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Archive for August, 2013

I saw this tweet last night that kind of cracked me up during the Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) endorsement meeting:

John C. Gorczynski ‏@JCGorczynski11h

I move the Harris County Tejano Democrats endorse @JJWatt for King of Htown.

It was an outstanding night last night for some of Commentary’s folks.  HISD Trustee Anna Eastman picked up the HCTD endorsement with the help of a lot of folks out in the crowd wearing her yellow stickers.  Anna’s eighth grader was there helping convince Tejano Dems to support her mom.

Graci Garces won out over two of her opponents and a motion to duel endorse.  Graci did it on one ballot – nice.   Graci had widespread support last night.

We managed to stop an endorsement in the HCC Trustee 3 race.

Folks pretty much got along last night although there was a bizarre moment when a Ben Mendez supporter got up and made a motion along the lines of “Sheriff Adrian Garcia nominates Ben Mendez.”  The sheriff was nowhere in sight – huh!

The Mayor was able to withstand a challenge from Ben Hall last night, quite handily may I add.

The Yankees have the record with most World Serious grand salamis with eight.  Name at least five of the Yankees?

In today’s Chron Lisa Falkenberg has a few questions about the details of Early to Rise.  Of course you have to have a subscription to read the Falkenberg take.  Here is a part:

Reasonable people, many of whom strongly back early education, are wary of a program about which they know little.

"While I appreciate the effort to increase access to high quality preschool," Houston Independent School District board president Anna Eastman told me, "when was the last time a self-appointed group of people said ‘we’re going to collect a tax and spend money on something that’s not clearly defined?’ "

If you ask me Early to Rise has done a terrible job of rolling out Early to Rise.

Here was a tweet that Commentary saw from my good pal Sue Davis a couple of days ago:

Sue Davis ‏@suedavis197414 Aug

Ben Hall whining about negative campaigning=laughable. Can’t stand the heat, get out of Oz. Click your heels 3 times, go home to Piney Point

Ouch!

If the local Dem Party wants to be useful, they ought to head over to Pasadena and help the Latino folks from a redistricting grab.  Check out the today’s Chron E-Board take:

After former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay‘s fall from grace, we thought that Texas politicians would know better than pursue mid-decade redistricting. Not so in Pasadena, where Mayor Johnny Isbell is trying to change Pasadena’s city council districts.

Isbell proposed last month to replace two of Pasadena’s single-member districts with two at-large seats. The Bond/Charter Review Committee recommended against moving forward with the changes, at least for the upcoming election. But the proposal alone is distressing enough. Historically, replacing districts with at-large seats has been used to discriminatory ends, and such moves are often blocked by the Department of Justice. Only a few months ago, that would have been the case here. Not anymore. For decades, the Voting Rights Act has been a useful speed bump in Texas. Due to our history of discrimination, any alteration to voting laws or processes had to be approved by the Department of Justice. When the Supreme Court struck down the part of the VRA that based preclearance requirements on past discrimination, it busted open a hole in that wall, and Texas politicians have wasted no time to climb through.

This newfound lack of federal oversight allows local politicians to implement maps that threaten to discriminate against minority voters. The current individual districts in Pasadena allow large, compact and politically cohesive minority populations to elect the representatives of their choice. Replacing these districts with at-large seats could dilute minority voting power, submerging the voting-bloc in a sea of majority voters.

As our Founding Fathers wrote in the Federalist Papers, our republic cannot function if the full spectrum of our nation’s diverse interests do not have representation in government. Decades of discrimination kept vast segments of society away from the table, and only now do we start to see representation rising to the ideals our nation was founded upon. That progress is brought to a halt when cities such as Pasadena make it more difficult for a growing Hispanic population to take part in the democratic process.

Even with the removal of direct barriers to voter registration, historic discrimination in education, housing, employment and health services hinders minority ability to participate effectively in the political process and elect representatives of their choice. Pasadena’s city government makes this point painfully clear – Hispanics comprise a majority of the voting-age population, and a majority of a voting-age population in six of the eight city council districts, but have yet to turn that into electoral success.

