Awards City

The new Yankees skipper played twelve years in the bigs and played his last ten career games wearing the brick red for the ‘Stros. What was his batting average in those ten games?

H-Town is Awards City for sure. Rack up another couple with Jose Altuve and J.J. Watt earning the Sports Illustrated Sports Persons of the Year Award. This don’t need no ‘splaining. It is well deserved.

Help Commentary figure this one out. Over the years, I have assisted a number of clients in developing opinion-editorial (Op-Ed) pieces on a host of issues. You kind of have an idea who gets to put their John Hancock on the Op-Ed and work with them. Commentary is not a fan of writing an Op-Ed then going to find someone to slap their John Hancock on it.   The following from the Daily Beast is a little wacky:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office filed court papers to the U.S. District Court of D.C. on Monday opposing the release of Paul Manafort on bail later this month due to “newly discovered  facts [that] cast doubt on Manafort’s willingness to comply with this  Court’s Orders.”

According to Mueller, Manafort ghostwrote an op-ed alongside a “long-time Russian colleague” who is “currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service.” Manafort worked on the op-ed as late as November 30—nearly a month after he was indicted by Mueller’s team. Mueller called for GPS monitoring and a “fully secured bond of unencumbered real estate.”

Mueller noted that even if the op-ed were truthful, it would be a violation of a November 8th court order to “not try the case in the press.”

The editorial, Mueller wrote, “clearly was undertaken to influence the public’s opinion of  defendant Manafort, or else there would be no reason to seek its publication.”

“It compounds the problem that the proposed piece is not a dispassionate recitation of the facts,” Mueller continued.

Former Trump campaign advisor Rick Gates and Manafort are facing a host of charges—including money laundering and failure to register as foreign agents. The two had been under home confinement with GPS monitoring since they were charged on October 30th.

Manafort struck an $11 million bail deal just last week. His wife, Kathleen Manafort, would guarantee another $10 million if the former Trump campaign chief fled the country.

Mueller called for GPS monitoring and a “fully secured bond of unencumbered real estate.”

From 2004 to 2010, Manafort worked as an adviser to pro-Putin Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after becoming a target in the Euromaidan protests. He returned to Ukraine in 2014 to close Yanukovych associate Serhiy Lyovochkin.

Two years later, Manafort—a long-time resident of Trump Tower—became Trump’s campaign manager. Despite backing by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Manafort was replaced after several months in the job by Steve Bannon.

A spokesperson for Manafort declined to comment for this story.

This is crazy. Did they have someone ready to submit it? Who would agree to weigh in?   Maybe they did have someone. Maybe they have a web of folks of sort.

Of course, the GOP leadership probably doesn’t find anything wrong with this fella drafting an Op-Ed.   The First Amendment thing.

Commentary went to Moody Park yesterday to Vote Early. The previous night’s rains and winds apparently knocked down some campaign signs at Moody. I picked up my client’s signs and put them back up and added a couple of more. I left the other side’s alone.

I have no idea what Alabama is going to do next week. I will say that Alabama has produced some good folks. Hall of Fame great Hank Aaron was born in Alabama.

In his last ten career games, Aaron Boone went 0 for 13 and batted .000 with the ‘Stros of course.

Today is the last day to Vote Early in the HISD and HCC runoff races.



Vote Early

Name the best hitting team in MLB this past season?

Early Voting in Person in the HISD and HCC runoff races continues today and tomorrow and don’t forget what the Chron E-Board said last week:

At a time when the future of the entire (HIS)district has been brought into question, voters should pick someone with the skills to analyze and articulate the policies that can save HISD – and the ability to implement them as solutions. That candidate is Gretchen Himsl.

Vote early, please.

The Chron E-Board said some nice things yesterday about Hunker Down speaking his mind last week and taking on Texas’ GOP Governor and Lt. Governor. Here is how yesterday’s take ended:

Hearing a political leader so bluntly and forcefully criticize the top elected officials in his own party is the kind of candor our system needs. The county judge is dead right. Our state’s elected leaders need to get their priorities straight and quit messing with local government. Something’s out of whack, and it’s not just the county judge’s tax bill.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Out-of-whack-12401014.php.

