QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I thought I had scabies. My whole body was just crawling.”
—American Airlines flight attendant Joshua Scarpuzzi to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Apparently flight attendants have had bad physical reactions to the Fort Worth-based airline’s new uniforms. Thousands of flight attendants have reported symptoms including rashes, hives, migraines, respiratory issues, and thyroid problems since the new duds were rolled out last fall.
The Major League Baseball season is officially underway, and both Texas teams will take the field today under quite a bit of pressure to perform. The Houston Astros start the season as a trendy pick to challenge the Chicago Cubs for a World Series title. Led by Jose Altuve, a diminutive second baseman with a big bat, the Astros have a young core that may finally emerge this year. Altuve’s colleague Carlos Correa is a superstar in the making, and the shortstop might finally show why some scouts have compared his game to Alex Rodriguez. Outfielder George Springer will look to continue to develop his power bat while playing elite defense in center field, and third baseman Alex Bregman should build on last season’s solid rookie debut. The Astros added veterans Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran—who is back for a second stint with the ‘Stros—to bolster the lineup, but they didn’t add much this offseason to the starting rotation. Former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel is coming off a disappointing season, and whether he can regain his elite form may be the key to the Astros’s season. The Texas Rangers, meanwhile, are once again expected to be among the league’s best teams. Texas welcomes back ace Yu Darvish for his first opening day since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015, and if he can avoid spending major time on the disabled list this season then, along with Cole Hamels, the Rangers should have enough juice at the front end of their rotation to quell concerns about the rest of the starting five. There are enough solid bats in the Rangers lineup to make them a reasonably safe bet to at least contend for the American League West crown.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A child has died in Child Protective Service’s custody office after a fifteen-year-old girl was fatally struck by a car after fleeing a state office building where she was being cared for by CPS, according to the Dallas Morning News. The fifteen-year-old had run away with another teenager in foster care before the accident in Houston (the other teen sustained only minor injuries). According to the Morning News, this marks the first time a foster kid died while staying at a CPS office because the agency was unable to find a foster care provider. The girl’s death highlights the agency’s long-running problems, and it comes less than a month after the Texas Lege unanimously passed several bills aimed at reforming CPS. As the Morning News notes, the House Human Services Committee is expected to hear another major foster care reform bill on Monday that will address the system’s overwhelming capacity problem.
Dallas hosted the NCAA women’s Final Four this weekend, and there was a lot of history made on the court. On Friday, Mississippi State did the impossible and snapped UConn’s 111-game winning streak, a feat made even more impressive considering UConn crushed the Bulldogs 98-38 (yes, really) in last year’s Sweet Sixteen. But Mississippi State got sweet revenge on Friday when guard Morgan William, five feet and five inches of badassery, nailed a jumper at the buzzer for the win. It was arguably one of the best games of all time, in any sport. Mississippi State fell to SEC rival South Carolina in the championship game on Sunday, and that matchup also saw history being made. It was the school’s first national title in women’s basketball, and coach Dawn Staley became the second African-American woman to win a NCAA Division 1 championship. Dallas was by all accounts an excellent host too. All three games this weekend were sellouts.
The Beto’s Back In Town
El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke officially kicked off his campaign to topple Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate race on Friday, starting a statewide tour that saw him visit to Dallas, Waco, Austin, and Houston over the weekend. So far during his very young campaign, the plucky underdog has promised that he won’t take contributions from PACs, and, uh, dropped the occasional f-bomb. He was critical of Cruz for devoting “the better part of the last four years furthering his political ambitions, running for president instead of serving the state,” O’Rourke said in Austin, according to the Austin American-Statesman. But the young Democrat definitely has a tough road ahead if he hopes to have a realistic chance at unseating Cruz, who has already sent out fundraising emails decrying O’Rourke as an “unabashed liberal.” O’Rourke himself could probably stand to raise some dough—and fast. According to the Dallas Morning News, O’Rourke’s campaign war chest currently sits at about $400,000, compared to Cruz, who has at least $4 million on hand.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Must-read: How a series of failures in the criminal justice system allowed a serial rapist to roam free in Houston Houston Chronicle
The University of Texas at Austin continues to mourn one year after student Haruka Weiser was murdered on campus KXAN
The Lege might legalize fantasy sports today, just in time for you to spend way too much time on fantasy baseball Texas Tribune
South Padre Island residents are taking action to reclaim their island from rowdy spring breakers McAllen Monitor
A health insurer rescinded its approval of a potentially life-saving treatment for a five-year-old Waco girl with a neuro-muscular disease KWTX