Archive for July, 2018


Yesterday was a sad day in the history of the Houston Astros. Commentary is trying to remember if any H-Town sports team has ever made a move like the one made yesterday. Disturbing. Disgusting

I guess if you put together a World Series Championship team, you get to bring in a player with a domestic violence past. Some lines you don’t cross, but the Astros just did. They gave up the high ground in my book. I lost respect for Jeff Luhnow.

When Astros shortstop Julio Lugo hit his wife in the 2003, the team released him. That move was applauded. That is what zero tolerance really is.

A lot of teams passed on pursuing Roberto Osuna. I wish we had done the same.

Here is what Chron sports columnist Jenny Dial Creech said in her column today:

By definition, a zero-tolerance policy is one that gives uncompromising punishment to every person who commits a crime or breaks a rule. Osuna was arrested in Toronto on May 8 and charged with assaulting a woman.

On Monday, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said he was “confident that Osuna is remorseful.”

So the zero-tolerance policy is in effect only for those who aren’t sorry?

This sends a very bad message.

And this:

In a text on Monday evening, one Astros player said, “I was surprised to see this move made, and I think it’s going to be really uncomfortable. I trust the organization, but this move doesn’t make sense to me.”

Another player said in a text, “We’ve talked about it among ourselves and want to be positive, but if more comes out and he’s done these terrible things, I don’t know how that will go.”

Here is her column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/dialcreech/article/Apparently-zero-tolerance-policy-has-a-fluid-13118322.php.

Here is from today’s Chron:

In a statement, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow called the “due diligence” done by the organization’s front office “unprecedented” while vetting Osuna. Luhnow added the 23-year-old “will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind.”

I wonder if that due diligence included in-depth discussions with women who are experts on domestic violence or victims of domestic violence.

Here is from yesterday’s twitter world:

Alyson Footer liked

Jeff Sullivan‏ @based_ball 51m51 minutes ago


according to sources the Astros are getting Roberto Osuna and giving up Ken Giles, a prospect or two, and much of what remained of their organizational integrity

Buster Olney‏Verified account @Buster_ESPN 53m53 minutes ago


As with the Yankees’ decision to trade for Aroldis Chapman at the time that went down: The Astros must fully own their choice to take Roberto Osuna, no matter what details emerge in his case. They cannot hide behind ‘We didn’t know.’

Bill Kelly liked

Astros By The Numbers‏ @astro_numbers 58m58 minutes ago


Roberto Osuna for his career: 223 IP, 2.87 ERA, 2.64 FIP, 24.5% K-BB rate. But numbers be damned as this trade makes me really cringe. No defense on this one. 

Brian Arbour‏ @bkarbour 27m27 minutes ago


My response to the Astros acquiring a domestic abuser. I made the donation in honor of Roberto Osuna’s victim. I encourage other Astros and baseball fans to do the same.

Terry Cushman‏ @cushmanMLB 1h1 hour ago


Roberto Osuna just got traded to the Houston Astros per @Ken_Rosenthal Ken Giles will go to Toronto in the deal. So basically… Houston traded a reliever who beats himself for a reliever who beats women. What a world.

Keegan Matheson‏Verified account @KeeganMatheson 15m15 minutes ago


Astros GM Jeff Luhnow says in statement that Roberto Osuna will comply with their “zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind.” The bullshit-free version: Houston is resetting his clock to ‘zero’ because, frankly, all they really care about is clean 9th innings.

Chris Thomasson KIII‏Verified account @ChrisThomasson7 40m40 minutes ago


Not a good look at all for the Astros trading for Roberto Osuna, who is due in court soon on domestic violence charges. Yes the bullpen needed to be upgraded, but at what cost? Houston’s brass will need to answer that question.

Dan Elvis‏ @danelvis1 59m59 minutes ago


Roberto Osuna would not have been traded had he not committed a horrible act of violence. Now he’s been ‘rewarded’ with a chance to win a World Series. Good that he’s gone but this doesn’t sit right.

Gareth Bush‏ @garethbush 24m24 minutes ago

I don’t care how good Roberto Osuna was/is, it was going to be impossible to cheer for that guy in a #BlueJays uniform.

