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Archive for March, 2019

It’s Official

I wonder who will start at DH for the Astros on Opening Day. Name our last three Opening Day DH starters?

It’s official. State Rep.-Elect Christina Morales will be sworn in on the House Floor at the State Capitol, at 3 pm on Monday, March 18. She already has her office keys and is listed on the official seating chart. Cool.

Go to her campaign Facebook page if you want to catch a ride to Austin on a bus that will be leaving on Monday morning.

On a related note, both of her House Committees – Corrections and Urban Affairs – apparently meet on the same day and time. Thursdays at 8 am. Oh, well.

We all know what happened on the Ides of March in 44 BC.

Stace has an interesting take on #BetoForAmerica today and here it is:
https://doscentavos.net/2019/03/15/are-we-all-betod-out/.

Commentary will say it again. The #BetoForTexas campaign sure helped Dem candidates all across the state. That’s enough for me.

A Sierra Club activist called out the H-Town Mayor in a Chron Op-Ed today. Here it is: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Time-for-Sylvester-Turner-to-live-up-to-13689763.php.

Did I say oh, well?

Our last three Opening Day DH starters have been Evan Gattis, Carlos Beltran and Preston Tucker of course.

Nothing else from The Yard.

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Commentary is going to skip the MLB question and ask the following on local politics. Between March 6, 2018 and March 5, 2019, a full calendar year, what’s the most number of elections some Harris County voters could have voted in?

Commentary is Ok with a #BetoForAmerica presidential campaign. Some of the young field fellas who worked on State Rep.-Elect Christina Morales’ campaign are #Beto campaigners and I more than respect their political takes on a #BetoForAmerica campaign. Heck, the way they handled Christina’s campaign, they got super cred with Commentary.

At 95 years of age, my Dad is going to have more than his share of medical issues. A couple of weeks ago it was a visit to the urologist. This morning he was supposed to go in for a pacemaker repositioning procedure but it was cancelled. He will have to wait until next week. Sigh. I am the one that goes with him on all of his medical appointments. That is what sons are for.

It is 3/14 so it is pi Day. Happy pi Day!

The official canvass by the county was completed a couple of days ago and the official count is Christina Morales with 1,826 or 60.77% to Melissa Noriega with 1,179 or 39.23%, a difference of 647 votes. There were nine precincts in a cluster in Gulfgate/Pine Valley, Mason Park, Park Place, and Pecan Park neighborhoods that gave Christina a 525 vote margin. Crushing. Nice job!

Seven are the number of elections some voters could have cast their vote between March 6, 2018 and March 5, 2019: the party primaries, the party primary runoffs, the flood bonds, the general election, the #TXSD6SpecialElection, the #TXHD145SpecialElection, and the #TXHD125RunoffSpecialElection. If you voted by mail, the election cost you $3.50, of course.

Don’t ask me how many voted seven times. I would have to guess that would have to be close to a Harris County record.

This is hilarious by Footnote of MLB.com:

By Alyson Footer @alysonfooter

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — George Springer’s five plate appearances during the Astros’ night game on Tuesday, a 5-3 loss to the Nationals, drew some questions the next day, mainly because it seemed a little odd that a veteran player would put in such a long night this late into Spring Training.

That’s not to say baseball players don’t want to play baseball. They do. But at night? In March? Well, let’s save that for the regular season, when most of the Spring Training routines, including early-morning wakeup calls and 9 a.m. team meetings, go away.

Which brings us to Springer — leadoff hitter extraordinaire, World Series hero, the glue that keeps this Astros lineup humming.

So why in the heck did he have FIVE plate appearances during this particular game?
Because he wanted the night off, of course.

Manager A.J. Hinch made a deal with his star outfielder. You want to go home? Get a hit.

I’ll put Myles Straw in to pinch-run for you,” Hinch said he promised Springer.

“What if I get a hit in the first at-bat?” Springer asked.

“Then you’ll be out of the game,” Hinch responded.

“Night’s almost over, boys!” Springer bellowed to his teammates in the dugout.

First at-bat: strikeout.

No deal.

Second at-bat: flyout to right.\

Still, no deal.

“I had Straw sitting there with his helmet on, ready to pinch-run,” Hinch said. “All [Springer] had to do was get a hit.”

Springer walked his third time up, grounded out to short his fourth time and, mercifully, in the eighth inning, walked again.

At that point, Hinch figured Springer had had enough, and Straw, who spent the entire game sitting in the dugout wearing a batting helmet as the on-call pinch-runner, finally replaced Springer.

“I figured three at-bats and two walks deserved the mercy rule,” Hinch said.

To the casual observer, Springer’s extra at-bats could have been interpreted a few ways.

