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Archive for July, 2016

Takeaways

Going into last night’s speech, the NBC talking heads said Secretary Hillary Clinton had to address the “trust” thing. Last night, after her speech, they said she didn’t do enough to reach out to independent voters. Make up your minds!

I was watching CNN last night after the speech and found it interesting that Paul Begala said some reporters were saying that Donald Trump might not debate Hillary this fall. I think Commentary said that a couple of days ago.

The ‘Stros are 55-46 with a plus 58 run differential. The Cubbies have the best MLB record at 61-40. What is their run differential?

A key Clinton campaign strategy is to get under Trump’s thin skin. It is working. Look at these tweets:

Lisa Falkenberg ‏@ChronFalkenberg 50m50 minutes ago

“A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” #DemConvention

 

Dog Days of Evan ‏@evan7257 56m56 minutes ago

“A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” Ice Cold.

And we know Trump didn’t like being taken down by a Muslim. See this:

Anderson Cooper 360° ‏@AC360 11h11 hours ago

Father of Muslim soldier: Donald Trump, have you read the U.S. Constitution? “I will gladly lend you my copy.”

Remember when Commentary said a day or two ago that Trump was a TV ratings freak. Well, now he is freaking out. Check out this MSN story from yesterday:

President Obama’s prime time speech lifted the Democratic convention to its third straight night of ratings wins over the Republican convention last week — and now the Trump campaign is exhorting supporters not to watch the Democrats’ final night.

About 24 million viewers watched Wednesday’s DNC coverage on the six biggest channels (CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News), according to preliminary Nielsen data.

Last Wednesday’s RNC coverage drew 23.4 million viewers across eight channels.

The coverage of Obama’s speech and Hillary Clinton’s appearance on stage spilled into the typically lower-rated 11 p.m. hour, but the ratings results indicate that most viewers kept watching until the very end of the evening.

For the third night in a row, CNN was #1 overall, with 6.17 million viewers between 10 and 11:45 p.m. MSNBC was #2 with 4.92 million. NBC was #3 with 4.17 million.

The Democratic ratings advantage has come as something of a surprise, given Donald Trump’s reputation as a ratings magnet.

Last week he touted the viewership for his Republican convention and predicted that no one would watch the Democrats.

On Thursday morning, Trump’s campaign sent a fund-raising email urging supporters not to tune into Clinton’s acceptance speech on Thursday night.

“Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don’t watch Hillary’s DNC speech tonight,” the email read. “Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks.”

The email could be interpreted two ways: As a creative way to raise money off of Clinton’s speech or an admission of insecurity by the Trump campaign.

I love it! And you know Trump hated the takedown by Kareem here:

Amanda TerkelVerified account ‏@aterkel 3m3 minutes ago

Kareem Abdul Jabbar: Introduces himself as Michael Jordan. Says it doesn’t matter, bc Trump can’t tell the difference btwn the two of them

You can say this again:

Dog Days of Evan ‏@evan7257 32m32 minutes ago

Democrats’ only regret is that the election isn’t tomorrow.

After Trump got nailed on the Russia email thing, he decided to lie his way out. See this:

Houston News ‏@abc13houston 39m39 minutes ago

Trump: ‘I was being sarcastic’ about Russia finding Clinton’s emails: http://abc13.co/2aAu1F8  #abc13 #Election2016

Even though Commentary doubts there will be debates, I wonder who will play Trump during the Clinton debate preps?

The Cubbies of course have a whopping plus 155 run differential of course.

The schedule is a little tougher over the next ten games. All the teams we are playing are contenders for sure.

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Here is the best line from last night:

“I’m a New Yorker, I know a con when I see one!” This was from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. You know a line like this gets under Donald Trump’s skin.

The second best line:

To Trump from retired Rear Admiral John Hutson: “You’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots.”  This line also got under Trump’s skin.

Last night was like back-to-back-to-back-to-back dingers at The Yard. Four great speeches by The President, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Tim Kaine, and Mayor Bloomberg.   I think we moved the needle last night.