Sounds like Hunker Down is heading toward the middle hoping to avoid a wave so to speak.

The filing deadline is a week away.

The tax giveaway to the billionaires, the Roy Moore fella, the Donald Trump daily lies, Trump and the Russians, the arrogant and out-of-touch GOP U.S. Senator from Iowa, sticking it to the DREAMERs and other stuff like this doesn’t get me down. It makes me feel better that a Dem wave is coming next November.

Everyone knows Commentary doesn’t talk a lot about college sports. I did watch the college playoff announcement yesterday and I am not bothered by who got in and who didn’t. I am also not going to say anything about rolling out the carpet for newly hired college football coaches. I am also not going to say anything about the fella who is in charge of the Harvey Recovery in Texas spending a kazillion on his college football team’s recovery.

There are 40 college bowl games including the playoff and championship games this season and they start playing in a couple of weeks. Florida leads with hosting 8 games and Texas is second with 7. Going?

The ‘Stros of course had the best hitting team in MLB this past season leading in batting average – .282, hits – 1,581, doubles – 346, RBIs – 854, runs – 896, slugging – .478, on-base percentage – .346, and on-base percentage plus slugging – .823.

Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Christmas Day is three weeks from today.

End of the Line

Name the MLB hitter who struck out the most this past season.

BREAKING NEWS:  Michael Flynn is another to fall.  Like he said, lock him up!

Sometimes you have to go to the end of the line to find the story. I am talking about the end of the statement. Here is State Rep. Carol Alvarado’s statement from yesterday:

Dear Friends, 

As a friend and long-time supporter, you and others have helped to make my service as State Representative, District 145, one of the truly outstanding experiences of my life, which is why I want you to be among the first to know that I am announcing my plan to continue this service by running for re-election. 

Over the past two weeks, so many friends, supporters, and family have come to me with great advice on how I can best serve our community.  It has been an honor to hold public office at city council and in the Texas Legislature.   As Chair of a major House committee and successful leader in other legislative positions, I have built relationships that will help me advocate an agenda that benefits all the members of our dynamic community, including protection for our DREAMERs, proper funding for public education, women’s reproductive health, healthcare that is accessible, affordable and attainable higher education, and good-paying jobs for our community in our emerging high-tech economy. 

I have been gratified and honored by your friendship and support.  In the coming weeks and months, I will continue to engage our civic, business and political leadership to build a winning campaign and continue to represent the interests of our community.  I also look forward to following through on the encouragement that many of you have given to me about laying the groundwork for a campaign for a possible vacancy in Senate District 6.


Political Ad paid by Carol Alvarado Campaign, Yolanda Alvarado, Treasurer

Sounds good to me.

Here is from Kuffer today:

Adrian Garcia was known to have at least some interest in CD29 after Rep. Gene Green announced his retirement. I don’t know if that is still the case, but at this point he’s basically the last potential obstacle to Sen. Sylvia Garcia’s election. Rep. Carol Alvarado, who lost in SD06 to Sylvia Garcia following Mario Gallegos’ death, announced that she was filing for re-election in HD145; earlier in the day, Sylvia Garcia announced that Rep. Green had endorsed her to succeed him. I have to assume that Rep. Alvarado, like her fellow might-have-been contender in CD29 Rep. Armando Walle, is looking ahead to the future special election for Sen. Garcia’s seat. By the way, I keep specifying my Garcias in this post because two of Sylvia’s opponents in the primary are also named Garcia. If Adrian does jump in, there would be four of them. That has to be some kind of record.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=83627.

Here is the Chron story from today: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Key-Houston-Democrat-takes-pass-on-Congressional-12395740.php.

Here are a couple of tweets:

Patrick Svitek‏Verified account@PatrickSvitek 7h7 hours ago


Last line in @RepAlvarado145 statement passing on #TX29 run: “I also look forward to following through on the encouragement that many of you have given to me about laying the groundwork for a campaign for a possible vacancy in Senate District 6.” #SD6 #txlege

Texas Election Source‏@TXElects 7h7 hours ago


HD145: Rep. @RepAlvarado145 to seek re-election, passing on open congressional seat but poised to lay groundwork for run at SD6 seat should Sen. @SenatorSylvia win the CD29 race #txlege

That makes Carol the only one to declare her intentions if there is a vacancy. Some missed that.

