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Saturdazed Soul

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We’re almost there…

Cold as nuts today in the BX, but: baseball is near.

[Photo Credit: Wayne Miller via the amazing tumblr site, Lover of Beauty]

Where & When: Game 70 (Bulldog Edition)

Hey, anybody here? It’s late night at Where & When! Why, you ask? Well, we do have quite a few fans from far flung places who unfortunately don’t get a chance to play during the time I normally posts these thanks to the Earth’s rotation and all, so I’m posting this as a special request for our super fans on the planet Krypton (well, it might as well be!) to give them a chance to enjoy the challenge. By the way, this is not limited to one country or region; anyone around the world is welcome to submit a request to highlight any region of the globe that interests you and I’ll run a special challenge for you during your normal hours of operation :) In the meantime:

Where & When Game 70Nice! Urban architecture seems to have a universal style much of the time (and era), this could easily be anywhere in New York… but it’s not.  That’s my only clue for tonight; I’m sure you guys can get the rest from the pic.  Same rules apply as always, and same rewards as well.  Show your math to how you arrived at your answers. I don’t know what to offer as a bonus, so I’ll just leave it up to anyone who wishes to share some stories or tidbits about the location to share with the rest of us.  I’ll check back later in the evening or sometime in the morning, but in the meantime have fun! And, yunnow… no peeking!

Photo Credit: Old Tokyo

Have Glove, Will Travel

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Here’s something to make you excited about the season. Ken Rosenthal on Did Gregorious’ fielding, featuring some nifty analysis from Alex Rodriguez.

[Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP]

BGS: The Straw That Stirs the Drink

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Robert Ward’s infamous 1977 Sport magazine story: “Reggie Jackson in No-Man’s Land”:

“You know,” he says, “this team… it all flows from me. I’ve got to keep it all going. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. It all comes back to me. Maybe I should say me and Munson… but really he doesn’t enter into it. He’s being so damned insecure about the whole thing. I’ve overheard him talking about me.”

“You mean he talks loud to make sure you can hear him?”

“Yeah. Like that. I’ll hear him telling some other writer that he wants it to be known that he’s the captain of the team, that he knows what’s best. Stuff like that. And when anybody knocks me, he’ll laugh real loud so I can hear it….”

Reggie looks down at Ford’s sweater. Perhaps he is wishing the present Yankees could have something like Ford and Martin and Mantle had. Community. Brotherhood. Real friendship.

“Maybe you ought to just go to Munson,” I suggest. “Talk it out right up front.”

But Reggie shakes his head.

“No,” he says. “He’s not ready for it yet. He doesn’t even know he feels like he does. He isn’t aware of it yet.”

“You mean if you went and tried to be open and honest about he’d deny it.”

Jackson nods his head. “Yeah. He’d say, ‘What? I’m not jealous. There aren’t any problems.’ He’d try to cover up, but he ought to know he can’t cover up anything from me. Man, there is no way…. I can read these guys. No, I’ll wait, and eventually he’ll be whipped. There will come that moment when he really knows I’ve won… and he’ll want to hear everything is all right… and then I’ll go to him, and we will get it right.

Reggie makes a fist, and clutches Ford’s sweater: “You see, that is the way I am. I’m a leader, and I can’t lie down… but ‘leader’ isn’t the right word… it’s a matter of PRESENCE… Let me put it this way: no team I am on will ever be humiliated the way the Yankees were by the Reds in the World Series! That’s why Munson can’t intimidate me. Nobody can. You can’t psych me. You take me one-on-one in the pit, and I’ll whip you…. It’s an attitude, really… It’s the way the manager looks at you when you come into the room… It’s the way the coaches and the batboy look at you… The way your name trickles through the crowd when you wait in the batter’s box… It’s all that… The way the Yankees were humiliated by the Reds? You think that doesn’t bother Billy Martin? He’s no fool. He’s smart. Very smart. And he’s a winner. Munson’s tough, too. He is a winner, but there is just nobody who can do for a club what I can do… There is nobody who can put meat in the seats [fans in the stands] the way I can. That’s just the way it is… Munson thinks he can be the straw that stirs the drink, but he can only stir it bad.”

