base thinks the Lite Guv is a genuine rabid red meat right winger.  He tries to act like he is but his base ain’t buying it.  He just doesn’t come across as really believing all that stuff that is coming out of his piehole these days.  That’s why he got his arse handed to him last year by his party.  He’ll never be a Ted Cruz, a Guv Dude, or a Dan Patrick.  I even think his own base sees his recent act as pandering.  Stay tuned!

Nolan Ryan’s jersey was retired by the Angels a while back.  What was his Angels numero?

Now this is interesting from Ericka Mellon of the Chron on the company that is being investigated by the FBI.  Check this:

A Fort Bend construction company accused in a federal bribery lawsuit of conspiring with HISD trustee Larry Marshall now is suing the Houston school district, claiming the firm is owed $9.8 million for renovation work it performed.

Fort Bend Mechanical filed the suit Thursday in Harris County against the Houston Independent School District, alleging that HISD has "refused to pay" the company for numerous campus renovation projects.

The six-page filing does not mention that Fort Bend Mechanical is entangled in a federal civil lawsuit on the same side as HISD. In that ongoing case, a competing construction contractor accuses Fort Bend Mechanical, HISD, Marshall, his business associate and another company RHJ-JOC of conspiring in a bribery and kickback scheme.

Here is Ericka’s piece.

Maybe they think a good offense is a good defense.

Nolan Ryan wore the numero 30 as an Angel of course.

Here is from MLB.com:

Senior scouting officials from the Astros met recently with University of Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray, a source told MLB.com on Thursday. The right-hander is a potential target for the Astros with the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s First-Year Player Draft.

The meeting took place at the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City, where the Sooners won the conference title. Gray, who pitched a shutout in OU’s opening game of the tournament against Baylor, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

Gray is 9-2 with a 1.55 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 110 innings heading into the NCAA regionals. It’s not uncommon for clubs to meet with potential Draft picks, and the Astros did that on occasion last year before taking 17-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa with the top pick. Gray is among a handful of players the Astros are considering with the first pick, including Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, and college hitters Kris Bryant (San Diego) and Colin Moran (North Carolina). High schoolers Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows have also been on their radar.

The ‘Stros swept the two game series at Coors last night so things are looking better.  J.D. Martinez is stepping up.  Let’s see how they do in Anaheim this weekend.  Get your tickets for B’More.

 

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State Comptroller Susan Combs announced yesterday that she is retiring and it set off a scramble to replace her within the GOP.   Among those that are running is Tea Party activist Debra Medina who ran in 2010 against Guv Dude and Hutch.  The Medina candidacy guarantees that everyone in this race will run hard right. 

In the Chron article today on the vacancy I found this interesting:

On Wednesday, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, confirmed he was mulling a run for lieutenant governor.

"I’m thinking about it," he said. "I will make a decision about my future in the near future."

This kind of has me scratching my head.  The Lite Guv appointed this fella to Chair the Education Committee so he could have a bigger platform for his act.  I would say this kind of falls in the disloyalty category for even just harboring the thought.  You have to figure the Lite Guv is not too pleased to read this.  Of course this wouldn’t be the first time that the far right punked the Lite Guv.  I guess they don’t think his right wing cred is legit.

Here is the entire Chron piece.

A lot of folks know that the Rockies got swept by the Red Sox in the 2007 World Serious.  Name the teams the Rockies beat in the 2007 playoffs to reach the World Serious?

Since the ban on texting didn’t get passed by the legislature, I guess The Mayor will put it on the agenda and get is passed as an ordinance.  That is what she said she would do.

I know, I know!  Nobody gives a rat’s arse about the MLB draft with the exception of the hard core fans of the team that is picking numero uno and once again that honor belongs to the ‘Stros.  I’ll be going to the team draft viewing party next Thursday evening at The Yard to watch the first pick.  We’re probably the only team in all of the MLB that is holding a draft viewing party.  It kind of says something about celebrating last year’s last place finish and lousiest record in all of the MLB.