Steve Houston sent me this:

Not to dissuade your choice further but the spokesperson for Sheriff Lupe Valdez has made it clear that she is not stepping down or running for office. That may change but for all the positive things we’ve heard about her, it’s unlikely she would win the governorship in the near future.

Yeah, what is up with this?

See this tweet from last night. 

Sam Sweeney‏Verified account@SweeneyABC 3h3 hours ago

Traditionally the White House Christmas tree lighting is standing room only. This is what it looked like tonight as President Trump spoke. @SteveRudinABC7

The picture was a ton of empty seats. Not surprising to me. The fella is toxic.

AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge of course led MLB with 208 strikeouts.

It is December 1 and I have nothing from The Yard today.

The Latest Candidate

Among active MLBers, where does Jose Altuve rank in the career batting average category?

This is from today’s Chron:

AUSTIN – Democratic Party officials confirmed Wednesday that Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez – the state’s first Hispanic lesbian sheriff – plans to resign from her current post to run for Texas governor as a Democrat.

If she files as a candidate next week, as Democratic Party officials said she will, Valdez would likely be viewed as the front-runner in a crowded field.

Ok. That’s promising, but then this:

She has also widely been reported to be a personal choice of state Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa to be the 2018 standard-bearer for a party that has not won a statewide office since 1995.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Dallas-sheriff-plans-to-run-for-Texas-governor-as-12393737.php.

Everyone knows that Commentary isn’t and has not been a fan of the folks who have been running the state Dem Party. The election results speak for themselves so don’t even bother trying to argue with me. The key reason I like the Cong. Beto O’Rourke campaign for U.S. Senate is because it was not created by Dem Party leaders and shoved down our throats. Beto’s was organic through and through.   When I read that the Dallas county sheriff is the “personal choice of state Democratic Party Chair”, I get worried and you should too. I just don’t have any confidence in the folks who run the state Dem Party.   Do you? That’s really not the way statewide candidacies ought to be created these days.  A listening tour of sorts would have been preferred.

Oh, well!

CNN is not going to the White House Christmas party for the media this Friday. Good for them. What is up with the media members who are going? Don’t they remember that they are the enemy of the people?  Don’t they remember that they are fake?

BakerRipley is going local and good for them and us. Here is their press release from yesterday.

Our very own, Claudia Aguirre-Vasquez will be our New President and Chief Executive Officer.

Claudia Aguirre-Vasquez has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer of BakerRipley, one of Houston’s leading non-profit agencies. The decision was announced today by Mike Ballases, Chair of the agency’s Board of Directors.

“We conducted an extensive national search and narrowed our list to internal and external candidates from across the nation,” stated Mike Ballases. “In the end, Claudia emerged as the one person who matched all of our criteria. We are confident that she will build upon our history of response to underserved communities. Claudia embodies the agency’s core values and has demonstrated a deep commitment to our mission.” 

Aguirre-Vasquez, currently Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer, has been with the agency since 2010. As Chief Program Officer she worked with the Board on the integration of programs across divisions and sectors. Aguirre-Vasquez has led the program development of six community centers, overseen the expansion of the BakerRipley Promise Community School District, and enhanced programs in civic engagement, small business incubation and immigration services. She has also developed innovative responses to emerging communities, such as the BakerRipley New Neighbor School, a nationally recognized school for newly-arrived immigrant and refugee children. 

Aguirre-Vasquez successfully managed the agency’s expansion efforts into the Near Northside and East Aldine communities. During BakerRipley’s capital campaign she led the volunteer fundraising committee for East Aldine. Her metrics-driven approaches have greatly strengthened the agency’s fundraising efforts.   

Aguirre-Vasquez holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Saint Edward’s University. She also holds a Principal’s Middle Management and Superintendent Certification. 

“Claudia Aguirre-Vasquez has been a strong leader at BakerRipley. I believe in investing in the leaders already here, those with an understanding of regional challenges and resources. When we do that, the entire region grows stronger. I’m thrilled with the Board’s decision.” said Angela Blanchard, current CEO.

