10.23.2014

why i hate the new york yankees

I've talked about this on my show, Dimland Radio - Saturday nights at 11 Central at www.ztalkradio.com, last year (6-1-13), but I thought I'd blog about here since it is World Series time again. I hate the New York Yankees and, in the summer of 2013, I discovered a clear reason for my animosity.

There are many reasons to hate the Yankees:

Being a Minnesota Twins fan, in recent years when they weren't the losers they've been lately, each time my club would make the postseason, they would face the Hated Yankees right away and lose.

The envy I feel for the market New York provides the Yankees, so they are always rolling in money. Money the owners are willing to spend.

There's the media attention. Oh, the media attention. It sometimes seems the only team in baseball is the Hated Yankees. (Yes, I know. More envy.)

And then there's the fact that the Hated Yankees have won 27 World Series. Twenty goddamn seven!! The next closest team, the St. Louis Cardinals, has won eleven. I agree there is something to admire about that kind of success, but... goddamn.

And, since 9/11, this forced tradition imposed by the Hated Yankees (ok, maybe not them specifically, it does seem to be a media driven thing) of adding the singing of 'God Bless America' to the seventh inning stretch has my curmudgeonly self grumbling every time. I could be wrong but my thinking is if that terrorist attack had happened in St. Louis or Chicago we wouldn't be subjected to that horned in tradition every postseason. There's already a fine tradition that takes place as part of the seventh inning stretch, folks.

But, I discovered a reason that seemed to cut right to the heart of my hatred...

Stephen Jay Gould and the 1960 World Series.

Stephen Jay Gould - New York Times
Last summer, I was rewatching Ken Burns' Baseball documentary for I don't how many-ith time, when I got to the 8th "inning" it struck me. This is why I hate the Yankees.

It was the 1960 World Series, the Hated Yankees would be taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, at that time, hadn't won a World Series since 1925. The Yankees were clearly the better team and the games they won in that series were blowouts. But the Pirates were able to force a seventh game in Pittsburgh.

It all came down to the bottom of the ninth when Bill Mazeroski broke a 9-9 tie by hitting the game and series winning home run. The better team lost.

Mazeroski's Home Run
So, in the documentary, we hear the tale told by Billy Crystal, Mickey Mantle, and Stephen Jay Gould. Crystal usually annoys me, so I pretty much just shrugged off his comments. Mantle was on that Yankee team, so his disappointment is understandable. Gould, however...
 
I like Stephen Jay Gould. He was a good scientist and science communicator and, as far as I can tell, a good guy. He died way too soon. He was a baseball fan and his team was you know who.

The revelation of the source of my hatred came when Gould stated that 30 plus years after the fact his friends and family know never to mention Mazeroski's home run. That's when it hit me.

Why the hell would you give a damn?! Pittsburgh hadn't won a World Series in 35 years! For the Hated Yankees it had been since 1958. And it's not like Yankees fans didn't have many champions to celebrate. In a young Stephen Jay Gould's lifetime the Hated Yankees won in '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '56, and '58. They would go on to win again in '61 and '62. In all, the Hated Yankees have won 27 World Championships.

And Gould still carried ill feelings about losing what would have been their 19th championship? What the hell? Let it go. It's just one your team didn't win.

I swear the attitude is - It's the postseason, the Yankees are in it, just give them the trophy.

So, maybe it's more accurate to say I hate the Yankees fan. Maybe I shouldn't hold it against the team. Maybe I should admire a team with such a winning tradition. Maybe I should just stop calling them the Hated Yankees.

Maybe...

Nah.

  


10.20.2014

dimland radio 10-18-14 show notes

Why There Was No Show Last Saturday. 

Monday October 13th was my 13th wedding anniversary and the Saturday just prior became a date night for Amy (my wife) and me. We took in a concert by one of our favorite bands Pixies. I talked about how good the show was and how impressed I was with the opening act Royal Blood.

Royal Blood is a two piece band. There's a drummer and a bass player. This bass player was not only able to use the bass to hold the bottom of the song, but also use it to cover the rhythm guitar parts and lead guitar parts all at the same time. AND he was doing all that playing while handling the singing. Impressive!

Saturday night was also the annual Zombie Pub Crawl night, so downtown Minneapolis was crawling with zombies. In fact, there were so many zombies that the Guinness Book of World Records certified the event as the largest gathering of people dressed as zombies ever at over 15,000 participants.

So, the Pixies put on an excellent show and I gushed about various aspects of their show. It was also one of the loudest shows I'd ever seen. I talked about each member of the played and their highlight moments.

The show was over by 10:30, and since our son was spending the night at my folks' house, Amy and I figured there was no hurry to get home.

