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Archive for April, 2014

Getting It

The NBA gave Donald Sterling a Lifetime Ban while the LA NAACP was about to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award. Folks throughout the country heaped praise upon the new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for “dropping the hammer” on Sterling. Yesterday, Some African American talking heads on ESPN started calling out the LA NAACP. They said what a lot of others thought – follow the money. That is really a sad commentary. What were they thinking?

It goes without saying that race is still an issue and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. It speaks volumes that numerous networks and cable stations interrupted their schedule to provide live coverage of the NBA Commissioner’s press conference. Wow!

Ryan Zimmerman is the third baseman for the Nats and in 2006 was the runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year. Name the rookie that won it that year?

Here is from today’s Chron:

The Greater Houston Partnership came out in support of Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed equal rights ordinance, giving the measure a boost as it heads to a City Council committee hearing on Wednesday.

Parker plans to put the measure before the full City Council for a vote next week.

Here is also from the Chron on the response from the usual suspects:

Major Republican donor Steven Hotze sent an email from his Conservative Republicans of Texas PAC that dubbed the proposal “Parker’s Sexual Predator Protection Act,” suggesting the measure will create a loophole to allow people to lie about their gender to enter bathrooms where they could attack women and children. He also wrote against protections based on sexual orientation.

“This would make those who engage in deviant sexual acts a new minority class equal to African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other legitimate minorities. This is a slap in the face of true minorities,” the email read.

Sigh! Can we just move on? More and more folks are just not buying this scare tactic rhetoric these days. Folks are just better than this. Who are these guys talking to?

Now this is interesting. As Strother Martin said “what we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” It looks like the Democratic Governors Association has written off Team Davis. Here is from the Chron:

The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association gave a less-than-rosy assessment of Sen. Wendy Davis’ chances Tuesday and got a slam in return from her campaign.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, association chairman, failed to cite the Texas Democrat’s race for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott as a top target in talking to reporters, The Wall Street Journal reported. Instead, Shumlin pointed to races in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania and, secondarily, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.

“We’re hopeful in Texas but we all understand that Democrats haven’t won Texas in a long time,” he said. “I wish that we could spend money for Democrats in all 50 states. My job is not to promote governors’ races in states where we can’t win.”

Come on! This is disappointing! This isn’t a confidence builder.

Hanley Ramirez of course won the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

I snagged an Adam LaRoche foul shot last night and gave it to a kid. They said 23,000 and change showed up. Where were they? We should have won last night. Now that we are hitting a bit better our bullpen is coming up short. I don’t know about this.

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The Fund

It looks like the Texas Enterprise Fund got this one right. It also looks like it was not one of those deals to take care of one of Guv Dude’s pals. I am talking about the Toyota coup for Plano that was announced yesterday. Isn’t this the way the fund is supposed to be used? Would Toyota have come without the $40 mil? Does Dude’s highly publicized job poaching work? Here is from an AP story:

Toyota delivered a surprise pink slip to California on Monday, announcing the company would move its U.S. headquarters and about 3,000 jobs from the Los Angeles suburbs to the outskirts of Dallas.

The world’s largest automaker will keep a foothold in the Golden State — about 2,300 jobs will remain in California after the company settles into its new corporate campus in Plano, Texas. But the announcement is an economic and symbolic slap for California, a historic center of American car culture that has been trying to shake its reputation as a frustrating place to run a business, whether that involves shooting a film or selling a Prius.

“When you look at the whole package, it’s difficult to be a business here,” lamented Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, whose community on the edge of the Pacific will suffer as the jobs migrate to Texas.

“If all these great, high-end jobs are leaving California, then we are going to turn into a place that’s a retirement community” with low-paying service-sector jobs, Scotto said. “We can’t have that,” he added, warning that unless the state has a change of attitude, “it’s going to be way too late.”