Mark Berman‏ @MarkBermanFox26 5m5 minutes ago


Jeff Luhnow on Roberto Osuna: “He’s 1 of the elite relievers in our game. He has incredible command of multiple pitches.He can shut down the middle of the order of any offense in baseball..He’s a weapon that can make us better.On the baseball side this is 1 of the elite pitchers”

We didn’t need to make this move.

Disturbing. Disgusting.


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We have lost four in a row and are now seven behind the Red Sox. Do we still lead MLB in run differential?

This tweet got a little buzz this past Saturday night:

Carol Alvarado‏  @RepAlvarado145

It’s a packed house w/ over 100 folks on a Saturday night in East Harris County in Baytown 4 @BetoORourke organizing meeting. Great to see long time friends & Baytown natives Conrad Garcia & Mr. Tony Campos. Conrad pulled out his #MexicanAmericanDemocrats button @texasdemocrats

BTW: That MAD button Rep. Alvarado referenced is about 40 years old.

Everyone knows that Commentary is from Baytown and I spend a lot of time there when I go hang with my Dad. My Dad wanted to go by the #BetoForTexas Baytown organizing event Saturday evening. I had heard there might be anywhere from a handful to a couple of dozen folks in attendance.

The event was held at a Cuban eatery off of Baker and Decker. The place was packed SRO. Over a hundred showed up – I did a head count. State Rep. Carol Alvarado was there. I saw my good friend Conrad Garcia, some kinfolks and old friends. Folks were excited. And on a Saturday night. Saturday nights are not your usual meeting time for campaign organizing.

Commentary has said it before. #BetoForTexas is the real deal.

This bizarro tweet from yesterday:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!

Followed by this from sportswriter and part-time rocker Peter Gammons:

Peter Gammons‏ @pgammo 9m9 minutes ago

Replying to @realDonaldTrump

Paranoia runs deep, into you life it will creep…

In case you are wondering, that line is from Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” written by Stephen Stills and released in 1967. It was an anti-war protest song.

There were two Op-Eds in yesterday’s Chron on the flood bonds. Here is the headline to one:

On Harris County’s flood bond, support Prop. A — because there’s no plan B [Opinion]

Here is the Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/On-Harris-County-s-flood-bond-support-Prop-A-13112056.php.

Here is the headline to the other Op-Ed:

Save Houston homes: Flood bond plan ignores neighborhoods [Opinion]

Here is the end of the Op-Ed

With a bond of this size, Flood Control can’t just be in charge of the bayou while a financially distressed city of Houston is in charge of drainage to the bayou. Thinking must be done outside the box. The institutional mindset of Flood Control must change and grow for the better.

To serve all tax payers who would potentially be paying for the $2.5 billion bond, county planners must take the innovative approach and look for publicly owned land inside neighborhoods that flood. These are the places that water detention basins must be built to save neighborhoods inside the city. 

We know Houston will get hit again. Let’s move beyond a grab bag of circles and triangles and embrace a big picture plan to spend this bond money.

Here is the entire Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Save-Houston-homes-Flood-bond-plan-ignores-13114772.php.

Good luck on getting the Flood Control folks to change their mindset. I don’t have a lot of faith in the folks who have been in charge of preventing flooding in these parts. Do you? Do you think they are capable of embracing a big picture? They haven’t so far.

My Dad voted by mail in the $2.5 billion flood bonds election. From the spare no expense department, the County is treating the August 25 election like a full blown General Election in November. Looks like they have secured all the regular polling places for E-Day. It’s not like the primary and primary runoff where there were combination precincts out the arse or you voted in a different location. Early Voting in Person starts on August 8. The County is looking after the County and maybe they expect a record voter turnout of sorts. Got it?

Texas Monthly tweeted about the latest in Texas eats, the Pan Dulce Burger. I don’t think so.

The ‘Stros still lead in run differential with plus 179, followed by the Red Sox with plus 177 of course.

This was on Next Door this past Saturday:

Astros Season Ticket Renewal Increase: +36%

My season ticket renewal for 2019 came in 36% higher than for 2018. Did anyone else have a similarly large increase? I have two seats in field box 1. Judging by the size of the increase, it seems like the Astros are going to really jack up pricing for next year. Get ready folks.