Maybe he wanted some extra time to, as the well-worn Spring Training phrase goes, “work on things.”

Or, with a .160 spring average, maybe he just needed some more reps?

Nah.

Sometimes, as a manager, you have to keep things spicy this time of year. We don’t want to suggest players occasionally get bored but, well…players occasionally get bored.

That was funny for sure.

That’s all I have from The Yard.

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Prop B Again

Opening Day is two weeks from tomorrow. Jose Altuve has been in the starting lineup for the past seven Opening Days. Name the Astros who has been in the starting lineup for the past four Opening Days?

Chron columnist Erica Grieder has a take today on the Prop B stuff and the fallout. Here is a paragraph:

All things considered, Proposition B might be described as Houston’s version of Brexit. Voters who approved of pay parity between firefighters and police officers last year may be starting to regret their support for the proposal now that the city is being confronted with the consequences.

Here is her entire take:
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/grieder/article/Grieder-Discord-between-Houston-mayor-13683630.php.

Where is the proof on voter regret.  Show me, please.

Then this tweet showed up:

Bill King Retweeted
Houston Firefighters‏ @FirefightersHOU 12h12 hours ago

.@ChronOpinion team still refuses to accept that voters passed Prop B despite its editorializing and torrent of negative ads by @SylvesterTurner and pay-to-play surrogates. Try looking at Turner – not just FFs and 298K voters that did not share your view.

I think Commentary has mentioned before that I saw a poll last year that had H-Town Firefighters at like 95% favorable. I am sure I am not the only one who saw those poll numbers. As soon as the Firefighters gathered the petition signatures, I don’t understand why a deal wasn’t cut. It would have been whole lot cheaper.

Commentary will say it again. The voters said last November to take care of the Firefighters. Blame it on the voters if you want, but they are still the voters. Without voters, you ain’t got nothing.

#SpringerDinger of course has been in the starting lineup the past four Opening Days – three in right field and once in centerfield.

That’s all I have from The Yard.

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Prop B Casualty

How many MLB Rookie of the Year winners are in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Toyota could have handled the DNC National Convention proceedings. H-Town has plenty of great hotels for delegates. We have great venues for meetings, receptions and parties. We have lots of air conditioning. H-Town could have accommodated a national political party convention. We just have one big labor dispute and you can’t blame the DNC for saying no thanks.

Democrats don’t take kindly to labor disputes. If it was Milwaukee or Miami that had a labor dispute and we didn’t, don’t you think we would be using it to derail their bids.

The fact of the matter is we should not be having a labor dispute. We should not have lost the national convention. Local Dems lost out pure and simple on this.

Meanwhile, Local 341 was certainly high fiving and took a victory lap of sorts. They are also saying that their cause is now national. I guess.

Here is looking at the bright side of the decision. If holding the convention in Milwaukee helps us win back Wisconsin’s 10 electoral college votes and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, then I am Ok with that.

Anyway, from the New York Times:

“Houston had faced another complication. Harold Schaitberger, the head of the International Association of Fire Fighters, has been in a prolonged battle with the mayor, Sylvester Turner, over firefighter pay. In an interview last week, Mr. Schaitberger said he had warned the D.N.C. that he would consider establishing a union picket line if Democrats located their convention there. Tom Perez knows, for whatever it’s worth, that it’s not going to be pretty if they go to Houston,” Mr. Schaitberger said. In recent days, the mayor of Houston has announced plans to lay off hundreds of firefighters in order to fund a voter-approved measure to increase firefighter pay in the city. Mr. Schaitberger accused him of “an old-fashioned double cross” and “just being a jerk.”

Ouch and wow!

How does this sit with local Dems these days? A Prop B casualty for sure.

State Rep.-Elect Christina Morales will be having a fundraiser tonight at the Morales Radio Hall next to the funeral home. It starts at 5:30 pm. I will be there.

Commentary is not a fan of the so-called Space Force deal. Why do we need to go to war in space? I prefer that stuff stay on the movie screens. Here is from the Chron:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is urging President Donald Trump to name Houston’s Ellington Field as United States Space Command headquarters.

In a letter to the president dates March 4, Abbott argues that Houston is the best spot for the new Space Command headquarters, particularly Ellington Field with its spaceport designation from the Federal Aviation Administration and proximity to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Here is the Chron story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Space-Force-City-Abbott-urges-Trump-to-name-13680119.php?src=hp_totn.

Sci-Fi if you ask me.

There are 16 MLB Rookie of the Year winners in the Baseball Hall of Fame of course – Luis Aparicio, Jeff Bagwell, Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Orlando Cepeda, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray, Mike Piazza, Cal Ripken, Jr., Frank Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Tom Seaver and Billy Williams.

The award was first handed out in 1947.

