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Archive for July, 2013

Pam Gardner was appointed this morning by the Houston City Council to serve on the Harris County Houston Sports Authority.  She was there back in the 1990s when the Sports Authority was first created so she knows the business.  She worked on the tenant side and now she is on the facility side if you know what I mean.  Congrats to Pam!

Guv Dude is hoping that the third time is the charm as he called another special session to see if the legislature can add funding for our transportation needs.  He has to show some leadership and stay engaged in the process rather than head out of state and bang on The President.  Show some leadership Dude!

Today is the MLB trading deadline – 3 pm to be exact.  ‘Stros fans claim that our best trade ever was getting Jeff Bagwell from the Red Sox for pitcher Larry Andersen.  What year did that trade happen?

One of the most exciting plays in baseball is stealing home.  That is what happened last night when ‘Stros rookie Jonathan Villar stole home in the third inning in B’More – wow! 

Commentary learned yesterday of a new entry in a HCC Trustee race.  Adriana Tamez will be running for HCC Trustee District 3.  The District 3 incumbent is Herlinda Garcia.  Tamez is a former HISD administrator.  Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros traded for Baggy in 1990 of course and the rest is history.

According to some tweets this morning, the ‘Stros are asking for a lot for Bud Norris.  That’s OK with me.  We now have 70 losses and on a pace to hit 108 or 109 losses – yikes!

 

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Commentary is not an expert on the exact transportation needs of the Lone Star State other than to say we don’t have enough money and we probably have to raise some taxes.  Of course that is not going to happen under Guv Dude and his Tea Party anti-tax mantra.  The smart guys are outnumbered up in the state legislature these days.  They couldn’t get a deal done on increasing transportation funding and won’t until we get some leadership to step up and that does not look likely.  How can we brag about being a great state and tell businesses to move here when we won’t even address our major infrastructure needs.

Sorry!  Commentary forgot to tell you yesterday that Sandy Koufax was the 1965 World Serious MVP.

Kuffer does a pretty good analysis on H-Town Mayoral campaign giving and spending but he left me in suspense so to speak.  Check this:

There were two other names I noticed that made me do a double-take. One was a former girlfriend of mine, the last woman I dated seriously before I met Tiffany. I haven’t seen or heard tell of her in years, and I had no idea she had any interest in politics, let alone this race.

Sorry Kuffer, you can’t hold out on us.  Show me the girlfriend!

Check out the Kuffer take.

This is in today’s Chron.  Name the three ‘Stros making more than the league minimum?

From ESPN:

Challenged by the news of Ryan Braun’s suspension and a disappointing season, Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is reaching into his wallet.

The team announced Monday that each fan who shows up with a ticket to any of the team’s 12 home games in August will receive a $10 voucher that will be good for food, beverages, tickets or merchandise.

"We were finalizing something like this to give back to our loyal fans just as news of Ryan’s suspension hit," said the team’s chief operating officer, Rick Schlesinger. "Mark decided he wanted to make a dramatic impact that would cost more money."

Despite a 43-61 record, the Brewers have drawn relatively well this season, bringing in an average of more than 31,000 fans per game. Based on those calculations, the vouchers will cost the team more than $3.6 million if they are all used.

Although it is close to the roughly $3 million the team won’t have to pay Braun, Schlesinger said that wasn’t the intention.

Yeah, sure!

A ten spot will get you a St. Arnold at The Yard.  I’ll take it!

Bud Norris (3 mil), Erik Bedard (1.15 mil) and Wesley Wright (1 mil) are the three ‘Stros making above the league minimum of course.

It is official!  The ‘Stros will lose over 100 games this season as they traded away closer Jose Veras yesterday.  The skipper just said this past weekend that Veras was the only decent arm in the bullpen and now he’s a goner.  I don’t know what they’re thinking in the front office.  The arms we have in the bullpen can’t even cut it at Triple A!  Once the relief corps gets the call it’s BP time if you ask me.  I wonder if Vegas are moving the over-under for losses to 110. 

To end up 51-111, we would have to go 16-42 (.279) the rest of the way – possible.

To set the team loss record and go 54-108, we would have to go 19-39 (.328) – probable.

To end up 63-99 and avoid a third straight 100 loss season we would have to go 28-30 (.483) – impossible.

