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Archive for October, 2019

We Lost

Commentary has said it before. The owner of the Astros and the team told me what they thought about me when they increased my ticket prices by like over 130% over the past 3 years. They also told me who they were when they jacked the price up of a Saint Arnold for playoff games. I continue to support my beloved Astros, but I just don’t get emotionally invested like I used to. That being said, I am not bummed out after last night’s lost. Just not.

I will say this. I am one of those who believes in baseball superstitions. How the front office handled stuff during the playoffs bit us in the arse. America didn’t want us to win. We were on the verge of overtaking the Yankees as one of the most hated teams in MLB. Now we are just the runner-up.

We were 8 outs away from another parade, but the baseball gods stepped in and snatched it away. We lost. Not this season. It wasn’t meant to be.

Will the front office learn something from this loss? Probably not. They will just figure out how to take more cash out of our pockets. They are pretty good at that.

Time to put away the orange and blue gear. Until next season.

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Last Call

Commentary will skip the MLB question today.

What does one do when they are listed as contributing to a political campaign when in fact they have not?  It happened to someone I know well.

H-Town political players always like to celebrate our diversity. I mean folks trip all over themselves to shout about diversity. The Houston Police Officers’ Union (HPOU) is a major player. I don’t understand why they have to pull this stuff. See this from the Chron:

Councilman Dwight Boykins on Tuesday accused the Houston Police Officers’ Union of posting a racist tweet that implied Marty Lancton, the president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, had “mind control” over Boykins.

The dust-up began with a tweet by police union president Joe Gamaldi, who warred with Boykins and the firefighters union throughout the contentious Proposition B pay parity dispute. The firefighters have endorsed Boykins in his bid for mayor, while the police union is backing Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“Literally, the best thing about the current mayoral election is that after its done and @DwightBoykins is clobbered, he will no longer be on council,” Gamaldi tweeted. “He is an outright liar and the only bigger joke than his mayoral campaign is the fact that he is ethics committee chair. #ByeDwight”

The police union’s account then followed with a since-deleted tweet riffing on a scene from the film “Friday.” In the tweet, the police union included a photo of two black men, labeling one of the men “Marty Lancton” and the other “Dwight Boykins.”

“I got mind control over Dwight,” the tweet reads. “When he say shut up – I be quiet… but when he leave, I be talking again.”

Boykins, who is black, said in a statement that he found it “very disturbing to wake up this morning to a racist Tweet … which used language meant to demean my worth as a black man while (exacerbating) some of America’s worse and most egregious racial stereotypes.”

Here is the entire story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Boykins-calls-Houston-police-union-s-mind-14572366.php.

It must be racist if you had to delete. That’s sad that HPOU has to go that route. Very sad.

There is not much to say about Game 7. Last call, tonight.

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Tonight

This is Game 6 Day, so Commentary doesn’t have much to say.

Who leads MLB with the most base hits this 2019 postseason?

In response to my mention of Donald Trump getting booed, Royko sent me this:

No big deal, it is the “SWAMP” that he is trying to drain.

I recall in 2016 Obama was booed seemingly in every NFL stadium when they played his 9/11 video. And, at the same time in the office (October 28th), Obama’s poll numbers were lower (44%) than Trump’s (45%), as recorded by the Rasmussen Polls.

Whatever.

Jose Altuve of course leads the postseason with 24 base hits including 5 dingers and 6 doubles.

Wouldn’t it be the coolest if we clinched the World Series Championship sometime after 10 pm this evening at The Yard. 40,000 plus will be at the game. Tens of thousands more at bars and venues surrounding The Yard. I am thinking most of H-Town will focus on Game 6 sometime after 6 pm today.

We have our ace pitching. We’ve scored 19 runs in the last three games. Why shouldn’t it happen this evening? Confidence!

Game 6, baby!

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One More Win

An easy one. How many career postseason dingers does #SpringerDinger have?

There was a front page story on H-Town City Hall pay to play and here is from the story:

“The rules under which I am operating today as the mayor of the city of Houston are no different than the rules that they operated,” (H-Town Mayor Sylvester) Turner said earlier this month, referring to his predecessors. “If it was good for them, why is it wrong for me?”

Here is the pay to play story:
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Mayor-Turner-gets-4M-from-city-vendors-but-14563733.php.

