Monday, August 30, 2021

They Play a Boy's Game for Millions a Year and Act Like Children


Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez Give a Thumbs Down to the Fans after Yesterday's Game

It is a privilege to be a Major League Baseball player.  Millions of kids have to dream to play in the Major Leagues but at a given point in time, there are only 780 players on team rosters.  All players have an obligation to perform to the best of their abilities.  Ticket prices are quite high these days and even those not attending in person are playing through their cable TV subscriptions.

For three months the Mets were leading the weak National League, but have collapsed in August.  Francisco Lindor's batting average is .224 this season with an OPS of .686.  He signed a contract of $341 million over the next 10 years. Javier Baez who is currently making $11.6 million a year has hit .210 in his 17 games as a Met.  He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

You can see in the photo above the two of them are giving a thumbs down to the fans.  Are they blaming the fans for their poor performances?  The fans have every right to boo them at the stadium as long as profanity is not used.

Below is a statement from Team President Sandy Alderson

In a post-game press conference today, Javy Báez stated that his “thumbs down” gesture during the game was a message to fans who recently have booed him and other players for poor performance. These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right.

The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.

Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities.

My suggestion would be to bench those two players for a few games.  In this way they cannot file a grievance since they would not lose salary.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Met Bats Finally Come Alive as they Beat the Washington Nationals 9-4


The Mets have not done well lately as they lost 11 of 13 to the Dodgers and Giants and are 9-20 since the trade deadline. At one time they were 5 games ahead in the National East but fell to 8 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves.  The pitching is usually good, but they just can't hit with runners in scoring position.

Sunday afternoons at Citi Field have been a ritual for the Slutskys for many years.  A few days ago a looked at the Mets website and noted that tickets in the Promenade Infield were $40 each.  I then went to Stub Hub and saw tickets for $14.  So today I got a bargain.

The Met hitting attack today featured two-run homers by Javy Baez and Jonathan Villar.  Juan Soto and Josh Bell (twice) homered for the Nationals.  When Soto walked in the second and fourth innings, I got the impression they were semi-intentional.

At the end of the game, Javier Baez and Francisco gave thumbs-down gestures to celebrate the victory.  Both of them have performed poorly during their tenures with the Mets and deserve to be booed when they don't come through in the clutch.

Box Score

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Return to the Cooper Hewitt Museum

 September 2019 was the last time I was at the Cooper Hewitt Museum.  All museums were closed for over a year because of the COVID-19 situation.  There is no admission charge to this museum until the end of October.

Some of the exhibitions on view are:

Suzi Zuzek For Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints That Made the Fashion Brand -  Suzie Zuzek (1920-2011) created over 1,500 designs for Key West Hand Print Fabrics in Key West, Florida, which were used by Lilly Pulitzer

Willi Smith: Street Couture - Willi Smith (1948–1987) united fashion and American culture, marrying affordable, adaptable basics with avant-garde performance, film, art, and design

The third floor was closed since an exhibition of works by graphic design pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954) will open on September 10.  

Friday, August 27, 2021

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Resumes in October 2021


Please disregard this.  This event is no longer on the list of concerts in Lubbock.  It must have been posted there in error.

The Never Ending Tour resumes in Lubbock, Texas on October 14 after a hiatus of almost two years because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  As of now, this is the only concert scheduled.  Since Bob is now 80 years old, will he have the stamina to tour?  Will he come to the Beacon Theater in November?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Jazz Side of Charlie Watts


The Charlie Watts Quintet on the David Letterman Show - July 10, 1996

Everyone and his brother announced the passing of Charlie Watts on social media yesterday.  There were many tributes on TV news about his drumming with the Rolling Stones since 1963.  I found out that he was also a jazz drummer for a group known as the Charlie Watts Quintet.  I found a YouTube video of his appearance on the David Letterman Show in 1996.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Dedication to the Powers That Be at Sony Television Concerning Jeopardy - Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?


I thank William Padron for bringing this to my attention. Variety reports that the 5 episodes recorded with Mike Richards as host will be shown.  Mayim Bialek will then serve as host for 15 succeeding episodes while more guest hosts will be announced at a later date.

Can't these big executives make up their minds.  They could make Mayim a permanent host or pick from the guest hosts from last season.  My first choice is Ken Jennings as he has always been popular with the audience.  My second choice is Levar Burton who showed great enthusiasm for Jeopardy over the years and really wants the gig.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Jack Zerby - Extraordinary Writer and Editor for SABR Passes Away at 78


Yesterday, I found out about the passing of Jack Zerby at age 78.  I knew Jack as a writer and fact-checker for the SABR Games and Biography Projects.  Please look at the bibliography of his SABR publications.  I met Jack at the SABR annual meeting in Pittsburgh in 2018.  I certainly exchanged many emails with him over the past 3 years on SABR issues.  I appreciated his kindness when he sent me a condolence card after Karen’s passing in February.