On MLB.com there is a feature on Stanford ace Mark Appel who many believe is worthy of being selected first in next week’s draft.  Some thought Appel was first pick worthy in last year’s draft but seven teams passed on him because they didn’t want to pay his asking price.  The Pirates picked him with the eighth pick and he ended up not signing and staying at Stanford for another year.  I say let’s get the guy.  Here is why (from the MLB.com feature):

Two college pitchers from last year’s first round have already been called up to the big leagues. Kevin Gausman, the No. 4 pick, has made two starts for the Orioles. Michael Wacha, the No. 19 pick, is slated to make his Major League debut for the Cardinals on Thursday. There are many who believe Appel could have joined them had he signed, but he said he doesn’t have any regrets.

If Appel is good as they say, he could be in our rotation next season.

Here is the entire piece.

In 2007 the Rockies swept the Phillies in the NLDS and the D’Backs in the NLCS of course.

Now let’s look at it this way.  The team is 6-7 in the last 13 games. I think they are worth watching these days.  We won last night.  If we continue to lay better ball today at Coors and the next four in Anaheim more folks will show up for the B’More series that starts next Tuesday.

 

 

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Only 11,974 showed up at The Yard yesterday afternoon to check out the ‘Stros and Rockies.  That was the second lowest turnout at The Yard to watch the ‘Stros since they started playing Downtown.  On April 24, 11,686 showed up to catch the ‘Stros and Mariners.  The announced crowd is actually the number of tickets sold so a lot of the 11,974 really didn’t show up yesterday.  That’s too bad.

There are never any lines at the bathrooms.  There are hardly any lines at the concession stands.  The folks working at the concession stands are like carnival hawkers, calling on you to come try their hot dogs or chicken tenders.  It is kind of sad.

If you get there when the gates first open an hour and a half before the game there are never any lines.  On giveaway games, the T-shirts, gym bags, bobbles, umbrellas and other stuff usually last until around 15 minutes before the game starts.  I remember when it used to be all gone 20 minutes after the gates opened.

Commentary said before that a $20 million payroll gets you a $20 million ballclub.  The team does play hard and has not given up though.  I think that is because most of them are young and trying to prove that they belong in the bigs.

I understand folks not wanting to come out to The Yard.  Heck, they are only handing out two bobbles this season – Jose Altuve and Orbit.  That tells you something when a mascot gets a bobble while guys like Jason Castro and Bud Norris don’t.

B’More will come in for three next week and I’m thinking more folks will show up to watch this AL East club.

When the Rockies first started playing in Colorado in 1993 who was their first skipper?

Patti Kilday Hart has a good column today on the State Senate giving up the two-thirds rule during the special session.  Here are parts:

In 2003, Houston Sen. John Whitmire endured harsh criticism after he broke ranks with fellow Democrats and returned from a self-imposed exile in Albuquerque, where the lawmakers had fled to avoid voting on Republican-drawn redistricting maps.

At the time, Whitmire felt the condemnation was worth what he had secured in return: a promise from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst that he would abide by the Senate tradition of requiring a two-thirds vote to debate bills on all issues besides redistricting. The flight to Albuquerque had prompted some Republicans to want to change that rule, and Whitmire believed his return would save it.

"There has been that commitment made to me," he said in a 2003 interview explaining his defection from fellow Democrats.

What a difference a decade makes. In a letter to Gov. Rick Perry on Monday, Dewhurst urged that the special session agenda be expanded to other issues blocked by Senate Democrats in the regular session.

Acknowledging that he planned to abandon the rule, Dewhurst wrote: "I see no other alternative than to operate under a simple majority vote in the Special Session. The Legislature was unable to pass a number of important bills intended to protect and expand the freedom of Texans and cut the size and scope of government."

Whitmire said he confronted Dewhurst about the letter on the Senate floor Tuesday, but the lieutenant governor "kinda blew me off" by pointing out that the governor has called the special session only for the issue of redistricting. Dewhurst, who has called on Perry to expand the special session to take up bills to restrict abortion and expand gun rights, declined comment through a spokesman.

