Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The New York Mets in Popular Culture edited by David Krell - Book Review


 

We are very often so deeply involved in our popular culture that we don’t realize that this culture exists.  Sports very often provides an escape from our daily problems.  The Mets have been a large part of the popular culture of New York City since the team’s inception in 1962.  The team often intersected with other entertainment venues including movies, television, and music as shown in this book.

I have read many baseball books that are very scholarly and provided numerous statistics and details that are suitable for the serious baseball researcher.  Editor David Krell received contributions by several academics whose contributions are suitable for the casual Met fan who want more detail about the “Beloved Amazins”. Krell, a noted baseball writer, made two contributions. I have been a Met fan since 1962 and learned quite a bit from reading this book.

For example, I always enjoyed Bob Murphy’s broadcasts but knew little of his career before he joined the Mets.  Donna Halper, a professor of media studies, provides a detailed account.  Likewise, there is an excellent biography of Joan Payson, the first owner of the Mets, by SABR member Leslie Heaphy.  I was also amused to read more about Mr. Met.

Each contribution included a long list of notes that provide a reference to original newspaper articles so that serious baseball scholars can get more detailed information.  I highly recommend this book to all baseball enthusiasts even if they are not Met fans.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Today's Visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

 

Sculpture from the Judd Exhibition

We were able to get tickets today for the Museum of Modern Art as they are only allowed to admit 25% of capacity.  The last time we were here was in November 2019 so there were obviously new exhibits when the museum reopened.

The first exhibit we visited on the sixth floor was devoted to the works of Donald Judd, wo used industrial materials and production processes, to explorations of color and surface through his “boxes” and “stacks" as seen above.

Another exhibit was Félix Fénéon The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond.

There were several paintings by Pablo Picasso in the collection.


There has always been a helicopter in the museum







Friday, September 25, 2020

Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) Lotte Lenya and the Doors

 I heard Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by the Doors way back in the late 1960s when it was on their first album.  I was certain that Bob Dylan would play it when I heard that a new Theme Time Radio Hour would feature whiskey songs.  He did play the Lotta Lenya version of it back in 1930.  I must say that it is a very deep track and that Dylan must have an encyclopedic knowledge of music.



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Galen Faison Should Be Father of the Year


 Galen Faison joined the NJIT Library in 1995, 3 years after I did.  While he was employed there he obtained Bachelors's and Master's degree in Professional and Technical Communications.  He also became an Adjunct Professor.

After 25 years he decided to bow out gracefully and will teach in the mornings and become a stay-at-home dad for most of the day.  He is the proud father of one son and two daughters.  I am sure he is also glad that he can spend more time watching football.

I wish him well in all his future endeavors and nominate him for Father of the Year.

Galen with his youngest daughter
at my retirement party in December 2017


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

500 Best Albums of All Time According to Rolling Stone Magazine

 

I have written more about top oldies (singles) as selected by listeners or contrived by radio stations.  I received an announcement from Rolling Stone magazine announcing the 500 Best albums voted by over 300 Artists, producers, critics, and music-industry figures.  I don't want to peruse the entire list, but my readers can click on the link.  The number 1 album is What's Going On by Marvin Gaye.  Number 2 was Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.

The top Beatle albums were:

5- Abbey Road

11- Revolver

The Top Bob Dylan albums were:

9- Blood on the Tracks

18 - Highway 61 Revisited

I guess I should examine the entire 500 list in detail.  Obviously, the list would be different if voted by readers.



Sunday, September 20, 2020

Random thoughts of the Day

 


  • Today would have been Harry Harrsions's 90th birthday.
  • For the past two days, I attended virtual Rosh Hashana services offered by the Free Synagogue of Flushing.  The Rabbi, Cantor, pianist, and camera operators were the only ones in the temple.  The people blowing the shofar did it remotely.
  • NYC Oldies Radio Enthusiasts is one of the Facebook groups that I moderate.  I can not understand why people from outside the New York Metropolitan area join it.  Most of them are lurkers.  Many people use this group to promote their internet radio shows.
  • I really hope that Donald Trump can be blocked from nominating a Supreme Court justice.  The Republicans denied Barack Obama's nominee from being considered 9 months before the election in 2016.  Politics suck.
  • I saw the documentary RBG a few years ago but did not document it in this journal.  She was an extraordinary woman.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Virtual High Holy Day Services at the Free Synagogue of Flushing This Year


 First of all, I wish all my readers who observe the holidays a happy and healthy new year.  For several years we have attended High Holy Day services at the Free Synagogue of Flushing.  They have never charged anyone for attending services.  Every year I send them a donation to support their efforts.  Since there are still limitations on gatherings, the temple is offering virtual services.  I assume that current regulations would allow for 10 men to attend in person allowing for a minyan.  This would include, the rabbi, cantor, and those reading the Torah.  I will attend their virtual services.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Count Your Blessings When You See a Food Line


I was sitting and reading in the little park adjacent to PS 214 in the Mitchell Linden section of Queens where I live.  I observed a line of people by the school waiting for food that was more than a block long.  The coronavirus pandemic has thrown millions of people out of work and sadly these people don't have the money to buy food.  I often see people in the neighborhood scrounging garbage to find bottles and cans that they can redeem for 5 cents each.

When I see that I am glad that I have a good pension and am able to support my family at this time that has created stress for me.  If things are bad for you, always realize that it is worse for other people.

