Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Astros Fans Waited A Decade For This Celebration Making The ALDS

It was way back in 2005 the last time the Astros made the playoffs and got to play in the National League Division Series [NLDS] as at that time the Houston Astros were in the National League.   That was back when there was only one Wild Card and the Wild Card team was automatically in the League Division Series.  With this year of 2 Wild Card teams the Astros being the Wild Card team #2 had to play a one game winner take all against the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium for a right to go to the ALDS. 

Dallas 'the beard' Keuchel shuts out Yankees in 6 gutsy innings

With pitcher Dallas Keuchel pitching on only three days rest, he pitched a gutsy 6 innings of shutout baseball and the bullpen came through to complete the shutout as the Astros won 3-0 and now are headed to Kansas City to start the ALDS in a best of 5 series.  

Congratulations, Houston Astros for making Houston proud! 

As long as we have waited here in H-Town, and for these young guys to come through and make us proud, I say no matter how far we go, we should have a parade for them, no matter when it ends. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Move Over Trump, There's A Doctor In The House [UPDATE #3]

This is a repeat post [original post from 5 weeks ago] with a big Oct. 5, 2015 #3 update at the bottom confirming the theme of this post - that Dr. Ben Carson will be the one who upsets the Donald's GOP nominating cart - which confirms once again how prescient the Tales is.  Once again, I am not predicting that Dr. Ben Carson will win the nomination [though he could] but I am predicting, as I have from the beginning and sticking to it, that he will win the Iowa caucus and that will knock Trump out of the race.

Move Over Trump, There's A Doctor In The House

This whole 2016 presidential GOP nominating process has been dominated by one man, Donald Trump.  Out of frustration with the Republican majority just elected to congress, many have flocked to his campaign in hopes of sending a message to the GOP "establishment", which has come to mean, from the Trump sycophants, anyone on the GOP side who is not named Donald Trump. 

Why has the faux "conservative Republican" Trump been able to dominate the headlines and take all of the oxygen out of the GOP nominating room?  Because of the polls.  They have consistently shown him winning big in the state polls and the national GOP poll.  
Donald Trump has been able to use those poll numbers as the main talking point in his campaign and to avoid detailed answers to important policy questions.  To almost every question, it doesn't matter what it is, he will almost always answer, 'I will do that better than anyone else. Trust me, I know how to deal and you will love what I do.  You will be thanking me on the great job I do, trust me.  And look at my poll numbers.  The people love me, I am winning everywhere and winning by huge margins everywhere.  Look at Iowa, look at New Hampshire, I am winning big and it's not even close.'

That was true...up until a few days ago.  Something funny happened on the way to the Trump landslide GOP nomination coronation.  First came this amazing poll from the Des Moines Register Iowa poll that came out on August 29, 2015.  While it had Trump in first with 23% of the vote, it had Dr. Ben Carson within the margin of error and closing in at 18%.   I did a double take when I saw it and said to myself, whoa, where did that come from.  This is the first poll I have seen since this Trump bandwagon began that Trump was not way ahead of the field.  For those of us, like me, who think a Trump candidacy would be a disaster for the GOP, I was encouraged.

But that was nothing with the poll that came out a couple days later on August 31, 2015 from the Monmouth University Poll of the Iowa caucus electorate.  It showed Dr. Carson had caught Trump and they were tied for the lead in Iowa at 23%.  From  "The latest survey showed Carson making inroads on key voting blocs that Trump has been winning in recent polls. Women preferred Carson at 30 percent to 19 percent" ..."Voters who described themselves as very or somewhat conservative were split between the top two, while moderates and liberals went for Trump at 26 Carson's 17%" ... and "Carson leads among evangelical voters, earning 29 percent to Trump's 23 percent."  But even more encouraging for Dr. Carson from this poll was the stunning result that "81 percent said they view him favorably, compared with just 6 percent who do not."  I doubt if even Reagan had those kind of favorable numbers from GOP voters.