And:

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, argued the Senate should be consistent: "If we bypass the two-thirds rule in a special session, the tough issues will be held up at the end of a regular session. It will be one more reason not to work together to find common ground."

And:

Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, agreed.

"I personally favor the two-thirds rule. It protects urban versus rural. It helps me protect water and transportation issues in my area," he said. "You can ram a lot of stuff through with a majority. A lot of bad stuff my constituents oppose would get passed. I’m for less legislation, not more."

Oh, well!

The Chron E-Board has a piece today on if you build it they might not come.  I’m talking about the much ballyhooed Buffalo Bayou sprucing up.  Apparently accessing the bayou is a challenge.  Here is how the piece ends:

After all, the park won’t be a very smart use of tax dollars if Houstonians have to run across the freeway to get there.

Check it out here.

Dierk is back.

Check it out here.

Don Baylor of course was the first Rcokies’ skipper back in 1993 of course.

A first!  Jason Castro was named AL Player of the Week after batting .579 with three dingers.  Congrats to Castro!

We’re at Coors for two starting this evening.

 

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It is back to redistricting again.  I knew all the recent articles and columns about the legislative feel good session would come to an end.  I’m betting it will be a red meat special session. 

It is a slow news day I have to say.  Politico didn’t add much today.  Their lead story this morning on May 28, 2013 is who is Hillary going to hire in 2016.  She is not even interviewing folks these days.

Walt Weiss is the skipper of the Rockies.  As an A’s, Weiss got him a World Serious ring.  He also was a member of The ATL when they beat us in 12 in Game 3 of the NLDS back in 1999.  In the bottom of the 10th with the game tied at 3, the ‘Stros loaded the bases with nobody out but failed to score.  Name the three batters that came up in the bottom of the 10th that failed to bring in the winning run?

I don’t know how long they will be in special session but if someone runs into The Dean, tell him he’s not missing much at The Yard.

With the infield playing in, Carl Everett grounded one to the first baseman who forced out Baggy at home for the first out.  With the infield still playing in, Tony Eusebio grounded one to shortstop Walt Weiss who threw home to force out Caminiti for the second out.  Ricky Gutierrez struck out to end the inning and the rest is history.

I don’t feel so bad with only 15 wins.  There are three other teams with wins in the teens.

 

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Commentary doesn’t ride the Downtown Light Rail much.  I’ve ridden it probably less than five times since it opened back in 2004.  You have to purchase a ticket to ride even though they don’t have turnstiles or ticket takers.  It is called an honor system. 

Sometimes Metro will have some of their police waiting at stops and ask to see the tickets of departing passengers.  You get busted and handed a citation if they catch you riding without paying.

This December the Metro North Light Rail Line will open and next year the East End Light Rail Line and Southeast Light Rail Line will open.  I’m thinking since all the new lines will be running through the ‘hood Metro will get a bit more aggressive in checking to see who is paying to ride the light rail. 

I’m OK with that just as long as it doesn’t get to the harassment level or doesn’t get into a sort of racial profile thing.

Everybody knows that the Cy Young Award has been around since 1957.  How many MLB clubs have never produced a Cy Young Award winner?

Burkablog gave the Lite Guv a blistering spanking this past weekend.  Here it is:

Poor David Dewhurst. He occupies what was once widely considered to be the most powerful office in the state. Now he is reduced to begging Rick Perry to help him pass his pet legislation so that he can have something to take to the voters. Dewhurst has had plenty of time after his loss in the Senate race to develop a legislative program, and now he comes along at the last minute to ask for special [session] treatment for his legislation.

And whose fault is it that the Dew doesn’t have much to show for his efforts? Why, it’s those awful Democrats, of course, the ones who have 12 votes in their caucus while the Republicans have 19 votes in theirs. No wonder he can’t get anything done. The minority is just too strong. The man hasn’t got a scintilla of self-awareness, and the whole Capitol is scoffing at him. Now Dewhurst wants his issues, the ones he couldn’t get passed in the regular session, to be front and center in the special.