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour to Return

 


There were about 100 episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour recorded and played on SiriusXM radio, but the series stopped.  All of a sudden there will be a new show with the theme Whiskey.  Dylan is the owner of a distillery which makes Heaven's Door Whiskey.  This new episode will be heard the Monday, September 21 at 2 PM on the Deep Tracks Channel.  Fortunately, I will be home to hear it.  Below is the official announcement:

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Heaven's Door Spirits, an evolving collection of American whiskeys created by Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partners, is proud to announce Dylan's return to his famed "Theme Time Radio Hour" series for a special episode. Kicking off a special week-long limited run of Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour on SiriusXM's Deep Tracks (ch. 27), beginning Monday, September 21st, at 12 p.m. ET, this program feature theme is "Whiskey" in honor of Bourbon Heritage Month. The new, never-before-heard episode will then be made available on the Heaven's Door website and social channels, Bob Dylan's website, and social channels, as well as all major streaming services starting September 25th.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Discovering Pete Hamill Shortly after His Passing

 In early August I found out that writer Pete Hamill died at age 85.  I certainly heard about him, but never knew the details of his life and career.  According to his obituary in the New York Times, he was a "celebrated reporter, columnist, and the top editor of The New York Post and The Daily News; a foreign correspondent for The Post and The Saturday Evening Post; and a writer for New York Newsday, The Village Voice, Esquire, and other publications. He wrote a score of books, mostly novels but also biographies, collections of short stories and essays, and screenplays, some adapted from his books." I found out about a documentary Breslin and Hamill Deadline Artists that I was able to view since I am a subscriber to HBO.

I decided to seek out some of his publications.  I bought his autobiography, A Drinking Life on Amazon.com. It was published in 1994.


He traced his life starting out as a young boy in Brooklyn.  He was very interested in cartoons but became a writer much later.  His first job was with the New York Post.  He moved to several cities in different countries and eventually most back to Brooklyn.  He ended this partial autobiography in 1974 when he finally kicked his drinking habit.

I also bought Downtown which I thought was an autobiography of his later years.  It was published in 2004.  I was surprised to find out that it was a guide to Lower Manhattan where Pete lived for most of his later life.  He offers a historical perspective on many of the streets and attractions from the Battery to Times Square.  It can actually be useful to tourists.


Should I explore more of his works?  I can't always read about baseball or rock music.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution at the New York Historical Society

 


Before the pandemic forced closures of museums I observed that there was an exhibit featuring Bill Graham and his concerts at the New York Historical Society.  The museum just reopened yesterday so today was a good time to visit.  One must purchase a timed ticket in advance and the museum may only admit 25% of its capacity at a time.  I last visited this museum in March 2019 so it was time for a return visit.

Bill Graham was a German-American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash.  The exhibit started out was some biographical information about him.  Most of the exhibit featured posters and other artifacts from the concerts he promoted over the years.  Many of them were at the Fillmore in San Francisco and Fillmore East in NYC.  Both of those venues closed in 1971.

He promoted concerts with The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones among others.  I didn't know that he promoted The Last Waltz in 1976 and the Bob Dylan and The Band tour in 1974.

Photo of Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead

I highly recommend this exhibition for my friends who are oldies and classic rock enthusiasts.  There were a few other exhibits at the museum that my readers may find on the website.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

I am Glad that Indoor Dining Will be Returning on September 30 in NYC

 


 I certainly have missed going out to restaurants for meals over the past 6 months.  It was a nuisance to walk to fast-food restaurants in the neighborhood buy the food and walk quickly back home to eat it before it gets cold. On several occasions, we drove for 15 minutes to Ben's Deli to order sandwiches and then drive back home.

There are restrictions as there can only be 25% capacity sitting in the restaurants.  This could create lines at popular restaurants.  Hopefully, they will take reservations.  I do sense there are politics involved in this decision.  Restaurants as close as Nassau and Westchester counties were allowed to open with 50% capacity several months ago.  Sadly, thousands of restaurants in New York State have closed over the past months.  As of now the infection rate is less than 1%, but Mayor de Blasio states that if the infection rates hit 2 % indoor dining will stop.

Bon appetit.



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bed Post Overnight - Another Silly Oldie with a Long Title


Lonnie Donegan and his skiffle music were much more popular in the United Kingdom. This did peak at #5 on the Billboard chart in 1961 and is heard on oldies stations.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Man Who Took The Valise Off The Floor Of Grand Central Station At Noon by Lloyd Price


This has to be one of the weirdest novelty songs that I ever heard.  Yesterday afternoon on Pop Gold Radio, the only oldies station you ever will need, Don Tandler was playing the top hits of September 5, 1966, from the WMCA survey.  This actually charted at #45 but was not found on the Billboard chart at all.

WMCA always had a wider playlist than its rival WABC.  If you want to hear rarities, check out Don Tandler's countdown show Saturdays at 3 PM on Pop Gold Radio.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

A Walk along the Highline as a Tourist in My Own City

I searched this journal and saw that I had walked along the Highline in August 2016.  I thought it would be time for a return visit to see how it has changed.  To ensure social distancing a timed reservation is required as it was very crowded when I visited it the last time.

I am following behind Lee and Karen
The yellow dot is there to help with distancing

There were many new apartment buildings right along the walkway.  I imagine that the rents must be astronomically high.  It was impossible to view the Hudson River to the west.
View of 23rd Street at 10th Avenue just east of the Highline

We got off the Highline at 30th Street and walked around Hudson Yards for a little while.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Bob Dylan's Acceptance Speech When He was Elected to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 1988

 


I just completed reading Norm N. Nite's book about how the Rock Hall got its start in Cleveland.  He didn't at all discuss any of the inductees or the controversy over why some artists were never inducted.  I thought I would post Bob Dylan's induction speech in 1988.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Tom Seaver Has Died at Age 75


It was announced this evening that Met legend Tom Seaver, The Franchise" died at age 75 of complications from dementia, COVID-19, and Lyme Disease.  There is so much written about his phenomenal baseball career.  I will refer my reader to:

SABR Biography written by Maxwell Kates

New York Times Obituary


Norm N. Nite Has Written a New Book About the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame


Oldies enthusiasts in New York City know Norm N. Nite as a radio personality who worked at WCBS-FM in its heyday as an oldies station.  I always enjoyed his top 20 oldies countdowns heard on weekends when he played "lost hits" not usually heard on the radio.  Many may not know that he was instrumental in conceiving the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and bringing it to Cleveland where it opened in 1995.