Here’s the deal. The ‘Stros front office has decided that they don’t give a rat’s arse about the season ticket folks who stuck with them during the three straight 100 loss seasons. They don’t. Sorry. It is a business.

The way they look at it, like in Commentary’s case, they have someone who is willing to come in and snatch my seats if I decide I don’t want to fork over more dough. They have told me in the past that they can seat me somewhere else. Like I said, somebody wants my seats.

It is too tempting to blame getting swept at home by the last place team in the division on bad karma created by the ‘Stros sticking it to their most loyal season ticket holders.

See this then:

Brian McTaggart Retweeted

Richard Justice‏Verified account@richardjustice 2h2 hours ago 

Astros since All-Star Break and @MLB rank…

.198 batting average (30th)

33 runs (25th)

8 HR (20th)

.638 OPS (27th)

5.05 ERA (23rd)


Higher ticket prices, anyone?


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Three More

We host the Rangers for three this weekend. This will be the last time we play the Rangers this season. What is our record versus the Rangers this season?

I was watching on the flat screen a couple of nights ago, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and it got me to thinking. Who is more badass, Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne? Just asking.

Remember earlier this year when attorney Michael Avenatti came on the scene and the Michael Cohen and Donald Trump folks said they were going to eat his lunch? Avenatti has pretty much been right on most stuff. Now he has three more women ready to say they were paid off by Trump.

You know why I feel great about Dems this November? The GOP has ceded the moral authority thing. They have given Donald Trump a pass on officially lying half a dozen times a day, Stormy Daniels, being Putin’s puppet, Michael Cohen, the Russia investigation, pi__ing on our allies, separating families, and the list goes on and on and on. Now Avenatti has another bombshell and the GOP will give Trump another pass.

That’s why I don’t worry about the GOP bringing up the abolish ICE thing, the Dem socialism thing and any other stuff. They just don’t have any moral authority over Dems. Sorry, pals.

I heard Roseanne wished she had worded her racist tweet differently. Got it?

I really hate to see this. How did H-Town get to this? See these tweets:

Houston Firefighters‏ @FirefightersHOU 10h10 hours ago

Replying to @SylvesterTurner

Ohhhhhhhh Mayor Turner….. lets just quit this “charade”. Brave Houston firefighters don’t deserve this and the federally protected rights of the laboring class don’t deserve your continued attacks.
And this:

Alan Bernstein‏ @AlanBernstein 9h9 hours ago

Alan Bernstein Retweeted Houston Firefighters

Fascinating to see firefighters try to run to the left of @SylvesterTurner on labor rights, considering his pro-labor record in the Lege and at City Hall. And if this were a labor rights issue, @HPOUTX & @JoeGamaldi wouldn’t be against the proposal. #dogdonthunt #unions #labor

I guess folks are not going to get along.

We are 12-4 of course versus the Rangers this season.

We need to make up some ground as we are 4 behind the Red Sox with 58 games left to play. And yes, it is Ok to scoreboard watch.

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How many playoff dingers does Alex Bregman have?

See this tweet:

Carol Alvarado liked

Harold Cook‏ @HCookAustin 16h16 hours ago Copy link to Tweet 

next time anybody in a WH pool gets thrown out of the pool for doing their damn job the entire pool needs to drag up and refuse to go.

Nope. Donald Trump’s people would probably prefer this.

And this one:

Beto O’Rourke‏Verified account @BetoORourke 46m46 minutes ago

Just launched our first ad. Entitled “Showing Up,” it’s filmed using an iPhone and was created entirely with live stream footage from our travels to all 254 counties of Texas. Watch and RT to share.


Friday night debates? At least Sen. Ted Cruz is honest that he’s a chicken, fraidy cat and cowardly. At least he admits it. I have a bit more respect for Sen. Cruz. This is Texas and everybody knows what happens in Texas on Friday nights in the fall.

And this on yesterday’s Chron Op-Ed:

Evan 20XX‏Verified account @evan7257 23h23 hours ago

This is a pretty significant oped piece. Longtime journalist Marvin Kalb is calling on Team Bush to end their silence under the Trump administration. “Gates? Rice? Powell? The others?” @CondoleezzaRice

Nope again. Those guys are pretty gutless. Don’t count on the Bushies to stand up against Trump.