Trump is a big TV ratings guy. It is interesting that he hasn’t said anything about the fact that more folks watched the 2012 GOP convention than the Cleveland confab last week. The “Choker” was viewed more than the Donald.

The early numbers also indicate that more folks are watching the Dems in Philly.   Trump isn’t saying anything about this either.

We are seeing a lot of hugs and embraces amongst Dems in Philly. We didn’t see a whole lot of loving in Cleveland. Commentary is feeling better this morning.

The ‘Stros start a weekend series tomorrow at Comerica Park. The Tigers last won a World Serious in 1984. Who was their skipper in 1984?

Here is from Ericka Mellon’s story today on the new HISD Superintendent:

The San Francisco public schools superintendent won over a divided Houston school board with what members described as his devotion to equity for all students, passion for the arts and willingness to collaborate.

The trustees, often split along ideological and racial lines, voted unanimously Wednesday to select Richard Carranza, an educator who has led the much smaller California district for four years, as the lone finalist for the superintendent’s job here.

The former teacher and principal, who spoke Spanish growing up in Arizona and learned English in school, said he looks forward to taking the helm of the Houston Independent School District after his contract negotiation and the state’s mandatory 21-day waiting period.

“We have come together as a team,” school board vice president Wanda Adams said. “We have agreed to disagree on issues. But at the end, we were able to cross the finish line.”

And:

The board apparently struggled behind closed doors to agree on a finalist after narrowing the pool from 35 applicants. Trustees “duked it out,” trustee Jolanda Jones said. Some board members initially were resistant to an outsider and were leaning toward an African-American candidate, according to sources not authorized to discuss the board’s deliberations. However, during a news conference after the vote to pick Carranza, board members offered unqualified praise of him.

Here is the entire story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/HISD-s-superintendent-pick-says-Houston-schools-8473056.php.

On the one hand, Commentary would like to know more details on how the divisions were lining up and who prevailed. On the other hand, maybe it is best that we be spared the details so as to not have divisions aired publicly – you know what I mean.

In checking out the story, it turns out the superintendent is a mariachi. I am looking forward to seeing him in mariachi gear.

From the “He’s an Actor” Department – this from the AP:

Bradley Cooper‘s appearance at the Democratic National Convention has irked some conservative fans of the actor’s portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in 2014’s “American Sniper.”

Cooper was spotted by TV cameras Wednesday night seated at the meeting in Philadelphia alongside his Russian model girlfriend, Irina Shayk.

Some Twitter users say they plan to boycott Cooper’s future films over his presence at the convention. Another commented that they thought his experience playing Kyle would have rubbed off on him.

Oh, brother.  Sorry to disappoint you.

Hall of Fame great Sparky Anderson was the skipper of the Tigers of course when they last won the World Serious in 1984.

We are back to 2 ½ games out and Alex Bregman is 0-9 and we have 61 games remaining.

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No Debates

Has anybody asked Donald Trump lately if he is going to participate in the three presidential debates?  Don’t be surprised if he finds some excuse to skip the debates. You heard it here first.

Trump has pretty much gotten away with everything during this election cycle – insulting folks, flip flopping on issues, getting caught in lies, so he may as well skip the debates if he thinks Secretary Clinton is going to clean his clock on the debate stage.  I would be surprised if he decides to debate. Just wait and see.

Name the player at The Yard tonight who will be celebrating a birthday today?

This just in from The Hill.  This guy isn’t going to play by the normal rules:

A top aide to Donald Trump said Wednesday that the Republican presidential nominee “will not be releasing” his taxes. 

“Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them,” Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort told “CBS This Morning.” 

“It has nothing to do with Russia, it has nothing to do with any country other than the United States and his normal tax auditing process,” Manafort added.

It looks like we have us a new HISD superintendent. Welcome to H-Town, Richard Carranza.  Carranza grew up in Arizona, taught in Las Vegas, and is currently running the San Francisco schools.