I will repeat what I said two weeks ago:

I don’t think so. Nope. Got the facts wrong. During those administrations, we used to have blackout periods where you couldn’t do fundraising. It usually ran from the February after a municipal election to the following February or thereabouts. A court threw the blackout fundraising ordinance out towards the end of the Parker administration and now you can pretty much raise campaign money year-round. Three years ago, after City Council went to four-year terms, the election cycle also increased to four years, meaning an individual could only give the $5,000 maximum to a candidate every four years. The City squeezed in two cycles during the four-year term. Got it?

I don’t think they get it.

Yesterday’s article was not a good look, and no one can defend it.

2019 Early Vote in H-Town is behind 2015 Early Vote. Maybe all the negative campaign ads are depressing voter turnout.

That Buzbee fella is touting a press conference today. Expect the worst.

I will say this about the Astros front office. They saw all the national negative press coverage and so the owner sent Stephanie Apstein from Sports Illustrated the following yesterday:

On behalf of the entire Astros organization, I want to personally apologize for the statement we issued on Monday, October 21st. We were wrong and I am sorry that we initially questioned your professionalism. We retract that statement, and I assure you that the Houston Astros will learn from this experience.

MLB is continuing to investigate the incident.

The Astros know that we are on the verge of becoming MLB’s most hated team, so they are into damage control.

#SpringerDinger now has 15 postseason dingers of course.

Last night’s win was nice.  Donald Trump getting booed was icing on the cake.

How do you figure holding the Nationals to 3 runs in 3 games in their own crib? We bad.

One more win. One more win. One more win.

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We were wrong.

Commentary is going to keep posting my niece’s Astros pumpkinator throughout the World Series for good luck and because I think it is pretty cool.

When was the last time a team started out 0-2 and won the World Series?

I don’t know if the Astros get it. I do know that they got that the country and a lot of their own H-Town loyal fans were letting them have it. I do know that they are trying to prevent a three-game losing skid this evening and having this drag out wasn’t helping get back on the winning track.

Having MLB take the lead on the investigation was a difference maker. We saw what happened when the Astros handled it on their own. It rightly blew up in their face. The team’s press operation came off as bush league. They were in protect our guy mode when the incident first came to light and that’s not how you handle it.

MLB saw that the Astros had some issues. It was distracting from the World Series. They saw some prominent journalists call out the Astros. And quickly put together an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened.

To Commentary, this line from the Astros statement yesterday is telling:

During the past two days, the Astros proactively assisted Major League Baseball in interviewing Astros employees as part of MLB’s investigation of the events published in the recent Sports Illustrated article.

“Proactively assisted” is intended to mean that we helped gather all the facts and we weren’t trying to cover it up after most folks paying attention came to the conclusion that we were complete arseholes.

I watched Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow at his press conference yesterday and he was the face of the apology. He did the best that he could. I would not have wanted to be in his shoes. It probably would have been better if owner Jim Crane had also appeared and apologize for the team. The now fired Brandon Taubin was Luhnow’s Assistant GM, but the press guys who drew up the smear statement work under Crane.

It also didn’t help that Luhnow was asked if he had apologized to the women who had been harassed in the clubhouse and Luhnow said he had been too busy while one of the women, Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated was sitting in the press conference room. Sigh.

I do think that the Astros’ media operation needs new leadership. Where was the voice in the media operation that should have said, the reporter, Stephanie Apstein and Sports Illustrated, don’t have a reputation of making this type of sh_t up. Let’s look into this. They didn’t and that’s why they are one of the least respected media operations in MLB. They handled an incident poorly on the eve of their sport’s greatest event. The media leadership also need to be shown the door.

It was good for the Astros to say, “we were wrong.” It was good to have Luhnow face the national press.

It is not behind us though. They haven’t earned our trust on this. Because I still don’t think they get it.

BTW: In the Chron story today on the Taubman firing, the Chron identifies the team’s media department leadership as Anita Sehgal, senior vice-president of marketing and communications and Gene Dias, vice-president of communications.

They ought to be goners.

Here is the Chron story:
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-fire-executive-for-outburst-toward-female-14561000.php.

And from the Chron Sports Columnist Jenny Dial Creech today:

On Thursday afternoon, the team fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman, who had become the center of controversy after an outburst in the team’s clubhouse directed at three female reporters.

This is a start. But there is more work to be done.

Here is her entire column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/dialcreech/article/Creech-By-saying-we-were-wrong-Astros-14560953.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral.