Commentary was watching with dismay yesterday the H-Town City Council meeting on the firefighters’ petitions. Commentary isn’t fully briefed on the latest but if the issue on parity is on the ballot this November, it looks like the H-Town Mayor is going to oppose it. We would then witness a ninety day epic battle pitting the Mayor against the firefighters. I don’t know about that.

I need to go back and check if we have ever gone through something like this. It certainly is not looking good.

Here is from the Chron:

The mayor left the door open during Wednesday’s discussion to suggestions that the item could go before voters in November 2019 rather than this fall, but acknowledged afterward he suspects the council will decide to hold the vote this year.

Not a good idea to delay an election. You don’t want this to stew for another year. Trust me.

Here is Mike Morris’ latest: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Houston-City-Council-to-discuss-firefighter-pay-13105925.php.

Alex Bregman of course had 2 dingers in the 2017 ALDS and another 2 in the World Series.

We are back to 4 ½ behind the Red Sox and have today off


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‘Stros rookie Kyle Tucker had his first MLB triple last night in the win over the Rockies.   The ‘Stros now have 11 triples for the season. Name the player with the most?

When Commentary worked on statewide Dem campaigns back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we pretty much put the candidates on grueling schedules. We would try to hit four or maybe five different cities a day. From early in the morning to the evening. It helped us win back in those days.

What Cong. Beto O’Rourke is planning later this month is huge folks. This is certainly going to help with Dem voter turnout. Here is from the Trib on Beto’s Summer Mega Tour:

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, is planning to go on a massive 34-day tour of Texas during the August congressional recess, ramping up his already hectic pace of campaigning with three months until Election Day.

From July 29 to Sept. 1, the El Paso congressman will hold close to 100 public events in just over 50 cities across the state, according to his campaign. The trip, which he’ll make entirely by car, will take him to every major region of the state, from the Panhandle to the Rio Grande Valley and East Texas to El Paso. He’s already visited all 254 counties since launching his bid to unseat Republican incumbent Ted Cruz over a year ago. 

And this:

O’Rourke’s trip will feature multiple stops at a time in the major cities — Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, for example — but he also intends to continue hitting small towns that usually don’t get much attention from statewide candidates, especially so deep into the general election. Among them are Iraan in West Texas, Edna near the Gulf Coast and Comanche in Central Texas.

Wow! This is great.

From the who gives a rat’s arse department, the Chron thinks it is important to have this as their lead story today.  Here is the headline of the hard copy:

Former HISD chief slams district

And from the online story:

Carranza: Houston ISD ‘didn’t have the stomach’ for big reform

Who cares what the fella has to say these days. Commentary would have preferred Beto’s Mega Tour details on the front page.

Somebody needs to ‘splain ag economics to Commentary. Donald Trump is imposing tariffs and then wants taxpayers to bailout farmers. Got it?

Meanwhile, families are still separated. Got it?

Marwin Gonzalez of course leads the team with three triples.

I stayed up late to watch the win in extra innings. We are 4 behind the Red Sox and we still are without Carlos Correa.


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Tough Talk

Some sad news.  See this tweet:

Alyson Footer‏ @alysonfooter 7h7 hours ago


We lost a good friend today. Former Astros clubhouse manager Dennis Liborio passed away after years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was one of a kind. I’ll miss him.

I met Dennis a couple of times and know some folks who were close to him. He was a real nice guy. So sad.

There is a Chron front page story about GOP State Sen. Paul Bettencourt not very happy with local governments calling special elections this summer.

Here is what he says: “It is preposterously bad public policy to spend taxpayer money to hold special elections in the dog days of summer that almost always have a low voter turnout.”

Here is how Harris County Judge Ed Emmett responded: “People who live in Senator Bettencourt’s Senate district were affected by the flooding. He should be doing more to help them instead of worrying about election dates.”

Tough talk. Too bad he won’t say anything about the fella who is separating families.

Speaking of, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will not debate his Dem opponent.  This move will likely come back to bite him on his arse.  Same goes for local GOPers.  The climate is different and folks are paying attention.   They are not looking to support cowards.  Just saying.