Here are some comments made by some of his SABR colleagues:

John Fredland - Jack was one of the first Games Project members whom I ever interacted with, when Mike Huber sent him one of my articles with directions to reduce some of the word count. He did a great job at that, much as he did in many other areas with the Games Project and SABR in general. His encouragement inspired me to apply for the committee chair position last year, and he contributed to our team in many ways, especially in coaching new authors and coming up with outstanding ideas for his own articles.

Tom Brown - Jack was one of the first individuals that I met when I became active in SABR back in 2016. We hung out at the two SABR conventions that we attended and talked about doing the same thing at Baltimore. I always enjoyed our chats and phone calls about baseball as well as life here in NC where we both lived. He was definitely a mentor to me and always had an encouraging word. Like you said, he had a knack for finding interesting stories about players and games that might have been overlooked. His participation in the Games Project and SABR will be missed.

Bill Nowlin - Jack was a wonderful colleague and collaborator, and always seemed to be in a positive frame of mind.

Steve Weiner - When I think of Jack Zerby, I think of one word: POSITIVE!… word, thought and deed, no matter how you might have interacted with him. I knew him only briefly (since the New York City SABR convention). I’ll remember him for much longer. Thank you, Jack!

Len Levin - Ironically, I copyedited a game story today in which the author thanked Jack for his assistance. That was Jack, always willing to help.

Gary Belleville - Jack was always very generous with his time. He helped me immensely when I began to write for the Games Project. I will miss him very much

My condolences to his family and friends.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.




Saturday, August 21, 2021

Yankees Beat Twins 7-1 for Their 9th Victory in a Row


Even though I am a big Mets fan I rarely root against the Yankees.  I like to go to a game at the stadium a few times each season.  Today, the Yankees with Gerrit Cole as the starting pitcher opposed the Minnesota Twins.

The Yankees broke the game open by scoring 5 runs in the 5th inning that featured doubles by Giancarlo Stanton and the red hot Luke Voit.  Bronx native Andrew Velasquez put the icing on the cake by hitting a home run in the 8th inning.

When we arrived home the game between the Mets and the Dodgers was in the 8th inning.  We watched until the end of the game as the Mets lost 4-3 making it 8 losses in their last 9 games.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Two Men were Hired for Prestigious Jobs and had to Resign before they Started the Job


Who are Mike Richards and Carlos Beltran?  Carlos Beltran was hired to be the manager of the Mets but had to relinquish the position when his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.  Mike Richards was designated as the new permanent host of Jeopardy but resigned after a recent report resurfaced offensive and sexist comments he made on a podcast called The Randumb Show several years ago.  The search for a permanent host will be resumed.
My first choice is Ken Jennings while my second is Levar Burton.

The Randumb Show seems to be an obscure podcast.  Anything on the internet can "go viral."  This is why bloggers like myself have to be careful about what they write.  I did slip up a few times in the distant past but am now more careful about what I say.  I often omit the names of people and organizations. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Please Mrs. Henry by Manfred Mann - Bob Dylan Cover of the Day


Please, Mrs. Henry, I'm down on my knees and I ain't gonna lie.  I didn't mess around with a 12-year old girl in 1965.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Mets are Going Downhill


I can never stay up for the entire game when the Mets play night games on the west coast.  When I wake up I would say "Alexa - what was the score of last night's Met game?"  I found out that they lost to the San Francisco Giants 7-5.

The Mets have lost the first four of a stretch against the Dodgers and Giants. They're now 5-13 in their last 18 games and are back to .500 for the first time since May 6.  Injuries are part of the story since the Mets have used about 60 players this season.

2021 is typical of other seasons when the team has fallen apart after the All-Star break.  There is a new owner, but the same old story.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Boots of Spanish Leather by Nanci Griffith

Singer-Songwriter Nanci Griffith just passed away at age 68.  I occasionally heard her music on WFUV but didn't know much about her.  I found a video with her covering Bob Dylan's Boots of Spanish Leather.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Respect - a Biopic of Aretha Franklin is Released Today


Trailer for Respect

Jennifer Hudson will star as Aretha Franklin.  It is showing at the local College Point Multiplex.  I'll be seeing it tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

It's Official - Mike Richards and Mayim Bialek will be Host of Jeopardy


After 16 guest hosts a decision was made for the permanent hosts of  Jeopardy after the passing of Alex Trebek.  Richards will kick off Season 38 as the full-time host of the syndicated show, and Bialik will serve as the host of Jeopardy!’s primetime and spinoff series, including the upcoming all-new Jeopardy! National College Championship. Richards will continue to serve as executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Regular Jeopardy shows will be syndicated while the primetime and spinoff series will be on the ABC Network.

I was rooting for Ken Jennings or Levar Burton to get the gig, but it didn't happen.  I'm looking forward to the next Tournament of Champions where Matt Amodio (What!) will appear.  As of this writing, he has 15 wins.  I would love to see Mark "The Beast" Labatt appear as a contestant.