And:

(Governor Rick) Perry, who made two visits to California to lure employers to his state, said Texas offered Toyota $40 million in incentives from the taxpayer-funded Texas Enterprise Fund. The Republican governor said Toyota is expected to invest $300 million in the new headquarters.

Republicans in California quickly blamed Sacramento for the loss, where Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature and every statewide office. A statement issued by Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development did not mention Toyota but stressed the state’s steadied balance sheet and jobs recovered after the devastating recession.

Is this a deal that folks can criticize? I don’t think so.

The Nats are in town for two and they used to be the Expos. Name the two members of the Baseball Hall of Fame that are wearing Expos gear.

I put out this yesterday:

Bryant Gumbel was on the “Meet the Press” yesterday and compared Donald Sterling’s past discriminatory business practices to those of Jim Crane, owner of the ‘Stros. Ouch! The ‘Stros put out a statement yesterday saying Crane was a nice fella and they also blasted Gumbel. The Chron has the statement on their website. Gumbel was on “Meet the Press” and had a bigger audience. Of course Crane could go on the ‘Stros network and issue the statement and nobody would be watching. Too bad.

Well MLB put out a statement yesterday supporting the ‘Stros owner so nobody was paying attention and HBO and Bryant Gumbel are no longer commenting on the torch job they did on the owner. It would not surprise me if the ‘Stros try to contact “Meet the Press” and ask for equal time.

I am thinking the NBA is going to come down hard on Donald Sterling today. He does not have a defender in the world.

Gary Carter and Andre Dawson of course are in the Hall of Fame wearing Expos gear.

If you have been to The Yard this season or have watched the team on the tube you have probably noticed more of an emphasis on the ‘Stros utilizing the infield shift on certain pull hitters. Check out today’s Chron sports section on an analysis of the shift. It is a good read.

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First of all my Dad’s surgery went well Friday and he is A-OK.

Somebody needs to ‘splain to Commentary why the LA NAACP was going to give Donald Sterling ANOTHER Lifetime Achievement Award. Does the phrase PLATINUM SPONSORSHIP come to mind?

Bryant Gumbel was on “Meet the Press” yesterday and compared Donald Sterling’s past discriminatory business practices to those of Jim Crane, owner of the ‘Stros. Ouch! The ‘Stros put out a statement yesterday saying Crane was a nice fella and they also blasted Gumbel. The Chron has the statement on their website. Gumbel was on “Meet the Press” and had a bigger audience. Of course Crane could go on the ‘Stros network and issue the statement and nobody would be watching. Too bad.

Since nobody has really stepped forward to defend Sterling and he hasn’t denied the tapes, I am thinking the NBA will dump him as an owner.

The Nats visit The Yard for two starting tomorrow. They used to be the Expos. How many times have the Nats/Expos been in the playoffs?

In the hard copy of the Chron today is a front page story on some members of the H-Town City Council not happy that they learned from developers that the City is bidding on the Downtown Post Office property. The City wants the property for a justice center – police headquarters and municipal courts. The City would sell its 61 Riesner property. Apparently the developers don’t want the City bidding on the Post Office. I get that the Council Members should have been made aware but if we don’t get the property for a justice center then where would it go?

The justice center needs to be Downtown. Developers have no business trying to tell the City where to put it. They need to just shut up and go develop stuff.

For those that will be lucky to snag a Chron invite to the GOP Lite Guv race debate this Friday in H-Town, here are the audience rules:

As audience members, you and your guest are expected to adhere to the following rules:

• Cell phones must be turned off.
• No political shirts, hats, gear or signs will be allowed.
• No cheering, applauding or booing is allowed during the meeting.
• No video or audio recording allowed.
• No autographs or photos with the candidates will be allowed.
• Audience members will not be allowed to approach the candidates.
• Please help us maintain this debate as a non-partisan event.

The Expos made it to the playoffs in 1981 and the Nats in 2012 of course.

We split four with the A’s and our Skipper kind of acted silly and has not gotten over Jed Lowrie. I also snagged a foul ball Saturday and gave it to a kid.

