Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 10th, 2017

The Teams

It is a tale of two teams.

Everyone knows that Commentary is a huge ‘Stros fan and supporter. I have been a season ticket holder since the Dome days. Yeah, yeah, I have criticized some of their moves, and the constant raising of ticket and beer prices, but I have still been with them because at least they have been straight with me on stuff. This year they rewarded us with a World Serious title – finally.

Drayton was a good guy and so is the new owner, Jim Crane.

The Texans, well that is another matter. Their owner is a big Donald Trump supporter. He’s upset the local African American political leadership community with his “inmates” take.  Some other African American national political leaders have taken well deserved swipes at him on his latest remarks, and now the Texans are front and center on the Colin Kaepernick deal.

The Texans are playing their fans. The ‘Stros never played their fans and were always up front on what they were trying to do. You can’t say that about the Texans. I have said it before. They think they are smarter than us, but they aren’t.

Here is from Rodger Sherman of the Ringer:

Kaepernick is bringing a lawsuit against the NFL claiming that franchises have colluded in not signing him. While that could be tough to prove in court, it’s easy to show just how hypocritical teams have been for arguing that their rationale revolves around “football reasons.”

It will be hard for Colin Kaepernick to win his collusion lawsuit against the NFL. Even if he proves that certain NFL teams chose not to sign him due explicitly to his political beliefs, that’s still not enough to prove collusion. He’ll also have to present evidence that multiple teams jointly agreed to avoid signing him, and the burden of proof is high.

If I were Kaepernick’s lawyer, I wouldn’t bother chasing evidence of conversations that may have never taken place. (I would be a bad lawyer.) Instead, I’d have the court wheel out its TV and VHS player (I presume that all courtrooms continue to use VHS players), and I’d say “Exhibit A, your honor.” Then I would pop in a video that shows every snap taken by Texans quarterback Tom Savage this season.

Savage is completing 45.6 percent of his passes and averaging less than 5 yards per attempt, and he has led Houston on one touchdown drive in six quarters. He has as many fumbles (four) as completions of longer than 15 yards. He has been sacked nine times and thrown just 57 passes. And historically, he’s not been any better: He has just one career touchdown pass on 149 attempts. He’s a walking, throwing argument that disproves the claims that Kaepernick’s absence from the NFL stems solely from football reasons.

And this:

What happened: The Texans opened this year with Tom Savage as their starting quarterback, but took only one half to realize how awful he was and bench him in favor of Deshaun Watson. Then Watson played like the best QB in the NFL for six weeks before going down with a season-ending ACL tear, a devastating blow for both the team and the entire NFL. Houston has seemingly settled on Savage as the replacement, in spite of the evidence that he remains the same awful quarterback the team benched in Week 1. As an emergency backup, Houston signed Matt McGloin, who previously played for head coach Bill O’Brien at Penn State, as well as T.J. Yates, who served as the Texans backup for several years, most recently in 2015. On Monday, Houston cut McGloin and signed Josh Johnson, who has not thrown a pass in a regular-season NFL game since 2011.

Should they have signed Kaepernick? More than any other NFL team, the Texans appear to demonstrate the falsehood of the popular argument among Kaepernick’s detractors that many franchises are not signing the quarterback because his skill set doesn’t match that of the teams’ starters.

In Week 1, Savage got sacked six times on just 19 dropbacks behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. When Watson stepped in, O’Brien installed an almost entirely new scheme that took advantage of Watson’s abilities as a runner. The Texans even ran the speed option with Watson, which, uh, they did not with Savage. The Houston squad that was shut out in Savage’s lone half of Week 1 action led the league in scoring over the subsequent seven weeks, showing the ease with which an NFL team can adapt when a player’s dynamic skill set calls for innovation.

Kaepernick would allow Houston to continue running the plays that made it so good with Watson under center. Instead, it’s going back to the decidedly tame Savage offense.

But what really irks me is the signing of Johnson, who served as the 49ers’ third-stringer behind Kaepernick in 2014. O’Brien told reporters Monday that a problem with the idea of bringing in Kaepernick is that he “hasn’t played in a while.” Johnson hasn’t thrown a pass in the league since December 11, 2011, 14 months before Kaepernick played in Super Bowl XLVII. Barack Obama was then serving his first term. My dog wasn’t born yet; last month I noticed that she’s growing white hairs on her face. At that point, Grantland was a year younger than The Ringer is now. O’Brien’s statement about Kap’s lack of recent experience coupled with the Johnson signing is an insult to the collective intelligence of fans everywhere.

Savage, Yates, and Johnson are all worse than Kaepernick by almost any conceivable metric. Savage has thrown just one career touchdown pass; Yates threw four interceptions and zero touchdowns between the 2012 and 2014 seasons; Johnson — who, once again, has not thrown an NFL pass in six years — is theoretically a dual-threat quarterback, but he’s worse than Kaepernick at running and has thrown twice as many career interceptions (10) as touchdowns (five).