It would be different if even one of Dewhurst’s issues were good for the state, but even that hurdle is too high to climb. Water? Who needs it? Roads? We’ve got plenty of them. Education? Sure, let’s give public money to TLR for private schools. What we really need are drug tests for welfare recipients and people seeking unemployment benefits. Campus carry? Now you’re talking. Let’s not forget redistricting and Voter I.D. Surely there’s an abortion bill we’ve neglected to pass. And we can always recycle that state spending cap his buddy MQS likes to write about.

If Dewhurst had exhibited one iota of leadership this session, he wouldn’t have to beg for a special session. But he didn’t. And the truth is, he hasn’t done so for years.

What is really on your mind Burkablog?

This is from MLB.com today:

Astros designated hitter (catcher) Jason Castro continued his red-hot surge, going a career-high 4-for-4 with four singles to raise his average to .283 following a 10-for-12 tear. He is the first Astros player with at least three hits in three consecutive games since Ty Wigginton on Aug. 15-17, 2008.

Speaking of, I wonder what kind of session Ty Wiggintonner’s Brother had up in Austin?

Here is what The General had to say in the Chron last Thursday:

Since Houston won the vote Tuesday, I have been asked about the Astrodome and its fate in relation to the 2017 Super Bowl.

The Astrodome had nothing to do with the owners’ decision, but I’ll make this prediction: It will be demolished before Super Bowl LI. I think it’ll be cleared for 1,600 parking spaces or possibly something like a small replica that’s a museum for what used to be the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The Astrodome isn’t an issue for the Texans or the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo or the NFL, for that matter. Its fate will be decided by our politicians. It’ll be a difficult decision to tear it down, but it will be the right decision.

Here is what Chron columnist Ken Hoffman said yesterday about the Dome:

Here’s why nothing will ever be done about the Astrodome. Politicians know they will anger voters no matter what they decide to do with the Dome. It’s easier to do nothing and offend nobody and get re-elected. Do something! Anything! Either fix it up or tear it down. Let’s not have another Super Bowl with that moldy, rat-infested Astrodome ruining our image.

OK, so the A’s own our arses 9 games zip this season.  I wish I could say let’s look at the bright side.  Jason Castro is hitting .283 and if he stays around .283 that’s a good thing.  Jose Altuve is batting .309.  Matt Dominguez is starting to get a hot bat.  Let’s just hope it stays hot.

Five MLB clubs have never produced a Cy Young Award winner of course:  Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, Reds, and Rockies.  When the Nats were the Expos, they won one with Pedro Martinez back in 1997.

The Rockies are in town for a couple. 

 

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I don’t think Guv Dude appreciated the Boy Scouts of America dropping into the Lone Star State to vote to lift the ban on gay scouts.  Hey Dude, the majority rules as 61% of the Scout’s National Council voted for the new policy.  Here is what Guv Dude issued after the vote:

The Boys Scouts of America has been built upon the values of faith and family for more than 100 years and today’s decision contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness. While I will always cherish my time as a scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision.

Here is part of what the Scouts issued yesterday:

"The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.”

Here is their entire statement.

Dude and groups like the Texas Pastor Council, Family Research Council, Southern Baptist Convention, and Texas Values are not happy with the new policy and some are predicting the demise of the Scouts.  I wonder if they will go after the Scouts.  Heck, they may have to create a new merit badge for surviving the onslaught of Christian right wrath.

Don’t be surprised if some GOP state legislators ask Guv Dude to call a Special Session so they can enact legislation that would exempt the Lone Star State scouts from the new policy.

I’m thinking after this Sunday night’s showing of “Behind the Candelabra”, Dude is going to ditch his Bourne, Ocean’s, Romancing the Stone, and Wall Street series DVDs.

Name the last member of the A’s to win the AL Cy Young Award?

One of the Rocket’s kids has opened a restaurant called Katch 22.  It’s is on Durham.  That’s a kute name.  I hear the krab legs are to die for.  Same thing goes for the klub sandwich, fried katfish and tres leches kake.