We hung out downtown for a while. At first we thought we'd go to First Avenue. Amy hadn't been there in over eleven years and it had been more than two years for me. However, The Afghan Whigs were playing and the doors had just opened for that show. Also, the ticket price at the door was $35 each!

We figured a beer at the pub across the street was a more economical option.

We had our beer and watched the zombies and started to head home when we thought we'd give First Avenue one more chance. We did find a way in and for much less than $70. I wrote a blog about that way in last week.

Movie Recommendation: Searching For Sugar Man (2012)
Sony Pictures
This Oscar-winning documentary chronicles the search for a singer/songwriter who could have been the next Bob Dylan. He went be the name Rodriguez and he released two highly acclaimed albums that just didn't sell. He disappeared. Many thought he had killed myself.

In the intervening years, his music many very popular in South Africa. He was a legend there, but nobody knew who he was or how he had died. A search began and this documentary covers that search and its result.

It's terrific.
  

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus
First ad break bumpers: 'Broken Face' & 'Here Comes Your Man' by Pixies
Second ad break bumpers: 'Something Against You' & 'Debaser' by Pixies
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com

You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.

10.12.2014

an early anniversary night out


Last night, as an early anniversary celebration (we'll be married 13 years this Monday), my wife and I went to see the Pixies play the State Theatre in Minneapolis. It was an excellent show. Very loud! Paz Lenchantin, who replaced Kim Deal on bass and backing vocals, was great. Joey Santiago played masterfully, his solo on 'Vamos' was incredibly cool. David Lovering was solid on drums and had a funny moment when trying to get the band to end the song 'La La Love You', for which he sings lead. And Mr. Black Francis' vocals were amazing. That man sure can scream.

After the show, which ended with us satisfied, but wanting more, Amy and I popped into O'Donovan's Irish Pub, which is located right across the street from the legendary Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue & 7th St Entry. We enjoyed a traditional black & tan and watched the zombies taking part in the annual Zombie Pub Crawl.

Minneapolis' legendary nightclub
We then decided to check out First Avenue. I hadn't been in our old hang out in a couple of years and Amy hadn't been there in over 11 years. We didn't realize that the club no longer has dance nights with a DJ in the main room, which in the old days was what they did on Saturday nights. Last night the Afghan Whigs were playing. If we wanted to go in (and we did want to go in) the ticket price at the door was $35 a piece!

We asked the nice young bouncer who was checking IDs outside the entrance about what happened to the dance nights in the main room. He explained that they stopped doing DJ nights in there a while back, but they did open up a room in what used to be the VIP lounge for DJ music and the cover was only five bucks.
 

Being that the cover was so reasonable, Amy and I decided to check it out . But when we got in there the DJ was spinning soulless, empty House Music and I was beginning to think we had wasted 10 bucks, when, fortunately, we both needed to go to the restroom. We noticed that this dance lounge had no facilities. At least, not that we could find.

However, there was another nice young bouncer at the door that headed into the main room. He sat at a cash register at the door and we assumed he was taking the five dollars from folks coming into the dance lounge and, probably, getting the rest of the $35 dollars from those wishing to head into the main room to see the Afghan Whigs.

We approached him and Amy asked about restrooms. He told us that to use the restrooms we would have to go into the main room and use the two in there. He told us where they were situated right outside the dance lounge. We knew where they were, being old veterans of First Avenue ourselves. In fact, I later thought to myself, in classic old man fashion, that that bouncer, who was in his 20s, hadn't even been born when I first started hanging out at the legendary nightclub 30 years ago.

Amy asked him, "So, what's to stop us from just staying in the main room?"

He replied, in a rather sheepish fashion, "Well, you're not supposed to."

His reaction was such that we got the distinct impression that we could do just that. Just go ahead and stay in the main room if we wanted. He didn't seem too bothered at the notion. What was he going to do? Wait for us to leave the restrooms and escort us back to the dance lounge?

So, we took our bathroom breaks and stayed in the main room and watched the Afghan Whigs play. (For some reason, both Amy and I, not knowing the band's material, had thought they were more folksy or alt country like Wilco, but they were a pretty rockin' band.) We saved $60 because of the indifference of one bouncer to an apparent loophole in the entry policy. Lucky us.

We noted the changes to First Avenue's interior. They had done some structural refitting of a couple of the bar areas and they had moved an entire stairwell. But most striking of all, was the change Amy noticed. They had cleaned the ceiling! That ceiling had been caked in a thick coating of dust for years, but now it was entirely cleaned.

One thing that hadn't changed was Pete. Pete is one of the long time employees of First Avenue. He tends the main bar on the upper level of the main room and he's done so since I had been going to First Avenue. And we're pretty sure he still remembered us.

What a great night. Happy anniversary, Honey Bunny.

Now it's time for me to pick up our son from my parents' house.