All Endorsed

When the Rocket won the 2004 NL Cy Young Award with the ‘Stros, who was runner-up?

I am thinking just about everyone has handed out their endorsements. Well, kind of.

The Mayor still hasn’t endorsed. When she does it will not come as a surprise.

I will say I visited with an in-the-know Dem player yesterday and this person did acknowledge that the Chris Bell endorsement did indeed help Bill King despite the naysayer pushback.

I will say it again. All bets are off.

We will see!

Of course, there are still a few groups who will still be handing out last minute endorsements for the runoffs.

It seems like the past year, there has been ongoing construction on my block. Guess what? Got another tire air pressure alert. It looks like another nail in a tire.

Hall of Fame great Randy Johnson of course was runner-up in the 2004 NL Cy Young Award voting.

This was expected – from the ‘Stros website:

Coming off a breakout 2014 season that certainly proved to be no fluke, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel took his performance to another level in ’15 and took home the American League Cy Young Award, presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, on Wednesday.

Keuchel finished with 22 first-place votes and 186 points, edging David Price (Tigers/Blue Jays), who had eight first-place votes and 143 points.

A.J. Hinch was runner-up in the AL Skipper of the Year voting. As a player, Hinch played for four different MLB teams – name the four?

The Chris Bell endorsement for Bill King sure got some folks worked up.

In my book, Chris is and always has been a good guy and a great Dem.

He took on Tom Delay in a big way – did you? I certainly didn’t.

He ran in races when nobody else would – like in 2006 and 2008 – did you? I certainly didn’t.

Here is a bit from the Chron:

Former Congressman Chris Bell endorsed fiscal conservative Bill King in the Houston mayoral runoff Tuesday, a move that could help King counter his rival’s attempts to cast him as an extremist and potentially allow him to make inroads with progressive voters.

Bell’s decision shocked many political insiders expecting the progressive former mayoral candidate to support Democrat Sylvester Turner, who has positioned himself as the establishment choice in a city that has not elected a Republican mayor since 1979.

Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, a Democrat, and City Councilman Steve Costello, a Republican, both of whom failed to make the mayoral runoff, have backed Turner.

“There’s potential for this to signal that King is not as extreme a politician as the Turner camp would like to paint him as, and it may be that this softens his support against the HERO ordinance and also perhaps quells concerns about him receiving endorsements from clear radical conservatives like Steve Hotze,” said University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus, referring to Houston’s equal rights ordinance and the GOP power broker who helped finance the campaign against the law.


Turner spokeswoman Sue Davis dismissed Bell’s endorsement as “irrelevant.”

“Houstonians who voted for Bell are unlikely to go to King in the runoff because King’s values are not theirs,” Davis said in an email. “Bell got their votes because he positioned himself as a progressive. Just because Bell has changed his stripes doesn’t mean his voters will.”

Here is the entire Chron piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Bell-surprises-with-endorsement-of-King-in-mayor-6639699.php?t=921d5e0aea438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium.

Really? If he was “irrelevant”, then why did State Rep. Sylvester Turner reach out for his “irrelevant” support? Really?

The folks that are skewering Chris and Bill in the social media department sure are clever and even entertaining.

If social media like it is today had been around in 2003, I wondered how they would have handled Rep. Turner for not getting on the bus to Ardmore.

We will never know.

Go check out @mmorris011 and latest take on the H-Town mayoral vote.

A.J. Hinch played for the A’s, Royals, Tigers, and Phillies of course.

The AL Cy Young Award winner will be announced today.

Local Spirited Debate

In 1991, Jeff Bagwell won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and he played in 156 games. How many dingers did he hit that season?

Well the following got a spirited debate started last night:

November 16, 2015

Former mayoral candidate Chris Bell will endorse businessman Bill King tomorrow, November 17th, at Godwin Community Center in Meyerland at 10:45am. Bell is a former U.S. Representative and at-large Houston City Council Member, who is known for his progressive record.

Then this:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 1h1 hour ago
In surprise move, progressive former mayoral candidate Chris Bell to announce endorsement of Bill King tomorrow, per King’s campaign

Teddy Schleifer ‏@teddyschleifer 55m55 minutes ago
Teddy Schleifer Retweeted Jim McGrath
Teddy Schleifer added,

Jim McGrath @jgm41
Very proud to announce former mayoral candidate, City Council Member and U.S. Rep @ChrisBell2015 will endorse @BillKingForHou tomorrow.

