Fort Worth Cats fans raised a collective eyebrow after General Manager Chris Hart resigned last week. Hart was considered a sales wunderkind and effective leader when he was recruited from the Texas Rangers earlier this year. Hart helped re-establish the Cats in 2012 after a rocky off- season and ownership change. The Cats downplayed Hart’s resignation, saying his commute from Frisco to Fort Worth was wearing him down and making him miss out on family time. When contacted by the Weekly, however, Hart’s guarded responses to questions hinted at some sort of trouble in paradise.
Hart agreed the long commute and late hours were a drain on him and his family. But he also alluded to problems with the owners — or at least some of them.
Byron Pierce, John Bryant, and Mike Stone head the ownership group. Hart worked for Stone at the Rangers and holds his former boss in high regard. “I have deep admiration and respect for [Stone], and I don’t want to say anything to have him disappointed in me,” Hart said. “Mike Stone is the biggest mentor — you couldn’t ask for a better person to lead you into a sports management position.”
Hart said little about Bryant and Pierce. “I wasn’t on board with part of the direction they were going in,” he said. “I can’t get into details.”
Pierce will serve as interim manager for the rest of the season, and the team is expected to hire another general manager for 2013. Hart didn’t want to comment further on the owners, but he praised the coaching staff and the team’s direction. “As far as the team goes, I think they’ll be fine,” he said.
José You Can See
Speaking of critters with nine lives, word comes that former Rangers slugger turned steroid narc turned reality TV doofus turned failed boxer turned bankrupt businessman José Canseco has signed to play with the minor league’s Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings. Why do we care? The WhiteWings are in the same North American Baseball League as the Cats. And they start a four-game series at LaGrave Field beginning Saturday, Aug. 18.
Race Street’s Close-Up
Fort Worth dropped $50K in 2005 to develop a fancy plan to revamp Race Street in the Riverside area. So far that plan has accomplished nada. Local underdog champ Debby Stein made a Facebook page four months ago for the Better Block project on Race Street and has already organized a neighborhood block party next month that puts city planning to shame.
The Better Block event is part of a DIY revitalization effort sweeping through forgotten neighborhoods across the nation, showcasing commercial potential to private investors and city officials. embRACE theSTREET is taking over the 2800 block of Race Street from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 8 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 9. Bring the kids. Bring the dog. Bring an appetite.
Businesses such as Fuzzy’s Taco Shop will let their property be transformed into an outdoor market with local artists selling everything from jewelry and bath soaps to cheese-making kits. Four-legged friends can cool off in the shaded pocket dog park — not just for pocket-sized dogs — and dip a paw in the pool or take care of business.
Meat-eaters and vegans can chow down (somewhat peacefully) together with options like Tio Carlos’ Tamales and Zombie’s Food Truck setting up shop while you shop. Grab a spot on the growing list of vendors before the big event by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.