Anyone who cares about functioning government should be troubled by such a disconnect between population and representation.

Tony Lazzeri (1936), Gil McDougald (1951), Mickey Mantle (1953), Yogi Berra (1956), Moose Skowron (1956), Bobby Richardson (1960), Joe Pepitone (1964), and Tino Martinez (1998) are the eight Yankees of course with World Serious grand salamis.

We would have to go 24-18 the rest of the way to avoid another 100 loss season.

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It looks like it may be an interesting and perhaps long evening as the Harris County Tejano Democrats meet tonight at the IBEW Hall for endorsements.  Commentary is looking forward to meeting all the new members.

44 years ago today Richie Havens kicked off Woodstock.  The year was 1969 and the Mets took B’More in five in the World Serious.  Six that were in uniform during the 1969 World Serious are in the Hall of Fame – name them?

Dem candidates for judge are out collecting signatures and every one of them that I have talked to hope Sen. Wendy Davis runs for Governor because they think she will excite the base here in Harris County..  I wonder what local GOPers are thinking about a Davis candidacy? Stay tuned!

Commentary has talked to a few folks over the past few days that support early childhood education but aren’t sold on Early to Rise. 

Commentary is waiting for Hunker Down to put together the campaign to redo the Dome.  I wonder what they will call it?

Nolan Ryan (Mets), Tom Seaver (Mets), Skipper Earl Weaver (B’More), Jim Palmer (B’More), Brooks Robinson (B’More), and Frank Robinson (B’More) of course are in the Hall of Fame and were in uniform during the 1969 World Serious.

Wow!  The ‘Stros are on a two game winning streak!

 

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The chingasos have been thrown by The Mayor in her kick-off ad that began airing yesterday.  Here is the script:

“Ben Hall wants to be mayor of Houston, but he hasn’t bothered to vote in a city election in 11 years. In fact, Hall didn’t even live in Houston. Just last year he bought a house inside the city so he could run for mayor. When Houston was hurting in the recession, Hall offered no vision, no ideas and no leadership. Now that things are good, he’s back. Ben Hall really wants to be mayor. He just didn’t want to live here.”

Ouch!

Please don’t talk down to me when public funds are involved.  Here is from the Chron for subscribers only:

The Harris County School Readiness Corp., a new nonprofit led by business and civic leaders, is calling for a ballot initiative to levy a 1-cent-per-$100 tax through the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE)to generate about $25 million a year for training teachers and buying school supplies for child care centers serving children up to age 5.

Here’s the deal.  The group wants us to vote for a tax increase but they really don’t want us involved on how the funds will be spent.  Here is what their Chair said:

"We’ve been working to find the right balance of public oversight," (James) Calaway said, declining to talk specifically about details until the proposal is presented publicly to the department’s board of trustees Tuesday.

Thank you very much sir!  What the f__k is the right balance of public oversight? Memo to this fella:  It should be 100% public oversight!  It doesn’t pass the smell test and could very much head to cronyism, lack of oversight, lack of transparency – you get the picture, which is a very cloudy picture.  In other words, screw the public.  I hope the HCDE doesn’t roll over on this. 

How many of the current ‘Stros have more than 20 career big league dingers?

Here is more talking down to us.  The HISD Board and the Houston Endowment would like a study done of the Apollo Program.  That brought a big F-You from its consultant.  Here is what he sent HISD:

I think your school Board is a bit confused about the academic process,” (Roland) Frier wrote in an email to (HISD”s Terry) Grier on Tuesday. “I am not a for-profit organization selling you software or someone who needs a particular result to keep their business afloat. I am a tenured, and chaired, professor at Harvard University. One of the only ways I can lose my tenure is by violating my academic integrity.  Therefore, my incentives are very much to tell you the truth about the Apollo results. Physicists, Biologists, Chemists, Economists, and most of the Sciences and Social Sciences evaluate their own experiments. It’s not just common — it’s expected.

HISD needs to tell this fella to go kiss our arse!