The book is written from Norm's perspective and draws on his own experiences and exclusive interviews with business leaders, governmental officials, and musicians.  The controversies of why some rock stars have been excluded are not considered in this fine book.  I personally feel that Neil Sedaka and Chubby Checker should have been elected to the Rock Hall.

Back in 1998, the family visited the Rock Hall in Cleveland.  When we were at LaGuardia Airport we met Norm who had completed his shift at WCBS-FM and was on our flight to Cleveland.  We revisited the museum in 2008.  I think it is time for a return visit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

IOS 13.7 is Here Today IOS 14 is Coming


If you have an iPhone or iPad, you should view this video.  There are no big updates, but the people at Apple are keeping us busy.  The author of this vides states that IOS 14 will be coming later this month.  I can remember IOS 3.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Today's Visit to the Museum of the City of New York Was a Milestone


The COVID-19 crisis has created much unhappiness for all especially for the families of those of died from this dreadful disease.  The death total is approaching 200,000 in the United States while millions have been taken ill.  Millions of others lost their jobs or businesses during this crisis.

A secondary effect was the closing of museums and other cultural attractions.  Today we went to the Museum of the City of New York especially to see the exhibit City Game/Basketball in New York.  According to my records in this journal, I last visited this museum in October 2019.  Likely, my last visit to any museum was in February of this year.

We had to make reservations in advance and had to follow social distancing guidelines.  Fortunately, this museum offers free admission until September 14.  I gave them a donation as I support cultural institutions.

The basketball exhibition captures the excitement and evolution of this quintessentially urban game and the energy of the diverse New Yorkers who play it and love it.  It covered the sport played at the high school, college, and professional levels in NYC.  It featured players and coaches including Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Nancy Lieberman, Chris Mullin, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Nat Holman, and Red Holtzman.

We also perused some of the permanent exhibits in the museum that we saw during previous visits.



Saturday, August 29, 2020

Mets Sweep Yankees in a Weird Doubleheader at Yankee Stadium


In previous years I always wrote up games that I attended in person in NYC or on vacation in other baseball cites.  Since I obviously can't do that this season I will describe selected games that I viewed on TV.

Last weekend the Yankees and the Mes were scheduled to play at Citi Field, but the series was postponed since personnel on the Mets were tested positive for COVID-19.  So a doubleheader was scheduled for last night at Yankee Stadium to make up for one of those games.  MLB determined that for this season all doubleheader games would be 7 innings.

In Game 1 the Yankees took a 4-0 lead after two innings as Met pitcher Michael Wacha was not effective.  After 5 innings the Met still trailed 4-1.  Pete Alonso hit a 3-run homer in the 6th to tie the game.  Dom Smith and Jake Marisnick homered later that inning to give the Mets a 6-4 led that held up as Edwin Diaz got his second save of the season.  Walker Lockett was the winning pitcher but was designated for assignment after the game so that Dave Peterson could be activated from the injury list to start Game 2.

In the second game, the Mets batted last even though the game was away for them.  They fell behind early 3-1 but got one run back in the 5th inning.  In the bottom of the 7th inning, Jeff McNeil walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Billy Hamilton.  Amed Rosario homered off Aroldis Chapman to win the game 4-3 for the Amazins.

The Yankees have now lost 7 in a row while the Mets are now 15-16.  What will happen next in this weird 60-game season>




Thursday, August 27, 2020

Baseball Comments of the Day


Edwin Diaz got another blown save last night as the Mets lost a 4-1 lead to the Miami Marlins in the 8th inning.  Fortunately, they scored a run in the bottom of the 8th to win the game 5-4.  The Mets are now 13-16, but since 16 of the 30 teams make the playoffs, the Mets have a chance.

I am not impressed with the deals that Brodie Van Wagenen has made as GM.  Edwin Diaz is a bust, although Robinson Cano is hitting this season.  The Mets have benefited by the National League's use of the designated hitter during this short season.  I think it is about time for MLB to play under one set of rules.  The worst thing that Brodie did was to sign Jed Lowrie who has spent almost all of his time on the disabled list.

The Mets are aggressive in trying to sell season tickets for 2021.  The issue is that we don't know if the Coronavirus will disappear next year.  It is possible that games will be played with no fans in the stands or with a percentage of the stadium's capacity allowed.  Why should they hold fans' money for several months?

Most games are still over 3 hours so the rule that requires a pitcher to face 3 batters is not shortening games.  I don't care for the rule putting a runner on second base during an extra inning.  I am certain that it will only apply for this season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson


It looks like I have writer's cramp again as I don't know what to report in my journal.  I certainly don't want to talk about the Republican National Convention.  Right now, I am listening to Willie's Roadhouse on SiriusXM which plays classic country music.  This station also features country crossovers like Always on My Mind and A Boy Named Sue.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Should Baseball Teams Sell Tickets for 2021 This Early?




The Mets and Yankees are already selling full and partial season tickets for 2021.  Starting next week the Mets will be selling single-game tickets.  I think it is much too early for them to do this.  The Coronavirus will not end when the calendar turns to 2021.  There could be a serious resurgence this fall.  It is quite possible that 2021 games will have to be played without fans or possibly with a fraction of the stadiums' capacity.  Why should the teams hold the fans' money for several months?

I finally received all my refunds from the Mets, but it took me a number of months and several phone calls to get them.  As I stated once before in This Journal I will have to go to the Yankee ticket office in 2021 to get an exchange.  I think it would be futile to complain to the New York Department of Consumer Affairs.  They must be swamped with people making complaints about not getting refunds.

Another thought - Is there a digital divide for people buying tickets for any kind of event.  How can you buy tickets if you don't have a computer, internet access, or smartphone?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Random Thoughts of the Day

disinfect 

I passed by Whitestone Lanes a few days ago and observed that it was still closed even though they can open on August 17.  I assume that they had to do a deep cleaning and disinfection before they can open.  They will have to disinfect the bowling balls after each customer.

I got a little grin yesterday when I found out that the woman who succeeded me at my position at my former employer left after 2 years on the job since her commute was very long.  I stuck it out there for 25 years despite a long and complicated commute.  About 18 years ago another librarian left after one year since his commute was very long.  Both traveled from South NJ.  I am New York Strong!

I agree with the restaurant owners that indoor dining should be allowed in NYC.  The infection rate here is the lowest since the pandemic began.

I am really upset that the Coronavirus hit the New York Mets.  Hopefully, the people involved are asymptomatic and play can resume soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Today is National Radio Day

I own this Sangean HD Radio

August 20th is National Radio Day.  I have been an avid listener of radio of different formats and methods of transmission since the early 1960s.  This includes AM, FM, HD, SiriusXM, Shortwave, and internet (streaming).  In recent years it has grown by leaps and bounds,  but the impact of traditional terrestrial radio has declined with the phenomenal growth of the internet with its multitude of streaming services and online stations.

On National Radio Day this enthusiast would like to thank all in the radio business for their devotion to their professional or avocation.  There are just so many to list, and I would want to slight anyone so I will not mention any names.  There are:

  • On the air personalities
  • Corporations that own radio stations
  • Program Directors
  • News Directors
  • Hobbyists who run internet radio stations with their own funds
  • Music Directors
  • Engineers
  • Sales Men and Women
  • People involved with promotions
  • Jingle producers
  • Please forgive me if I have omitted anyone.
Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Key West by Bob Dylan - My Favorite from Rough and Rowdy Ways


One of the topics during last night's Zoom meeting of Bob Dylan enthusiasts was favorite tracks from his new CD Rough and Rowdy Ways.  I chose Key West that can be heard from the Youtube post above.  When I hear that song I also think of Pirate Radio from Key West, Florida.  I listen to that station for a while on Saturday mornings.  They used to air Breakfast with the Beatles with Dennis Mitchell, but now air a show called The Acoustic Storm.  I highly recommend listening to both shows.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Thinking about Bowling Alleys Today


Starting today bowling alleys in NYC can reopen with some restrictions.  When I passed by Whitestone Lanes this morning I saw a news van from WNBC-TV that was obviously there to report on the reopening.  Whitestone Lanes has been at Linden Place in Flushing at least since the early 1960s since I remember my dad taking my sister and me there to bowl.  Over the years many bowling alleys have closed since the sport has lost some popularity.  Let me try to remember some bowling alleys of the past.

Queens
  • Tri-Bowl - this was on 63rd Drive in Rego Park across from P.S. 139.  It only had 12 lanes
  • Hollywood Lanes - this was on 67th Avenue and Queens Blvd.  Now Devry College occupies that site
  • Woodhaven Lanes - It was on Woodhaven Blvd in Forest Hills.  I think it had 60 lanes.
  • Turnpike Lanes - on Union Turnpike near the Queens-Nassau border.
I am sure there are others that I have forgotten.

Brooklyn

Back in the early 1970s, I dated some girls in Brooklyn.  Going bowling was an inexpensive date.  There were:
  • Gil Hodges Lanes - I believe it is still there
  • Mill Basin Lanes - This may still be there under a different name.
There is a very funny story about Mill Basin lanes since my friend Mike from CCNY became engaged there to Heidi.  A bowling alley is certainly a very unromantic place to pop the question.  I had a joke back then about that incident.  Mike popped the question at a spare moment to strike while Heidi was in the right frame of mind.  He wanted to get a lot of pin action.

Those were the days.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

More Venues will be Opening Up Soon


I found out that starting on August 17th bowling alleys will be allowed to open up at 50% capacity.  I will have to go over to Whitestone Lanes which is within walking distance.  I haven't bowed in several years, but I'll give it a try.

It was also announced that museums will be opening on August 24th with 25% capacity.  Visitors would have to make a reservation, but that should not be a problem.  I am looking forward to the exhibit on Bill Graham concerts at the New York Historical Society and the basketball exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

Hopefully, movie theaters will reopen soon.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

My Thoughts about the Mets after the First 20 Games of 2020


First of all, I phone the ticket office today trying again to get my refund for tickets that I bought for games in July, August, and September.  They have a cumbersome procedure for getting refunds.  I didn't have to do anything and easily got refunds for a concert and Broadway show earlier in the year.  They are already trying to sell tickets for 2021, but the Coronavirus is not going to go away when the calendar changes to 2021.  For all we know they may still have to play in empty stadiums in 2021 or possibly limit the number of tickets sold.

Getting back to the field; they are 8-12.  The hitting has finally shown some life as they have scored 19 runs in the last 2 games.  Until recently they could not hit with runners in scoring position.  I will not miss Yoenes Cespedes as his departure opened a door for Dom Smith.  The starting pitching has been hurt with the loss of Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Strohman, and Michael Wacha.  The latter may return soon.  Rookie David Peterson has been a pleasant surprise.  The bullpen remains a question mark as Seth Lugo is the only reliable pitcher.  Edwin Diaz seems to be improving, but still can implode.  A rookie major league manager may make some errors of omission like not pinch-running for a slow catcher.

If the Mets get hot they can easily get back into contention.  We will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Cousin Brucie Returns to WABC after 46 Years


The rumor that Cousin Brucie is returning to WABC is true.  It was announced in several "venues" so I will just list three:


The show will be heard Saturday nights starting September 5 and will be called “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party” and will feature music from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s — plus a “little touch” of the ’50s.  Hopefully, it will be formatted as the SiriusXM show was for the last 15 years.  Will the "Powers that Be" at WABC be overly concerned about demographics and play more 80s music?  I hope not.  I also hope that there will not be a tight playlist.

A disadvantage will be commercials.  An advantage will be that everyone can hear the show either on 770 AM or the iHeart Radio app.  His show on SiriusXM was limited to subscribers.

Cousin Bruce was heard on WABC from 1961 to 1974 so he come full circle.

I wish him all the best.