Mike Snyder Retweeted
Jim McGrath ‏@jgm41 32m32 minutes ago
Jim McGrath Retweeted Bill Kelly
Nobody more stalwart than Chris Bell on these issues — let him have his say tomorrow if you can muster the decency. https://twitter.com/billkellytexas/status/666441907506016256
Jim McGrath added,

Bill Kelly @billkellytexas
Just to be clear: if you support equality, a woman’s right to chose, or investment in infrastructure, @ChrisBell2015 just sold you out.
Bill Kelly ‏@billkellytexas 35m35 minutes ago

Bill Kelly Retweeted Steven David
It sure it as hell disqualified him from ever saying he is a Democrat or Progressive in Houston.

Bill Kelly ‏@billkellytexas 1h1 hour ago
Bill Kelly Retweeted Rebecca Elliott
If true, every progressive stance @ChrisBell2015 has ever taken and every supporter should bury him. Just childish.

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 1m1 minute ago
So the @ChrisBell2015 endorsement of @BillKingForHou for #HouMayor sure has the political class chattering tonight. #abc13

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 10h10 hours ago
.@rfelliott @bjrottinghaus or maybe he just wanted a job in the admin.

Commentary attended all but a handful of the 60 or so H-Town mayoral forums and Chris Bell always said he was the most progressive candidate on the stage and nobody ever challenged him.

I am thinking Chris has got a pretty thick skin.

Oh, well.

This does not come as a surprise. From today’s Chron:

Mayor Annise Parker said Monday she will not attempt to revive the controversial equal rights ordinance that voters resoundingly rejected this month.

Speculation had abounded since Parker, in the days after the sweeping defeat, said the City Council might revisit the ordinance before she leaves office at the end of the year. Though she was limited by time and the fact that several City Council members are in the midst of tight runoff races, opponents seized on that statement. They began making calls warning residents that the law could return.

In a written statement, Parker said, “Considering all the other issues I still want to get finished, I do not see a way that we will be able to revisit the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance before I leave office at the end of the year.”

Jeff Bagwell had 15 dingers his rookie season in 156 games of course and Carlos Correa had 22 dingers in 99 games.

And this from the Chron:

Correa didn’t make his debut in the majors until June 8, but he made up for lost time with arguably the best rookie campaign in franchise history. He now joins Bagwell as the only players in Astros history to win the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award.

Correa, 21, was selected as the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Nice. I am thinking if he keeps playing at this level, he could very well be voted starting shortstop for the AL All Stars next season.

Over There

In the aftermath of Friday’s massacre in Paris, many here in the U.S. want us to have a much, much bigger military presence in Iraq and Syria. They are ready to dust off this George M. Cohan tune:

Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over, we’re coming over
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there!

What a mess.

Who led all MLB shortstops in dingers this past season?

Well these folk aren’t going away anytime soon. I am talking about what was in the Chron this past weekend. Here is part:

Opponents of Houston’s repealed equal rights ordinance have placed 300,000 calls and will release a new TV ad next week warning about a possible City Council revival of the controversial non-discrimination law.

All that despite no certainty that Mayor Annise Parker will find the political will and, most importantly, the time, to bring forward new equal rights legislation in the dwindling weeks before her term is over at the end of December. Several City Council members are battling heated Dec. 12 runoff contests and unlikely to willingly delve into the politically charged law that 61 percent of voters opposed this month.


Opponents have been “emboldened” by the margin of their victory, said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones. “There’s no way … that HERO is coming back” before Parker leaves office, he said, but the ad gives critics an opportunity to galvanize anti-HERO voters.

“The way those candidates get in is by maintaining engagement with social conservatives,” Jones said. “It gives them another opportunity to cast a vote against HERO.”

(Jared)Woodfill and fellow conservative activists have also shifted some of their attention to Dallas, where the City Council just updated its own non-discrimination law to more explicitly include protections for transgender residents. But Woodfill said they are prepared for a second battle in Houston.