Crosstown Traffic

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Head on over to the Village Voice and check out this brief history of the Mayor’s Trophy game by none other than our chum, Diane Firstman:

The Mayor’s Trophy Game actually dates back to 1946, when the New York Giants and Yankees agreed to play a best-of-three exhibition during the season to benefit sandlot baseball programs, with the winner to receive a trophy from Mayor William O’Dwyer. The best-of-three format lasted one more year before switching to a single-game event each season, with the Yankees opposing either the Giants or Dodgers until both teams left for the West Coast after 1957.

The series was revived in 1963, the Mets’ second year of operation. The Yankees, coming off their thirteenth World Series appearance in sixteen years and twentieth championship since 1923, were the most successful professional franchise in American sports, playing in one of the most recognizable stadiums in the world. They meant business on the field, and their fans expected nothing less than a pennant each year.

The Mets, on the other hand, were lovably inept. As an expansion team in their second season, their roster was littered with other teams’ castoffs and players either way past their prime or never having experienced one. The loss of the Giants and Dodgers left a huge hole in the New York baseball scene, and for a certain segment of fans, the Mets were the logical replacement to root for. Their fans skewed younger, and this “New Breed” of New York baseball fan developed the tradition of bringing homemade banners fashioned from bedsheets to the Mets’ first home stadium, the Polo Grounds.

[Photo Credit: Ray Stubblebine/AP]

Monday Matinee

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Yanks exhibition game is on the MLB Network this afternoon for those of you who’re around a TV.

[Photo Credit: Chris Carlson/AP via It’s a Long Season]

I Got a Friend Shirley Bigger n You

MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Smith profiles Matt Harvey in New York Magazine:

Last year, post-surgery, the Mets tried to protect Harvey from himself, physically, and this year the tension will resume. The franchise has also struggled to figure out how to handle Harvey’s attraction to the spotlight. Harvey is the Mets’ first star who has grown up with Twitter and Instagram, and his online posts have sometimes irritated management. His fondness for women and nightlife quickly conjured overheated comparisons to Joe Namath, the Jets quarterback who in the late ’60s set the standard for swinging jock bachelors in the city. Harvey is as at ease knocking down pins at Brooklyn Bowl as he is lounging inside 1 Oak. The gossip pages have claimed he pursued tennis player Eugenie Bouchard and dated models Ashley Haas and Asha Leo.

Harvey’s ego is substantial, but his desire for attention isn’t driven by simple A-Rod-ian neediness. He has an almost romantic notion of New York stardom and an endearing curiosity about what the city has to offer. Unlike the majority of his teammates, who keep a safe suburban distance, Harvey lives in the city, in a tenth-floor East Village apartment. He walks for hours, exploring neighborhoods and popping into restaurants he hasn’t tried.

But becoming a social-media-era experiment in New York sports celebrity, hanging on to his openness and crafting an identity somewhere between reckless Broadway Joe and bland Derek Jeter, might prove harder than lifting the Mets back into the playoffs. “I will never apologize for having a life,” he says.

Harvey pitched against the Yankees yesterday. Here’s Chad Jennings with the notes. 

[Photo Via: USATSI]

Saturdazed Soul

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Yeah, so it snowed yesterday in New York on the first day of spring. Big deal. The Tourney’s here, baseball’s coming…nothing is fucked.

Meat Pie

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

Over at River Ave Blues, Mike Axisa takes a look at the Yankees’ new flame-thrower. 

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

That Time of Year

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The Tourney begins…now.