“We live in a fast-growing region of the country. As a leading community development organization we must be prepared to evolve and respond to emerging communities. I am excited and honored to extend my lifelong service to community in this new role.” said Aguirre-Vasquez.

Aguirre-Vasquez will formally assume her new role in January 2018.

I am not going to spend much time about Hunker Down and his state of the county speech the other day. He chastised the state GOP elected leadership. I wonder if he will get a GOP primary challenger? We will know in eleven days for sure.

With a .316 career batting average, Jose Altuve ranks second among MLB active players of course and Miguel Cabrera ranks number one with a .317 career batting average.

Baseball American named our own A.J. Hinch Skipper of the Year. Who else would it be? Congrats!

George Harrison left us 16 years ago today.

There is no MLB question today.

Early Voting in the HISD and HCC runoffs begins today.

The Chron E-Board endorsed Gretchen Himsl for HISD Trustee, District 1. Well deserved. A very nice write-up. Here it is:

Houston ISD, trustee, District I: Gretchen Himsl

Houston Independent School District, the seventh-largest public school system in the nation and the largest in Texas, is at a crossroads. The school district is facing a takeover by the state for failure to improve about a dozen schools. This drastic step would mean that Houston voters would lose the right to elect officials to govern the school system, which educates 216,000 of our children, and for which we pay local property taxes. The district also faced a budgetary shortfall even before Hurricane Harvey cut a path of destruction across the district and damaged many of its schools.

These are hard issues, and voters need to elect the candidate best qualified to deal with the complexity.

Two candidates are in a runoff for trustee of District I, a position that was ably held by Anna Eastman for eight years: Elizabeth Santos, a schoolteacher, and Gretchen Himsl, who works at Children At Risk, a Houston nonprofit.

Both have demonstrated a commitment to students through their actions for many years, Santos in the classroom and Himsl in the policymaking and volunteer world. Both women care deeply about public education.

The two candidates also agree on several policy points, including the need to rein in high-stakes testing.

But the similarities stop there. The two candidates bring markedly different skill sets to the table. Himsl is a policy wonk and volunteer. Santos is a passionate educator and advocate.

At a time when the future of the entire district has been brought into question, voters should pick someone with the skills to analyze and articulate the policies that can save HISD – and the ability to implement them as solutions. That candidate is Gretchen Himsl.

This is the sort of race that makes us wish the HISD board was a mix of at-large and district board members. Himsl offers a top-down policy expertise that HISD needs now, but Santos possess an informed, on-the-ground perspective of a woman who speaks to the soul of our schools. Her insight as a teacher gives her the ability to cut straight to the problems of how board policies impact and often disrupt the classroom. As she told the editorial board, you don’t need a standardized test to tell you that a classroom with 40 students is going to do worse than classroom with 20 students. Santos embodies the next generation of Houston leadership and would be a fine representative for District I.

However, as HISD wrangles with the Texas Education Agency, we have to think about a picture bigger than a single district. The entire system needs someone who understands policy and process from top to bottom. That’s where Himsl shines.

She spent years working as a staff member on the House Appropriations Committee in Austin and analyzes education policy in her job at Children At Risk. She’s supplemented this knowledge by enrolling as a fellow in the first class of Leadership ISD, a nonprofit, devoted to developing and connecting leaders, lead strategically and champion change in the public school system. Himsl, 46, also holds a master’s degree from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Policy.

But there’s more than résumé to Himsl. She has the practical, on-the-ground experience of a former PTA president and can rattle off issues facing individual schools. She speaks in specific and actionable options for ameliorating cumbersome yet mandatory standardized tests. In the heat of the debate, she offers a calm pillar of knowledge.

“I’ve been doing public policy for 20 years now and so I have experience with going deep in knotty problems, and that’s what HISD is facing right now, which is complicated, long-term problems.” Himsl told the editorial board, and that’s probably the best summary of why voters should select her.

District I covers inner Loop and north Houston neighborhoods including Garden Oaks, the Heights and Near Northside.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/Endorsements-for-HCC-and-HISD-runoffs-12390401.php.

Gretchen certainly knows public education policy.

FYI: Gretchen is Commentary’s client.