The County wants us to vote on redoing the Dome this November but they won’t give us an option of tearing it down.  Come on!  Give the voters a choice.  Here is from the Chron and again for subscribers only:

The Commissioners Court on Tuesday unanimously voted to place a bond election for up to $217 million to convert the iconic stadium into a massive, street-level convention hall and exhibit space, saying residents should take part in deciding the historic structure’s fate.

Here is the part that I don’t get.

If the bond fails in November, Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack said it "would make no sense to me at all" to spend millions of dollars demolishing the structure.

"There’s another day to have another election," he said. "Why are you going to spend $8 million and then tear it down?"

So if it is voted down it will just continue to sit there.  Now that is what I call good public policy…smirk….smirk.

CNN Money named Commentary’s ‘hood as one of the best big city ‘hoods in the U.S. of A. How about them apples!  We’re right up there with ‘hoods I’ve never heard of like NY’s Park Slope, LA’s Silver Lake, Lakeview in Chi-Town, Mount Airy in Philly, Windsor Square in Phoenix, and Willow Glen in San Jose.  Those I heard of are SA’s Alamo Heights, Lakewood in Dallas, and Pacific Beach in San Diego.  Ours is a good ‘hood once you get past the congestion on I-10 and Studewood/Heights/Yale. 

Great Lisa Falkenberg tweet yesterday:

What does it mean when @tedcruz says abolish the #IRS? Don’t get it. Would the U.S. government be funded on the honor system?

The current ‘Stros with more than 20 career big league dingers are Chris Carter (40), Brett Wallace (25), and Jason Castro (22) of course.  That’s why we’re 38-80 and we won one last night in Oakland.

 

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KHOU FLASHHouston Mayor Annise Parker announced Tuesday morning there will be a Thanksgiving parade after more than $400,000 was pledged from the private sector.

HEB will be the lead sponsor of the event, but others are contributing as well.

The Chron is reporting the same and has a photo of Pam Gardner, Board Chair of Central Houston, standing with The Mayor this morning at City Hall.  Way to go Pammy!

Now they have to go find some floats.

The Early to Rise folks say they have 150,000 petition signatures and will hand them over to the county today.  Tax Assessor Collector Mike Sullivan will then have his staff verify the signatures.  Hunker Down is still saying he doesn’t know if the petition process is legal. 

Hunker Down just needs to put it on the ballot and if somebody wants to take it to court – let them.    Hunker Down can then campaign against.

Commentary is more interested on how this program is going to work. 

My pal Robert Miller wrote yesterday saying that Sen. Wendy Davis would be running for Governor.  Nothing official yet from Team Davis so we will have to stay tuned. 

Now that Wesley Wright is gone, name the longest tenured ‘Stro?

The Houston Stonewall Young Democrats sent this to the Graci Garces Campaign last night:

Thank you all for taking part in Houston Stonewall Young Democrats’ screening process. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting with every candidate and look forward to working with your campaigns!

For those who couldn’t make it tonight, tonight we endorsed the following candidates:
Controller Ronald Green
Council Member Stephen Costello (At-Large Position 1)
David W. Robinson (At-Large Position 2)
Rogene Calvert (At-Large Position 3)
Graci Garces (District I)
Council Member Mike Laster (District J)
Council Member Larry Green (District K)
Assata Richards (District D)
Council Member Ellen Cohen (District C)
Council Member Ed Gonzalez (District H)
We will be hosting a meet-and-greet brunch for our endorsed candidates to meet with our entire membership, as well as engage new young people who support pro-equality policies in our City’s government. The brunch will be hosted at a private residence on September 21. More information will follow as it becomes available. Please put this on your calendar and we hope either you will all be able to attend!

Please feel free to reach out to us whenever you need help during the campaign season! We’re here to help our endorsed candidates cross the finish line and take office in January. We look forward to working with each and every one of you!

