Saturday, August 24, 2019

Braves 2 Mets 1 in 14 innings


We headed over to Citi Field last night as this game was part of our package, but we didn't think it would be a very late night.  The Mets tied a major league record with their 8 pitchers striking out 26 Braves, but they still lost the game.  Jacob deGrom became the first pitcher to homer and strike out 13 batters in the same game twice in one season.  His home run turned out to be the only run scored by the Mets in this 14 inning marathon.

The Mets couldn't hit in the clutch as they left the bases loaded in the 10th inning and runners on first and third in the 11th.  The bullpen was effective until the top of the 14th when Jeurys Familia gave up an RBI single to Billy Hamilton.  The team gives player multi-million dollar contracts over a few years and they just don't perform.  There was no walk-off celebration last night.

Game Recap


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mets 9 Indians 2

It is unusual when we go to a night game during the week, but we had rainchecks from the game on Mother's Day.  We usually sit in the Promenade behind home plate, but when we exchanged our tickets we were given seats in the Coca-Cola corner in right field.  At the end of the third inning, we observed there were plenty of seats in our usual section, so we moved over.

This was an interleague game with Mickey Callaway facing his former team.  The Met hitting came alive with two-run homers by J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto. Steven Matz pitched a credible game for 6 1/3 and the bullpen for once was perfect.  This game marked the return of Ruben Tejada to Citi Field for the first time since his collision with Chase Utley in the 2015 NLDS,  He received polite applause when he was introduced as a late-inning defensive replacement.  He has no hits in 9 at-bats since his recall, so it is likely he will return to the minor league when Jeff McNeil comes off the injury list.

Game Recap

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

On My Bookshelf - More Baseball and Dylan


I just received this book about an hour ago for my Amazon Kindle. One can save money by buying new books on the Kindle.  The print version of the above book is $28.95 while I spent only $9.99 for the e-book.  Print books are often heavy and difficult to schlep around.  It is written by Louie Kemp who knew Dylan as a kid.  I'll start reading it today.


This is another book that I bought for the Kindle.  It is an autobiography of former baseball commissioner Bud Selig who discusses how baseball has changed over the years. It will certainly evolve even more in the years to come.  Baseball is too much of a business and there is too much reliance on analytics.


I obtained this 6-year old book from the Queens Library.  It wasn't at the local Mitchell-Linden branch, so I arranged to have it sent there.  There are various chapters on Jews who were players or executives in major league baseball.  I don't have to read the entire book.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Shelter from the Storm Would be a Good Title for a Movie About Bob Dylan Fans


Yesterday we saw Blinded by the Light, a film about a Pakistani high school student living in Great Britain in the late 1980s who was greatly moved by the music of Bruce Springsteen.  I was never a great fan of "The Boss" since I was entrenched in the music of the 1960s and 70s as the other Bruce came to fame in the 1980s.  I have a compilation CD of his plus a few more of his CDs that I bought at record fairs. I am familiar with his major hits, but not his deep tracks.

There is a good review of the movie in the New York Times.  I was sad to see how this Pakistani student was taunted by his British classmates who disapproved of his ethnicity.  The student's father hated Springsteen and thought he was Jewish.  I don't want to give away anything more about this film, but I do recommend it highly.

Certainly, Bob Dylan has moved thousands of fans over the past 57 years.  I would recommend someone produce a movie on this but trace the fan's devotion to Dylan over many years.  His music and words have often sheltered me from a storm.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Congratulations to Doreen Mettle on Her Retirement

Doreen made a speech at my retirement party in December 2017

Doreen Mettle retired today as Director of Circulation and Interlibrary Loan at the NJIT Library where she worked for about 29 years.  I had a nice conversation with her over the phone yesterday as we reminisced about some experiences on campus.  She requested a small reception with coffee and cake as opposed to a large retirement party.  It was a pleasure to work with during my 25 years at the library.  I wish her the best of health and happiness in the years to come.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Welcome Back Ruben Tejada to the Mets - You Deserve a Standing Ovation


Ruben Tejada was an infielder for the Mets from 2010-2015.  In the 2015 National League Division Series against the Dodgers his leg was broken by a dirty slide by that creep Chase Utley.  Sadly, after that time Ruben never played for the Mets.  He briefly played for the Cardinals, Giants, and Orioles and was signed to a minor league contract to the Mets this season.