Game of Love by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders



I guess writer's cramp has set in today, so I will just post an oldie.  Last week I heard that British rock star Wayne Fontana passed away at 74.  He recorded as a solo artist and as leader of the Mindbenders.  My favorite was Game of Love that was a ht in 1965.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Being an Administrator of Fan Groups on Facebook


Over the years I have initiated a handful of fan groups on Facebook.  Once in awhile, there will be inappropriate comments that need to be deleted, but those are minimal.  I will list the groups with a few comments:


  • Fans of Cousin Bruce Morrow - I started this group in the early days of Facebook around 2007.  It actually pre-dates Cousin Bruce's Official Friendship Group that was started by his staff at SiriusXM.  It now has 7900 members and has grown tremendously since Brucie announced he was leaving SiriusXM.  There is speculation that he will be doing a Saturday Night show on WABC.
  • Fans of Harry Harrison - I also started this in the early days of Facebook.  It now has 2570 including Harry's daughter Patty who is very active in this group.  There were numerous posts at the time of Harry's passing in January 2020.
  • NYC Oldies Radio Enthusiasts -I formed this group as a place for those attending the Oldies Meet and Greets to hang out.  It did not turn out this way as people with oldies shows on internet radio are using it to promote their shows.  It has 1100 members including many not from the NYC area.
  • Fans of WMCA Good Guy Radio -  WMCA was a popular Top 40 station in NYC from 1962-70.  In a short period of time, it has grown to 1100 members.  Some people post airchecks of various DJs.
  • Bob Dylan fans in NYC - this has only 40 members.  I guess there are just too many Bob Dylan fan groups on Facebook.

Friday, August 7, 2020

I Remember This Silly Commercial from Six Flags


I warned you this is silly.  That man reminds me of a former boss.  I guess I am not in the mood for writing today.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Stephen Bogart Lebow and Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists


A week or so ago I remarked on Facebook that I have not even met in person most of my 611 Facebook friends and that I should determine that number.  Stephen Bogart Lebow is CEO at New Spirit Broadcasting and Global Broadcasting.  I remember friending him c.2007 after I said something positive about his father the late Guy Lebow who was a sportscaster and radio station owner in NYC.  In 1971 I phoned Guy who was sitting in for Jack Spector on his sports talk show on WMCA.

Anyway, yesterday it was announced that New York City newspaper legend Pete Hamill just passed away.  I was perusing my Facebook feed and observed a thread about Pete Hamill.  One of his Facebook friends posted about a documentary called Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists.  This piqued my curiosity and since I had access to this film through HBO Max, I thought I would view it.

The documentary made me realize what excellent journalists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill were.  The film highlighted many of the significant stories that the two covered over the years.  It also reminded me of the great influence that newspapers had during my years growing up in Queens.  When I rode the subway to CCNY in the late 1960s, most people were reading newspapers while most subway riders today are engrossed in their cell phones.  I highly recommend my readers view this documentary.  I will try to read some publications by these two distinguished journalists.  I remember reading  Can't Anyone Here Play this Game by Jimmy Breslin as he documented the futility of the 1962 New York Mets.

The New York Times, New York Post, and Daily News are still being published, but their influence is minimal today as people rely on the internet for news.  I believe those publications are now emphasizing their online versions.

I made Facebook friends with people who share common interests even though I've never met.  Stephen Bogart Lebow and I share an interest in radio.  I guess I should not drop Facebook friends as I may learn from them.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Cousin Brucie is Interviewed by the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame


I was searching Youtube to see if someone had posted a recording of Cousin Brucie's last show on SiriusXM.  Instead, I found this interview of the Cuz by the Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame.  It was posted February 2020, so I assume I was done within the last year.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Goodbye Yoenis Cespedes - You Have No Class


While I was watching today's Mets game, it was revealed that Yoenis Cespedes stated did not come to the stadium to be with the team.  After the game, it was announced that he opted out of the rest of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.  This is understandable that he is afraid of contracting this dreadful disease,  It was his lack of proper communication that is upsetting.  He didn't have the class to contact his management directly.  He ran away as his agent informed the Mets of his decision.

In the 8 games that he played in this strange season, he had 5 hits in 34 at-bats with 2 home runs.  He wasn't exactly a ball of fire.  When I look at his statistics, he really didn't do anything recently for the Mets especially after being out for 2 years from injuries.  The Mets would not have reached the World Series in 2015, but that was 5 years ago.  What have you done for me lately?

A few days ago he spoke in Spanish at a news conference.  With all the money he made and two years on the sideline, he could hire a tutor to teach him conversational English.  This guy has no class and will not be missed by this Met fan.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Blonde on the Tracks by Emma Swift - Another Collection of Bob Dylan Covers


I was listening to John Platt on WFUV last Sunday at about 5;30 PM when he played Queen Jane Approximately by Emma Swift.  I was curious and did some "Google research" and found out that she released a new album called Blonde on the Tracks.  I read the description and thought of buying the CD.  I have done this a number of times after hearing Dylan covers on WFUV or WBGO.  Off the top of my head, I have bought cover collections by Ben Sidran, and Bettye Lavette after hearing a sample on one of those fine radio stations.  I never even heard of Emma Swift, but I bought the CD.

I originally thought it would feature covers from Blonde on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks, but it includes songs from several Dylan albums including the very recent Rough and Rowdy Ways.  Emma is a blonde, so the title makes sense in another way.
  • Queen Jane Approximately 
  • I Contain Multitudes 
  • One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
  • Simple Twist of Fate
  • Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
  • The Man In Me
  • Going Going Gone
  • You're A Big Girl Now
I found this short bio of Emma Swift on the Wikipedia:

Emma Swift is an Australian singer-songwriter. Her self-titled EP, recorded in Nashville with producer Anne McCue, was nominated for a 2014 ARIA Award for Best Country Album. She relocated to Nashville in 2013. 

I enjoyed this CD and recommend it those who enjoy Dylan covers.  I may be the exception to the rule, but I do buy music that I hear on the radio.  That phenomenon was much more common the 1950s and 1960s.  I vaguely remember the payola scandals.