Million Dollar Movie

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Coming Soon…

Where & When: Game 69

Welcome back for yet another challenge from Where & When! This one was a challnge in itself to find, which I will explain in a little bit (and I have to wonder if it’s worth the trouble to find it for what I intended to set up with it…) Well, for now:

Where & When Game 69 Okay, so here we are in one of our favorite places to look for vintage architecture and associated stories.  There is another picture floating around that faces the front side of these buildings and contains the subject of our two-part bonus.  For now, let’s you and me figure out where we are and when this took place.  Plenty of clues to help you here, so I don’t need to add anything, you’ll figure it out relatively quickly if I know you folks >;)

Now for the bonuses…

The first bonus relates to a particular business and resource that happens to be one of the best friends of this feature.  Sure, they’re not around anymore, but they have provided an enormous wealth of records about this city’s past as well as other cities; all of which officially reside in a very important place (very important if you’re into copyright law, in fact).

The second, which is the cause of my angst for the past few days (you can say I was trying to be cunning), relates to the title of this post. There is a place that exists off-screen at this location today. If you know the location, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The timing is perfect, and with what Fearless Leader has been sharing with us of late on the Banter, it can’t be more appropriate.  What’s on you’re mind, sir? >;)  (Feel free to roll your eyes when you find the answer, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for such an elaborate reference, even if it is sophomoric.)

You know the drill, find the answers, explain your math, root beer float  or hot chocolate depending on the weather for the winner, cream soda or tea for the rest of us, slice of Motorino Pizza or a great cupcake for the bonuses (I just threw those last two in there since I’m in such a “giving” mood).  Gotta go to work (you might spy me under an aerial lift near Grammercy Park this evening); I hope this was worth the effort.  Enjoy!

And no peeking at this: Photo Credit: Skycraper City

Bluebird, Bluebird, Through My Window

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The Yanks and the Jays play an exhibition tonight in Florida.

Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Garrett Jones DH
Chris Young CF
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

Game’s on TV. I don’t watch spring training baseball much but I’ll watch tonight because I want to see C.C. He’s been a fun guy to root for and I don’t know what he’s got left but I’m pulling’ for him, big-time. I mean, we only saw him 8 times last year. Miss the dude, you know? I like that he’s gained some weight back. You don’t want skinny Lolich or skinny David Wells.

Figure the Jays could be pretty good this year, right? And maybe even a little less douchy?–though you could argue Russell and Donaldson just up the douche factor. I’m curious to see them.

Whadda ya hear, whadday ya say?

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags.

Breaking Bad

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Unfortunate news for the Mets.

Man, it just feels like a matter of time before we hear something similar about Tanaka…or any young pitcher, really.

[Photo Via: Eddie Kranepool Society]

BGS: All-Pro

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Couple of W.C. Heinz gems for you.

1) John Schulian’s tribute to Heinz for Deadspin:

I never realized how many Bill Heinz stories I love until I read The Top of His Game. Some I would have loved earlier if I’d known about them or hadn’t been too lazy to root around for them in the library. But I didn’t, even though I sit here and tell you he was a friend and an inspiration to me. All I can do now is savor what he wrote and suggest that for openers you too might love his beautifully crafted 850-word newspaper columns on Beau Jack buying hats—”Ah want three. Ah want one for every suit”—as he waits to fight in Madison Square Garden, and on Babe Ruth, in his farewell to Yankee Stadium, stepping “into the cauldron of sound he must know better than any man.”

Bill, demanding craftsman that he was, thought “Death of a Racehorse” was the only one of his columns worth saving. But I’m glad his ode to Toughie Brasuhn, the Roller Derby queen, made it into the new collection because I doubt there’s a newspaper sports columnist in America today who’d be given the freedom to write about such an off-the-wall subject. And then there are the columns he constructed entirely of dialogue, harbingers of his best magazine work and even more so of The Professional. They weren’t written off the news or because they were on a subject that got a lot of hits. (Personally, I think only baseball players should worry about hits.) Heinz used dialogue as a device because it was a change of pace and, let’s be honest here, because he was trying to add to his authorial toolbox. So we get boxing guys and fight guys talking and Heinz listening without, he said, taking notes. Truman Capote made the same claim when he wrote the classic In Cold Blood, boasting that he could recall hours of conversation word for word. Somehow I believe Heinz more than I do Capote. I believe the distinct voices he captured on paper, and the oddball theories his largely anonymous characters spout, and the exotic world that rises up before the reader as a result.