On Friday, June 28 at The Yard this season, the first 10,000 fans get fanny packs. It will also be “Turn Back the Clock 90s Night” and fireworks, and oh yeah, we play the Mariners.

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The Skipper announced last week that Justin Verlander would be our Opening Day starter just like last season. How many innings did Verlander pitch on Opening Day last season?

Commentary has said this before. In 2015, the H-Town Mayor doesn’t get elected unless he has the support of Houston Firefighters. Now he is going to get rid of close to 400 of them. Let that sink in for a minute or two. Come on? Really?

It is going to be a long Spring and Summer.

This is politics. This is crazy.

Meanwhile, the Chron is reporting today that we are fixing to pay more on our water bill and you can check it out here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-water-bills-could-rise-under-2B-deal-to-13677431.php.

Did I say it is going to be a long Spring and Summer?

On Opening Day last season, Justin Verlander pitched 6 innings and didn’t give up a run as the Astros beat the Rangers 4 to 1 of course.

On Father’s Day at The Yard, they are giving away 10,000 Hawaiian shirts – cool.

MLB returns to The Yard two weeks from tonight.

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Color Photo

Care to guess how many bobble head giveaways at The Yard this season?

Commentary always reads Kuffer and takes his posts seriously. Don’t always agree though. Here is what he has to say about the H-Town mayoral campaign:

“and Bill King has nothing to run on now that pension reform has been passed, but that only gets him so far.”

Here is all of Kuffer on the campaign: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=89903.

Commentary will say it again. No one took Bill seriously at the beginning of the 2015 race and he made it to the runoff and lost by 4,000 or so votes.

Kuffer said this last week about the #TXHD145RunoffSpecialElection:

“It will be close.”

It wasn’t. In all fairness though, Commentary didn’t think it would be a 22% win for State Rep.-Elect Christina Morales.

State Rep.-Elect Christina Morales still sounds cool. She certainly rules in HD 145.

Channel 13 tweeted a story yesterday on the H-Town Firefighter cadet class that the H-Town Mayor will not allow to take the oath of office. The cadets are now suing the City. The Prop B fallout thing. The story didn’t surprise me though. The photo tweeted with the story pi__ed me off though. There are a ton of Latino/Latina firefighter cadets in the bunch. Now that’s not cool. That won’t sit well with Latino and Latina voters. It certainly looks like an injustice to Commentary. Young Latino and Latina cadets being denied just isn’t right folks and don’t try to explain otherwise. Let them take the oath, please.  Fire them later if you have too.

Most of the folks in that photo are of color and some of the female persuasion.  It is not a good look.

 
As of this morning, there will be seven Astros bobble head giveaways this season of course.

Alex Bregman, the Jose Altuve/Tony Kemp dugout hug, #SpringerDinger, Altuve sliding, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Correa, and Justin Verlander are your 2019 bobble heads

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Astros third base coach Gary Pettis played 14 years in MLB with four different teams. Name the teams?

Yeah, yeah, yea, it was only 27 voting locations and 3,022 voters, but let’s give a hand to the folks who run the elections for putting out the final report at 8:51 pm in the #TXHD145RunoffSpecialElection. Of course, the outcome was really decided at 7 pm when the Early Vote totals were posted.

The 3,022 voter turnout or 4.14% was down from the 3,499 or 4.8% in the first round due to GOP voters who supported GOP candidate Martha Fierro stayed home in round 2.

I can’t say enough about our field effort. For starters, Christina Morales led Melissa Noriega by 161 votes after round 1. In round 2, we led by 646 votes. After round 1 we had 1,246 votes, two days ago it was 1,824 or plus 578. Our opponent went from 1,085 to 1,178 or plus 93 votes. After round 1 we had 35.84%, two days ago 60.76%. Our opponent went from 31.21% to 39.24%

Our 4 biggest margins of victory by precinct were 116, 105, 91 and 83 in the Mason Park, Pecan Park, and Park Place precincts. Our opponents were 42, 33, 27 and 25 in Eastwood, Woodland Heights, First Ward and South Belt Ellington precincts. We were actually able to increase voter turnout over round 1 in Country Club, Gulfgate/Pinevalley, Idylwood, Pecan Park and South Houston precincts that we won.

We won two of the key precincts that we lost to our opponents in round 1. Precinct 27 in Eastwood we lost to our opponent in round 1 143-126. Two days ago, we won it 176-136. Precinct 218 in Country Club and Idlywood we lost in round 1 126-107, we won it 2 days ago 174-143.

In round 1, we won mail ballots 76-66. Two days ago, 305-161.

Lastly, I said yesterday it starts with the candidate. In the runoff, we targeted where she would hit doors. I guess you can pretty much tell where we concentrated.  It worked for sure.