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Pardon Me

I am with my 90-year old Dad this morning at Memorial Hermann in Memorial City. He is having surgery. We have been here since 5:30 am. His surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am. He is in good spirits.

My Dad is still very active and this surgery will allow him to continue to be active if you know what I mean. The doctor said he could even drive his car tomorrow.

So I am not able to put out a Commentary this morning. Sorry! I’ll keep folks posted.

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Used To It

You know it is bad when local folks are now talking about the NFL schedule that was released yesterday. The Texans only have two prime time games. We play the Cowboys. We face Matt Schaub in week 2. Mario Williams visits in week 4.

We’re used to it. You know – letdowns, disappointments, heartbreaks – from our pro sports teams. I personally try not to let it get to me these days. This time it is the Rockets. After we signed Dwight Howard last summer we were on a high. Now it feels like an artificial high. We are being abused by that fella LaMarcus Aldridge. Oh yeah, and folks have already given up on the ‘Stros.

Commentary is old enough to remember the original “Godzilla” that came out in the 1950s. It was the one with Raymond Burr who played “Perry Mason” and “Ironsides. It wasn’t until way later that I learned that the version I saw was the original with the Raymond Burr scenes added in – got it? I also learned later that it was mostly English voice over Japanese. Then I remember watching a handful of the Godzilla versus other monster movies including “King Kong vs Godzilla” in the early 1960s.

In 1998 I went to see the remake with Mathew Broderick, Hank Azaria, and Jean Reno and directed by the fella who directed “Independence Day.” I thought it was Ok but the critics slammed it. It was Godzilla goes to New York.

Next month they are coming out with the 2014 Godzilla version and this one stars Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olson, Juliet Binoche, and David Strathairn. I have seen a couple of the trailers. I will probably see this one in 3-D IMAX if available.

This Baseball Hall of Fame great ranks 15th on the all-time career dinger list with 548 – all with the same MLB club. Name him? Hint: He is still with us.

I got this from the Chron yesterday. They sent it to subscribers.

Star Access Insiders: this is just for you! Register for a pair of seats to watch the GOP Lieutenant Governor Debate LIVE between candidates David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick on May 2 at 7 PM!

I registered. Why not? It is either that or ‘Stros versus Mariners. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda probably would have gotten away with putting pine tar on his neck if he played for the ‘Stros because nobody watches the ‘Stros on the flat screen.

Mike Schmidt of course hit all of his 548 dingers playing for the Phillies.

Just like that we blew a 3 zip lead and lost 5-3. Whatever the team has we gave it to the Rockets. I wonder how many will show up to see the A’s over the next four days.

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Commentary was watching on the flat screen yesterday a joint H-Town City Council Committee meeting on a draft of a proposed ordinance on “vehicle for hire” or letting Uber and Lyft service H-Town – legally. First let me say that I am not working for any of the parties involved.

During the meeting I tweeted this:

How come the Taxi/Limo supporters far outweigh the Uber/Lyft supporters at #HoustonCityCouncil meeting today?

I got this reply:

@MarcCommentary They’re at work?

I also tweeted this:

“We don’t choose. We serve all.” On shirts of Taxi supporters at #HoustonCityCouncil meeting today.

And this:

“Always There, Always Fair” On shirts of Taxi drivers at #HoustonCityCouncil meeting today.

Most of the folks that spoke at the committee meeting were either with the taxi or limousine industry – drivers and owners. The taxi and limo folks fully acknowledge it is a bottom line issue. They far outnumbered the Uber and Lyft folks yesterday.

I didn’t hear a whole lot of love from members of city council on the proposed ordinance. I think I predicted earlier that the Uber and Lift folks would pretty much get what they wanted. I didn’t see, hear or feel that yesterday.

The administration wants to get something done but city council certainly isn’t there today.

The issue of service reduction to low income communities is out there and has not been addressed. This a concern for some members of council. Some of those low income folks vote and use taxis.