It’s surprising how little time Heinz spent as a sports columnist—less than three years and then the Sun folded in 1950 and he took a giant step to full-time magazine freelancing. Judging by the contents of The Top of His Game, there wasn’t a magazine that wasn’t happy to have him—Life, Look, Colliers, Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post, Sport, True, even Cosmopolitan. Granted, it wasn’t Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmo and Heinz wasn’t writing about sex and the single girl. But he was writing about boxing and a boxer’s wife for a distinctly female audience, and he delivered pieces that have stood the test of time.

And here’s one of Heinz’s classic magazine stories, “The Rocky Road of Pistol Pete”:

“Down in Los Angeles,” says Garry Schumacher, who was a New York baseball writer for 30 years and is now assistant to Horace Stoneham, president of the San Francisco Giants, “they think Duke Snider is the best center fielder the Dodgers ever had. They forget Pete Reiser. The Yankees think Mickey Mantle is something new. They forget Reiser, too.”

Maybe Pete Reiser was the purest ballplayer of all time. I don’t know. There is no exact way of measuring such a thing, but when a man of incomparable skills, with full knowledge of what he is doing, destroys those skills and puts his life on the line in the pursuit of his endeavor as no other man in his game ever has, perhaps he is the truest of them all.

“Is Pete Reiser there?” I said on the phone.

This was last season, in Kokomo. Kokomo has a population of about 50,000 and a ball club, now affiliated with Los Angeles and called the Dodgers, in the Class D Midwest League. Class D is the bottom of the barrel of organized baseball, and this was the second season that Pete Reiser had managed Kokomo.

“He’s not here right now,” the woman’s voice on the phone said. “The team played a double-header yesterday in Dubuque, and they didn’t get in on the bus until 4:30 this morning. Pete just got up a few minutes ago and he had to go to the doctor’s.”

“Oh?” I said. “What has he done now?”

[Photo Credit: Gayl Heinz]

BGS: Redneck Rock

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Here’s a fun one for you–Robert Ward on Redneck Rock circa 1976 for New Times Magazine:

The bus floated through the Nashville streets and stopped at the James Thompson Motor Inn. I got out and walked with Tommy (the Outlaw) and Coe’s old friend, Bobby.

“It’s on the fourth floor.”

We climbed the steps and walked down a long motel corridor. Looking over, I noticed it was a good 75 feet to the parking lot. At the door, Tommy waited for me.

“Come on in, writer.”

“Sure.”

I felt frightened by his tone—soft, but mocking. I had assumed that there would be women, other musicians, and whiskey. But there was none of that. Instead, there were Outlaws, about 15 of them, sprawled around the room. I looked at their eyes, which were all trained right on my own. In the exact center of the group, like some ancient fertility god, David Allan Coe sprawled on a bed. On his lap was an ugly, trashed-out looking woman, who was laughing insanely.

Behind me the door snapped shut. “This here is the writer,” someone said in a steel-wire voice.

Everyone was totally silent.

“The writer who wrote that shit about David Allan not being an outlaw!” someone else said.

I felt my breath leaving me and tried to laugh it off. “Hey, c’mon, you guys. I didn’t write that stuff.”

A short, squat, powerful man, the same Outlaw I’d seen screaming at the Exit Inn, came toward me. “You wrote that shit, did you?”

He reached in his back pocket and pulled out a five-inch hunting knife.

“Hey, wait now,” I said.

[Photo Credit: George Tice, 1974]

Sundazed Soul

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It’s raw out there today. Thinking warm thoughts…

Picture by Bags

Eastward Ha

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This is so cool. 

Stretching Out

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More spring notes from the intrepid Chad Jennings.

[Photo Credit: NJ.com]

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver