June 1st, 2006


It's Gonna Be a Good Day...

I can just tell.

I walked out the door to discover I had a flat tire on the truck. While swapping it with the spare, the strap on my watch came loose, and the watch landed on the driveway, breaking the crystal. I have a couple of other watches, but they both need batteries, so I am watchless. Once I got the spare on, I hustled on into work, because we were expecting visitors from the Very Important Government Agency, only to find out that they blew us off. Bozhe moi.

It's My Game...

I'm about halfway through Jim Bouton's Foul Ball, about his attempt to save a historic ballpark in Massachusetts from being demolished. Bouton is a funny man, and there are plenty of stories along the way. I thought one of them was especially appropriate to mention, given some of the activities at the F2F. He was in Los Angeles to be inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals, and as he describes a bit of the ceremonies, he admits to being a total geek:

The musical "keynote" address was delivered by four-time Grammy award nominee, pianist/composer David Frishberg. This was a big treat for me, especially when Frishberg played my favorite baseball song, the nostalgic "Van Lingle Mungo," which is simply the names of players from the '30s and '40s sung to a haunting refrain. I had first heard the tune in the early '70s when I was a TV sportscaster, and I rounded up baseball cards of all the players in the song, shot film of them being shuffled by a kid, and edited the film to match the song. I always played the piece on Opening Day of the baseball season. Of course, I'd sent Frishberg a copy. And it was wonderful to see him after all these years.

Jim Bouton - the first fandom vidder...

And some quippage from the same book:

Joe [Klein] was the manager of the Texas Ranger farm team in Pittsfield when I had that tryout at Wahconah Park back in 1972.

"I don't know why the hell you didn't sign me up that day," I said to Joe. "Nobody even reached the warning track off me."

"Right after you left," he said, grinning, "we released the six guys you pitched to."

Dave Studeman takes a look at the Dodgers and Angels over at the Hardball Times today, and the contrasts are striking. The Dodgers really have been playing well (Tomko's bombing by the Braves last night not withstanding).

Ten Things About Los Angeles Baseball

Ken Arneson had a great piece over at his Catfish Stew blog (an A's blog) that starts off with Michael Barrett's coldcocking of A.J. Pierzynski at home plate last week, but winds up as a discussion of the use of intuition versus logic in making baseball decisions. Really good stuff.

A Good Haymaker

Speaking of Michael Barrett, he was suspended for ten games for punching Pierzynski. He's said he will appeal the decision. There's absolutely no truth to the rumor that Barrett's defense will be that even Pierzynski's mother wants to punch him out...

Bouton's story about "Van Lingle Mungo" reminded me that I'd never gotten around to posting the baseball mix I put together last year. Here it is behind the cut for any who are interested, along with the track listing, some liner notes, and a special bonus track.

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Finally, A's fans are rejoicing today as last night Jason Kendall hit his first home run since July 2004.