Step up to the window and place your bets!

 

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NBC announced last week that it was going to put out a four hour mini-series called “Hillary” starring Diane Lane as the former First Lady and Secretary of State.  The series will cover 1998 to the present.  Diane Lane is a good choice.  She was just Superman’s Earth mom in “Man of Steel”.  She was “Unfaithful” to Richard Gere.  She’s done the “Lonesome Dove” poke with Robert Duvall.  She owned “Secretariat”.  Oh yeah – she’s married to the fella that played “W” – Josh Brolin.

The “Today Show” this morning rattled off some suggested names to play President Clinton including John Travolta, Bill Pullman, and Woody Harrelson.  I don’t know about that.

Last Friday Commentary mentioned the Dodgers winning 1965 World Serious over the Twins.  Name the 1965 World Serious MVP?

From Robert Miller’s take today:

Under current Texas statewide election dynamics, it is good to be a Republican candidate from either DFW or Houston.

Location, location, location!  Robert has an interesting analysis on GOPers chances of getting on the statewide GOP ticket.  It is where you come from.

Check this from Robert.

don’t think Robert will be doing a take on Dems chances by geography since there isn’t any data if you know what I mean.

Grace Gummer is now on “The Newsroom” as reporter Hallie Shea covering the Romney campaign along with Jim Harper.  Ok, Ok, you should know that Gummer is Meryl Streep’s kid.   Got it!

The woes continue.  Here is from the Chron this past weekend:

“It’s not good,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “At this stage of the season, you would think that guys would get better. That has not happened and we are in a complete funk as far as the bullpen (goes) and trying to find someone down there other than (closer Jose) Veras to come in and give us quality innings, and it’s just not happening right now.”

And:

One of the Astros’ main goals entering a challenging 2013 season was to win the games they were supposed to. That has rarely happened. With a shaky bullpen continually leaking runs, the Astros were again reminded what happens when they do things on the cheap.

Well at least we get to see the Red Sox next week and maybe Big Papi will smash the dugout phone.

At the end of the season we may get to watch Mariano Rivera pitch his last regular game of the season.

Even though he had a high pitch count yesterday Jarred Cosart showed he can get out of jams. 

 

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It is starting to sound like the early 1960s.  Minority voters are being denied access to the polls and the feds have to step in.

Politico has a story today with the headline “Obama vs Texas”.    Here is a line from the piece:

The White House gets applauded in many parts of the country for casting Texas as the evil outlaw.

And just like a scene straight out of Hollywood, The President and his trusted partner Eric Holder are Gary Cooper and Steve McQueen riding into town to save the day.

Or better yet, The President and Eric Holder are leading troops into the Lone Star State with the bugle cavalry charge basting away.

Here is the Politico story on the showdown.

Guv Dude and the GOP may find it easy to roll Dems up in Austin, but taking on The President is an entirely different matter.    After all, it is about protecting our right to vote.   We thought this was settled decades ago. 

Who won the World Serious the year the Voting Rights Act was signed into law?

In Season One of “The Newsroom” Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale and Anchor Will McAvoy are reluctant to cover the Anthony Weiner story and only do so after all the other news organizations chase the story.  I think Mac and Will were thinking Commentary was their audience because I don’t want to hear about Weiner anymore.  I don’t want to know who sent who what and how many times they were sent and what was said and to how many people.  As far as I’m concerned keep that coverage local. 

The Dodger beat the Twins in seven of course in the 1965 World Serious a couple of months or so after LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

From the Chron:

The Astros are on pace for 108 losses and must turn their year around — going 29-32 the rest of the way — to avoid a third consecutive 100-loss campaign. With Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline hovering and the final two months of the schedule stacked with playoff-caliber teams and American League West clubs, turning 2013 into something more than the No. 1 overall pick in 2014 is becoming more difficult with each remaining game.

You can say that again!

 

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Commentary learned yesterday about a new candidate for H-Town City Council District D – Cristina Sanders.  Stace gave her some run.

Here it is.

Young and impressive is how she comes across.  I’m looking forward to hear her stump speech at an upcoming candidate forum.

The only link I can find for her is her donation link here.

She sounds like she potential.

