“The Portrait” by Rene Magritte (1935)
Now, if that’s not the best book title of the year I don’t know what is.
[Photo Credit: George Clinton]
A few weeks ago, Holland Cotter reviewed the new Matisse show in the Times:
For Matisse, self-appointed purveyor of luxe, calme, and volupté, it seems that trial-and-error rawness, some evidence of struggle, validated the work. You find a lot of such evidence in the zesty pinned-paper maquettes he made in 1943 for his book “Jazz,” for which he had high hopes. But when it was finally published in 1947, he hated it. All the irregularities of texture, the paper-on-paper depths, what Matisse referred to as the “sensitivity” of the designs, were missing. Printing had cleaned and pressed them in high-contrast graphics, polished, perfect and dead.
Texture. It’s the first thing I noticed about today’s apple a day: Hudson’s Golden Gem. It is rough and beautiful like a pear. Close your eyes and take a bite and damn if it doesn’t taste like a pear too.
A friend of mine sent me the following, his informal guide to baseball jersey numbers.
1. Tall, lanky, slick fielding outfielder ..left-handed hitting.. Good speed but a bad base stealer. Or, a light hitting shortstop. (not a second baseman).
2. Under 5 foot 10, middle infielder that plays third on occasion; switch-hitting. Plays successfully for multiple teams never eclipsing 90 games in one season.
3. Outfielder, good glove in the early part of their career. Most likely a Left-handed thrower, so an average arm at best.
4. Third baseman or shortstop, fairly light hitting. One or two gold gloves in the course of a double-digit year career.
5. Third baseman, not a shortstop. Hits over .275
6. Weak hitter.Second baseman. Over 6 foot but under 180 pounds. Right-handed hitter only.
7. Great swing, but an underachiever. Two or three disproportionately great years, then at 275 hitter with 70 or so RBIs per year.
8. A catcher, absolutely no foot speed. right-handed hitter. Calls a good game.
9. hard-hitting hard driving red ass.
10. A versatile number… could be a shortstop or a first baseman, either way a non-power hitter. This should’ve been Derek Jeter’s number.
11. Tall, thin, switch hitter, 227 lifetime hitter with less than 20 home runs lifetime.
12. Another versatile number..most likely an overweight back up first baseman who has multiple years of double-digit home runs but never hits above 264.
13. Third baseman, rocket arm, multiple teams. Right hand hitter. Hits in the clutch.
14. Right-handed hitter and Batter.. Left fielder, possibly a first baseman. Slow footed. Most likely a red ass.. Low on home runs relative to high RBI total
15. Catcher, right-handed hitter. Multiple gold gloves.
16 Right-handed pitcher. Ace of the staff.
17, left-handed outfielder. Decent speed. Hits long home runs but not many of them. Good arm, most likely a platoon player.
18. Tall thin utility player either infield or outfield, definitely a right-handed hitter. Multiple teams.
19. Versatile; could be a left-handed hitting outfielder that hits in the 290s or a left-handed pitcher who hides the ball well.
20. First base, solid Fielder, 90 RBIs per. 25 home runs plus over multiple seasons.
21. Outfielder, Throws right with a cannon.. bats right. Or, outfielder, hits left, 104 games per year in the outfield 41 as a pinch hitter 19 home runs 58 RBIs.
22. Leadoff hitter or, center fielder, switch hitter. Fast, base stealer. Weak arm but excellent glove .
23. Team leader, left-handed hitter, right field or first base.
24. Right-handed hitter, outfielder, strikes out a lot. Big career numbers. Good glove good arm low batting average.
25. Divergent–either a left-handed pitcher that throws soft or right-handed DH.
26. Left-handed relief. great breaking stuff, maybe a left hand specialist. Does not break 88 on the gun.
27. Platoon outfielder, right-handed hitter. 271 average 69 RBI 18 home runs.
28. Right-handed hitting right-handed throwing first baseman. Overweight. Long solid career.
29. Left-handed starting pitcher, throws hard in the early part of his career, reemerges as a more complete pitcher. 15 years in the league.
30. Hard one to pin down position wise. Definitely a position player however. Most likely a right-handed hitter and thrower.
31. Outfielder, big arm, right-handed. Above-average home run hitter with big RBI numbers..
32. Power hitter, left-hand hitting right-hand throwing. Plays first base because there’s no other place for him. Two all-star teams. Good clubhouse guy.
33. Power hitter. Outfielder. Possibly a right-handed pitcher.
34. Someone who throws “country hardball”; right-hander. Either starter or reliever.
35. Backup catcher. Defensive replacement type. 226 batting average 14 year career.
36. Overweight right-handed pitcher.
37. Tall lanky fire-balling left-handed pitcher.
38. Right-handed middle relief pitcher.
39. Side arming right-handed closer over 6 foot four.
40. Right-handed starting pitcher who wears a mustache.
41. Hard-nosed player, outfielder or right-handed pitcher.
42. Jackie Robinson.
43. Ed Whitson.
44. I think you know the answer.
45. Bob Gibson.
46. Lumbering pitcher. Hard Thrower. Closer.
47. Lanky left-handed reliever. Throws over-the-top. 8th inning guy.
48. Similar to 36 but older and more overweight.
49. Left-handed fireball, ace of the staff. However, if he’s a righty, he’s a knuckleballer.
50. Big tall right-handed really pitcher from the south. Wears glasses. Bad attitude.
Today’s apple-a-day is: Calville blanc d’hiver.
It’s tart with some sweetness. Not cloyingly sweet though. Almost too tart for my taste, at least as an eating apple (as opposed to a baking one).
And it’s beyond crisp. It’s dense and hard and crunchy.
Pulling for the Royals though I think the Giants will win it all.
Hope I’m wrong. And hope it goes 7.
Let’s Go Base-ball!
[Photo Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP via It's a Long Season]
The heirloom apple a day is: Reine des Reinettes.
This one has a lovely name, especially when a French-speaking person like my Ma says it.
Hold that Tiger.
Seeing isn’t necessarily believing. Case in point: Tucker, Francis Ford Coppola’s new movie about the man who created a glamorous and controversial wonder car of the postwar ’40s but never quite got it into production. According to Coppola’s film, the Tucker was the Great American Automobile of its era, a dazzling experiment that advanced the automotive art by at least a decade. As for Preston Thomas Tucker, the man who made this miracle happen, Coppola presents him—and Jeff Bridges plays him—as a martyred saint of transportation, an endearing idealist betrayed by a sinister conspiracy hatched by Detroit’s Big Three: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
All of which adds up to a nice piece of innocent entertainment—and a considerable rearrangement of the truth. The Tucker car, in fact, was in some respects a streamlined lemon. And Tucker himself was a living jigsaw puzzle: industrial visionary, half-educated opportunist, promotional genius, amusing con artist, tender husband, big-spending boozer, loving father—and in the opinion of his adversaries, an out-and-out crook. Put the pieces together and you get the John De Lorean of a heartier time, an American primitive who grappled boldly for power and was swiftly destroyed in a spectacular financial scandal.
Everything about Tucker was spectacular. He stood 6’2″ and weighed 200 lbs., most of it muscle. Boldly handsome, he had large, dominating eyes and razor-thin lips. His black wavy hair was slicked back in the lounge-lizard style affected by George Raft, and a subtle effluence of Lucky Tiger hair tonic trailed him wherever he went. Invariably duded up in custom-tailored suits, jaunty black homburgs, expensive chesterfields and two-tone shoes, he could have passed for a modish mobster—except for his screechy bow ties and the white cotton socks he wore for his athlete’s foot.