Go check out today’s Chron E-Board take. They want the City of H-Town to take over the MLK Day Parade, kind of like the City runs the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I don’t know about that. Should the City be doing this? I don’t know.

Royko sent me this on my take on Dems yesterday:

We want Mad Maxine and Al Green to continue screeching “Impeach 45.”

I am Ok with that.

I am purposely not providing links today to newspapers to kind of suggest folks need to subscribe. It is our duty. You saw what happened in New York yesterday.

The ‘Stros get back at it today at Coors.


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Don’t Sweat It, Dems

Commentary has a Souvenir Program from the ‘Stros 1969 season, err 49 years ago. The program has a listing of the Dome’s concession prices. What would you guess is the most expensive item on the price list?

The Chron ran an Op-Ed penned by Cong. Beto O’Rourke’s Dem Primary opponent yesterday and here is the headline:

Establishment Democrats remain asleep at the wheel and on a path to defeat [Opinion]

Here is from the Op-Ed:

I ran in the Texas Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate this year. I was rejected by the party as a nonviable candidate the day I registered my name for the ballot.

I campaigned on the issues that mattered most to Texas voters. People at every campaign stop listed a liveable wage, job security, guaranteed universal health care, education, environment, and indigenous rights as what mattered most to them. These are the same platform issues that have been at the heart of Democratic primary victories in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Montana and New York.

Today, the U.S. Senate race in Texas is tight. The 24 percent of primary voters who supported my progressive platform cannot find those policy solutions in the platform of either of the two candidates. Unless one of them convinces voters that they can do without a decent standard of living, health care, education, safe water, clean air and protection of their rights, those disenfranchised Texans are likely to stay home on Election Day.

Here is the entire Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Establishment-Democrats-remain-asleep-at-the-13095713.php.

On yesterday’s front page of the Chron hard copy, there was a story by Alexander Burns of the NY Times and here is the headline for the story:

Dems brace as far left rises up

And finally, this tweet from yesterday:

James Comey‏Verified account @Comey 16h16 hours ago

Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership.

Let me first talk about the Op-Ed. I don’t know the writer. I never went to any of her campaign events because I didn’t know where she was campaigning. I am not going to argue with her about what the 24% of primary voters who supported her think.

I will say this. Beto has raised a ton of dough without taking special interest money. You don’t do that these days unless you are the real deal. It seems like in my hood, you can’t drive down a street without having a Beto yard sign in your line of vision. The signs are everywhere. He has hit a nerve for sure. He has a winning path in Commentary’s book.

I wonder if anybody from the Chron E-Board has ever attended a Beto event. The folks who attend these events are not the so-called Dem Party activists. They are neighborhood folks who are concerned about their communities and their country.

As for the Op-Ed headline about establishment Dems being asleep and the frontpage headline about Dems bracing, to kind of paraphrase from that all time great flick, “don’t pay attention to the fella behind the curtain.”

I kind of have said it before. What is happening at the Dem grassroots level isn’t the result of talking points and a strategy being handed down from DC Dems. It is not a question of the far left rising, it is more of folks being fed up. They are not paying attention to the Dems behind the curtain trying to call some shots. Sorry.

GOP consultants, talking heads, cautious Dems, are trying to sound dire warnings about Dem socialists, ICE abolishers, and Medicare for all proposers. It is not going to work this time. I will say it again. Folks are fed up.   And guess what? They are the ones who are calling the shots in 2018.   The folks who have Beto signs are not paying attention to establishment Dems. Don’t sweat it, Dems.

Tiger had the lead for a few minutes yesterday.  That was nice to see.

The most expensive Dome concession item back in 1969 was the combination sandwich for a buck of course.

We are still 4 ½ behind the Red Sox.

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On Civility Again

The first moonwalk happened 49 years ago today. I was watching.

What was our record last season after 99 games?

The H-Town Mayor’s former press secretary was indicted for withholding public records. You hate to see this happen but at least maybe it sends a clear message that Harris County DA Kim Ogg is serious about this. So, when citizens and the media make public information requests of government officials, don’t jerk them around or your arse might get indicted.

Donald Trump is inviting Putin to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for seconds. Try for late September or early October, please. It will help Dems with mid-term election turnout.