Last night Jeff McNeil injured his hamstring and was put on the 10-day injury list.  Ruben Tejada was recalled from AAA Syracuse to take his place on the roster. He is in the starting lineup in the game at Atlanta. A little justice has been served with his return to the Mets.  Let's hope he does well in his time back on the big club.  In any event, he deserves a standing ovation when he returns to Citi Field since he literally took a hit for the team.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Another Bob Dylan Song is Misplaced in a Movie


It was a rainy and dreary day today, so Karen and I walked over to the local multiplex and saw The Kitchen which refers to the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan (extreme West 40s).  The film took place in the late 1970s when that area was quite seedy.  There are many luxury high rise apartment buildings in that area today.

This journal entry is not meant to be a movie review, but to comment on a placement of a Bob Dylan song.  I will say that I thought it was too violent with too many murders.  A snippet of Don't Think Twice covered by Melanie appeared just after a funeral.  That song was about a breakup of a romantic relationship and was just not appropriate for this film.  The full version of Melanie's cover can be seen below.  In 2015 I criticized a version of Masters of War placed in the movie Selma.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

I Met Vinny Varadarajan of Sports Jeopardy Fame at Citi Field


Back in 2015/16, there was a show on CrackleTV called Sports Jeopardy that was based on regular Jeopardy and featured Dan Patrick as the host. Vinny Varadarajan who graduated from NJIT in 2011 was a big winner.  Back then I contacted him and we have kept in touch through Facebook and Twitter.  I found out that he and a friend were going on a mini baseball tour through the northeast and would be at today's game at Citi Field.

I stopped by his seat in the 6th inning and we discussed NJIT, the Mets, and his appearance on Sports Jeopardy.  I really hope that he will eventually appear on regular Jeopardy.  His 15 victories on the sports version exceeded all contestants.  Perhaps, if he makes it to the regular show he will give Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer a run at their records.

Good Luck Vinny!

Nationals 7 Mets 4 as Winning Streak Ends


A few weeks ago fans gave up on the Mets as they dropped to 11 games under the .500 mark.  All of a sudden they won 15 out of 16 including the last two against division rival Washington Nationals.  This hot streak put them squarely in the hunt for a wild card spot.

With Jacob deGrom pitching today it seemed to be likely that this streak would continue, but it was not to be.  The game started on a bad note as the Nationals scored 3 runs on a throwing error by Pete Alonso.  The Mets quickly tied the game in the second inning with RBI hits by Joe Panik and Jeff McNeil.  There were no runs scored until the 7th inning when former Met Asrubal Cabrera doubled in 2 runs.  The Mets go close in the bottom of the 7th with a sacrifice fly by Michael Conforto.

Trouble reliever Edwin Diaz yielded a two-run homer to Victor Robles to make the final score 7-4.

Now the Mets must face the division-leading Atlanta Braves on the road.  Will this surge continue?

Game Recap

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Trying to Form a Facebook Group of NYC Bob Dylan Enthusiasts


Some years ago there was in NYC a Meetup Group of Bob Dylan enthusiasts organized by Walter  Raubicheck who met in lower Manhattan to discuss Dylan.  I heard Walter's talk at the recent Dylan Symposium in Tulsa but didn't get a chance to speak to him.  We did exchange a few emails where he said he'd be interested in restarting this discussion group.  If you are interested, please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/504163763690266/.  Build it and they will come.

