Saturday, April 29, 2023

John Fogerty at Radio City Music Hall


About a week ago, I saw an advertisement on Facebook for John Fogerty at the Radio City Music Hall.  I always liked him and Creedence Clearwater Revival, so I decided to get tickets.  The last time I was at Radio City was in September 2017 when I saw a tribute to Brian Wilson.

The opening act was Hearty Har, a psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2012. Led by brothers Shane Fogerty (guitar/vocals) and Tyler Fogerty (guitar/vocals).  They are obviously John's sons.

This concert was unique since videos were shown in the background with every song played.  For example, when Have You Ever Seen Rain was playing there was a scene with rain.  The set list included hits from Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty as a solo artist.

Some of the hits played were:
  • Fortunate Son
  • Run through the Jungle
  • Born on the Bayou
  • Looking Out My Back Door
  • Green River
During the encore set Lester Holt of NBC News played the bass guitar.

My favorite song of the evening was Centerfield

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Three Versions of Maggie's Farm - One of My Favorites by Bob Dylan


Original Studio Recording from Bringing it All Back Home

Performed at Newport Folk Festival Summer 1965
(The folk music purists hated it)

Performed Live at Fort Collins, Co 1976
From the Hard Rain Album

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

My Favorite Harry Belafonte Song is Matilda


Today we learned that singer and humanitarian Harry Belafonte passed away at age 96.  May he rest in peace.

Several years ago, when I worked as a librarian AG was my best buddy.  When I worked the late shift, I met him on the train going home.  We would give code names to our co-workers.  Some of them were:
  • Bumpkin
  • Kojak
  • Captain Crunch
  • Norton
My favorite code name was Matilda whom AG called the Harry Belafonte girl.  We associated the song Matilda with her.

Random Thoughts of the Day


  • Today Joe Biden announced that he will be running for a second term as president.  I am still concerned about his age as he would be 86 at the end of his second term.  He has very few challengers for the Democratic nomination.
  • Donald Trump must never become President again.  As far as I am concerned he is a criminal.  His actions on January 6, 2021, alone should disqualify him from the presidency.  Sadly the wheels of justice are moving too slowly in this and his other alleged criminal actions.
  • Happy 90th birthday to Willie Nelson.  I hope he continues to record and perform.
  • So many baseball players get big contracts and end up on the injured list.  For example, Justin Verlander has not yet pitched for the Mets.  He got about $7 Million in salary for being injured.  Starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana are also on the injured list.
  • There will be another World of Bob Dylan Conference in Tulsa in June.  I decided not to go this time since the conference is a little too scholarly for me.  I enjoyed the conference in 2019, but I feel a little "Dylaned out".

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Completed its Japanese Leg and Will Come to Europe in June


Dylan will be 82 years old, but he continues to tour.  He obviously doesn't need the money so he must really love performing in concerts.  His set list for the Japanese leg of the tour includes mostly songs from the Rough and Rowdy Ways album, but he surprised his most avid fans by including covers of Grateful Dead songs.  Above is a recording of Tuckin'.

After a break in late April and May the tour resumes in June with concerts in cities including:
  • Lisbon
  • Madrid
  • Lyon
  • Milan
  • Rome
Will he return to NYC?

Friday, April 21, 2023

Another Birthday - Where Did All These Years Go?


The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years.  When I was born Harry S. Truman was the president.  Joe Biden is the thirteenth president of my lifetime.  It is hard to believe that it is 2+ years since Karen passed away and 5+ years since I retired.  I have an excellent autobiographical memory and often relive some of my good and bad experiences in my mind.

I sincerely appreciate all the birthday wishes that I receive on Facebook.  As of 9:15 AM, there are about fifty, but certainly, more will come later.

Pete Freckelton of Canada who runs a Bob Dylan internet radio station sends me the most imaginative birthday wishes.  A few years ago, he sent me a video of Mr. Met singing Happy Birthday.  Below is what he sent me this photo.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

As Tears Go By/Marianne Faithful and Rolling Stones Versions


I just heard the Marianne Faithful version on 60s Gold with Phlash Phelps.  Mick Jagger and Keith Richard wrote the song.  I have also included the Rolling Stones version for your listening pleasure.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Today Marks the 100th Anniversary of Yankee Stadium


Even people who dislike the New York Yankees must appreciate the rich history of the team and its stadiums. SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) published a book featuring many significant games played there.  Bill Nowlin, who must be the Red Sox #1 fan, is one of the editors.  The first game played 100 years ago today is one of the games documented in the book.

About five years ago I wrote an article about the Pine Tar Game for the SABR Games Project, but the editors did not include it.

There are actually three Yankee Stadiums:
  • The original (1923-1973)
  • A renovated version of the original (1976-2008)
  • Current stadium built across the street from the original (2009-  )
Let's hope the Yankees win the AL pennant so there can be another Subway Series.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Three Shapiros in Oakland


On the left is Scott Shapiro (a San Francisco Giants fan), and on the right is his twin brother Justin, who proudly wears a New York Mets shirt.  The young man in the middle is Justin's eight-year-old son Ethan who roots for the Oakland Athletics.  They are standing by the 1973 World Series trophy won by Oakland who beat the Mets in seven games.  I hope they enjoyed today's game as the Mets won 4-3 in 10 innings.