Best,

Caroline Giese

@caroegiese

Vice President of Political Affairs
Houston Stonewall Young Democrats

www.houstonstonewallyd.com

Jason Castro of course is the longest tenured ‘Stro.  Castro made his debut on June 22, 2010.

During the game yesterday as Yu Darvish was putting the ‘Stros down in order the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz tweeted his prediction that Jonathan Villar would break up the perfecto.  He was right.  Carlos Corporan’s eighth inning dinger broke up the no-no and now we’re on pace to lose 111.

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Congrats to the candidates endorsed on Saturday by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus including the following incumbents:  The Mayor, Controller Ron Green, Council Members C.O. Bradford, Jack Christie, Ellen Cohen, Steve Costello, Jerry Davis, Ed Gonzalez, Larry Green, Mike Laster, and HISD Trustee Anna Eastman. 

Endorsements also went to Assata Richards in District D, Graci Garces in District I, David Robinson in At-Large 2, Jenifer Rene Pool in At-Large 3, and Zeph Capo in HCC District 1.

There wasn’t an endorsement in HCC District 3.  FYI:  Commentary’s clients are Trustee Anna Eastman and Graci Garces.  I’m also in discussion with Adriana Tamez about consulting on her campaign for HCC District 3 Trustee.

I have to hand it to the folks that run the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.   They certainly know how to run an endorsement meeting.  Granted Saturday’s meeting lasted four hours but that’s time you have to put in to make a democracy work. 

When you signed in you got a preprinted green credential with your name, address, phone number, and email address along with your membership expiration date.  The screening committee members explained their endorsements to the members attending. Way to go!

Everybody knows that catcher Jason Castro wears the numero 15.  Name the former ‘Stro that also wore the numero 15 and also owns a Cy Young Award?

It turns out the folks that were in charge of putting on the H-Town Thanksgiving Day Parade sold five of the so called major classical floats including Santa’s ride.  The border town of Hidalgo, Texas paid $30,000 for the floats for their Christmas parade.   It seems to Commentary that once the parade sponsor sold the floats they pretty much decided that the parade was a goner.  After all, you can’t have a Thanksgiving Day parade without floats.  You can’t have a Thanksgiving Day parade with Santa riding in the back of a convertible or riding a horse.  Like I said on Friday, if you can’t put on a cool parade, don’t put one on at all.  We’ll survive.

Eydie Gorme may no longer be with us but on Christmas Day her “Blanca Navidad” CD will be at our family Christmas for a while.

Doug Drabek of course wore the numero 15 from 1993-1996 and won the NL Cy Young Award as a Pirate in 1990.

There really isn’t anything to say about GM Luhnow putting together a $13 mil team and forgetting to include a bullpen.  That is unacceptable.  It is like building a car and forgetting to include the brakes.  It is like building a house and forgetting to include bathrooms.  It is like building a 25-story building and forgetting to include elevators. 

 

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About six or seven years ago Commentary attended the H-Town Downtown Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I had special seating.  I wasn’t impressed.  It was kind of lame.  It was maybe about one zillionth of Macy’s up in New York City. 

Since then while surfing through the channels on Thanksgiving Day morning I will run across it and still not be impressed.  The say a few hundred thousand folks attend every year.  I certainly can’t tell by watching on the tube.

It was reported earlier this week that a major sponsor pulled out of the H-Town Thanksgiving Day Parade so folks including The Mayor started scrambling to find new sponsors.  I guess they are trying to hold on to a tradition because the parade isn’t much.  I guess they don’t want to lose the parade on their watch if you know what I mean.  If you are going to hang on to the parade at least spruce it up.  It really needs a major makeover.  Oh well!

39 years ago today President Nixon resigned.  Name the team with the best record in the MLB on that historic day?

From Houston GLBT Political Caucus:

Candidate endorsements for the 2013 City of Houston, Houston Independent School District, and Houston Community College System elections will take place at a special meeting of the Caucus Political Action Committee on Saturday, August 10th at 1:00 PM. The meeting will be held in St. Stephen’s Pecore Hall, located at 1800 Sul Ross Street at the corner of Woodhead Street. 