Like I said, great field effort.

I have been doing this a long time now. Christina Morales ended her victory speech quoting Commentary. That’s the first time any candidate has ever quoted Commentary in their victory speech. If you don’t believe me, go to her campaign facebook page and check it out. Her speech came under 3 minutes, I think.

Gary Pettis of course played for the Angels, Padres, Rangers and Tigers of course.

The team posted the promotional giveaway items yesterday – lots of goodies at The Yard.

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Crushing Victory

Today is just about the State Rep.–Elect Christina Morales. State Rep.–Elect Christina Morales sounds pretty good to me, doesn’t it?

First, check this tweet:
Texas Tribune Retweeted
Patrick Svitek‏Verified account @PatrickSvitek 5h5 hours ago
It’s a wrap in #HD145. All precincts reporting: – @Moralesfor145: 1,824 votes (61%) – @NoriegaforTexas: 1,178 votes (39%) Morales won absentee vote by 31 points, early vote by 13 and Election Day by 24. #txlege

Wow!

Honestly, I thought we were in good shape and had a good chance of winning, but I think all of us were surprised with the 22-point win – 61% to 39%. Wow!

A crushing victory for sure.

It all starts with the candidate. Christina Morales is the real deal, folks. I had only met her a few times before this race started and can now say that after two and a half months of closely working together, we are the best of friends. She is a grinder who trusted her team. It was pointed out to me yesterday that during the runoff, Christina knocked on over 2,500 doors. I was with her for most of them. She was a monster candidate for sure. On Monday, the day before the election, we were out in damp very cold 39 degree weather and she was coughing a bit and I told her it was Ok to call it a day, and she refused, she continued to hit the doors.

It helped immensely to get the endorsement from Cong. Sylvia Garcia – HUGE. I was there when Cong. Garcia walked door-to-door with Christina. Earlier in the campaign, H-Town City Council Member Karla Cisneros endorsed. So did Pasadena Council Members Sammy Casados and Cody Ray Wheeler and HCC Trustees Eva Loredo and Robert Glaser. It all helped.

Sen. Carol Alvarado handed her campaign team over to Christina – enough said.

I can’t say enough about Jaime Mercado, arguably the best political operative in Texas, and the team he assembled led by Linh Nguyen. Obet, Chris, Megan, Anna, Kaitlyn, Austin, Miguel and all the rest are damn good. They ran a great campaign. Good mail, block walking – great field program. It was first class and highly professional.

I can’t say the same about the other side but I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it other than to say they were bush league. Putting a poll watcher in Freddy Blanco’s precinct yesterday was out of line for sure.

Christina Morales brought a network of friends and acquaintances to the campaign. They volunteered, attended fundraisers and gave their money. I was very impressed with her network. A lot of people power for sure.

For a first time candidate, Christina proved to be a fierce fundraiser.

For me, it’s a pretty good feeling to be involved in great back-to-back campaigns. Sen. Alvarado’s and now Rep.-Elect Morales’. Special election campaigns to boot.

It was truly an honor to be involved with the Christina Morales campaign.

She’s the real deal. I was glad to be a part of the victory.

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The #TXHD145RunoffSpecialElection is today and after the votes are counted, the 2018 campaign season in Harris County will finally come to an end.

I have certainly enjoyed this one. Christina Morales has been a great candidate and has given a mighty effort. She has demonstrated a thick skin having to put up with the bush league BS from the other side. We will see if our efforts pay off.

Former Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Tom Bass is no longer with us. He served a couple of term before the late El Franco Lee. Bass was also a former state legislator and member of the Dirty Thirty. He also has a park named after him. He was a good guy.

Commentary has on my desk a Tom Bass, yes, shaped like a bass (fish) letter opener.

No MLB question today.

Go vote!

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DNC 2020

Who led MLB in hitting the most doubles last season?

In the #TXHD145RunoffSpecialElection Early Voting, 998 voted Early in Person and to date, 419 mail ballots are in. 1,417 total early votes so far or not quite 2% turnout.

The Houston Federation of Teachers are not supporting the H-Town Mayor’s reelection. We all know about Prop B, the Mayor and the Houston Firefighters. Commentary was watching Fox 26’s “What’s Your Point” yesterday and both sides of the aisle were talking about the Mayor and labor issues could factor into the DNC not holding their convention here in 2020. That would be a bummer for sure.

The Chronicle had a huge story yesterday about problems with the Texas Permanent School Fund. The headline was “Broken Trust.” Thank you, GOP for running the state into the ground.

Alex Bregman of course led MLB in doubles last season with 51.

MLB returns to The Yard three weeks from tonight when the Pirates visit and I will be there!

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