Zeph Capo, who heads up the Houston Federation of Teachers kind of wanted someone with Houston ties.

I don’t agree or disagree with Zeph on H-Town ties. I just hope he reaches out to folks.

From a Chron story:

More than 35 years after he tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster, John Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to leave a Washington mental hospital and live full time with his mother in Virginia, a judge ruled Wednesday.

And:

He (Hinckley) also has said he wants to “fit in” and be “a good citizen.”

If you ask Commentary, I think the Judge should have asked Jodie Foster what she thought about this.

Alex Rodriguez is 41 today.  I wonder if he will play tonight.

Jason Castro had to play first base last night. We lost again and are still 3 ½ out.

 

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First Night

The First Lady knocked it out of the ballpark last night. A real trooper for sure. She left no doubt on where she is at. Even Donald Trump knows she smoked it. Trump twitter trashed Sens. Bernie Sander, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker last night, but said absolutely nothing about the First Lady.

My second favorite moment of last night was watching Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman tell the “Bernie or Bust” people that they were being ridiculous. They are.

New ‘Stro Alex Bregman is wearing the number 2. Name the two former ‘Stros skippers who wore the number 2?

Kuffer had a take a few days ago on Secretary Julian Castro and what he could be doing to help his political future. Here is a part:

In the meantime, if Castro is even slightly inclined towards running for Governor in 2018, he can lay a lot of groundwork for it by working to turn out Latino voters in Texas and help Democratic candidates, especially Latino candidates, get elected this year. There’s Pete Gallego for CD23, Dori Contreras Garza for State Supreme Court, State Rep candidates in Dallas and Bexar Counties, Ed Gonzalez for Harris County Sheriff, etc etc etc. He’s going to be out on the trail anyway, so why not put a little elbow grease into helping out in his own state? If he really wants to get people fired up about a future candidacy, spend a little time in places that aren’t Democratic now but which need to be at least on the way there for him to have something resembling a reasonable shot – Fort Bend, Williamson, Bastrop, Comal, Collin, Denton, Brazoria, you get this idea.

Here is the entire take: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=75547.

It is a good take but it probably will not happen. The Clinton/Kaine folks will have him go to Nevada, Colorado, and Florida and any other swing state where Latinos will make a difference. That’s politics.

This isn’t good.   From Politico:

Rep. Alan Grayson’s ex-wife repeatedly went to police with accusations of domestic abuse over a two-decade period, according to documents she has provided to POLITICO, revelations that come as the Florida congressman enters the final weeks of his Democratic primary campaign for Senate. 

Lolita Grayson called police on her husband at least two times in Virginia and two more times in Florida, sought medical attention on at least two occasions and said that, in one instance, he had threatened to kill her, according to a police report

Here is the entire Politico story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/alan-grayson-wife-florida-226090.

In the Chron business section today there is a story on the upcoming Heights wet/dry election. Commentary lives a few blocks from the wet/dry section so I don’t get to vote and I won’t express an opinion.  Here is from the article:

H-E-B, which has expressed strong interest in establishing a store in the area, gave proponents a boost by working with Austin-based political consulting firm Texas Petition Strategies for the signature drive.

“H-E-B looks forward to the possibility of expanding our offerings to the Heights and Garden Oaks neighborhoods and are hopeful the registered voters will support us in November,” Cyndy Garza, public affairs director for H-E-B’s Houston region, said in a statement.

Garza added the company is “encouraged with all the positive, eager and rapid responses.”

Proponents say allowing retail beer and wine sales makes it viable for more grocery stores to operate in the area. Reaction to the effort has not been completely positive, judging from a spirited online neighborhood forum and letters to the editor.

Opponents say the ban – put in place shortly before Prohibition – has kept the neighborhood family-friendly and helps guard against unwanted development. A change could alter future development, local resident and real estate agent Bill Baldwin warned.