In order to be eligible to vote in the endorsement process, you must be a current, dues-paid member of the Caucus. Members whose dues have lapsed within the last year can pay dues up to the meeting

Commentary will be there for sure!

The LA Dodgers of course led the MLB with a 73-40 record on August 9, 1974.  The Dodgers went on to lose to the A’s four games to one in the World Serious.

The ‘Stros were 58-54 on 8/9/74.

Today we’re 37-76 with no hope or help in sight and on pace to lose 109 with the Rangers in town for four.

 

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Ben Hall for Mayor finally got on the air with a TV ad where he calls Houston the Land of Oz.  I guess he’s officially on the yellow brick road.  I wonder if he is going to get screened by the Lollipop Guild and the Lullaby League.  I wonder if his headquarters is called Emerald City.  I wonder if he’s going to hire someone to fly over City Hall and sky write “Surrender Annise.”  If he wins, I wonder if he’ll get a nameplate for his desk that reads “The Great and Powerful.”

Everyone knows that “The Wizard of Oz” is Commentary’s third best flick of all time.  I’ve got an Oz lunch box in my office, a little Emerald City figurine, Oz refrigerator magnets – you get the picture.  So now I’ll be able to drop Oz references when I’m talking about this race – cool!

Jason Castro hit his 30th double last night.  How many MLBers currently have 30 or more doubles this season?

Here is the list of elected officials who have endorsed local candidates this election cycle in races where there is competition.  I got these mostly from candidate websites.  I’ll be posting the list on my website later. 

Mayor Annise Parker:

State Rep. Garnet Coleman

State Rep. Jessica Farrar
State Rep. Borris Miles

Ft. Bend County Commissioner Richard Morrison
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan
Councilmember Ellen Cohen
Councilmember Stephen Costello
Councilmember Ed Gonzalez
Councilmember Al Hoang
Councilmember James Rodriguez

HCDE Trustee Debby Kerner
HCDE Trustee Erica Lee
HCDE Trustee Diane Trautman
HISD Trustee Anna Eastman
HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche
HISD Trustee Paula Harris

Ben Hall for Mayor

Council Member C. O. Bradford

Constable Reuben Davis

Constable May Walker

Rogene Calvert for At-Large 3:

State Rep. Gene Wu

Amy Peck for Dist. A:

State Sen. Dan Patrick

State Rep.  Allen Fletcher

SBOE Member Donna Bahorich

Ellen Cohen for Dist. C:

State Sen, Rodney Ellis
State Sen. John Whitmire
State Rep. Alma Allen
State Rep. Carol Alvarado
State Rep. Garnet Coleman
State Rep. Sylvester Turner
State Rep. Hubert Vo
City Council Member James Rodriguez
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan
HISD Trustee Anna Eastman
HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche
Harris County Education Trustee Debra Kerner

Dwight Boykins for Dist. D:

State Rep. Alma Allen

State Rep. Borris Miles

Sheriff Adrian Garcia

HISD Trustee Paula Harris

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan

Graci Garces for Dist. I:

State Rep. Carol Alvarado

City Council Member James Rodriguez

City Council Member Jerry Davis

Robert Gallegos for Dist. I:

State Sen. Sylvia Garcia

HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche

Constable Chris Diaz

Anna Eastman for HISD:

Council Member Ellen Cohen

Early to Rise:

Sheriff Adrian Garcia

Save the Dome:

County Judge Ed Emmett

Let’s see now.  Hunker down wants a tax increase to save the Dome and opposes a tax increase for early childhood education.  Got it!

There are currently eleven MLBers of course with 30 or more doubles this season.

Here is what I tweeted this morning:

Hey #StrosFans! Last night’s box score should read L&BS by #GMLuhnow …traded closer #JoseVeras knowing full well we didn’t have a closer.

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If you are like Commentary and are old school and snatch up the fish wrap from your driveway in the mornings then you know that the Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg has endorsed Early to Rise and Hunker Down is opposing.  Here is how Falkenberg starts her column today:

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett is fighting a "nutty" petition drive for an early education tax with his own brand of nuttiness.

Emmett has been battling the Early to Rise campaign ever since he got wind of the creative, albeit hasty effort to use a dusty old law to force him to put a penny tax on the November ballot. Some $25 million in proceeds would be dedicated to improving the quality of child care across Harris County.

What is Early to Rise you ask?  Well here is from their website:

We are a program designed to help young children up to age 5 get ready for Kindergarten through increasing the quality of early childhood education in Harris County.

This November, we are working to get an item placed on the ballot that would ask voters to approve a 1 penny increase per $100 of assessed home value. This tiny increase would average out to about $18 a year for a $180,000 home. This means that for $1.50 a month we can provide our area’s youngest kids with intensive early education and get them ready for Kindergarten and beyond.

Here is their website.

Commentary hasn’t taken a position on Early to Rise.  I have a lot of questions.

Name the first Red Sox pitcher to win the AL Cy Young Award?

This election cycle Commentary is going to do a scorecard on local elected officials endorsing candidates in local races.  For instance in the Mayoral race The Mayor is supported by:

State Rep. Garnet Coleman

State Rep. Jessica Farrar
State Rep. Borris Miles

Ft. Bend County Commissioner Richard Morrison
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan
Councilmember Ellen Cohen
Councilmember Stephen Costello
Councilmember Ed Gonzalez
Councilmember Al Hoang
Councilmember James Rodriguez

HCDE Trustee Debby Kerner
HCDE Trustee Erica Lee
HCDE Trustee Diane Trautman
HISD Trustee Anna Eastman
HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche
HISD Trustee Paula Harris

Ben Hall has the support of:

Council Member C. O. Bradford ·

Constable Reuben Davis ·

Constable May Walker ·

After the election I’ll give 10 points to each elected official for each winner and take 10 points away for each loser. 

I will also include initiatives like Early to Rise if itgets on the ballot.

It looks like The Dean has him a Dem Primary opponent.  Here is from an email that Commentary received yesterday:

My name is Damian LaCroix and I’m running for State Senator for District 15 in the 2014 Democratic Party primary.  I’m running because I believe now is the time to engage constituents, improve our educational system, create economic opportunities and promote equality for all.  I’m committed to making a difference in the lives of the citizens in District 15.
As State Senator, I will be active in the District, highly visible in the community, and easily accessible to the constituents. A Texas resident for over 39 years and a product of Houston public schools, I can relate to the issues and needs of the highly diverse District.

You can go check out his campaign website here.

Of course, he’s going to need more than a website to take on The Dean.

In 1967 Jim Lonborg won the AL Cy Young Award of course, went 22-9, struck out 246 and had a 3.16 ERA and led the Red Sox to the World Serious where they lost out to San Luis in seven. 

I don’t want to talk about the ugliness at The Yard last night.  A 5-0 lead turned out to be a 15-10 loss.

 

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Now the Chron E-Board has weighed in on the H-Town Mayoral debate thing.  I totally disagree with their take to include all the candidates in the debates.  That would be a waste of everybody’s time. Here is the end of the E-Board take:

Houston’s future is too important to limit the mayor’s race to one debate, and we’re far too diverse to restrict debates to an incumbent and a self-funded millionaire challenger. Putting multiple candidates on stage will provide a panoply of perspectives and a constructive conversation about our city’s needs. Municipal issues don’t always make for the most exciting discussions, but the horse-race atmosphere of elections provides a more compelling backdrop for topics like the city budget.

While we hope Ben Hall will use the debates to explain why he is spending his personal fortune on an uphill battle to unseat the mayor, the time for one-on-one debates is during a runoff. The general election should provide voters with multiple options for what our future will look like. Whether the race for mayor, controller or city council seats, voters are best served when candidates debate the issues and define what it means to be a city that is building forever.

I don’t know what they are thinking!

They also said this:

The crowded slates for open seats on City Council provide prime opportunities for candidates to distinguish themselves. Controversial incumbents – Council Members Andrew Burks and Helena Brown, and Controller Ron Green – owe their constituents a face-off with their challengers.