I don’t know if members of city council think they will face political backlash if they vote against Uber and Lyft. The companies are located on the West Coast. Their local drivers haven’t flooded H-Town City Hall. I don’t know if the folks that they serve go out and vote. Folks that come in from out of town and use these guys obviously don’t vote here. The folks that use it to go to clubs and concerts are from the demographic that don’t show up at the polls. I don’t see where the political pressure would come from.

The taxi and limousine companies are local and many play local politics if you know what I mean.

Stay tuned!

Last night Albert Pujols became the 26th member of the 500 career dinger club. Name the 500 career dinger club members that are NOT in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Happy 100th Birthday to Wrigley Field today!

At yesterday’s H-Town City Council afternoon session a bunch of folks showed up to speak in support of a revitalized Gus Wortham Golf Course. They made some good points. One speaker said that the current debate on Botanical Gardens versus golf was dividing the community. A couple of speakers said that the LPGA may be interested in coming to H-Town under a revitalized Gus Wortham. Another wanted to know why the city would kill off one asset and replace with another.

Another speaker wanted to know why the botanical gardens folks had not conducted a traffic impact study. Another said he didn’t want a 107 year old historical golf course replaced. They made a good case.

A supporter for the botanical gardens said golf was dying – huh! Does Tiger know?

Barry Bonds, A-Roid, Junior, Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Man-Roid, Gary Sheffield, and Pujols of course are members of the 500 career dinger club and are NOT in the Hall of Fame.

We have won two in a row and we are now batting .200 – whew!

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HCC’s New Leader

HCC has a new Chancellor. Welcome to H-Town Cesar Maldonado. Hope you can navigate through the mess and hope you can avoid those out there that want the mess to continue. It certainly has been an interesting week over at HCC. Here is from the Chron:

A chemical engineer, longtime businessman and current president of a technical college in Harlingen will take the helm of the Houston Community College, which has been without a chancellor for more than a year.

The HCC board Monday night announced its unanimous pick to lead one of the largest community colleges in the nation. Cesar Maldonado – a vice chancellor of the Texas State Technical College system, which is less than a quarter the size of the HCC system – will take the top spot here after a 21-day waiting period.

Board members touted Maldonado’s business background and ability to develop partnerships with other universities and industries at a time when colleges and universities have been pushed to prepare more students for the working world.

“He’s going to take this institution to the next level,” Board Chair Neeta Sane said. “His industry background is really, really going to help Houston grow, because we are going to focus on workforce development and making sure there’s a skilled workforce for the local industry.”

I hope Cesar read up on what has been going on over there and will stay away from the usual suspects if you know what I mean.

You know where the Chron stands on HCC. Here is their headline on the hiring: “Rudderless HCC gets new leader.” Ouch!

Name the two MLB clubs with the most wins in a season?

I tweeted this yesterday after watching the Channel 11 News:

I wonder if the 2 guys laying graffiti on a building knew they were caught tagging by security cameras: story on @KHOU. #Dumbarses #StrosLid

I am sure those guys got them some lawyers by now. One was wearing a ‘Stros lid. Sooner or later.

Memo to Al Qaeda. You hold a televised convention, expect to be on the menu of a drone feast.

I am thinking Natalie Morales of “Today” is probably one of the fittest journalists in the U.S. of A. these days. She finished the Boston Marathon in 3:34 yesterday. Way to go Natalie!

Our best pitcher Scott Feldman just went on the DL. How does that happen? Come on!

During spring training we released J.D. Martinez and he was signed to a minor league deal by the Tigers. He tore the cover off of the ball with the Mud Hens, hitting four dingers in a double header Sunday and now he is back in the bigs. It is way too early to tell if we gave up on him. Let’s wait and see if he becomes a contributor on Brad Ausmus’ club. Heck, he is on a first place club.

The 1906 Cubbies owon 116 and the 2001 Mariners won 116 of course.

Well we won last night. Let’s see if we can win tonight.

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