The future of the Oakland franchise is in doubt as they must move to a new stadium.  If that does not happen within a few years, the team will likely move to Las Vegas.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The New York City Sports Calendar is Full These Days

Thanks to overlapping seasons, the sports calendar in the Big Apple is quite busy in mid-April.  Here goes:


  • The Mets were out west in Oakland last night where they demolished the A's 17-6
  • The Yankees are home against the Minnesota Twins.  They lost 4-3

  • The Knicks start the first round of the NBA playoffs in Cleveland against the Cavaliers
  • The Nets start their playoff schedule in Philadelphia against the 76ers
The NBA playoffs will likely continue until mid-June

  • The Rangers and Devils face off against each other
  • The Islanders face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round
Likewise, the NHL playoffs will continue until mid-June

I am old enough to remember:
  • 16 teams in Major League Baseball
  • 8 Teams in the NBA
  • 6 Teams in the NHL
As these leagues have grown, the playoff series has grown as well.  More money is made by more playoff series.  The almighty buck rules.

If we turn the clock ahead to October there will be overlapping seasons with the MLB playoffs, and regular seasons for the NBA, NHL, and NFL.


Thursday, April 13, 2023

I Want You - Bob Dylan Song of the Day - Two Versions


Studio Version from Blonde on Blonde - It was released as a single in 1966 and peaked at #20 on the Billboard Chart

Live at Budokan - 1978

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Ball Rolled for the Mets Twice Last Night


I wasn't at the game last night, but I watched part of it on TV.  Nights will be busy in the months tonight as I have to juggle baseball and quiz shows.  The Mets beat the San Diego Padres 5-0, but the highlight on the game was in the seventh innings.  Luis Guillorme and Tomas Nido bunted down the third baseline.  In both cases, the ball rolled slowly and stopped at the foul line resulting in singles.  It is uncommon for this to happen once in a game, but it happened twice in the same inning and was even highlighted on The Today Show.

The video above shows highlights of the entire game.  The bunts can be seen between 1:29 and 2:11.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Marlins 7 Mets 2 in Our First Sunday Game of the Season


I bought a 20-game package in the off-season that includes all Sunday home games.  Carlos Carrasco started for the Mets but was not effective as he allowed 6 runs and 6 hits in 4 2/3 innings and now has an ERA of 11.42 over his first two starts.  He gave up a 3-run homer to Bryan de la Cruz in the first inning and a 2-run homer to Garrett Cooper in the fifth inning.  The offense for the Mets was anemic as it could score 2 runs on 9 hits leaving ten men on base.  There was just no clutch hitting.

Starling Marte exited with a strained neck in the second, one inning after he was injured stealing third base. Marte was shaken up after sliding headfirst into Jean Segura’s knee. Let's hope this is a minor injury.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Opening Day at Citi Field - Mets 9 Marlins 3

Since 1962 I had never been to a Mets opener at home or on the road.  I attended the road opener in Miami this year on the Jay Buckley Baseball Tour.  Since I bought a 20-game package, I got tickets for today's delayed home opener.  The weather forecast for yesterday stated there would be strong showers in the afternoon, so the game was delayed until today. The weather forecast was wrong, but everything turned out right for the Mets.

Tylor Megill pitched six shutout innings, while Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso hit homers for the Mets.  Starter Edward Cabrera gave up seven walks in 2 2/3 innings and was pulled by his manager.  Six Marlin pitchers gave up 12 walks which made the game somewhat boring.  Several rule changes were implemented this season to speed up games, but walks take time.  The game lasted slightly over three hours, but the Mets won 9-3.

Our 20-game plan provided us seats in section 516 which is in the upper deck right behind home plate.  Since all full and partial plan holders were given tickets to the opener, we were moved to section 533 in left field.  Below is our view which is not the greatest, since it was difficult to follow home run balls.


Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied to the American People


Much has been reported in the news about Donald Trump's 34-count indictment for coordinating a scheme during the 2016 presidential campaign to cover up potential sex scandals and committing fraud to keep them quiet.  This happened over 6 years ago and is first brought to court now.  These are serious charges, but the former president has more legal problems.

Trump’s next set of legal problems could arrive in the state of Georgia, where Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, is weighing potential charges in relation to alleged interference by the ex-president and others in the 2020 US presidential election.

Federal prosecutors continue to build a case that the former president obstructed efforts by the government to reclaim classified material and that he may have misled his own lawyer.