Excuse me, but when did Ron Green become controversial?  Was he one of the fellas that ran on Highway 288 and blocked traffic?  Does he use PEDs?  I don’t know about that.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

The Yankees are on the verge of missing the post season.  When was the last time they missed the playoffs?

In the “best interests of the game” and because I’m a lifelong fan and supporter of MLB and because I also go to a whole lot of games and own a bunch of gear, I think I’m entitled to hear the specifics.  What exactly was the Dirty Dozen doing?  Here is what Nelson Cruz of the Rangers said:

"I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal.

"From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play.

"Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs."

Did you use a needle, down some pills, rub some stuff in, or smoke it? What exactly are the PEDs and how many times did he indulge?  What are the specifics in the “best interests of the game?”  In the “best interests of the game” we don’t deserve to be left out in the dark!

Here is what the Rangers put out:

"The Texas Rangers are disappointed that Nelson Cruz has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program resulting in his suspension. The Rangers’ organization fully supports the MLB program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Rangers will have no further comment."

Here is what the ‘Stros said about their busted minor leaguer:

"We were disappointed to learn of the involvement of Sergio Escalona in relation to this matter for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in the Joint Drug Program, the Astros will not comment further on this matter."

It looks like an MLB template to me.   In the “best interests of the game” MLB has decided to keep us in the dark.

In the “best interests of the game” Nelson Cruz gets to play in the playoffs – what a joke.

And this:

"The penalties are a joke. If these players were in the Olympics or USA Track and Field, for example – the gold standards of testing – each player’s first major finding like this would cause a two year ban-a real penalty. Fifty games is less than a third of a season. These guys will be back for the playoffs! Baseball is not serious.” – former Clinton administration drug policy spokesman Bob Weiner.

Here is what I tweeted yesterday:

Has anyone noticed that all 12 that MLB suspended today are Latino? No se puede!

From an Evan Longoria (Rays) tweet:

Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love.

A day of infamy – huh!  I don’t think so.

In 2008 the Yankees finished at 89-73 and third in the AL East and missed the playoffs of course.

Only 25,000 and change showed up yesterday to watch a great game as Brett Oberholtzer held the Red Sox to four base hits over seven innings and the ‘Stros picked up a shutout.  Red Sox Nation was well represented but we still out numbered them. 

 

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Commentary likes Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and his coverage of MLB.  He knows a lot of stuff and has a ton of contacts.  Heck, he was to first one to let us know by twitter that Bud Norris was headed to B’More.  Sometimes I don’t agree with Rosenthal like yesterday when he put out that A-Roid and the MLB need to stop posturing and come to an agreement in “the best interests of the game.”  I don’t know about.

I for one certainly am enjoying the back and forth between A-Roid and MLB.  We’re not seeing much MLB action around these parts these days so having fun at someone else’s expense is fine by me.  Everybody knows that Commentary isn’t a fan of the MLB office ever since they made us open the roof in Games 3 and 4 of the 2005 World Serious and then they really got me pi__ed off when they made us hit the road to play the Cubbies at Miller a day after Ike hit.  Oh yeah, don’t let me forget the 1998 NLDS schedule with that extra day off that worked to our disadvantage. 

As far as I’m concerned let A-Roid and MLB go at it.  The Yankees front office is ready to cut A-Roid loose because he’s hurt and not contributing.  If he was A-Roid with 30 dingers and 85 RBIS and healthy and still PEDing, they would be the first in line vouching for his integrity and helping pay his legal bills.  They are interested these days in getting rid of his $30 mil plus salary so in “the best interests of the game” they can clear payroll space so they can sign-up the cream of the 2014 free agent class.  Their current $190 mil payroll that includes A-Roid isn’t getting it done.  When A-Roid was of use to them the Yankees didn’t give a rat’s arse where he got his meds because that was in “the best interests of the game.” 