“It opens the door for waves of other commercial development that undermines the character of this historic neighborhood, when the reality is we could simply drive one extra mile to get out of the dry area, get what we need, and still be able to enjoy the amenities and quality of life that I and my neighbors love,” Baldwin said in an email. “I myself am willing to go that extra mile.”

Does he even live in the wet/dry area? Oh, well.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/retail/article/Petition-drive-to-turn-dry-area-of-the-Heights-8414059.php.

Former ‘Stros skippers Terry Collins and Brad Mills of course wore the number 2.

Bregman went 0-4 last night and we slipped to 3 ½ out.

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Go Home

Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to go home.

Yesterday I tweeted this after it was announced that she would not preside at the Democratic National Convention:

 

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 8h8 hours ago

This move will eliminate a lot of boos from @SenSanders delegates. Resignation next? #DNCinPHL

 

Later on during the day, it was announced that she would resign after the convention.

I’m sorry. She has become a distraction and needs to exit the stage immediately. There are no excuses. She is giving Donald Trump more ammo on the “rigged” thing.

Instead of celebrating Secretary Hillary Clinton’s VP pick, we are talking about a DNC that was taking sides during the primary. This is completely unacceptable – period.  Go home, Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, please!

They also ought to fire every staffer who took sides against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Heck, they booed her this morning at her own state delegation breakfast.  Go home!

The ‘Stros are 54-44 and 2 ½ out after 98 games. How were we doing last season after 98 games?

Commentary thinks Sec. Clinton made the right choice in picking Sen. Tim Kaine. Even though I said a few weeks ago that picking Secretary Julian Castro would help Dems here in Harris County, Sen. Kaine helps her in key states like his home state of Virginia and in Florida.

I was watching his introduction this past Saturday and was very impressed with his Spanish. He certainly will connect with those whose primary language is Spanish. He was blending it in smoothly. It is a given that he will throw in quite a few lines in Spanish during his acceptance speech Wednesday night. A first for sure, I think.

Commentary is disappointed in Commentary. When Ivanka Trump was introduced last Thursday evening, they played “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison. The Harrison estate came out the next day and said playing the tune was “offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.” They also said kind of tongue in cheek that it was OK to use George’s “Beware of Darkness” tune.

“Watch out now, take care

Beware of greedy leaders

They take you where you should not go….

…. Beware of Darkness.” 

I am disappointed because I should have thought of that.

This DNC email hack thing got me thinking of the 1966 comedy and Best Picture nominee “The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming” starring Carl Reiner, Brian Keith, Eve Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, and Jonathan Winters – just saying.

From an AP story yesterday:

Japanese electronics maker Funai Electric Co. says it’s yanking the plug on the world’s last video cassette recorder.

A company spokesman, who requested anonymity citing company practice, confirmed Monday that production will end sometime this month, although he would not give a date.

He said the company would like to continue production to meet customer requests, but can’t because key component makers are pulling out due to shrinking demand for VCRs.

I didn’t even know they were still making VCRs.

Last season, after 98 games, the ‘Stros were 55-43 and tied for first of course.

I am glad the team is bringing up Alex Bregman but I am still just going to wait and see. Remember at the beginning of the season when we celebrated the Tyler White debut and he ended up batting just .211.  Same for A.J. Reed who batted .156.   Let’s just wait and see with Bregman.

The Yankees visit The Yard for three and Carlos Beltran will still be booed after 12 years. If A-Rod plays, will he also get a few boos? Get on out to The Yard this evening and find out.

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No It Don’t

Now we wait for Secretary Hillary Clinton to announce her choice for VP.

Meanwhile, as I write this, Donald Trump is on TV rehashing the primaries. What a tool. Keep trumping!

There is really not much to add to the analysis of Donald Trump’s speech. Dark and without solutions.

I will say that the GOP convention did not move the needle their way when you talk about the Latino vote.

