general manager

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

The strip of restaurants lining Guadalupe next to the University, commonly known as “The Drag,” experiences significant drops in sales over spring, summer and winter breaks, according to several store managers.

Virginia Navarate, general manager of Qdoba Mexican Grill on 24th Street off Guadalupe, said the store experiences about a 60 percent drop in sales during breaks because of the diminished foot traffic.

“We change up the [operating] times, so when usually we open at 10 a.m. and close at 3 a.m., we operate [during breaks] from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” Navarate said. “We do everything else the same because we must expect it may be busy, but it never is. It’s kind of like a break for the store, too.”

Which Wich general manager Francisco Orozco said the store has an average of 40-45 percent drop in sales during breaks. Chipotle general manager Breck McBride said the store has about a 50 percent drop in sales, and Campus Candy general manager Dan Morales said the store has a 25 percent drop in sales during summer break and a 70 percent drop in sales during winter break.

Morales also said the drop in sales demonstrates the extent to which students at UT rely on eating out, specifically at restaurants on The Drag.

“I don’t see it as a big issue, though,” Morales said. “We push about 30,000 students a week through those doors, [so] we make plenty. The fact of the matter is that probably [most] of what students eat is purchased [on The Drag]. If The Drag wasn’t here, UT wouldn’t be the campus that it is.”

Steve Salazar, general manager of Tyler’s, a store selling clothing and other merchandise, said he does not see a significant drop in sales for the store during breaks.

“I would imagine people come here because they know what they want,” Salazar said. “It’s not like that with food, per se. We have a lot of out-of-towners, because they want more local things.”

As part of a five-player deal finalized Monday, first baseman Chris Carter (22) along with two minor league players from the Oakland Athletics’ minor league system were traded to the Houston Astros for infielder Jed Lowrie and right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodriguez. The Athletics and Astros will play each other in the AL West following the Astros’ move from the NL Central in 

Photo Credit: John Smith | Daily Texan Staff

OAKLAND, Calif.  — The Oakland Athletics acquired infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Fernando Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for first baseman Chris Carter and two minor leaguers on Monday.

Right-hander Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi also went to Houston in the deal between franchises that will be playing in the same division for the first time following the Astros’ move from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013.

Lowrie batted .244 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 97 games with Houston, missing two months with ankle and thumb injuries. Despite the limited playing time, Lowrie tied for the fourth most homers among all shortstops last year.

Oakland general manager Billy Beane said he has had interest in Lowrie for years and was glad to be able to get the chance to add him to the roster.

“He always had good power for a guy in the middle of the infield,” Beane said. “It’s just hard to find that kind of power from a guy who can play the middle of the infield and doing it as a switch-hitter.”

Lowrie played exclusively at shortstop last season but previously played first, second and third base as well during his four years with the Boston Red Sox. The A’s had previously signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima to a $6.5 million, two-year contract.

Nakajima starts off as the shortstop but Beane said there will be plenty of chances for Lowrie to play all over the infield.

“I feel most comfortable at shortstop,” Lowrie said. “But I’ve played some second base in my career as well. I’m certainly more comfortable up the middle than anywhere else on the diamond. But I’ve had some experience at third base.”

Lowrie, who played his college ball at nearby Stanford, agreed to a $2.4 million salary to avoid arbitration. The Astros are likely to have the lowest payroll in the majors in 2013.

The move sends Lowrie from a rebuilding franchise that had a major league-worst 107 losses last season to a young club coming off a surprising division title in 2012 and one with high hopes for this season.

“Considering everyone had pegged either the Rangers or Angels to win it, it was a great story to watch from a distance,” Lowrie said. “It’s a group of young guys that obviously knows how to win. Hopefully, we’ll just continue to get better.”

Rodriguez went 2-10 with a 5.37 ERA in 71 relief appearances last year. He struck out 78 batters in 70 1-3 innings. Despite the poor record and high ERA, Beane sees plenty to like from the hard-throwing Rodriguez.

“He’s got a real big arm,” Beane said. “His record, his ERA are probably a little bit misleading. He’s another guy to add to our bullpen depth, which was one of our strengths last year. We felt like we were giving them a pretty good package. This addition helped us get over the finish line.”

Carter batted .239 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs in 67 games with Oakland last year, platooning at first base with left-handed hitting Brandon Moss. He provides needed power for the Astros and could thrive at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park.

Beane said it was difficult to part with a player like Carter who twice won the award as the organization’s top minor leaguer, but he saw little opportunity for Carter to get substantial at-bats with four regular outfielders who would rotate at designated hitter and Brandon Moss likely getting most of the first base at-bats against right-handed pitching.

Lowrie provided much more immediate help.

“Given where this club finished last year and that we have the chance to compete this year we wanted to do whatever we could to help us out right now,” Beane said.

Peacock was acquired by Oakland from Washington in the deal that sent Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals following the 2011 season. After going 15-3 with a 2.39 ERA in the minors in his final year in the Nationals system, Peacock was 12-9 with a 6.01 ERA at Triple-A Sacramento last season. He was ranked as Oakland’s top pitching prospect for 2013 by Baseball America.

The 21-year-old Stassi batted .268 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 84 games at Class A Stockton in 2012 and was considered Oakland’s top catching prospect.

“This trade gives us power, pitching and catching,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. “Three valuable commodities that will help improve our organization.”

Won't fix itself

 

General manager Michael Baldeschwiler and his son Blaise, right, inspect a car at Phoenix Motor Works on West Sixth Street Thursday afternoon. 

Former NPR CEO and general manager of NYTimes.com Vivian Schiller has agreed to still speak at a symposium on online journalism at UT in April, despite an announcement Wednesday that she left her post at the public radio outfit. Schiller will talk about her vision as an online journalist with NPR and NYTimes.com, said journalism professor Rosental Alves, who organizes the symposium each year. This morning he called and told Schiller that he would still be happy to have her speak at UT’s Communication School, regardless of her resignation from NPR, he said. “She will be a superb, outstanding keynote speaker for us,” he said. “I was very sad to learn that she was leaving NPR, but I was very happy that I could convince her to still come for the symposium.” Schiller will be the first in a series of keynote speakers and will be followed by the vice president and managing editor of CNN.com, Meredith Artley. NPR struggled to transition to the digital age, but through requirements such as multimedia training for all NPR journalists, Schiller shifted the network forward, Alves said. “The most important work that she has done was moving NPR into the digital age,” he said. “That experience alone would be very relevant for us who are concerned with the future of journalism in this country.”