This is funny and hilarious. Commentary is talking about that Buzbee fella not knowing the hater Hotze after he tried to buy his support and the H-Town Mayor not knowing the intern he told his staff to hire for $95,000 a year. To paraphrase that overused quote, what did they know and when did they know him. That’s funny.

In the 1996 World Series, The ATL won the first two games at old Yankee Stadium and then lost the next four to the Yankees of course.

By close to midnight this evening, we could be 0-3 or 1-2. Guess what? I am not sweating it! We need to win tonight – plain and simple, or else.  If we don’t, we don’t.

#TakeItBack!

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Blame the Astros

Good morning, 0-2 Astros fans! Guess what? Astros Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman still works for the tone-deaf Astros. The team continues to disrespect us.

Here is from the Chandler Rome who covers the Astros for the Chron:

Hosting the sport’s highest powers on a World Series stage, the Astros butchered almost every aspect of their three-day display inside Minute Maid Park. A top baseball operations executive remains in hot water over his so-called “overexuberance” against female reporters. His boss remains silent — save an 11-minute appearance on a rightsholder radio show. Poor public relations has only exacerbated the situation.

Here is the article:
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/article/Astros-fall-into-0-2-hole-as-Nationals-beat-14558269.php.

Rome also tweeted this last night:

The Astros lost 12-3. They trail the World Series 2-0. These were three absolutely disastrous days for the Astros franchise.

And then this tweet I saw last night:

Houston front-office peeps news: It’s funny that Daryl Morey has taken more grief for promoting freedom than Brandon Taubman has for promoting domestic violence.

Then we had a disastrous 7th inning last night.

We stayed until the end.

The Astros have no one to blame for themselves for their front office debacle and their on field performance. What a letdown.  It is a franchise in shambles.

Three days of Early Voting are in and we are behind the 2015 voter turnout after three days. Maybe all those negative ads are depressing turnout.

I saw that affidavit yesterday. Yikes!

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A Tainted Franchise

No MLB question today.

Thanks to the Astros front office, America is rooting against the Astros in the 2019 World Series. Thanks, assholes!

When they signed Roberto Osuna, Jeff Luhnow said trust us. I didn’t and you should not have either.

Commentary used to write that the folks who run the Astros were smarter than the folks who run the Texans. Not anymore.  They let us down.

Just about every national baseball sports columnist is calling us out on the Astros Assistant General Manager Taubman rant aimed at three female sports writers Saturday night. The Baseball Writers of America are calling us out. So is sports columnist Jenny Dial Creech of the Chron.

Even Astros Skipper A.J. Hinch is not cool with what happened.

We got Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, #SpringerDinger, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole, all favorites in MLB, but fans across the country have problems with us because we disrespect women.

Here is from the Star Telegram’s Stefan Stevenson:

The whole ordeal has given some fans around the country a reason to root for the Washington Nationals against the Astros in the World Series. And it has caused some knuckle-dragging Astros fans to circle the wagon, put their heads in the sand and fingers in their ears. They just want to concentrate on the World Series. Sorry, the Astros screwed that up.

Here is the entire Star Telegram column:
https://www.star-telegram.com/sports/mlb/texas-rangers/article236552888.html.

From the Chron’s Jenny Dial Creech:

The last two days should have been all about baseball.

The World Series is in town featuring the Astros and Nationals — two teams boasting great stories that we should be telling.

Now, thanks to the behavior of several people in the Astros organization, the series is tainted.

Women being harassed in the clubhouse, a reporter who did her job being dragged through the mud by an organization, a few bogus apologies that do not hold enough weight to matter … these are the things being discussed at Minute Maid Park instead.

Here is the entire Creech column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/dialcreech/article/Creech-Astros-just-don-t-get-it-14554602.php.

From Dan Shaughnessy:

Before the World Series even started, the Washington Nationals were America’s team. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that the Nats play in our nation’s capital. Or that they’ve never been to a World Series.

No, the Nats are the team to root for because the Houston Astros’ organization has framed itself as arrogant, shifty, tone-deaf, stubborn, and completely unaccountable. And that is why on the night of the first World Series opener ever hosted in Houston, the Astros were dodging arrows from across America as they attempted to defend the indefensible.

I didn’t sign up for this. I remember when Drayton got rid of shortstop Julio Lugo because he went off on his wife.

We are a tainted franchise this morning.

I pay good money to the Astros and this is what I get. Sad.

Oh, yeah.  About last night’s game.  We are not going to win a World Series by leaving 11 runners on base.

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