From The Yard for Memorial Day games:

All Major League Baseball clubs will wear specially-designed caps and jerseys featuring an authentic military digital camouflage design licensed by the United States Marine Corps.

A 90-year old military vet will throw out the first pitch at The Yard Monday. 

Barry Zito of course won the AL Cy Young Award in 2002.

I wonder if they will have a special on snow cones this weekend. 

I wonder if we will break 20,000 for any of the games this holiday weekend.

A Bayou Bash will be held on Saturday at The Yard before the game with Zydeco tunes and boiled krawfish.

We have won four out of our last seven.  The A’s are in town followed by the Rockies on Memorial Day.

 

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On the front page of today’s Chron is a story about the Dome and its future.  There is nothing really new and you can only read if you have the hard copy or are a subscriber.  Folks have until next month to turn in their Dome project proposals.  Hunker Down has said that it will be up to the voters to decide the future of the Dome.

Hunker Down has also said that he is not inclined to hold a Dome election this November because H-Town voters will turn out in greater number than non H-Town voters because we are having City elections.  I’m going to go out on a limb and disagree with Hunker Down on this point.

This wouldn’t be one of those bond elections to build a jail, a courthouse, schools, or parks.  This is the freaking Astrodome – the Eighth Wonder of the World.  A lot of voters across the region would be talking it up.  If a Dome demolition component is included, debates, discussions, and arguments involving nostalgia, history, and the future would be pretty common around the so called water cooler.  Most folks would have a take on what to do with the Dome.  

The local media (I’m talking about print, TV, radio, and online) which does a p___ poor job of covering our City and local elections would be all over this story. One of the lowest voting turn out Demographic – the sports talk radio audience – would probably come out and vote.  It would be a better informed electorate across Harris County and isn’t that what we want?  I guarantee there would be tons more coverage of the Dome proposition than the mayoral election.

In the last major contested mayoral election in H-Town in November we had a tad over 19% voter turnout.  I’m thinking we could get that countywide for a Dome referendum.

Don’t sell Dome voters short, Hunker Down!

The A’s visit The Yard this weekend.  How many World Serious titles do they own while in Oakland?

You know we’re not having a good season if the only story to go national from The Yard this season is a vendor going numero 2 with his snow cones nearby.  Check it out from KPRC:

Cell phone video shows a ball park snow cone vendor sitting on a toilet in a stall with an entire box full of the products he’s about to sell. They sit on the bathroom floor right next to him.
The person who recorded the video and gave it to Local 2 said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This guy is taking a dump. There’s no doubt about it. What sane person could possibly think, yeah this is a good idea. I’ll just put the food that I’m about to sell on the floor.”

Here is the entire story.

PGAer Sergio Garcia just needs to shut his pie hole.  He is an embarrassment and a dumbarse.  He pulled the fried chicken line on Tiger and he is getting skewered deservedly.  He is not a victim and that is for sure.  Here is from Yahoo.Sports:

Sergio Garcia crossed a line Tuesday he never should have toed.

At the European Tour’s annual gala dinner ahead of its flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship in England, Garcia responded to a question asking if he would have dinner with Tiger Woods at next month’s U.S. Open at Merion.

His reply, according to The Guardian: "We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken."

And:

The 33 year old could have said any other kind of food. Snowballs would have been clean and funny as a reference to Woods’ girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. He could’ve gone with Swedish meatballs as a more edgy shot across the bow about Woods’ defunct marriage to Elin Nordegren. How about a Hank Haney reference and say "popsicles"?

Garcia chose to allude to fried chicken.

Here is all the Yahoo about the yahoo.

Here s from a bit of ESPN:

One of Garcia’s sponsors has also weighed in on the matter.

"Sergio Garcia’s recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture," the statement read. "We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere. We discussed with Sergio that his comments are clearly out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter."

Good for TaylorMade-adidas.  Stick it to Garcia.

Here is the entire ESPN piece.

The Oakland A’s won World Serious titles in 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1989 of course.

We won a game last night and 12,000 and change that attended stayed away from the yellow snow cones – yikes!

 

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