There is nothing to lose by initiating this.  I'll give it a few months to develop.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Dan Taylor Uses Social Media to Say Farewell to His Listeners


About a month ago Dan Taylor abruptly left WCBS-FM after many years at the station.  He worked in New York radio for about 40 years including stints at WHN, WNBC, WMXV, and WNSR.  I listened to him for many years when he did the morning drive show at WCBS-FM.  In 2014 he was moved to the 10 AM - 3 PM slot.

I actually met Dan at the CBS Radio Expo at Yankee Stadium in 2010.  That same year I named him one of my 3 favorite morning radio personalities in this Journal.

Radio is often a tough business as on the air personalities are often let go and not given a chance to say goodbye to their listeners.  It is rare when someone retires and is allowed to give a farewell show.  A few days ago Dan said farewell to his listener on Facebook and Twitter ,  It is a shame that moves are made to attract younger listeners.  I used to be an avid listener of WCBS-FM, but I hardly listen to it any longer since I don't enjoy their current music mix.  They don't want 70-year olds like me anyway.

Everyone certainly wishes Dan well in his future endeavors in radio or in other areas.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Congratulations to Harry Harrison on His Election to the Radio Hall of Fame


For my readers who are not radio enthusiasts, Harry worked in New York radio at WMCA (1959-68), WABC (1968-1979) and WCBS-FM (1980-2003).  He returned to WCBS-FM for a Saturday morning show from October 2004 to May 2005.  He certainly is a "radio mensch" and has always bonded with his listeners.  This was announced on the Radio + Television Business Report among other publications.  His election was certainly overdue.  My hearty congratulations to Harry and the other inductees.

It was my pleasure to initiate the Fans of Harry Harrison page on Facebook which now has over 2500 members.  Below is a note that Harry wrote to the members of the group showing his appreciation.


Sunday, August 4, 2019

These Two Guys are Lurking


I forgive the distinguished gentleman with the SF Giants shirt.  Both of them are invited as my guest to Citi Field whenever they come to NYC.

David Crosby: Remember My Name - An Excellent Documentary


I am certainly familiar with the music of David Crosby as I have followed him since his days in the Byrds in 1965.  Of course, he was a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young and recorded as a solo artist.  He was inducted as a member of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fames as members of those 2 groups.

I went out of my way to see this film as it was only playing at the Landmark at 57th Street which was at 12th Avenue by the Hudson River.  It was certainly worth the trip.

The best part was the integration of the current interview of David with footage from the 60s and 70s.  He was very candid as he spoke about his relationships with women and musicians.  His medical and legal problems were discussed in detail.  He has 8 stents in his heart, has a transplanted liver, and suffered 3 heart attacks.  It is amazing that he is alive at age 77.

I recommend this film for all of my music enthusiast friends.


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Visited the Brooklyn Museum Today


The Queens, Brooklyn, and New York Public Libraries offer the Culture Pass that allows holders of library cards free admission to various museums in the city.  One usually has to reserve a pass a few months in advance.  Today we went to the Brooklyn Museum.

We saw a handful of exhibitions including:

  • Rembrandt to Picasso: Five Centuries of European Works on Paper - it highlights more than a hundred European drawings and prints from the museum's exceptional collection, many of which are on view for the first time in decades.
  • One: Titus Kaphar - Kaphar, an African American Artist, provides written commentary on selected drawings and prints on view, helping to shine a light on the Eurocentric bias of the art-historical canon.

The Trading Deadline Has Past and the Mets Won 6 in a Row

Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler, and Todd Frazier were not traded at the deadline.  The Mets subtracted Jason Vargas and added Marcus Stroman which helps their starting rotation.  However, the bullpen is still very shaky as Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz have been very inconsistent.  They have won 6 in a row, but they can just as easily go into a losing streak.  Their next 8 games are against weak teams so they could hit the.500 mark in early August.  My prediction is that they will finish with 79-82 wins and be several games behind the second wild-card position.

The Yankees did not make any moves at the deadline but need more starting pitching especially if Luis Severino does not return.  They still have a comfortable lead in the AL East, but the next 4 games against the Red Sox will be very important.


 
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