December 14, 2017

Hoops polls — more Lebron and destinations:
Rockets maybe? Lakers maybe? Sixers NO

LeBron James
Per respondents in my first poll, as many of you think LeBron James will stay in Cleveland next year rather than join Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, et al in LaLa Land. Only one thinks he'll go to the other side of LaLa Land with Blake Griffin and the Clippers. (OK, I confess, that was me.)

I think the likelihood of him moving is now less than when I ran the poll. But, I'm not yet 100 percent convinced he'll stay.

I personally was the one Clippers voter. But, with Blake injured again, and the team facing some tough choices, I think that option is gone. I mean, Austin Rivers is their top offensive option right now.

Meanwhile, the latest story says the Lakers aren't likely — but the Rockets may be. Of course, there's no way they can give LBJ a max contract right now. James Harden plus Chris Paul block that. Plus, the rising Clint Capela will want more.

There's a sidebar to all this, and that's his mileage. Yes, the King is having an incredible year this year. But, by the end of the year, he should be in the top 20 all time in career minutes. And, he'd probably be in the top 15 by the end of next year. The "finish line" is surely getting closer. How well will he make a transition to no longer being, at least not all the time, the alpha male on his team? He's been a great passer so far, but, at some point, there may be a point where he's simply no longer the best crunch-time scoring option.

That could certainly be the case if he went to the Rockets. Harden would be the first option in most cases.

And, per this story, why would I want LBJ in Philly? The Process, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric et al? Why screw that up with an aging LBJ who will want to be the center of action?

December 13, 2017

OK, Texas Greens — it's ballot access petition time
(Update: That's if it does any good)

The Texas Secretary of State reports no Democrat filed for Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8.

Assuming some Green DID file for that spot, that's an obvious chance for the party to get 5 percent in a statewide race and have automatic party ballot access in 2020. (I left a message on the newest post on Texas GP's Facebook page, and I've already tagged it on a Tweet.

Update: No Green did file for that race. Sadly. Unbelievably.

When the Greens have maintained their 5 percent in the past, it's ALWAYS been because of a CCA race. When they lost it in 2016, it was because of a CCA race.

The party had four applicants, three of them for statewide office. Jan Richards is far more qualified for governor than Brandon Parmer of four years ago. Her platform is not bad, but as of right now, it appears to fall short of Democrat Tom Wakely's. Jamar Osborne is running again for AG, as he did in 2014. George Reiter (the UH physics prof?) is running for the Railroad Commission. And, James Partsch-Galvan is running for CD 29.

Note: Expect a post 10-20 days or so after the date of this this one to compare platforms of Richards, Wakely and Loopy Lupe Valdez in more detail, with updates as primary election day approaches.

A week before the filing deadline, Dems announced a slate of state Supreme Court and CCA candidates. At that time, CCA Place 8 was the donut hole. And state Greens couldn't get anybody to run for it?

The skinny on petition driving? The party will need about 48,000 valid signatures. Petition drive time period is March 14-May 27, 2018. More details here and at links on that page.

I live in a highly conservative small town area. Plus, arguably, it wouldn't be ethical for me to run a petition drive.

That said, not only will I sign a petition, if asked, I'll tell people where they can go to sign, if somebody like Dallas Greens announces a date in advance.

Update: I think. Because, barring Justin Nelson as the Dem for AG or either Chris Spellmon or Roman McAllan for the RRC being a clusterfuck, the Greens aren't getting 5 percent. (Sorry, Ms. Richards, but you sure aren't against either Wakely or Loopy Lupe Valdez. I might well vote for you if Loopy Lupe is the nominee, but 5 percent of voting Texans won't join me.)

This presumes the state party says yes to a drive, which it sure as hell should do, given the info in the first paragraph.

Update: Well, maybe not. If it couldn't think ahead and recruit ahead on the legal races, will it have a good, organized petition drive? And, if it does, and gets on the ballot, to what end? Three candidates to be listed in most the state. And an almost certain loss of ballot access again.

So, I think the state party needs to ask whether the effort in a petition drive, to list just three candidates if successful, followed by the almost certain loss of ballot access again, and having to start from ground zero, would be better for the party's future than simply waiting until 2020.

I don't know. I don't claim to have that answer. But, it's a question that needs to be asked. 

That's especially true given the racism-related charges and other infighting that fueled this year's state party convention.

==

Additional update, re a GOP story: I'm not sure if the Texas GOP's claim that it has until Dec. 19 to submit candidate names to the Secretary of State gives any leverage to a late Green candidate for CCA or not.

Rob Manfred and Giancarlo Stanton trade:
Where's the Bowie Kuhn action?

Giancarlo Stanton: The Yankees' fire-sale Christmas present
When I read the ludicrous trade return that Miami Marlins hack pseudo-GM Derek Jeter got back from the Yankees for Giancarlo Stanton I was outraged. I mean, Starlin Castro plus A-ball low-tier "prospects" Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers? Odds are Guzman never sees a major league stadium from the inside unless he's buying a ticket. Jeter arguably got a better deal from the Mariners for Dee Gordon.

Not just because I'm a Cardinals fan, but because of the ludicrousness of the trade in general. After all, the Giants made a better offer than did the Yankees, and the Cardinals, even if they haven't made the playoffs the last two years, have had winning records, undercutting Stanton's using his no-trade to steer the trade there.

First, last week, Commissioner Rob Manfred promised to investigate the Shohei Ohtani signing to make sure there were no under-the-table offers. So why isn't he investigating a fake trade with over-the-counter shenanigans?

There IS precedent.

I'm old enough to remember when Bowie Kuhn voided the trades that A's owner Charlie O. Finley made of Joe Rudi, Rollie Fingers and Vida Blue. (I disagree with Kuhn voiding a later trade of Blue to the Reds for prospect players.) They were just as lopsided as this, and Manfred should take the same action, or at least look into it. As far as I know, he still has the power to do so.

In another sport, there's more modern precedent. Then NBA-Commish David Stern voided the three-way trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers from the Hornets for Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Pau Gasol moving to either the Hornets or the Rockets.

As for Jeter and his gutting of the team even more than Jeff Loria slimed it? If he's honest about the team losing, not just money in general, but THAT MUCH money? Then, commish? You need to either move that team or contract it. Ditto on the Rays. You need to be honest about owners books for the fans, and for the players at the next collective bargaining talks.

Add up that the Yankees have dumped Chase Headley on the Padres for scrubini Jabari Blash, who has no chance of OF playing time with Stanton there. (Yes, the Padres also got Bryan Mitchell, but he's a sucky set-up reliever who the Pads are surely overvaluing.) Seriously, the Yankees are being allowed to get away with this shite, since Brian Cashman may now get under the lux tax line with dumping Headley PLUS the Fish eating part of Stanton's contract?

In reality, Manfred has no cojones and will do nothing.

I don't begrudge Stanton his no-trade clause. Nor his exercising it. I said that in my piece about the trade. I do begrudge Brian Cashman acting like a vulture because of it, because of the Jeter group's overpaying for the team and because of how he's handled the team since then.

And, above all, I begrudge Manfred for not addressing it. And, Stanton? With the full no-trade, YOU made the decision to jump in the Marlins' boat in the first place.

Also, when are more people, including Manfred and those around him, going to admit that Central/South Florida just ain't good MLB territory, and also stop making excuses for Tampa-St Pete that don't wash?

December 12, 2017

TX Progressives wrangle about state election filings, Jerusalem, more

The Texas Progressive Alliance wonders if Donald Trump has ever heard of Krampus as it brings you this week's roundup.

The actual progressive Texas Democratic candidates -- as well as the ones pretending to be -- are in PDiddie at Brains and Eggs' latest post.

SocraticGadfly offered his take on Trump, with egging on from top Democrats, naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel.


EgbertoWillies.com covered Indivisible Houston's tax protests and Net Neutrality protests.

Neil at All People Have Value said even if the external world is in disorder, we can still move up and up and up. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

As Texas Leftist slowly makes an effort to get back in the saddle for 2018, heís thankful for the incredible work of all of his blogging colleagues. Before we leap into next yearís political hopefuls, itís worth note that a former Texas elected official made a big move this week. Get ready to see and hear more from Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker in 2018.

Dos Centavos is looking forward to the 2018 Democratic primary.

=================

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Texas Standard notes that the Texas Legislature approaches a day of reckoning over sexual misconduct by lawmakers.

Texas Vox wants part of the Volkswagen settlement with the state to go to electric vehicles.

Chuck Smith breaks down the Colorado bake shop/same sex marriage case that was argued at SCOTUS.

The Bloggess is once again spearheading a grassroots effort to help people in need for the holidays.

Dwight Silverman has some advice for people who are looking for gifts for their techie friends and family.

Better Texas Blog explains how the Republican tax cut bill threatens local and state public services.
Mean Green Cougar Red tries to wrap his min around flat earthers.

Free Press Houston interviews Silky Malik, one of the candidates to replace Ted Poe in the Second Congressional District.

Paradise in Hell applauds the selection by Sports Illustrated of JJ Watt and Jose Altuve as co-Sportspersons of the Year for 2017.

December 11, 2017

Hoops polls — LeBron, Knicks

Per respondents in my first poll, as many of you think LeBron James will stay in Cleveland next year rather than join Lonzo Ball et al in LaLa Land. Only one thinks he'll go to the other side of LaLa Land with Blake Griffin and the Clippers.

I think the likelihood of him moving is now less than when I ran the poll. But, I'm not yet 100 percent convinced he'll stay.

I personally was the one Clippers voter. But, with Blake injured again, and the team facing some tough choices, I think that option is gone.

Meanwhile, the latest story says the Lakers aren't likely — but the Rockets may be. Of course, there's no way they can give LBJ a max contract right now.

There's a sidebar to all this, and that's his mileage. Yes, the King is having an incredible year this year. But, by the end of the year, he should be in the top 20 all time in career minutes. And, he'd probably be in the top 15 by the end of next year. The "finish line" is surely getting closer. How well will he make a transition to no longer being, at least not all the time, the alpha male on his team? He's been a great passer so far, but, at some point, there may be a point where he's simply no longer the best crunch-time scoring option.

That could certainly be the case if he went to the Rockets. Harden would be the first option in most cases.

==

Next, the Knicks-Thunder trade of Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter. Only one of five thinks the Thunder won this now or will win it in the future. Two called it both a short-term and a long-term win for the Knicks, while I and one other called it a short-term draw, long-term win.

I wasn't specific, but I meant short-term to be this year, not the first one-quarter of this year.

At worst, from the Knicks POV, I think it's a short-term draw, and may wind up being a short-term win. If they make the playoffs this year, it's definitely a win. Ditto if, even if they don't make it this year, the Thunder don't get past the first round out West. Kanter and Unicorn Kristaps Porzingis are playing pretty well together — when both are healthy.