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Archive for August 22nd, 2016

Trump and Latinos

Yesterday we gathered in Baytown to celebrate my Dad’s 93rd birthday. Nice!

Deportation of millions is a cornerstone of the Donald Trump campaign. That is in part how he got the Republican nomination. Trump had his first (less than three months before the general election) outreach meeting with the Latino community at Trump Tower this past Saturday. One of the attendees was my pal Jacob Monty, an attorney from H-Town. Later that afternoon, Univision reported that Jacob said that at the meeting Trump said he was open to legalization for the million. That’s a dramatic shift from deportation.

Here is from the Washington Post:

Late Saturday, BuzzFeed and Univision reported that Trump backed away from that rhetoric at a meeting with a group of newly announced Hispanic advisers, appearing open to a plan to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants that is not deportation.

“Importantly, Trump did not explicitly use the word ‘legalization’ at the meeting, but sources in the room said they feel it is the direction the campaign is going,” BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo reported.

Univision, meanwhile, reported that three attendees said Trump “plans to present an immigration plan in Colorado Thursday that will include finding a way to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.”

Trump advisers were asked Sunday to respond to the reports, and they didn’t exactly reject them.

Asked twice whether he was sticking with his plan for a deportation force, newly installed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway deflected and then told CNN that it was “to be determined.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., meanwhile, said Trump is “wrestling” with how to handle illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“What I’m certain about is that he did not make a firm commitment yesterday, or the meeting the other day, about what he will do with that,” Sessions said on CBS News when asked whether Trump still supports deporting all 11 million. “But he did listen, and he’s talking about it.”

Trump’s campaign is playing down the reports and says nothing has really changed. But it clearly has. Even in equivocating and saying it’s “to be determined,” the campaign is striking a far different tone than Trump has before. Conway was twice given the chance to reiterate that Trump will deport all illegal immigrants, and she didn’t.

And, to be clear, that has been Trump’s position.

Anything else would present a major change from a guy whose primary victory and 2016 campaign writ large have been defined by his hard-line immigration stance.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/nation/article/Trump-hints-at-wavering-on-call-for-mass-9176328.php.

To be determined? I would say that as a Latino I am insulted, but I am not. Conway and the Trump campaign have no clue. Outreach with Latinos at Trump Tower? Really?

Trump is now saying this morning that nothing has changed from his original position on deportations. I mean, if he flip-flops on deportations, where do his white supremacists supporters go?

I don’t even know why he wasted his time meeting with Latinos.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO also had a take on this in Politico today. Here are parts:

“You know what, as I said a year ago right here on MSNBC, you can’t unring the bell with the Hispanic community,” said Javier Palomarez, the chamber’s president and CEO, during a panel discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

And:

“Donald Trump began his political career by denouncing and insulting Hispanics all over this country,” Palomarez said. “This is a case of too little, too late. This is a very desperate candidate. And no speech is going to change that now.”     

Commentary is thinking that Trump himself probably gave the order not to send him to communities of color. He hasn’t been in our community. Same goes for the African American community.

Name the two ‘Stros player with over 80 RBIs this season?

A Yahoo sports columnist doesn’t think much of our GM. Check this:

On Thursday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports published an interview with Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. The interview mainly focused on the troubles the team has encountered after their success in 2015 (brought on by several years of strong rebuilding). But the interview began with Luhnow venting his frustration about the current state of no-trade clauses, which have made his job difficult in the last year.

But, oh, how everything could have been different if Cole Hamels didn’t exercise his no-trade rights when the Philadelphia Phillies were traded to the Astros a year ago, and Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy wouldn’t have vetoed a deal two weeks ago to the Cleveland Indians.

“It changed,’’ Luhnow said, “everything.’’

Cole Hamels accepted a trade to the Texas Rangers in July 2015, as did Jonathan Lucroy a year later. Since both those players went to the Astros’ cross-state rival, Luhnow is looking at what might have been if neither player had no-trade clauses; Hamels would be in Houston against his will, and Lucroy would be in Cleveland in the same situation.

No-trade clauses have been popular in recent years as players have demanded them as part of their contracts. Players often formulate a list of teams that they will not approve a trade to, though sometimes trades to those teams can happen if the player allows it. Hamels decided he didn’t want to play for the Astros, so he ended up going to the Rangers. Lucroy didn’t like the future catching situation in Cleveland, so he rejected that offer before accepting one to the Rangers.

“So we’ve had two deals not accepted by the player,’’ Luhnow told USA TODAY Sports, “that has directly impacted us the last two trade deadlines.

“That’s why I sure wish teams wouldn’t give out no-trade clauses.’’

But no-trade clauses aren’t the only thing that could stop players from going to Houston if they didn’t want to. MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement also grants players 10-and-5 rights. From Article XIX Section A Subsection (1):

The contract of a Player with ten or more years of Major League service, the last five of which have been with one Club, shall not be assignable to another Major League Club without the Player’s written consent.

So a player like Justin Verlander, who has 11 years of service time with the Detroit Tigers, couldn’t just be traded to any team. Thanks to that rule, he has some control over where he goes. He could veto any and every trade the Tigers brought to him from now until the end of his career.

In all, it’s a terrible reflection on the Astros as an organization. In a time when players at all levels are consistently being treated as properties rather than human beings, Luhnow is resentful that a baseball player can decide if he wants to go play for a team. This was a huge issue in the early days of baseball, and all the way through the mid 1970s after Curt Flood finally challenged the restrictive reserve clause, leading to its overturn in 1975. The only thing missing from Luhnow’s quotes was a reference to “the good old days” when players had zero say in anything they did.

Instead of being frustrated that some players can choose not to play for the Astros, he might want to take a look at why players are making that choice. The team has a considerable amount of talent, and one of the five (or even three) best players in all of baseball in Jose Altuve. Could it be, perhaps, that the front office hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory? From the Brady Aiken ordeal to the hacking scandal, they haven’t looked good. And more than any other franchise, they’ve developed a reputation for treating players as commodities.

No matter how much Jeff Luhnow hates no-trade clauses (not to mention other rules that would stop players from being involuntarily traded to the Astros), nothing’s going to change. Players can and will continue to request no-trade clauses when they sign contracts, and teams will give them out because that’s the cost of doing business. And 10-and-5 rights certainly aren’t going away anytime soon. The best path for Luhnow would be to figure out what exactly would make players want to come to the Astros. Until he susses that out and starts fixing it, he might want to steel himself for more disappointing trade deadlines.

Ouch!  That hurt.

Carlos Correa has 86 RBIs and Jose Altuve has 82.  Both could reach 100.

We are still in it I guess. We won our last three. Now we go to PNC for three.

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