Monday, August 9, 2021

All Things Must Pass by George Harrison - 50th Anniversary Edition


George Harrison certainly benefited from the breakup of the Beatles in 1970.  I did buy the vinyl boxed set of All Things Must Pass 30 years ago.  I still have it, but it is in poor condition.  So, I couldn't resist the opportunity to buy the 50th-anniversary edition which was remastered.  I will start to listen to it this evening and am interested to see if Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" was removed or minimized.

Of course, Capitol Records offers several box sets of this recording including an 8-LP version.  I compromised and purchased the 3-CD version.  How many alternate versions must one have?

Saturday, August 7, 2021

The Complete Unknowns - A Bob Dylan Tribute Band at The City Winery


The Complete Unknowns Singing Like a Rolling Stone at the Bay Street Theater in 2015

I last saw Bob Dylan live at the Beacon Theater in November 2019 at the Beacon Theater.  He was scheduled to appear at Forest Hills Stadium in July 2020, but the concert was canceled on account of the pandemic.  As of now, there are no Dylan concerts planned.  Could this be the end of the Never Ending Tour?

If you can't see Dylan live, a tribute band is a good substitute.  The Complete Unknowns led by frontman and founding member Michael Weiskopf on lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica, the band also features guitarist Randolph Hudson III, keyboardist Stuart Sherman, bass player Taka Shimizu, and James Benard on drums.

The setlist:
  • John Wesley Harding
  • As I Went Out One Morning
  • Absolutely Sweet Marie
  • Just Like a Woman
  • Everything is Broken
  • Watching the River Flow
  • Mr. Tambourine Man - Lee's favorite of this show
  • Duquesne Whistle - My favorite of the show
  • Working Man's Blues
  • Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine
  • Love Minus Zero/No Limit
  • Blind Willie McTell
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • My Back Pages
  • Chimes of Freedom
  • Visions of Johanna
  • Seven Days
  • Love Sick
  • Simple Twist of Fate
  • It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Michael Weiskopf admitted it was very difficult to pick a setlist out of Dylan's 60 years of recordings. I was impressed that the group did not in any way imitate Dylan, but interpreted his songs.  Weiskopf sang lead on most of the numbers, but other members of the band did some lead singing.

The Complete Unknowns will appear every other week at City Winery.  I highly suggest that my Bob Dylan friends go see them.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Variety Reports that Mike Richards will be the New Permanent Host of Jeopardy


Variety is a publication that reports on entertainment news, film reviews, awards, film festivals, box office, entertainment industry conferences.  It states that Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richard is in advanced negotiations to become the show's permanent host.

Richards was one of many guest hosts that appeared after Alex Trebek's passing.  They all did fine jobs in hosting, but I was rooting for either Ken Jennings or Levar Burton to get the gig. This is not a done deal since a formal announcement would have to be made by the "Powers that Be".

Variety also reports that decade-old discrimination lawsuits cast a shadow on his appointment.  I guess you never know if this issue can deny him this job.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Crazy Dreams about Visiting My Former Employer

 During my 3 1/2 years of retirement, I never had the desire to return for a visit.  I don't bitter about the university or any individuals, but I feel the need to move on.  I am disappointed that keeping in touch has been a one-way street as several former colleagues didn't respond to me.  I guess it is human nature that out of sight and out of mind supersedes keeping in touch.

Last night I had two dreams about returning to the university.

  1. I saw my former boss who passed away in 2016 who showed me that he rearranged the furniture in the library.
  2. I taught a class when I told the students that the library does not purchase textbooks.
Here are a few older dreams:
  1. My former boss was sitting at the reference desk playing poker with some students.
  2. I  was accompanying my former director to a basketball game on campus.  We used to kid her about her ignorance about sports.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Thinking Ahead to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Major League Baseball

 The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between major league players and the owner expires at the end of the 2021 season.  What changes will be made?

I am interested in two rule changes that in my opinion should revert to the old way:

  1. Ghost runner on second base during extra innings
  2. 7-inning doubleheaders.
I guess I am a traditionalist when it comes to rules.  The rule requiring relief pitchers to face 3 batters has not shortened the time of games.  Perhaps that should be revisited.  I would like to see the time of the games shortened, but I am not sure of how to do that.

Financial issues must be addressed.  Salaries are so high and the players will resist any efforts by the owners to reduce them.  The fans are paying the players.  It is hard to believe that at one time its cost only $1.50 to sit in the upper deck of Shea Stadium.  Similar tickets in Citi Field are now about $40.

There is still plenty of time, but if there is no agreement there could be a lockout or strike in 2022.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

It Was A Boring Afternoon at Citi Field as the Mets Lost to the Reds 7-1


The star of the game was Reds rookie Max Schrock who hit 5 for 5 including a home run to lead his team to a 7-1 win over the listless Mets.  It was his first major league start at first base as he was giving All-Star Joey Votto a rest.  Javier Baez in his second game for the Mets was 0-4.  Reds starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierez allowed only 3 hits over 7 innings.  The only highlight for the Mets was a solo home run by Jeff McNeil.

The Mets are 8-9 since the All-Star break but are still leading the NL East by 3 1/2 games.  They are still the only team in the division over .500 with a record of 55-49.  There are 58 games to go in the regular season.

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