Check these tweets:

Houston ChronicleVerified account ‏@HoustonChron 38m38 minutes ago

Peter Thiel’s speech shows major shift in GOP on gays http://trib.al/etExqQn

 

Annise Parker ‏@AnniseParker 29m29 minutes ago

Annise Parker Retweeted Houston Chronicle

No, it doesn’t.

 

And this AP story today:

Peter Thiel, a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is a different type of Republican, as delegates to the Republican National Convention found out Thursday night. But that didn’t keep them from giving the gay co-founder of PayPal a shockingly warm response. 

“I’m proud to be gay, I’m proud to be a Republican, but most of all I’m proud to be an American,” Thiel said to a thunderous standing ovation from members of a party officially opposed to gay rights, same-sex marriage and LGBT parenting.

The loud applause was also a major shift from the 2000 convention, when then-Rep. Jim Kolbe, an openly gay Arizona congressman, spoke briefly without even mentioning his sexuality. When he began talking, the Texas delegation took off their cowboy hats and began praying. 

Thiel also took on the type of social questions that have ravaged the GOP and destroyed its standing among Millennial voters. 

“Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom,” he said. “This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?”

I agree with the former H-Town Mayor. No it don’t!

I was watching CNN and a reporter asked Rick Scott, the GOP governor from Florida, about Thiel speaking.  Scott definitely did not want to have this discussion.

A standing ovation is one thing, having an anti-LGBT platform is another.

Thiel also spoke on the same day the NBA snatched the 2017 All Star game away from Charlotte because of House Bill 2 – a GOP product.

And you have Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and AG Ken Paxton running around Texas looking into bathrooms.

Sorry, this isn’t a shift. It is an ongoing assault.

Philly plays host to the Dems next week. When was the first time Philly won the World Serious?

I agree with the following:

JORGE RAMOS ‏@jorgeramosnews 7m7 minutes ago

Due to the lack of diversity and the hateful speeches, the RNC in Cleveland was the least inclusive convention I’ve covered since 1988

I watched in amusement as Ivanka Trump talked about child care and equal pay for women in front of a GOP who cut women absolutely no slack on these issues.

I was also disappointed that “Here Comes the Sun” was played when Ivanka was introduced, so I am glad the following AP story appeared this morning:

LONDON (AP) — The estate of former Beatle George Harrison is complaining about the use of his music at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Harrison’s family tweeted Friday that the use of the song “Here Comes the Sun” during the introduction of candidate Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka was not authorized, and was “offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.”

Rocker Paul Rodgers also complained about the use of his “All Right Now” at the climax of Trump’s speech.

Earlier in the convention, Brian May of Queen complained about the use of the band’s 1977 hit “We Are the Champions” during a Trump convention appearance.

I don’t know about “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

The Phillies won their first World Serious in 1980 when they took KC in six of course.

Some ‘Stros fans are wondering why we brought up Preston Tucker instead of Alex Bregman. Commentary is not going to second guess on this move.

We have the Angels in for three this weekend. They are handing out fedoras tonight and gnomes tomorrow. We are 3 ½ out so let’s keep it up.

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Feeling Better

Dems should be feeling better this morning. Check this NBC tweet from last night:

TODAY ‏@TODAYshow 3m3 minutes ago

“This convention is a mess.” –@ChuckTodd #RNCinCLE

 

Then these:

 

Jamelle BouieVerified account ‏@jbouie 10m10 minutes ago

It is no small thing to sabotage a convention night, which makes Cruz the only national Republican of stature to oppose Trump with teeth.

 

Teddy Schleifer ‏@teddyschleifer 17m17 minutes ago

Ted Cruz was turned away from Sheldon Adelson’s suite today after his rebuke of Trump, sources tell CNN.

 

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 24m24 minutes ago

The @Mike_Pence was solid, what you expect from VP nominee. I still can’t believe the whole @TedCruz thing actually happened. #RNCinCLE

 

Donald J. TrumpVerified account ‏@realDonaldTrump 15m15 minutes ago

Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal

 

Annise Parker ‏@AnniseParker 32m32 minutes ago Houston, TX

Annise Parker Retweeted The Hill

Not a fan of Cruz, but he showed integrity and courage tonight. He knew how that crowd would react.

