Archive for March 20th, 2018

$11,000 Ring

Name the former ‘Stros player who wore the number 27 before Jose Altuve put it on in 2011?

From a ‘Stros press release yesterday:

Astros fans will have a special opportunity to purchase a limited-edition Astros World Championship Fan Ring, which has been specially-crafted to closely replicate the Astros players’ World Championship Ring. Only 112 rings were created, one of which will be raffled off to benefit the Astros Foundation. Each World Championship Fan Ring will retail at the symbolic price of $11,112.00. The Astros won 11 postseason games en route to being crowned World Series Champions, which, when added to the Astros 101 regular season wins, totals 112 wins for the 2017 World Championship season.

I went to the Team Store last night to pick up my gold star World Series lid and they were taking ring orders. They told me some folks had already phoned in their orders.

In the old days, this might matter. In today’s politics, folks tend to forget this. Here is from R.G.:

Flanked by his wife and daughters, U.S. senator Ted Cruz of Texas three years ago stepped onto the stage of Liberty University and launched what was then a long-shot run for the Republican presidential nomination. Cruz opened his speech with biographical material and a testimony to his Christian faith. Then he recited a litany of conservative ideas for restraining government, not the least of which was “Instead of a government that seizes your e-mails and your cell phones, imagine a federal government that protected the privacy rights of every American.”

Now, Cruz may have to face the possibility that his presidential campaign was—at least tangentially—involved in violating the privacy rights of millions of Americans by employing a voter-profiling company that scraped personal information off of Facebook. That firm is Cambridge Analytica, which provided the Cruz campaign with “psychographic” profiles that allowed him to target his messaging to individual voters, helping him to win the 2015 Iowa caucuses in 2016. That victory made Cruz a player in the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates.

This weekend, the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica harvested the profiles of 50 million Americans without their permission. Contracting with the firm might have also violated a federal law that prohibits foreign companies from working in U.S. federal elections, the Times reported.

Here is the entire R.G. article: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/cambridge-analytica-helped-ted-cruz-win-iowa-now-may-haunt-reelection/.

Cruz’s hardcore supporters of course will let him off the hook on this. They don’t care, even if their own private info was stolen. That is our politics these days.

This is what you call shirking your duty. Not being responsible. Head in the sand. Political naivete. Downright dangerous. Check these tweets:

Jeremy Herb‏  @jeremyherb 1h1 hour ago

Sen. Cornyn tells me he doesn’t think it’s necessary for Congress to pass a law protecting Mueller: “I think it’d be a bad mistake for the President to fire the director. And I don’t think he’ll do it, so I don’t see any benefit in trying to pass a law.”

Alan He‏  @alanhe 58m58 minutes ago

Senator Cornyn on why he doesn’t think a special counsel protection bill is necessary: “I just don’t think there’s any chance he would fire Mueller. I think the consequences would be so overwhelming it’s just not going to happen.”

Hold on to these Sen. Cornyn quotes folks.

It is hard to argue with Jerome Solomon’s Chron column today on the ‘Stros being the model sports franchise. Here is how the column ends:

As (GM Jeff) Luhnow said, it is an important step to ensuring the Astros are in contention for years to come.

And this is isn’t just talk, because, well, you know … they already won a championship.

The Astros have had so many “can’t believe my eyes” moments in recent years that I expect them to do well, to do right.

The shock is going to be when they do something that doesn’t turn out well.

This feels weird for Houston.

UH missing some free throws and getting sent home from the NCAA Tournament by a dagger at the buzzer? That felt like Houston sports.

However the Rockets lose this May or June – yeah, I know, they have consistently been the best team in the NBA all season – will feel natural.

Surely you all have the upmost confidence in the Texans doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, because that’s what they do. No matter where you set the bar, they will limbo under it.

Poor Houston. What did we do to deserve such heartbreak and pain? Silly us – we thought that was our lot in life.

Then came these Astros.

A championship organization that keeps making championship moves.

Here is the entire column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/solomon/article/Astros-are-now-Houston-s-model-franchise-12765141.php.

We saw what Jose Altuve deservedly received yesterday. The cost of watching MLB baseball in H-Town will certainly go up. Some of us are already feeling it. If we want a winner, some will have to pay the price.

I saw this yesterday:

Amanda Rykoff liked

Paul Lukas‏ @UniWatch

6h6 hours ago MLB’s new Independence Day caps have “We the People” under brim. Nice idea, but Independence Day celebrates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence, while “We the People” is from the preamble to the Constitution (ratified 12 yrs after Declaration). Bad civics.

“When in the Course of human events” just doesn’t have the same ring.

Blummer of course wore the number 27 from 2002-2003 and from 2008-2010.

MLB returns to The Yard next Monday.

Read Full Post »