If these numbers hold, this tells me that Dr. Ben Carson not only has a good chance of fairing well in the Iowa caucuses but that he will probably win the caucuses and win them big.  And a win for Carson means a loss [no matter how close it is] for Trump.  That would be a huge loss for Trump. 

So, what if Dr. Carson wins in Iowa, you may say, that is only one primary and doesn't have an effect on the rest of the nominating process.  Au contraire, my friends.  Donald Trump has been running on a three legged stool toward the nomination.  Those three legs, 1. the polls showing him winning,  2. the polls showing him winning  and 3. the polls showing him winning.  If Dr. Ben Carson wins the Iowa caucuses and makes Donald Trump a loser, one of those three legs will be cut off and Trump's inevitability toward the GOP nomination will fall.  The Trump's candidacy will, in effect, be over.  

Make no mistake about this.  If Donald Trump does not win Iowa, his candidacy, whether he admits it or not, will be over.

Dr. Ben Carson has saved many patients, now he may be saving a party and a nation
Yes, Donald Trump, there is a doctor in the GOP nominating house now, a doctor that just may cure the Republicans from self-destruction by your candidacy.  

No, this may not be brain surgery, but it just may be Dr. Ben Carson's best feat yet. 
UPDATE #1-Sept. 4, 2015:  On Thursday's Gretchen Carlson's "The Real Story" show on the Fox News Channel, Gretchen showed this amazing poll from Monmouth University on a head to head match up of Trump vs the other GOP candidates.  Gretchen said it showed that Trump was ahead of Bush and others in the GOP field [I don't know how many of the others], but she said it showed Trump losing to one candidate and losing big to that candidate, Ben Carson.  

Look at this pic of a nationwide poll of Republicans, that I took from her show on Sept. 3, 2015: 

The Tales nails it again with it's prescience in the post "Move Over Trump, There's A Doctor in the House"
Now the question is with this big poll showing Trump for the first time behind and behind by a landslide margin with another GOP candidate, how long before the Trump belittling attacks on Dr. Ben Carson begin?  Me thinks, if he does go that route, it won't work against "gentle" Ben Carson.
UPDATE #2: Sept. 15, 2015 In a New York Times/CBS poll that has just been released it shows that Dr. Carson has pulled to a statistical tie with Donald Trump nationwide.  

From the NY Times:  "Mr. Carson has amassed considerable new support from Republican primary and caucus voters and is now running nearly even with Mr. Trump as their pick for the party’s presidential nomination, according to a new New York Times/CBS News poll.Donald Trump leads with 27%  and Dr. Ben Carson is in second place at 23%, which is within the margin of error of Trump.

So, not only has Dr. Carson gotten close to Trump in Iowa and New Hampshire [and I have picked Carson to win the Iowa caucuses], and not only was it shown in the Monmouth poll that Dr. Carson is much more favorably liked in the GOP than Donald Trump, beating him handily if it were a head to head match up, but now we have the first poll showing Trump losing his nationwide huge lead that he has held, as Dr. Ben Carson has moved even with him.

Let it be known that it was the Tales, two weeks ago who first predicted this phenomena of Dr. Ben Carson eventually moving the Donald out of the lead and out of the running for the GOP nomination, after he defeats Trump in Iowa and the Trump balloon bursts.  Remember I am not predicting or ruling out that Dr. Ben Carson will be the eventual nominee, but it will be he, that will be the great Trump slayer. 
UPDATE #3: October 5, 2015 Just as amazingly predicted by this blog, 5 weeks ago, there is a new nation wide poll that has just come out that shows Donald Trump can no longer say that he is leading in every single poll.  Trump finishes 2nd in this poll among Republican registered voters to....... drum roll please, Dr. Ben Carson.  

This from Investors Business Daily in a poll conducted with TPP:  "Donald Trump has boasted that he's "leading every poll and in most cases big." Not anymore. The latest IBD/TIPP Poll shows him in second place, seven points behind Ben Carson.
The nationwide survey found that 24% of Republicans back Carson, compared with 17% who say they support Trump."