Go vote early, please.

Andrew White is probably going to run for governor in the Dem Primary. I don’t know of a single Dem who is supporting White. Of course, I don’t know of a single Dem who is supporting anyone for governor in the Dem Party primary.

Yesterday, I spent over three quarters of the working day taking my Dad to a medical appointment. It is always a trip dealing with my Dad on these excursions. It is what you do when he is 94 years of age.

I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but Opening Day is four months from today when we open on the road in Arlington.


Another Justin Verlander question. Where does he rank in career strikeouts among active MLB pitchers?

Commentary doesn’t follow the Royals, but I know about them because “Today” and CNN always let me know what they are up to. I know who Meghan Markle is because the flat screen let me know she is going out with Prince Harry. Now they are engaged.   I now know she is biracial and so what. The toxic times we live in have folks on social media making a fuss over it.

This is in part brought about because the toxic times say it is Ok to drop racial slurs at The White House and get away with it. The guy who lives there dropped them yesterday.

Then the Veritas folks got caught lying again trying to set up the Washington Post and now some folks are saying they were doing God’s work. The toxic times we live in.

A toxic times twitter chatter kept the Tennessee Volunteers from hiring a thoroughly vetted coaching prospect.

Early Voting in Person in the HISD and HCC runoffs start tomorrow and end next Tuesday and not yesterday and end next Monday like a few tweets said yesterday. Get your facts straight, please!

This came as a surprise. This fella is one of the leaders in the immigration reform fight in DC. I wonder if there is a story behind this or did he just decide to fight from another platform. Here is this:

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) a leading national voice on immigration reform, will not seek reelection, three Democratic sources with knowledge of the decision told POLITICO.

Gutierrez, who has held his seat since 1993, is expected to announce Tuesday afternoon he’s withdrawing the nominating petitions he just filed on Monday and will formally endorse Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, had forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff election in 2015. His bid for Gutierrez’s seat means Garcia will not challenge Emanuel again in 2019 as he had previously planned, sources tell POLITICO. With petition filing open on Monday, candidates for Gutierrez’s open seat will have to turn in nearly 7,000 signatures in less than a week.

Sources say discussions between Garcia and Gutierrez began Friday. Two Democratic sources said that polling already had been done in the district and showed Garcia with a strong lead among possible opponents. In his 24 years in Congress, Gutierrez, 63, was an immigration reform activist who easily won reelection by some of the largest margins of the Illinois congressional delegation. Of late he’s risen as vocal critic of the Trump administration’s response in the wake of a devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Gutiérrez’s spokesman, Douglas Rivlin said he couldn’t comment.

“I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything,” he said late Monday.

Garcia will begin circulating petitions for Gutierrez’s post on Tuesday.

What a surprise, for sure.

When folks in these parts don’t want to weigh in on stuff when they should, you have to wonder. Just like a lot of folks ducked the issue of all that out-of-state PAC money in the HISD races – $225,000. Gutless if you ask me. And don’t even try to argue with me. Hey, maybe their preferred candidates are benefitting from this out-of-town dough. These folks are officially out of the too much big money in campaigns debate. And I will remind them. Stay tuned.

Just like a lot of folks duck arguing with Bill King. Here is Bill’s latest:

In the 2015 mayoral election, all of the candidates except Steve Costello agreed that the drainage fee adopted by voters in 2010 had serious problems. Each of the candidates had various prescriptions. Turner agreed, expressing his concerns about how the money was being spent and promised a complete review of the program. Two years later we are still waiting.

In response to some questions from Council, Controller Chris Brown has been promising an “audit” of the Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund (DDSRF), which was finally released last week. It is a farce.

The audit examined three projects which totaled about $44 million. Through the end of this fiscal year, about $1.4 billion will have been deposited into the DDSRF. So, this audit covers a whopping 3% of the total.  [Click here to read the audit.]

The report includes an appendix which lists 35 projects that it indicates are completed “using the drainage utility fee component” from 2014-2016 at a cost of $246 million. There is no explanation of that phrase nor are there any supporting schedules. Presumably, the report is suggesting that these are the projects that were paid for by the drainage fee. Beyond that, there is no detail other than a general description of the location of these projects and no indication that the audits did any review of them.