Monica Richart Flores, an attorney, HISD parent and former HISD Trustee candidate, had a thoughtful Op-Ed in the Chron a couple of days ago on the political civility thing, you know, folks interrupting the heck out of folks in power while they are having dinner and other tactics.  Here is the headline and the first part of her Op-Ed:

Civility only serves the already powerful [Opinion]

Since that fateful election night in November 2016, there has been no shortage of political punditry and newspaper inches devoted to advice on how to move forward from this tumultuous time in our country’s history. As the actions of President Donald Trump have devolved into a chorus of children and parents pleading for mercy and crying in pain, we have read in the media that the solution to political dysfunction is to bring civility back to our dialogue.

That theory seems to assume that the act of disruption — of making noise or making a scene — is inherently unconstructive. And it may be to an elite member of government or society whose privilege affords him other methods of action.

People who are already in the room where it happens need not bang on the door to get in. But people of color, women, and other underrepresented groups have been locked out of the policy debates for a long time. No more. We deserve a say. And privileged members of society will have to excuse us for resorting to alternative methods of getting heard.

In truth, this nostalgia for civility during previous civil rights struggles harkens back to a time when homogeneous groups of legislators, largely insulated from the effects of our most painful social ills, were the only ones debating policy. The moral baseline guiding these discussions was created without input from marginalized communities. It is much easier to calmly discuss racism and give a measured response to hate when you’ve never been a member of the targeted class.

For people of color, our protests against the separation of migrant children and parents, our anger at the increasing influence of white supremacist ideology in our government, and our outrage at increasingly common attempts to weaponize police interactions with brown and black communities are deeply personal.

We don’t have the luxury of looking at these issues with detachment when hateful words and actions are directly targeting members of our families and communities simply because of our race or ethnicity, our citizenship status, or whom we choose to love. Asking us to endure these tragedies without emotion is asking us to deny our humanity. There will be outrage. There will be salty language and moral debates that turn personal — because there isn’t a part of this isn’t personal for us.

There is a way forward, but at this important moment in our history, we must focus less on the tone of dialogue, and more on the message. Still, there is a place for outrage and anger in productive conversations. Indeed, one can argue that any dialogue where honest emotions are suppressed, where euphemisms dull the discourse is counter-productive because it hides the truth.

Here is all of Monica’s Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Civility-only-serves-the-already-powerful-13083284.php.

Nice job.

That Judge lady from Fox News who spews hate went on “The View” yesterday and had her asre chewed out and now she is whining.

I remember in the old days when the haters were mostly anonymous. Now they are on Fox News everyday or hold elected office.

From the Chron:

Commissioner Rob Manfred listed several cities as viable options for MLB expansion during an interview on FS1’s “First Things First” on Tuesday. The list of candidates has quite the international appeal, too.

“Portland, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville in the United States, certainly Montreal, maybe Vancouver, in Canada,” Manfred said. “We think there’s places in Mexico we could go over the long haul.”

Manfred also noted that the addition of two teams would cause a need for divisional and playoff realignment.

It has been 20 years since the MLB last expanded, with the Diamondbacks and Rays joining the league in 1998.

Where is San Antonio?

Last season after 99 games we were 66-33. Today we are at 64-35.

We have 63 games remaining. 28 are at The Yard, 35 are roadies. We have 13 against the Mariners who are behind us by 5 games in the AL West. 7 of those are at The Yard. We trail the Red Sox by 4 ½ for the best overall record in the AL and we visit Fenway for 3 in September. The Rockies are a contender and we play 2 at Coors next week and they visit The Yard for 2 next month. We go back to Dodger Stadium for 3 next month and follow that with 2 in San Fran. The A’s are still hanging in and we got 3 in their crib and 3 at The Yard with them in August. The rest of the schedule includes the Angels, Rangers, Twins, Tigers, Blue Jays and B-More. Got it?

We are in Anaheim for 3 this weekend.

Just handle business, baby!

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Our Firefighters

#SpringerDinger and Alex Bregman had All Star Game dingers Tuesday night. If you read today’s Chron Sports Section, you now know who are the other two ‘Stros with All Star Game dingers – name the two?

Commentary tweeted this about Donald Trump’s first lying mouthpiece who was on my flat screen this morning:

Extremely disappointed to see @NBCNews @TODAYshow and @SavannahGuthrie give air time to this guy to promote his book. You are better than this.

