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Archive for June 8th, 2015

Maybe it takes a four game losing streak to get this to happen! It is about time. That’s why he was picked first overall three years ago. And he is only a 20-year old! Here is the official tweet from last night:

#VoteAstros ‏@astros 6m6 minutes ago
#Astros officially select SS Carlos Correa to the Major League roster. He will join the club tomorrow in Chicago
.

And:

Brian McTaggart ⚾️ ‏@brianmctaggart 18m18 minutes ago
Correa said he’s going to wear No. 1. Fitting.

From the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz

Correa, who is ranked as the top prospect in baseball by ESPN.com, will join the club in Chicago for the start of a three-game series against the White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. At 20, he’ll be one of the youngest players in the majors.

“We really feel like he can help our club right now win ballgames,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said of Correa. “We’ve scuffled a little bit in these last few days, and we feel like Carlos gives us the best chance to win.

“We want to keep our division lead and we want to win this division. We think he’s a big part of what we can do.”

Luhnow, who calls Correa a once-a-generation player, had Class AAA Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco inform Correa of the promotion just four hours after shortstop Jonathan Villar fumbled a routine pop up in the ninth inning to help the Blue Jays complete a come-from-behind 7-6 walk-off victory over the Astros.

I don’t know about you, but I am excited!

Who wore the number 1 for the ‘Stros from 2004-2006?

There was a Mayoral Candidate Forum this past Saturday morning at Talento Bilingue in Second Ward. About 120 or so folks attended. Pensions got some run and will continue to get run and here is what the Chron’s Mike Morris says happened:

First, some background on Houston’s pension problem. Prior to benefit increases in the early 2000s, the city’s annual contribution required to keep its three pensions fully funded had not topped 19 percent of payroll for police, 16 percent for firefighters or 10 percent for municipal workers for at least a decade. Those contribution levels now top 30 percent of payroll for police and fire and 25 percent for the municipal plan.

The city has met the recommended payment to the police or municipal pensions only once since 2002, and keeping up will only get harder: Payments are projected to increase roughly 50 percent by 2019, to $440 million. This year, that payment tops $350 million, almost twice what the city spends on trash pickup, parks and libraries combined.

Reforms to the police pension in 2004 and the municipal plan in 2007 mean retirement packages for new firefighters are by far the city’s most generous, so the fire plan is most often discussed.
Former Kemah mayor Bill King and former city attorney Ben Hall are the most hawkish on the subject.

King said he opposes all defined benefit plans (as opposed to defined contribution, similar to many workers’ 401(k)s).

“We know in the public sector defined benefit plans create the temptation for elected officials to promise a benefit for workers on one hand and not ask the taxpayers to fund them on the other hand,” he said. “These plans will never be funded.”

Hall said he would honor all past promises to workers but would reform pensions for new hires, tying them to market risk rather than guaranteed specified benefits.

City Councilman Steve Costello and former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia struck a more moderate tone, with both saying defined benefit plans can be sustainable but calling for “local control,” or the ability for the city make pension decisions without going to the Legislature, which is the current situation.

Former Congressman Chris Bell said he, too, supports defined benefit plans but acknowledged reform is needed.

“Is it sustainable as it presently is with the firefighters? No, and we’re going to have to address it,” he said. “But it’s also disingenuous to sit up here and try to lead people to believe that as mayor you’re going to be able to cram a solution down the throats of the firefighters. You can’t. You’re going to have to negotiate, and I will.”

Businessman Marty McVey and State Rep. Sylvester Turner positioned themselves as most cautious on pension reform. McVey said the city should issue debt to cover its multibillion-dollar pension underfunding and move on; “We need to own up to our promise,” he said.

Here is the entire Morris piece: http://www.chron.com/politics/election/local/article/Pensions-provide-rare-fireworks-at-third-mayoral-6312573.php.

It is pretty obvious that Bill kind of owns that issue at the forums. Bill is on point and all the other guys are all over the map and they are kind of hard to pin down.

Here is what Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg thinks about Rick Perry:

Perry is back with a new song and a new dance, even a new pair of glasses. But behind that new tune, it’s the same old buffoon.

Willie Taveras of course wore the number 1 for the ‘Stros from 2004-2006.

Our lead is down to three and a half and some folks are already predicting that Correa’s debut at The Yard this Friday may very well be a sellout. We will see!

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