Thursday, July 30, 2020

Cousin Bruce Morrow is Leaving SiriusXM after 15 Years - Facts and My Speculation

Yours truly with Cousin Bruce on the WABC Cruise in June 2007

Last night Cousin Brucie announced that he is leaving SiriusXM.  He emphasized that he was not retiring.  Keith Gehring, a poster on the Fans of Cousin Brucie Facebook page posted the audio of the announcement.   I initiated the Fans of Cousin Bruce Morrow Facebook Page in the early days of Facebook c. 2007.  It predates Cousin Brucie's Official Friendship Page.

The Cuz really loves his job playing the oldies and talking to listeners.  Is he leaving voluntarily?  Perhaps he is as he is approaching his 85th birthday.  He is energetic and doesn't appear to have health issues.  Maybe 60+ years on the radio is enough.  SiriusXM is a business and must watch the bottom line.  I am sure that in this recession caused by the COVID-19 crisis many listeners have dropped their subscriptions to SiriusXM which is not an essential service to its customers.  My sense is that he is being let go as an economy move.  I am also certain that many listeners will drop their subscriptions to SiriusXM since they can no longer listen to Cousin Bruce there.

The Cuz said that you'll hear me again, but where?  I doubt he will go back to WCBS-FM since he is not associated with the 1980s hits that the station now plays.  A friend of a friend believes he will go back to WABC which is a news talk station under new management.  I doubt if WABC will go back to oldies on weekends.  It is possible that the Cuz could do a specialty show from time to time on WABC.  It is possible that he could start his own internet radio station similar to Jonathan Schwartz's Jonathan Channel.  It is also possible that he will appear on new fundraising programs seen on PBS as he has done this in the past.

Certainly, everyone wishes the best for the Cuz.  God Bless Him.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Is Bob Dylan Guilty of Plagiarism?




Laura Tenschert on her radio show Definitely Dylan discussed the issue of  False Prophet from Dylan's new album Rough and Rowdy Ways sound very much like If Lovin' is Believing which was recorded n 1954 by Billy 'The Kid' Emerson on Sun Records.  This possibility was also discussed on a Music Feature on NPR.  I am not a musicologist, but I say this is plagiarism.  Will there by a lawsuit?

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Should the Baseball Season be Canceled?


In the video seen above, Lincoln Mitchell, a political analyst, pundit and writer based in New York City and San Francisco, argues that the Major League Baseball season be canceled.  He has appeared in this journal before as I have attended his talks at the New York Giants Preservation Society.

It was certainly sad to hear that several players and coaches of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the Coronavirus causing the postponement of a few games.  Lincoln bases his logic on that.  It is important for baseball to provide some diversion for the American public.  If players and coaches from several teams test positive, it is likely for the better to cancel the season.  I hope that will not happen, but baseball personnel should not have to be sickened or even die from this dreadful disease.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Complaining to the New York Yankees about their Refund/Exchange Policy

I did a little research and found a page on MLB.com that listed Yankees executives and found out that Rose Barre is the Executive Director of  Ticket Sales.  I tried to send her an email via LinkedIn, but I couldn't since I was not a premium member.  I found her on Facebook and sent a message.  I was limited to 240 characters on Twitter, but I will send her a link to this journal entry to Twitter.  I always believe that sometimes the squeaky wheel gets oiled.  If this doesn't work, I'll send a complaint to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Ms. Barre:

I must respectfully disagree with the Yankees' ticket refund/exchange policy.  In late February I went to the stadium ticket office and purchased 6 tickets for two games in 2020 for $255.  There is a statement on the Yankees' web site stating that tickets purchased at box office can only be exchanged when the office reopens.  This will not happen until Spring 2021. However, tickets purchased from Ticketmaster automatically receive a credit.  I made a special trip to the stadium to purchase tickets to avoid excessive fees charged by Ticketmaster. I think is grossly unfair to have to wait one year to get a refund or exchange.  Is there any way that I can get a refund in a timely manner?  Thank you very much.

Yours truly,


Bruce Slutsky
bruce@bruceslutsky.com

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Edwin Diaz = Blown Save


It was 2019 all over again as Edwin Diaz blew a save in game #2 of this shortened season.  He pitched well in the opener as the Mets won yesterday 1-0.  The situation was similar today as the Mets brought a 2-1 lead into the 9th inning.  Edwin Diaz was brought in to get the save.  He got the first two men out, but with two strikes Marcell Ozuna hit a home run to tie the game.  Diaz gave up 15 ninth-inning home runs last season, so it looks like he is picking up where he left off.

This was the first time the Mets played in extra innings since the new rule putting a runner on second base took effect.  Reliever Hunter Strickland was ineffective giving up 3 runs in the 10th inning as the Mets lost 5-3.

Since this is a short season new manager Luis Rojas has to evaluate the relief pitching very quickly.  He has the following options for the closer:

  • Seth Lugo
  • Dellin Betances
  • Justin Wilson
  • Jeurys Familia
I promise there will not be a journal entry for every Met game this season.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Mets 1 Braves 0 in Opener at Citi Field

The 2020 season finally started today at Citi Field. without fans  Sadly it was delayed on account of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Jacob deGrom started for the Mets as he was outstanding as he allowed only 1 hit over 5 innings.  Of course, he was not the winning pitcher as the Met could not score for him.  The only run came on a  home run by designated hitter Yoenes Cespedes in the 7th inning.  This was his first appearance for the Mets in two years. I held my breath in the 9th inning as Edwin Diaz who had a terrible 2019 came into the game.  He got the save as he allowed just a walk in his inning of work.  Can he keep this up?

The Mets are now 39-20 in openers in their history.  Will it be downhill from here?  A 60-game season is a sprint, not a marathon and every game counts more.

It bothered me to hear Cespedes speaking Spanish at a post-game news conference.  Since he makes big bucks, we can't he hire a tutor to teach him how to speak English?  I think many other Latino players refuse to learn to speak English.

I have collected every Mets yearbook since the inception of the team in 1962.  Apparently, they are not publishing one for this abbreviated 2020 season.