This fella doesn’t deserve air time on any credible news network. Why does NBC News do this to itself?

He is still lying. He is still lying. He is still lying.

Commentary is glad the Chron E-Board ran this editorial today on our H-Town firefighters. Protecting our firefighters is a nobrainer for sure. Here is from the E-Board:

Firefighters routinely are exposed to carcinogens, an occupational peril that’s become increasingly evident in this century. Now a group of city of Houston firefighters, some of whom are battling cancer, complain that the department doesn’t have the equipment or the procedures necessary to adequately clean dangerous substances from protective equipment they wear on the job. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection has rightly opened an investigation, but this problem needs to be addressed locally — and quickly.

Everybody knows firefighting is a dangerous job — one that requires not only courage but stamina. Lugging around 60 pounds of bunker gear, including a heavy coat, thick pants, breathing apparatus, air tank and a helmet is challenge enough while battling a blaze. Now imagine hauling a hose or an axe into a burning building on a hot summer day while carrying an injured victim down a staircase. But there’s a difference between dangers that can’t be avoided and those that can.

Only recently has the likelihood of contracting cancer been quantified. In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that nearly 30,000 firefighters whose careers spanned six decades had a roughly 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths. The firefighters’ union says 28 of its roughly 4,000 members have died since 2000 from cancers caused by on-the-job carcinogens, and at least 10 active-duty firefighters currently have cancer.

Modern building materials and furniture made from plastics and other synthetic matter can release carcinogens when they burn. Firefighters’ bunker gear can absorb microscopic particles of those substances that can stay in place if the material isn’t deep-cleaned in machinery called a gear extractor. HFD follows national protocol by requiring each article of gear to be deep-cleaned at least once a year.

Firefighters argue that’s not often enough. They also complain that none of HFD’s 94 fire stations has extractors to deep-clean gear more than once a year, even though Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso all provide their firefighters with several in-house extractors. Fire Chief Sam Pena has been passing the hat since shortly after he was appointed in late 2016, seeking private donations to purchase gear-cleaning equipment for individual stations. The chief says he’s now in the process of buying the equipment for the downtown station, and he plans to eventually install commercial extractors in 25 stations. But this equipment should have been in place a long time ago.

Houston City Council’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Brenda Stardig, needs to ride herd on this issue. Council members should call Chief Pena and union representatives into chambers for a public discussion about what our city must do to adequately protect its firefighters from cancer. After studying the best practices instituted by other departments, the mayor and city council need to ensure that enough stations have cleaning equipment to adequately protect firefighters from this potentially deadly hazard.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Fighting-HFD-cancer-13086600.php.

Let’s fix this soon, please! Thanks, E-Board.

Race car driver Danica Patrick got panned last night by AP for her monologue to open the ESPYs. Yes, I watched the ESPYs. It was Ok in my book.

Hey, she’s a race car driver! Go after the writers instead.

The 141 female athletes on who stood on stage at the end was a powerful moment for sure. Wow!

Shame on USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Check this from the Trib:

Surge of candidates leaves Texas Democrats struggling to recruit qualified staffers

The uptick in the number of Democrats running across Texas this election cycle has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.

And this:

With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Democrats have more candidates competing in congressional and state legislative races in Texas than the party has seen in years, as a wave of liberal enthusiasm fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump sweeps across the country. But the uptick in Democratic candidates has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus, according to interviews with more than a dozen candidates, consultants and political experts: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.

The origins of the problem date back to the 1990s, when Republicans swept Democrats out of the state’s major offices, making it harder for many Democratic campaign staffers to find work between elections.

“It’s a problem that has been around for a while,” said Colin Strother, a longtime Democratic strategist in Texas. “It’s just more pronounced this cycle because we have more competitive Democratic races than we have had in a generation.”

Here is the entire story: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/07/19/texas-democrats-candidates-recruit-qualified-staff/.

In a way it is a good problem to have, I guess.

One of the things I like about playing in the AL West is that we get to see Angels center fielder Mike Trout nine times or so a year at The Yard. The guy is a class act. Most folks think he’s the best player in the game right now. I just don’t like him to do too much damage to us when he is batting here.