On this issue MLB would have a lot more credibility with me if they also punished the teams.  The teams obviously were not vigilant and probably looked the other way.  I would respect the MLB if they suspended the player and made the team continue to pay his salary into a fund for low income neighborhoods youth baseball or something like that. Make the team suffer.

Here is all of Rosenthal.

Here is what Kuffer had to say Saturday about future H-Town Mayoral Debates:

There will be some number of debates between Mayor Parker and Ben Hall between now and Election Day. How many debates, and how many participants there will be in those debates, is itself a matter of debate.

And:

I suspect the final number will be two or three, but that’s just a guess. I do agree that one isn’t enough, and six is too many.

Here is all of Kuffer.

For those that want to invite all the candidates to the debate, here is the question I ask you:  Do you really want to hear Eric Dick complain about being persecuted for putting out those outlaw campaign signs?  Enough said!

Those of you that have fond memories of the Astrodome probably remember the two seats up in the left field upper deck where Doug Rader and Jimmy Wynn deposited massive dingers.   The seats were painted with special markings. Both dingers were hit in the same month of the same year.  Care to guess the month and year? 

The Chron did a story yesterday on women running the business side of pro and big time sports in H-Town these days and mentioned My Brown Eyed Girl.  The story is only available in the hard copy and to subscribers but here is the Pam part:

Pam Gardner, the newest member of the Harris County-Houston Sport Authority’s board of directors, was the ultimate trailblazer, serving as president of the Astros for Drayton McLane during the most successful period in its history, earning her a place in the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.

I know absolutely nothing about Uber.  Uber wants to get into the business of hauling folks around in H-Town.  H-Town Council Members Ellen Cohen and Stephen Costello also don’t know anything about Uber and that’s why they sent out emails recently asking folks to tell them about their Uber experiences in other burgs.  Apparently the Chron E-Board knows everything about Uber and that’s why they endorsed Uber for H-Town yesterday.  Check this from the E-Board:

It is time for some healthy competition. It is time for Uber.

Here is the entire E-Board Uber take.

From the news was hard to come by this past weekend department, Chron.com put out Channel 2 anchor Bill Balleza’s FB post that says the 65-year old Balleza had a facelift.

Here is the Chron story.

How come we don’t have any 65-year old female anchors on H-Town TV stations?

Here is a good reason to make to The Yard the final series of the season against the Yankees. The ‘Stros are going to honor closer Mariano Rivera and here is from the Chron:

A little over 10 years after Mariano Rivera collected the save on Roger Clemens’ 300th victory, the Rocket has agreed to be part of the pregame ceremony the Astros will have to honor Rivera at Minute Maid Park in late September.

Astros president Reid Ryan and his staff are already planning the pregame ceremony to honor Rivera, the Yankees legend who is baseball’s all-time saves leader. Rivera will end his storied career during the Yankees’ season-ending three-game series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Sept. 27-29.

The Astros have commissioned a special gift to present Rivera, but Reid won’t divulge the gift publicly because the team hopes to surprise Rivera.

Clemens will be on hand to help the Astros present his friend the gift.

Rivera earned the save against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 13, 2003, to help Clemens become baseball’s 21st 300-game winner. On that date, Clemens actually became the first pitcher to earn his 300th victory since Reid Ryan’s dad, Nolan, won his 300th in 1990.

On April 3, 1970 in an exhibition game the Red Rooster deposited his dinger into the gold seats and nine days later on April 12 against The ATL the Toy Cannon launched his and set another gold standard of sorts of course.   The seats are on display at Union Station at The Yard just to your left just as you enter. 

The Red Sox are in town for three.  They have the best record in the AL.  Me and My Best Friend will be there tonight to check out Ellsbury, The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Big Papi, Pedroia, and Napoli to name a few. 

If the playoffs started today, the AL field would have Oakland, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Boston and The Tribe and the NL field would have The ATL, Pittsburgh, San Luis, LA, and Cinncy. 

I’m thinking more Red Sox fans than ‘Stros fans will show up this evening and I’m also thinking we will have over 30,000 in attendance. 

 

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