There is a lot of speculation throughout the MLB world that A-Roid may never be coming back.   He’s hurt and he’s under a very dark cloud of performance-enhancing-drug (PED) use suspicion.  If he does come back he will be in the twilight of his career.  A-Roid is sitting on 647 career dingers.  In how many seasons did he smack 50 or more dingers?

Now here’s the deal.  Right now on the H-Town City Council we have five women serving – The Mayor and CMs Adams, Brown, Cohen and Noriega.  That’s five out of seventeen.  CMs Adams and Noriega are being termed out.  The Mayor is facing a challenger with money.  Brown has some challengers.  Cohen has a challenger but she isn’t going to have any problems getting reelected.  In order to stay at five or better women candidates are going to have to run the table so to speak in other races so stay tuned and get involved.

The team will be in Canada for four, in B’More for three, and then at Target for three and don’t return home until August 5 for a brutal seven game homie with the Red Sox and the Rangers.  Aside from the Red Sox and Rangers, the only contenders that will visit The Yard between now and September 29 are the Reds and the Yankees.  I don’t consider the Jays (14 ½ back), the Mariners (-11), Twins (-12), and Angels (-11) contenders.

As a Ranger A-Roid had 52 dingers in 2001 and 57 in 2002 and as a Yankee he had 54 in 2007 of course.

On any given day you can hop on Stub Hub and look for ‘Stros tickets and find around 400 to 500 options available.  If you go check for the Red Sox series in August, there are over 1000 options for each game.  It looks like folks scooped them up and are trying to make a small profit.

‘Stros starter Bud Norris made his MLB debut back in 2009 against the Cubbies at Wrigley.  A few days later he started at Busch against San Luis.  He’s been steady at best.  He’s our number one starter but would be a four or five for the high dollar teams if you know what I mean.  Now he’s trade bait with the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, Giants, Dodgers and B’More having an interest.  Throw The ATL into the mix as one of their key starters Tim Hudson broke an ankle yesterday.  Norris has signaled that he wouldn’t mind getting traded to a contender.  I kind of hope he doesn’t get shipped off because we’d be getting another set of prospects and I’m getting a little impatient.  We’re already on our way to another 100 plus loss season and how do we look for next season?  So long Bud?  We will find out in the next few days.

 

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I’m not going to say much about Carlos Danger.  I did get thumbs-up texts yesterday from Marcelino Peril and Juan Kill about my Commentary on being a Democrat in H-Town City campaigns.

Commentary was at a candidate screening yesterday and met a young candidate named Anne Sung who is running for HISD Trustee District 7.  Harvin Moore is the incumbent trustee.  Sung is a very impressive candidate.   She’s sharp and bright.  I’m thinking we’re going to be hearing a lot about her for years to come.

In 1985 this AL MLBer batted .324, hit 35 dingers, drove in 145 RBIs, smacked 48 doubles and went on to win the MVP Award.  Who am I talking about?

I read somewhere this morning that the Kinkhole is thinking about running for a statewide office again as a Dem in 2014.  Oh brother, not again.  He probably has another book coming out.

I read somewhere today that Guv Dude’s security detail racked up $2.6 mil for out-of-state travel since his 2010 reelection.    Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate with their baby walked out of the hospital yesterday with the whole world watching got into an SUV and drove off alone to the palace.  Quien es mas macho, Dude or the Prince?

Don Mattingly of course won the AL MVP Award in 1985.  Mattingly is the skipper of the Dodgers who are now in first in the NL West.

After two games Jarred Cosart has a .6 ERA and Jonathan Villar is batting .500 as we pulled one out last night in the bottom of the ninth and finally got a W this season against the A’s.

Commentary snagged foul ball numero 6 last night and I’m keeping this one because it has the commemorative AL Inaugural Season stamp on it.

 

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Commentary was impressed with H-Town District D candidate Dwight Boykins’ campaign fundraising report that was turned in eight days ago.  He hauled in over $150,000. He’s going to need every dollar.  Someone sent out an email blast yesterday about Boykins giving a lot of dough to GOP elected officials.  He’s given a lot of money to the likes of Guv Dude, the Lite Guv, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Sens. Cornyn , Grassley, and Hutch, and U.S. Reps  Culberson, Granger, Olson, Poe, and Weber.  He’s going to need that $150,000 to ‘splain this.