The MLB Commissioner said the other day that Mike Trout is hard to market because he doesn’t want to be marketed. Got it? I think what the Commissioner really meant to say is Mike Trout won’t help market MLB. Got it?

We still have seven opportunities this season to see Mike Trout at The Yard this season.

Cesar Cedeno and Craig Biggio of course have All Star Game dingers.

B-More owns the second lousiest record in MLB. They just traded away their shortstop Manny Machado, their best player. Commentary looks at it this way. Our last four games of the season are at Camden Yards so that’s Ok with me.

That was pretty cool to win Best Team last night at the ESPYs.

Nice job by the Chron headline writers this morning for their hard copy headline on the ‘Stros: Hunt for deep October resumes. Nice.


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2018 MLB All Star Game MVP Alex Bregman was taken as the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. Who was the first overall pick drafted right before Bregman that year?

Now this caught my eye yesterday. Check out this from the Chron’s Mike Morris:

In a rare maneuver that sidesteps Mayor Sylvester Turner’s authority, five City Council members have called a special meeting this week, hoping to force the issue of Houston firefighters’ push for a referendum on pay “parity” with police.

The council members aim to secure their colleagues’ support for a resolution calling on Turner to place an item on the council’s July 24 agenda to schedule a November election on the petition, which seeks to grant firefighters the same pay as police officers of corresponding rank.

In Houston’s strong-mayor form of government, the mayor generally has sole authority to decide what appears on the agenda for the weekly council meetings.

The lone exception allows three council members to set the agenda of a special meeting. Such gatherings — including this one — typically are organized without the mayor’s approval and often struggle to muster a quorum, as many of the 16 council members are loathe to invite the mayor’s wrath.

Council members Greg Travis, Michael Kubosh, Brenda Stardig, Martha Castex-Tatum and Dwight Boykins signed a Monday memo calling a special council meeting for 10 a.m. Friday.

Turner is on a trade mission in South America and will not be back in time to attend the meeting.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/In-rare-move-Houston-council-members-call-13082318.php?src=hp_totn.

To go or not to go, that is the quorum, err question.  I wonder if Morris will set an over/under on how many council members will attend the Friday meeting? Stay tuned for sure.

Commentary is not going to say much about would or wouldn’t. Yesterday’s move was for his base. Nobody else believes that BS.

Keep hitting GOP candidates who have serious Dem opponents. Make them denounce Donald Trump.

I guess we can use all the help we can. I saw this online this morning:

James Comey—the former FBI director who was fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017—has urged “all who believe in this country’s values” to vote Democrat in this fall’s midterm elections. Comey, who was a registered Republican for most of his adult life and has served both Republican and Democrat presidents, made the plea in a tweet late Tuesday night following intense criticism of Trump’s international summits. Comey wrote: “This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that ‘Ambition must… counteract ambition’ All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall. Policy differences don’t matter right now. History has its eyes on us.” Comey was one of many high-profile figures to criticize the president’s performance alongside Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday. After the press conference in which Trump backed Putin’s assertions over U.S. intelligence, Comey wrote: “This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a murderous lying thug and refused to back his own country. Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president.”

Commentary said this on June 26 – three weeks ago:

Commentary has to hand it to the ‘Stros. They sure know how to milk it. I am talking about giving away World Series replica rings for the third time this season. The first time was back in April on a weekend for the first 10,000 fans when the Padres were in town. The second time was last Wednesday against the Rays and all of the 43,000 SRO and change who showed up got a ring. Well guess what? The ‘Stros announced yesterday that the Wednesday, July 11 game against the A’s will also be a World Series replica ring giveaway night with all fans getting a ring. The ‘Stros also decided to kick in dynamic ticket pricing. What did you expect?  The secondary ticket market is also into the dynamic ticket pricing thing for the July 11 game.  Ouch!

Ditto. They are giving the rings away again to everyone who shows up on Monday, August 27 when the A’s are in town. Milking it, baby!

Dansby Swanson of course was the first overall draft selection by the D-Backs back in 2015. Swanson is now with The ATL.

I guess it was only fitting that the 2017 World Series Champs played key roles in last night’s AL win over the NL. Nice.



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