The most serious charges are concerned with his actions during the events of January 6, 2021.  The House Jan. 6 committee’s final report asserts that Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol, concluding an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection two years ago.  Five people died in this insurrection. Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits anyone who has previously taken an oath of office (Senators, Representatives, and other public officials) from holding public office if they have "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the United States.  What is taking the Justice Department so long in prosecuting Trump for this crime?  If he is convicted, he is ineligible to run for President.  The American people will benefit as soon as Trump is brought to justice on this charge.  Justice Delayed is Justice Denied to the American People.  Donald Trump must never be elected president again.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Saturday April 1 - Trip from Miami to St. Petersburg - Tampa Bay Rays vs Detroit Tigers


Tropicana Park

We got on the bus at 8 AM for the 270-mile trip to St. Petersburg.  Once we reached that city, the bus passed by Al Lang Field where numerous spring training games were played over the years.  It also passed by Huggins-Stengel Field, another spring training site.

Tropicana Park has been maligned by some as it is quite drab compared to other stadiums.  I would concur with that.  St. Petersburg is at a distance from the more populated Tampa making it inconvenient for fans to drive over.

When I took my seat, I noticed many Detroit Tigers fans.  These people did not look like retirees, so I wondered if these people traveled from Michigan to see their favorite team.

Zack Elfin who received the largest free agent contract in Rays history, allowed only 1 run and 3 hits in 5 innings.  Yandy Díaz and Wander Franco each had three hits and three RBI for the Rays, who scored seven times in the third inning to ruin right-hander Spencer Turnbull's first major league outing for the Tigers since June 4, 2021.  The Tiger fans must have been disappointed as their team lost 12-2.

Game Recap

Friday March 31 - Tour of Miami - Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe - Mets vs Marlins -Game 2


Abbey Road Caricature in Little Havana

A very knowledgeable young lady came on our bus and gave us a tour of the city.  There is a sizable population of Cubans in Miami who live in a section called Little Havana.  Since playing dominoes is a very popular activity among Cuban Americans, an artist drew a picture of the Beatles walking on a path of dominoes.

She also took us to Wynwood a neighborhood known for its street murals.  Wynwood Walls is an outdoor museum showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists.

A street mural in Wynwood

When the tour ended at 1 PM, there were a few hours before we had to leave for the second Met-Marlin game.  Lee and I found a Hard Rock Cafe in the Bayside Marketplace across the street.  We have eaten in several of their restaurants in the cities we visited.  As the host seated us, he asked who are our favorite recording artists? Lee responded Elvis Presley, while I said, Bob Dylan. Ten minutes later Subterranean Homesick Blues was seen on the video screen followed by Hound Dog.

At 4:45 we traveled to Loan Depot Park for the second time. Behind five shutout innings from Jesús Luzardo and home runs by Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jorge Soler, the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 2-1 on Friday night.  Pete Alonso homered for the Mets.  It was the first major league win for Marlins' manager Skip Schumaker.

Thursday March 30 - It's Time to Meet the Mets in Miami


At about 1;30 PM we left our hotel to drive a few miles to Loan Depot Park.  We had to get to the stadium using side streets which thwarts many locals from going to the stadium regularly.  It was raining very hard again, but this time I was prepared with an umbrella.  We found the unique Bobblehead Museum seen below.

The game started with Max Scherzer facing Sandy Alcantara.  Max pitched effectively until he gave up a 3-run lead in the sixth inning.  Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to give the Mets a 5-3 lead which was protected by the bullpen.

Game Recap

Wednesday March 29 - The Trip from Tampa to Miami

Bruce and Lee at the University of Tampa

We made several stops on the way to Miami from Tampa.  We drove slowly by baseball landmarks such as Raymond James Stadium, George Steinbrenner Field, and Al Lopez Park.  We stopped at the University of Tampa where Plant Field once stood.  Babe Ruth hit a ball for 587 feet which is his longest home run as noted below.

We left Tampa and stopped at a fruit store where we could buy native oranges.  Our next stop was at the Miromar Factory Outlet Mall located in Estero.  Lee and I just walked around and stopped for pizza.

We arrived at the hotel in Miami at about 7 PM.  We went across the street to the Bayside Marketplace Mall where we stopped to eat at Chili's.  Just after we finished eating it started to rain in buckets.  We stood under the roof for a while, but the Weather stated the rain would not stop for hours.  We had no other choice but to make a run across the street to our hotel.  We dried out and called it a day.

Tuesday March 28 - The Vacation Begins


In 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2021, the Slutsky family embarked on a wonderful Baseball Tour led by Jay Buckley.  You can find documentation of the previous tours in this journal.  We picked this tour since we could see the Mets play in Miami on Opening Day.  I had never seen the Mets play on the road.  The second game in Miami was also included followed by a game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

We took a flight to Tampa, the starting point, from LaGuardia Airport.  We arrived at the hotel at about 3:30 but did not have to meet the tour until 8 PM.  At that point, we were issued "Buckley Bucks" that we used to purchase t-shirts.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Just Returned from Vacation

Readers of Bruce's Journal on Facebook know I have been on vacation in Florida on the Jay Buckley Baseball Tour. Some of my readers might be concerned since I haven't written a journal entry in several days.  I also needed a vacation from my computer.  About 90% of my emails are junk anyway, so I am not much concerned about going through them.  Either later tonight or tomorrow I will write up my experiences on the trip.


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