Game Account from ESPN

Box Score


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Blowin' in the Wind Covered by Sam Cooke


I never heard this version of Blowin' in the Wind until today.  We'll never know what Sam would have done in his musical career had he lived.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reading Alex Trebek's Autobiography


Since there are no movie theaters, museums, broadway shows, bookstores, or open libraries, one can still read books purchased online.  I ordered The Answer is ....... Reflections on My Life, the autobiography of Alex Trebek, and received it the day it was released.  By the way, today is his 80th birthday.

This is a true autobiography which was not ghostwritten.  It is easy to read in an anecdotal style.  The chapters are very short and are titled in the form of a question.  Alex talks very candidly about growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.  His parents were divorced and his mother had a child by another relationship.  Alex didn't find out he had a half-brother until h was in his forties.  He divorced his first wife in 1981 and remarried in 1990 to Jean who is 24 years younger than him. 

He discusses how his career developed and very often one must be in the right place at the right time to get the right job. He hosted several game shows before he became the long time host of Jeopardy in 1984.  I am about 2/3 of the way through the book and am just starting to read about his hosting of Jeopardy.

It is amazing how Alex has survived pancreatic cancer for almost 1 1/2 years.  He says the chemotherapy is painful, but his numbers are very good.  He will continue to host Jeopardy until he is physically unable to do it.

I recommend this book to all even if they are not Jeopardy fans.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Missing Museums During the Coronavirus Pandemic


New York City is now in Pase 4 of reopening, but museums and other cultural institutions are not being allowed to open.  The problem is that the coronavirus can be transmitted indoors when there are crowds of people.  I heard that the Metropolitan Museum of Art will re-open at the end of August, but with a limitation on visitors.  I am not aware of plans for other museums.  I assume that there will be a timed entry for all patrons.

Earlier this year I wanted to go to:


  • Museum of the City of New York - there was an exhibition on basketball
  • New York Historical Society - an exhibition on concerts by Bill Graham
I don't know if these exhibitions will still be at those museums when they re-open.




Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Booksellers - A Documentary about Antiquarian Book Dealers

Trailer from The Booksellers

I found a reference to this documentary on the Facebook page of one of my librarian friends.  I was intrigued by the trailer and thought I would pay a few dollars to watch it on Amazon Prime Video.  I can't go to a movie theater, anyway, so I thought I would watch it in my air-conditioned bedroom.

It discussed the general demise of bookstores, but the situation is worse for antiquarian bookstores.  These are old books that are of value to collectors who are interested in the book as an artifact, not necessarily in the intellectual content.  To use an extreme example, anyone can buy a bible, but a Gutenberg Bible is a rarity and one would cost millions. 

The film didn't pay much attention to libraries with rare book collections.  Most collectors of rare books are elderly.  There is some concern that as collectors and book store owners pass on this endeavor could end.  An old is not necessarily of great monetary value.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

I Wonder if Some New York City Workers are Being Paid for Doing Nothing


I regularly pass by an elementary school in my neighborhood which, of course, has been closed since March as students are taught through online learning at home.  Until the end of June, I saw two school crossing guards by the school.  Why are they needed?  Are they being paid for just standing around?

In July I have twice seen two school security officers sitting around the playground adjacent to the elementary school.  I must ask again, what are they needed?  Why should taxpayers support workers who are doing nothing?

I also wonder if public library workers are performing tasks at home.  How many reference questions are handled every day by librarians working at home? 

There are severe budget problems in the city as revenue is diminished by less money coming in from people who lost their jobs and businesses that are suffering.  If there is no work for these people, they should be laid off.  Sadly, millions of people working for profit-making organizations have lost their jobs.  Businesses don't pay workers for doing nothing.  Likewise, government agencies must ensure there is productive work for people getting paid.



Thursday, July 16, 2020

Random Thoughts for the Middle of July


It was easier to apply for a refund for my Mets tickets over the phone than it was doing it online.  They will add the funds to the credit card that I used to buy the tickets, but as of now I only received money for tickets through May.

I rechecked the Yankees web site and since I bought the tickets at the Stadium I can't exchange them until next season.  Who knows what will happen in 2021.  The blasted Coronavirus isn't going away anytime soon.  It is possible that in 2021 ballparks will be open, but with limited seating.

I just got a significant discount on my automobile insurance if a paid the full 6-month premium at once.

This civil unrest is just excessive.  I think the "powers that be" have heard them and already have made changes.  I guess there are too many people with nothing to do.  It is unfortunate that the entire police department is demonized by the actions of a few.  I think that more training is needed in the use of weapons and in the proper manner of apprehending a suspect who is resisting arrest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Why are the Mets and Yankees Making it Difficult to Get Refunds on Tickets?


The Mets offer packages of 20, 41, and 81 games for a normal season.  Since I usually go to 12-15 games a season, I chose to buy tickets for individual games.  In February the Mets advertised that for a period of time tickets may be purchased online without the fee.  At that time, I bought 3 tickets for 11 games for about $1100.  The Mets are refunding tickets on a monthly basis.  I got refunds for tickets purchased in April and May.  I applied for a refund for 2 games in June, but I have received them.  It is obvious that at this point all games will be played without fans in the stands.  Why can't they give refunds for the entire season at once?

I usually go to 2 or 3 Yankee games every season.  In early March I decided to take a trip to the Stadium to buy tickets at the box office.  The Yankees announced on their website that I will have to wait until Spring 2021 to exchange those tickets for games next season.

In both cases, the teams earn interest on the money they are holding for tickets sold for games that will not be played in front of spectators.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Later today the Mets announced they were refunding all tickets for 2020.  I had a problem accessing their site for refunds.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

One Book and Two Films about Baseball Pitches


Thankfully, public libraries provide access to e-books.  I searched the NYPL catalog under baseball and limited my search to e-books and perused my answer set.  I was attracted to the book shown above since it was written by Tyler Kepner, a sportswriter for the New York Times.  He spoke to the NYC chapter of SABR in January 2019.  The book traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball.