Commentary has said before that H-Town City Council races are non-partisan but they really are not.  Just about every Democratic related or affiliated organization I am aware of will not take too kindly to so-called Democratic candidates contributing to GOP elected officials these days.     In Washington the GOP has an agenda to demonize President Obama and his administration’s policies.  We’re seeing right now what the GOP is doing in Austin.  So I would be interested to hear Dwight’s reasons for giving to GOP elected officials like Minority Leader McConnell who publicly stated a few years ago that his goal was to make President Obama a one term president.

Same thing goes for District I candidate Ben Mendez.  Why in the world would any credible Democratic leader in H-Town support Mendez, who gave McCain $1,000 in 2008, also gave to the Republican National Committee, and headed up Hispanic Democrats for McCain in Texas in 2008.  How do you explain to Democratic organizations, Latino organizations, and rank and file Democrats that you supported a GOP candidate who opposed the DREAM Act and campaigned on bashing Latino immigrants who are seeking a pathway to citizenship? 

Have Boykins and Mendez bought in to some of the GOP mantra or do they just like hanging around with them?  Are they tone deaf to the current political climate.  Maybe they both just don’t know better.  Maybe they just don’t share the values of the Democratic Party.

You can’t be playing grabarse with the GOP and at the same time ask Democrats to support your bid for city council.  There is way too much at stake.

Former State Rep. Aaron Pena got a taste of his own GOP policy on increased border security.  According to the Texas Tribune, Pena was stopped by Robstown police and ICE agents and questioned thoroughly.  He had expired plates on his truck.  Pena said he felt he was being treated like a drug dealer. 

You ask for increased border security and you get increased border security.

Here is the Tribune article.

The ‘Stros have 72 fielding errors, second highest in MLB.  Name the team with the fewest errors?

Twelve years ago and back in 2001, on the H-Town city ballot, Proposition Two read as follows:

SHALL THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF HOUSTON BE AMENDED TO DENY HEALTH CARE AND OTHER EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TO SAME SEX DOMESTIC PARTNERS OF CITY EMPLOYEES AND TO ADDRESS OTHER MATTERS OF CITY EMPLOYMENT AND CONTRACTING PRACTTICES BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION?

On election night of Tuesday, November 6, 2001, the scoreboard read FOR 130,310 (51%) and AGAINST 123,592 (49%).

Dave Wilson and crew got the measure on the ballot and prevailed.

According to the Chron’s quickie analysis, the following neighborhoods supported the ban:

Acres Home (50.9%), Cana/Navigation/Magnolia (51.1%), Clear Lake (59.6%), Denver Harbor (56.7%), Fifth Ward (53.5%), Hobby/Glenbrook Valley (52.2%), Kingwood (68.6%), Memorial Westchester (65.6%), Outer Westheimer (61.9%), Sagemont (64%), Spring Branch (61.8%), Tanglewood/River Oaks (57.2%), and Westbury (50.45).

The following neighborhoods opposed the ban:

Astrodome/OST (59.9%), Clark/South Main/ Windsor Village (56.3%), Garden Oaks/Oak Forest (52.6%), Heights (66.9%), Kashmere/Scenic Woods/ Settegast (52%), Meyerland (56.1%), Montrose (77.4%), Near North Side (51.4%), Rice/Braeswood (61.3%), Riverside/MacGregor (59%), Sunnyside/MLK (56.5%), and Third Ward (56.3%).

The Chron also did a quickie analysis by group:

For the ban: Low-income Anglo/Hispanic (55.8%), Upper-income Anglo (51.2%), and Mexican-American (51.5%).

Against the ban:  Middle-income Anglo (52.2%), Low-income Black (51.7%), and Middle-income Black (59.5%).

I mention this because I have had my ear to the ground if you know what I mean.  The electorate has changed somewhat over the past twelve years.  You have to think we have become a little more forward thinking these days.

What else can you say about Ryan Broid getting suspended for the rest of the year?   Who’s next?

B’More has the fewest fielding errors with 31 of course.

In his first at-bat Jonathan Villar whiffed.  At 7:39 pm in the second inning he turned his first double play.  At 8:05 pm in the third inning he bunted for his first base hit.  At 8:07 pm he stole his first base and at 8:15 pm he scored his first run.  At 8:42 pm in the fourth inning he hit into his first double play.  We lost again.

 

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