As first predicted by the Tales 5 weeks ago, move over Trump, there's a doctor in the house

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spencer Tillman's Brilliant Analogy Using An Itzhak Perlmann Concert Performance

Radio and TV sports broadcaster, and former NFL great RB, Spencer Tillman, is a regular on the Texans All Access show on our local CBS 610 radio network with hosts Marc Vandermeer [voice of the Texans] and John Harris every Monday to talk about the Texans and the NFL.

National TV and radio sports announcer, Spencer Tillman
On this Monday, October 5, 2015, Spencer was on to talk about the Texans utter debacle against the Atlanta Falcons.  Marc Vandermeer, the Texans radio announcer, asked Spencer, 'with all of the QB problems and injuries among the wide receivers and after such a disastrous performance given in every aspect of the game [offense, defense, special teams, coaching], what can the coaches possibly say to the team to get them ready to play [with confidence that they can win] against their division rival, the Indianapolis Colts, on Thursday night?' 

Spencer Tillman, without missing a beat, gave this brilliant analogy, using the words from virtuoso legendary violinist, Itzhak Perlman, during one of the concerts he was performing in.  

As I was doing my morning walk while listening to the show I hope I can paraphrase Spencer's answer close to what he exactly said.  Spencer said that he was at this classical concert featuring Itzhak Perlman as violinist in a sonata [with piano].  During the beginning of the second movement of the sonata, Itzhak Perlman's violin broke a string-noticeable to the audience.  Oh, no, how can you possibly play a virtuosic violin piece with only 3 strings.  After a pause, Perlman took his bow and pointed it to the pianist to start the movement over again.  This got a huge ovation from the audience. With only 3 strings, he was able to adjust playing the rest of the piece and played it brilliantly.  When it was over, the crowd stood up giving him a thunderous ovation.  Itzhak took his bow and this time pointed it to the audience, as if telling them to be quiet.  

virtuoso violinist  [and philosopher] Itzhak Perlman
What Itzhak Perlman told the audience, is what Spencer Tillman said the coaches of the Texans should tell the Texans players to get them ready for the game on Thursday night.  Itzhak Perlman told the audience, [again I am paraphrasing], 'Sometimes out of adversity, you can show your true worth [as a great violinist -or whatever you are] by performing your best with what you have available.'   

Wow, what great insightful words from Itzhak Perlman and what a great analogy by Spencer Tillman relating that to a struggling football team.  

Bravo, Itzhak and Spencer!


Congratulations To The 2015 Playoff Bound Houston Astros

When word came in the dugout during the Astros final game of the season that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had lost their game, celebration would soon come at the end of the game, as that meant the Houston Astros had made the playoffs as a Wild Card team, their first playoff appearance since 2005. 

Congratulations 2015 Houston Astros!

Another thing to celebrate was the Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve getting a hit on his last time at bat to make 200 hits for the second year in a row...which is a first in franchise history. 
Congratulations All Star Jose Altuve and the 2015 Houston Astros

What is amazing is the quick turn around for the Houston Astros franchise as prior to last year, the Astros were the worst team in Major League Baseball losing 100 games in each of those years.  What is even more amazing is that in 2013 the Astros had lost 111 games with their record being 51-111.  That means in only two years the Astros went from 51 wins to this year's 86 wins as they ended the season at 86-76, a 35 win turn around in just 2 years. 

That may explain the wild celebration in the club house after the game.  If you don't think the Astros were excited because they didn't win the division, think again.  Wait until you see this video with manager A.J. Hinch addressing the team. 

A.J,'s over-exuberance led to some colorful language, that is usually not allowed on this blog, so please do not play this if you have any young children around.  

WARNING: This video is definitely X-Rated. 

Oct. 4, 2015: Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch addresses the team following the last game of the season in which they earned a Wild Card berth into the playoffs:

Now let's Go Astros and beat those Yankees Tuesday at Yankee Stadium in the Wild Card game!