 

Dan McLaughlin‏@baseballcrank 6m6 minutes ago

All you really need to know is that Ted Cruz calculated that by 2017, the smart play will be to have not endorsed Trump.

 

Teddy SchleiferVerified account ‏@teddyschleifer 1m1 minute ago

Teddy Schleifer Retweeted Dan McLaughlin

Yep. Never good to be booed, but Cruz placed a bet tonight. A year from now, it could be a good one.

 

Teddy Schleifer Retweeted

Glenn Thrush ‏@GlennThrush 20m20 minutes ago Cleveland, OH

.@tedcruz just told me: ‘I had to speak the truth… It’s going to be an interesting couple of days. The chips will fall where they may.’

 

I tweeted last night that Ted Cruz stole the night. Chuck Todd said the same thing. So did Don Lemon on CNN around midnight.

Dems should be feeling better because this has been a poorly run convention.

The Trump campaign couldn’t get their act together on the Melania Trump speech. The speech wasn’t vetted. When the plagiarism was discovered an hour after the speech, they lied, blamed Hillary and the media, and let the story fester for a day and a half. Better pros would have put the story to bed at the latest Tuesday morning.

They never should have invited Cruz to speak unless he was willing to endorse – period.  No ifs, ands, or buts.

Governor John Kasich didn’t speak. Neither did Jeb Bush. Neither did Carly Fiorina.

To invite Cruz to speak without getting an endorsement was reckless.

So last night, instead of talking about Governor Mike Spence’s speech or the Trump kid’s speech, we are talking about Cruz punking Donald’s parade.   Way to go!

Dems should be feeling good because if this is how Team Trump run their convention, this could very well be how they run the remainder of the campaign. Let’s hope so.

Jose Altuve leads MLB with 133 base hits. Who is number 2 in the base hit department for the ‘Stros this season?

It gets better for Dems. Check this from an AP story:

Donald Trump says the United States under his leadership might not come to the defense of some NATO members if Russia were to attack them. 

Trump tells The New York Times he would decide whether to protect the Baltic republics against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.” 

In 2014, the 28-member alliance created a rapid-reaction force to protect the most vulnerable NATO members against a confrontation with Russia. 

Trump also says in the Times interview that he would not criticize Turkey for cracking down on political opponents and restricting civil liberties. 

Trump says the U.S. has no “right to lecture” other countries when “people are shooting policemen in cold blood.”

Then this tweet:

 

Tom Nichols‏@RadioFreeTom 40m40 minutes ago

Tom Nichols Retweeted Chuck Todd

Put another way, Trump wouldn’t honor a treaty our own allies invoked to come to our defense after 9/11.

 

I sure am looking forward to the debate that focuses on foreign policy. Trump is going to be all over the map – no pun intended.

He will be very scripted tonight.

Now to a baseball tweet:

 

Pete Abraham ‏@PeteAbe 23s23 seconds ago

Interleague play has somewhat lost its luster. But games like this are ‘event’ level for sure.

 

He’s talking about Red Sox versus Giants.

Nope! I think interleague has lost its luster. Though I am looking forward to catching San Luis for two in August and the Cubbies for a weekender in September, both at The Yard.

Prospect Alex Bregman played left field in Fresno last night. Fresno is our AAA affiliate.   He has been tearing it up. He was also drafted as a shortstop.   When we bring him up shortly, he is not going to play short. He could play third but that means Luis Valbuena would play first and that means Marwin Gonzalez would see less playing time. If we stick Bregman in left, what do we do with Colby Rasmus, who by the way hasn’t had a hot stick since April.   Well, as they say in MLB, that’s a good problem to have.

George Springer of course follows Altuve with 98 base hits.

We are 3 ½ out this morning and play the next 13 of 15 at home.

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