Even if we accept that $246 million was spent from the dedicated fund on these projects, that would only be about 76% of the drainage fee collected for those years and only 39% of the total amount deposited into the dedicated fund. Where was the rest spent? That was the question we were all hoping an audit would answer.

 We used to have a better idea of how the money was spent. During the Parker Administration, the budget document available to the public had 13 pages of information that included a reasonably detailed description of the expenditures and a list of personnel paid from the fund by position type.  [Click here to read 2015 budget.] It was from that detail that we were able to determine that most of the positions paid by the fund were office personnel. But since Turner took office, the budget document has only seven pages and omits most of that detailed information.  [Click here to see 2018 budget.]  

The drainage tax was sold to taxpayers on the promise it would be dedicated to alleviate flooding. Remember this guy telling that us, “The best part is that the politicians cannot divert a single cent.”

Since the drainage fund was set up in 2011, Houston taxpayers have paid over $750 million in drainage fees and an additional $650 million has gone into the fund from other taxpayer sources. Does anyone think we have gotten $1.4 billion worth of value in flood control or street improvement projects?

I suspect folks are just going to hope that Bill moves on to another subject before they try to explain their position. They don’t know that Bill isn’t going away. There is no ducking Bill – sorry.

Justin Verlander is number three on the list of MLB career strikeouts among active MLBers of course with 2,416.

$438,901.57 is what each ‘Stro pocketed for their World Series run. Paid for by folks who attended the games.

Retire World Serious

If you haven’t read Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg’s column from yesterday, please do. She really opened herself up for the whole world to see. Here it is: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Making-yourself-vulnerable-is-a-true-test-of-12383436.php.

Outstanding to say the least. Kudos to Lisa.  Wow!

Among active MLB pitchers, where does Justin Verlander rank on the career wins list?

The Chron E-Board gave The Dean the thumbs down this past Saturday. Here it is:

(Thumbs down) Texas’ longest serving state senator, John Whitmire, has just under $8 million in his campaign finance account, the most – by far – of any sitting legislator. So what does a 68-year-old in that position do? He holds another fundraiser, of course. In an effort to scare off a potential challenger, he sucked in more cash at the Four Seasons last week.

The Dean has $8 million in the bank. He doesn’t care what the E-Board says about him.

Commentary will no longer use the term World Serious. I guess I started using the term back during the 2004 and 2005 playoff years when we actually made it to the Fall Classic and have used the term ever since. Now that we have won the entire thing, I can let it go in peace. Now that we actually have a World Series Championship trophy roaming the streets of H-Town, using the term World Serious doesn’t sound right anymore. Don’t you agree? So, it is adios to World Serious and it was nice knowing you.

As usual, Commentary won’t say much about college sports because the players don’t get paid, but the fired college coaches make millions.

I usually don’t name products to buy other than folks know that when I am thirsty my friend, I prefer Saint Arnold Amber. If they are out of Amber, Art Car is my second choice, then Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I don’t name wines because way, way back I once did, then a couple of weeks later they jacked up the price on the wine I mentioned. I will say this. I picked up an apple pie at Whole Foods the other day for Thanksgiving Day dinner and I have to say it was the best store-bought apple pie I have ever had – I think.

Christmas Day is four weeks from today. Got it?

My best friend Al and his lovely wife Julie who is also like family to me got their picture in yesterday’s Chron on a big spread in the Zest section on the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala. Commentary attended the black tie gala in a tux but instead of the bow tie, I wore a cool Dia de los Muertos neck tie that Marisol gave me for my BD.

Fifty years ago today, the “Magical Mystery Tour” album was released here in the USA and I was there to buy mine. “Hello, Goodbye”, “The Fool on the Hill”, “All You Need is Love”, “Penny Lane”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Baby You’re a Rich Man”, and “I Am the Walrus.” Do I need to say anything more?

Justin Verlander and John Lackey of course are tied for third in career wins with 188 among active MLBers. Lackey has 147 career losses and Verlander 114.

For ‘Stros fans, they are already taking orders for a 2017 World Series Championship 2018 wall calendar at calendar.com and on the ‘Stros’ website. I am getting one.