  The second chapter on fastballs made reference to Fastball, a documentary directed by Jonathan Hock and narrated by Kevin Costner.  It features interviews with Hall of Fame hitters and pitchers who talk about throwing and hitting the fastball.  It even showed deceased pitchers, Walter Johnson and Robert Feller who specialized in the fastball.  It was shown at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, but I was able to view it at IMDB.com.  It was reviewed by Sheila O'Malley.

About 7 years ago I purchased a DVD called Knuckleball that featured Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey.  I don't think any major league pitchers have thrown the knuckleball since Wakefield and Dickey retired.  I found a review of it on DVD Talk.


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Belated Happy 80th Birthday to Ringo Starr


I certainly did not forget about Ringo's 80th birthday, I just forgot to post about it in this journal. He certainly doesn't look 80 years old. I actually donated to his foundation a few days ago.  I chose Postcards from Paradise since it contains more than 20 references to song titles from The Beatles; Starr's post-Beatles solo work (Back Off, Boogaloo); and other efforts by his former bandmates.  I just heard it on Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast with the Beatles.

I remember that 10 years ago we went to his 70th birthday concert at Radio City Music Hall.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

No End in Sight for the Coronavirus Pandemic


The good news is that cases and deaths are down in NYC.  The bad news is that the numbers are going up in other parts of the USA and the rest of the world.  There seems to be no end in sight to this miserable pandemic.  The only way it can "end" is when an effective vaccine is produced, tested, and distributed to much of the world.  It is likely many months if not years before that will happen.

One must feel for the people who died or were sickened by this miserable disease.  Millions have been put out of work and are suffering financially.  It appears that schools will be only partially open in the fall with half the time devoted to online learning.

We have to take this situation one day at a time and hope for the best.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Abolish the Electoral College


Every time I think of Donald Trump I curse the electoral college that put him into office even though Hillary Clinton received 3 million more popular votes.  Every so often I hear of someone in Congress introducing a bill to abolish it, but apparently, the bill is killed in a committee.  Today, there was a good editorial by Jesse Wegman in the New York Times calling for its abolition.

Here is a quote from that editorial:

Before it vaulted him into the White House, Donald Trump saw how corrosive this feature was: “The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy,” he tweeted on election night 2012, when he believed that his candidate, Mitt Romney, would defeat President Barack Obama in the popular vote and yet lose the election.)

Hopefully, this year Trump will lose decisively the popular vote and the electoral college.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Random Thoughts of the Day


Why must the news media continue to cover the Jeffrey Epstein situation months after he committed suicide?  The news is depressing enough as we continually have to hear about COVID-19 and civil unrest.

I am still disappointed that movie theaters are still not able to open even with 50% capacity and a requirement to wear masks.  I just read the following:

Evidence increasingly suggests that the virus lingers in indoor air for extended periods of time. That, in turn, suggests that masks, air ventilation, and ultraviolet light are key to slowing its spread.

Are the ventilation systems in public places good enough to stop the virus?

I have an appointment with the dentist in Forest Hills today.  I will be riding the NYC Subway system for the first time since March.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Today is the 50th Anniversary of AT 40


Back in the 1960s, I listened to countdown shows on WMCA and WABC which of course were local. Very often records were hits nationally but did not chart in New York City.  American Top 40 debuted nationally on July 4, 1970, and reported on the top 40 hits in Billboard magazine.  I remember that day I had a date with a young lady from Coney Island.  At that point, only 7 stations carried the show but over the years it grew by leaps and bounds. New York stations that carried it over the years include WNBC, WXLO, WPLJ, WPIX-FM, and Z-100.  Some of my radio friends are big chart enthusiasts to this day, but I feel that if I liked a song I didn't about its chart positions.  Most Sunday mornings I listen to a show from the 1970s or 1980s on the iHeart Radio app.  Sadly so many people who worked on the show for years have passed away.  These include:

  • Casey Kasem
  • Don Bustany
  • Tom Rounds
  • Ron Jacobs
So much has been written about the show, so instead of repeating it here, I will refer my readers to the following sites:
In radio, the music isn't everything.  It is often what is said between the songs is more important.  Casey Kasem was the best.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Trying to Evaluate the NYPD Objectively


The aim of the NYPD and other police departments across the country is to protect the public from crime.  Over the years many have died in the line of duty trying to prevent crime and apprehending criminals.  I don't know the number of police officers who perished on 9/11 or later died from cancer from exposure to toxins at the site.

In any profession, there are people who excel and those who perform their job poorly.  Sadly, over the years there have been unjustified shootings of Blacks by police.  These events are always publicized with a strong reaction by the public.  Policemen are never above the law and should be prosecuted when they have broken the law.  In my opinion, there have been cases where cops have literally gotten away with murder.  In 1999 Amadou Diallo was shot 43 times by 4 officers who were acquitted of any crime.  The Eric Garner case dragged on for 5 years before the cop was fired from the force.

These incidents are the exception to the role.  The police usually perform their duties admirably.  When the police perform beyond the call of duty, there is rarely publicity for it.  Does defunding the NYPD help prevent crime?  I just feel that the mayor and city council were pressured by the protesters to do that.

My suggestion is that all police officers receive regular training on how to handle volatile situations without discharging their weapons.  Also, the NYPD and Petrolmans Benovelent Association embark on a public relations campaign to demonstrate the positive things police do.  Likewise, the media should more attention to situations where the police have gone beyond the call of duty to prevent crime and protect the public.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's Bobby Bonilla Day for the New York Mets


Bobby Bonilla played most of his career for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets as a first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder.  You can view his statistics at Baseball-Reference.   Mark Souder wrote a biography of him for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research).

Bonilla underachieved during his playing days for the Mets. In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla's contract. However, instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million at the time, the Mets agreed to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, including a negotiated 8% interest.  Thus for every year until 2035 Bonilla gets a check from the Mets on July 1.  I guess in 2000 the Mets just didn't know how to handle money.
 
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