The Texans have more than $12 million in salary cap space. At 3–5, they’re within striking distance of first place in the AFC South and the playoff berth that comes with it. They traded their first-round 2018 draft pick to Cleveland to get Watson, so tanking is effectively useless. Houston can either sign Kap or continue sucking without the ability to reap the rewards of their losses. 

Kaepernick would allow Houston to continue running the plays that made it so good with Watson under center. Instead, it’s going back to the decidedly tame Savage offense.

But what really irks me is the signing of Johnson, who served as the 49ers’ third-stringer behind Kaepernick in 2014. O’Brien told reporters Monday that a problem with the idea of bringing in Kaepernick is that he “hasn’t played in a while.” Johnson hasn’t thrown a pass in the league since December 11, 2011, 14 months before Kaepernick played in Super Bowl XLVII. Barack Obama was then serving his first term. My dog wasn’t born yet; last month I noticed that she’s growing white hairs on her face. At that point, Grantland was a year younger than The Ringer is now. O’Brien’s statement about Kap’s lack of recent experience coupled with the Johnson signing is an insult to the collective intelligence of fans everywhere.

Savage, Yates, and Johnson are all worse than Kaepernick by almost any conceivable metric. Savage has thrown just one career touchdown pass; Yates threw four interceptions and zero touchdowns between the 2012 and 2014 seasons; Johnson — who, once again, has not thrown an NFL pass in six years — is theoretically a dual-threat quarterback, but he’s worse than Kaepernick at running and has thrown twice as many career interceptions (10) as touchdowns (five).

The Texans have more than $12 million in salary cap space. At 3–5, they’re within striking distance of first place in the AFC South and the playoff berth that comes with it. They traded their first-round 2018 draft pick to Cleveland to get Watson, so tanking is effectively useless. Houston can either sign Kap or continue sucking without the ability to reap the rewards of their losses.

This is sad and pitiful. I am a fan of the team, but I sure am glad I have not invested in them like I have with the ‘Stros. These guys don’t respect their fans.  I guess it is hard for a huge Donald Trump supporter to sign a player like Kaepernick.  The owner is choosing politics over the fans.

From Bill King:

Montrose Management District Abruptly Cancels Board Meeting

After business owners planned to attend next Monday’s Montrose Management District board meeting in mass to protest the continued operation of the District in light of the recent Court ruling that it had illegally collected over $6 million in assessments, the District abruptly announced that the meeting had been cancelled.  The meeting was cancelled via email to the District’s mailing list.  There was no mention of the cancellation on its website as of about 8:00 this morning.

I suspect some of the directors may have wanted to get some clarity about potential legal exposure after last week’s ruling before facing another angry crowd of business owners, demanding their money back.  

It is also curious that the attorneys for the District filed a notice of appeal with the Court the next day after its ruling.  Obviously, there was no board meeting to authorize an appeal.  And given the Court’s ruling that the District cannot spend any money from the illegally collected assessments, how are the legal bills for the appeal going to be paid?

It seems likely that the litigation over all this has just begun.  Some who have paid the illegal assessments are considering filing a RICO conspiracy suit to recover their money from those involved levying the illegal assessments since the District does not have anywhere close to the $6 million it has been ordered to repay.  

Standby.  This one should be interesting.

If folks don’t want this management district, why continue? Very puzzling and troubling.

Also this from Bill: 

City’s Sales Taxes Continue to Stagnate

The Texas Comptroller reported yesterday that the City’s sales tax receipts for November (which reflect September sales) were up by 2.3%.  This followed a decline of 3.9% in October.  The October decline was to be anticipated because of Harvey.  However, I had expected to see more of a rebound in November from storm repair purchases.  Perhaps delays from receiving insurance payments have pushed some of those sales out a bit further.  

The City had a bump in sales tax receipts early this year from the Super Bowl, with month-over-month increases in March and April of 6.5% and 5.3%, respectively.  But longer term trend appears to be that precipitous decline when oil prices fell has leveled out. 

The current City budget projects a 1% increase in sales taxes and it is running only slightly behind that through the first four months of the fiscal year.  

Houston continues to  be significantly outperformed by its suburban neighbors.  I have been tracking six cities nearby cities.  Their sales tax receipts were up 9% this month.  I am working on a longer term comparison which I will be sharing with you soon.

If you are interested in looking at sales tax receipts for yourself, you can access that information for any entity in the State [here].

From Royko on Tuesday’s Virginia results:

Regarding VA election. It must be noted that felons were allowed to vote, and there has been an 800,000+ increase in illegal aliens and “Asian” refugees, with an unknown number allowed to vote. Also, northern Virginia is inhabited by Washington bureaucrats which now makes VA a solid blue state.

Ok. It was still a Trump arse kicking.

From the ‘Stros:

Louisville Slugger®, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball announced tonight that Houston Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has won his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger Award as the top offensive second baseman in the American League, while George Springer wins his first. The Silver Slugger Award is the top offensive award in Major League Baseball, with the top players at each position in each league selected in a vote by MLB coaches and managers.

Do Altuve and Springer even use Louisville Slugger bats these days?

Maybe that should have been today’s MLB question that I skipped.

Read Full Post »