Here is the entire read from the Chron: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/HERO-opponents-plan-new-TV-ad-6630763.php.

There is no doubt that this has been an unusual election year in H-Town and it will continue to be so. All bets are off.

And from the Chron E-Board this past Saturday:

(Thumbs down) Has engineer/term-limited city councilman/failed mayoral candidate Steve Costello drawn up a blueprint for his next venture: Metro board chairman? Costello, a sixth-place finisher in the mayor’s race with 6 percent of the vote, endorsed Sylvester Turner even though there was little policy daylight between him and Bill King. Politicians are known to scratch each other’s back. We’ll watch this with interest.

Carlos Correa of course led all MLB shortstops with 22 dingers and he only played in 99 regular season games. And this from the ‘Stros website:

Correa, who made his big league debut on June 8, is the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award — as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — and for good reason. He was not only the top rookie in the AL, but by the end of the season, was one of the best shortstops in baseball. The winner will be announced today at 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network, with additional coverage on MLB.com.

Correa was the youngest position player in the big leagues in 2015, hitting .279 with 22 home runs, 22 doubles, 68 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and an .857 OPS in only 99 games. Among AL rookies, he ranked first in homers, slugging percentage (.512) and OPS, while ranking second in RBIs and on-base percentage (.345) and third in batting average.

I sure hope so!

In Four Weeks and a Day

How many career dingers does Colby Rasmus have?

It will be all over four weeks from tomorrow night.

At the GLBT Caucus meeting the other night, the HERO got some mention.

In today’s Chron, there are Point/Counterpoint Op-Eds on the HERO. I glanced at them but I will not post them. Go check them out if you want.

So far, the HERO has not been a topic among the mayoral runoff candidates.

So far.

What is the over/under on how many times the HERO will be brought up during the televised debates?

From Chron.com:

Colby Rasmus will be back with the Astros for one more season.

Rasmus, the outfielder with the hot bat during the playoffs, agreed to accept the Astros’ one-year qualifying offer of $15.8 million, a source familiar with the process told the Chronicle. The deal was first reported by Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.

Colby Rasmus has 141 career dingers of course.

From the ‘Stros website:

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve added another award to his mantel on Thursday when he was named the winner of the Silver Slugger Award as the top offensive second baseman in the American League. He’s the third player in franchise history to win a Silver Slugger Award, presented by Louisville Slugger, and a Gold Glove Award in the same season, joining second baseman Craig Biggio (1994-95, ’97) and first baseman Jeff Bagwell (1994).

Altuve hit .313 with 40 doubles and four triples and set career highs with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs in 154 games last season. He led all AL second basemen in hits and doubles, while ranking second in batting average.

Among all AL players, Altuve led the league in hits (200) and stolen bases (38) for the second consecutive season, joining the Yankees’ Snuffy Stirnweiss (1944-45) as the only players in Major League history to lead the AL in hits and steals in consecutive seasons. Altuve also became the first player in franchise history to reach 200 hits in a season twice.


More Endorsements

Karla Cisneros won the endorsement of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus last night.

Check this tweet:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 3h3 hours ago
ICYMI Costello endorses Turner in #houmayor runoff as group of Hispanic Rs formerly behind Garcia back King http://www.chron.com/news/politics/houston/article/Costello-endorses-Turner-for-Houston-mayor-6624860.php … #houvote

I am not surprised. Bill King banged on Rebuild Houston and Costello bragged about being the architect of Rebuild. Check this though from the Chron:

An engineer who finished sixth on Election Day with 7 percent of the vote, Costello is not likely to sway a large share of the electorate, but his endorsement could bolster Turner’s fundraising efforts, particularly among local engineers and contractors, who are consistent donors in municipal races.


Texas Southern University political scientist Michael Adams called Costello’s endorsement “very important for Turner,” mentioning the three-term councilman’s sway with Houston engineers and contractors, as well as moderate Republican and independent city voters.

Here is the entire piece behind the paywall:http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Costello-backs-Turner-in-runoff-6626191.php.

I like Costello, but excuse me for scratching my head on this one. He raises the third most money in this race and finished in single digits and in sixth place and so now he can sway engineer bucks toward Rep. Sylvester Turner’s campaign? Go on ahead! Wowza!

Bill picked up Latino endorsements yesterday including former H-Town Council Members Felix Fraga and James Rodriguez – both Dems.

The ‘Stros may be looking for a better closer this off season. Of course, Billy Wagner was our best closer ever and now he is on the Hall of Fame ballot. What number did her wear for the ‘Stros?

Here is more on the HERO aftermath from the Trib:

Just hours after it became clear that Houston’s non-discrimination ordinance, HERO, would be trounced at the polls last week, Houston Mayor Annise Parker predicted a “direct, economic backlash” for the city, akin to criticism and boycott threats in Arizona and Indiana following similar controversies.

But so far, any visible backlash has yet to materialize, and Houston appears at no risk of losing two upcoming major sporting events.

Here is the entire piece: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/11/12/after-hero-loss-economic-impact-remains-unclear/.

If you ask me, it is a little early for this article. Let’s wait until the beginning of next year.

And Kuffer revisits Diana Davila’s win over Juliet Stipeche over at HISD. Here is how he ends it:

So did HERO have an effect in this particular election? I can’t say it did, and I can’t say it didn’t. Or to put it another way, I think it was a factor, but I don’t know how much of one. It probably wasn’t a difference maker, but who knows? Wish I could be more definitive, but sometimes all you can do is shrug.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=70841.

I have said it before. Like it or not, she is a player and knows how to win, and works hard.

Billy Wagner wore the 13 of course.

If Wagner does make it into the Hall, does he wear a ‘Stros lid?

They played cricket at The Yard last night

Latinos for Bill King

Key Latino leaders who supported and campaigned for Adrian Garcia will endorse Bill King for mayor this morning. Among the key supporters endorsing King is Garcia campaign treasurer Massey Villarreal.

Yesterday, a number of Latino elected officials endorsed State Rep. Sylvester Turner.

I just hope the Turner attack squad doesn’t say something like the Latinos supporting Bill all look like Ted Cruz or something like that.

So who wins the Latino vote? Stay tuned!

Yesterday, Jose Altuve won the AL Gold Glove for a second baseman. How many times did Craig Biggio win the NL Gold Glove as a second baseman?

The Chron E-Board weighs in on the new term limits at H-Town City Hall:

The job of city councilman may technically be part-time, but changes at City Hall threaten to transform our elected officials into full-time fundraisers.

On Election Day, voters expanded term limits from two to four years by passing Proposition 2. This will give elected officials more time to study and implement long-term plans that Houston needs to balance the budget, fix roads and keep our city growing. It also gives incumbent politicians an unabated four years to raise campaign funds.

Before this year’s election cycle, expanding term limits wouldn’t have had any major impact on campaign fundraising. Houston voters passed an anti-corruption measure back in 1992 that only permitted soliciting contributions from the February before an election until a few months after it concluded. Whether politicians served two years or four, the fundraising timeline would have been the same.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the 2010 Citizens’ United case has rendered unconstitutional campaign finance laws in cities and states across the nation. Houston is no exception: Our blackout period on fundraising was knocked down by a federal court at the beginning of the year.

Now City Hall faces the unexplored consequences of mixing full-time fundraising with extended terms, threatening to give incumbent politicos an unprecedented upper hand over challengers.

In this post-Citizens United legal landscape, how can voters maintain control over the democratic process?

For one, they can head to the voting booth.

Here is the entire take: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Fundraising-boost-6623416.php.

I think it will work out.

Craig Biggio won four Gold Gloves of course as a second baseman.

And this from the ‘Stros website:

Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was just as happy for teammate Jose Altuve to take home his first Rawlings Gold Glove on Tuesday night as he was to learn he had won his second.

Keuchel, who’s already won the Players Choice Award as Outstanding Pitcher in the American League and is a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award, took home his second consecutive Gold Glove. Altuve, a former batting champion, added a Gold Glove to his resume by topping the field at second base.

“I’m extremely excited,” Keuchel said of Altuve. “I just texted him. He deserves everything he gets. He’s a tremendous worker. He’s one of those guys who’s had to work for everything, like myself, so I think we have a common bond there. We know the competitive end one another shares, and I can’t be more happy for that guy.”



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