The Pinetar Rag

April 9, 2014

In NJ, Henry Aaron ran to 3rd base on 715

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 6:54 am

Today is the anniversary of Aaron’s 715.  I was a kid and I remember it very well.  We were a Willy Mays household, what with dad being a NY Giants fan and then the Mets.  Aaron wasn’t someone we were too conscious of but when he was breaking the record, there was no escaping it.  The talk was usually that Mays played in the Polo Grounds and Candlestick, which robbed him of many homers.  Also Mays (660 HR’s) lost 1952 & 1953 to the Army in the Korean era, and he was a cinch for 25 or 30 Hr’s so that would have made the record Mays’ (ie 660 + 60 = 712) already.  So there was that humbug about it. 

But on the night that he hit the 715th, they put the game on.  It is hard for kids to imagine, but we didn’t have games on every night.  We didn’t see much baseball on TV.  You had your game of the week and the home teams and that was it.  So I wanted to watch the game but I had homework, I recall.  And my parents made me sit and do that at the dining room table.  I procrastinated until game time, so when the game was on, there I sat.  But in our house, the TV could be seen in the reflection of the glass china cabinet–it allowed you to see around a corner.  So I saw the homer hit in the reflection of the china cabinet, and when you watch baseball a the mirror, a batter will run the bases in reverse!  Aaron ran to 3rd and then 2nd and when the kids were hassling him (congratulating they thought), he was rounding first and going clockwise.  How many others in America saw it that way?  Not sure. 

Compilation records always struck me as anticlimactic.  We watch sports because we like the real-life soap opera of watching real people play under a great deal of pressure for a pile of cash.  Outcome is in doubt.  With a record of this sort, there’s no doubt–it’s going to happen.  The only question is when.  I find that completely boring.  Celebrate the milestone, sure, but don’t tell me it’s Oct 3rd, 1951 either.

April 5, 2014

How do they say “10-cent head” in Havana?

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 10:56 pm

I enjoy this guy’s classic games.  I got this one in a millisecond, so naturally, I’m proud.  The point where he says “mate in 2 moves”, pause it and see if you can spot it.  Glad to say it was the first move I flashed on.  And that’s because the bishop on G5 makes the back rank mate very possible, and that’s what the struggle really is about once he moves the queen over to b3.  Some people don’t “see”, and/or, don’t look for, sacrifices.  They just don’t see it.  I like them and look at their possibilities all the time.  Especially when someone has defended well and I can’t crack them–I will look and see if I can create a local problem with a giveaway move.  If you have the King on the ropes, then you need to include that thinking in your attack–keeping pressure up.  While a guy is defending–he’s not attacking you, and he may be making hash of his position.


The Giants would be 6-0 if the dopey MLB replay rule wasn’t written by a 2 yr old.  Beating the Dodgers 2x in their joint?  Great.  Watching Larry King watch the Giants beat the Dodgers from the billionaire seats behind home?  Priceless.

I love how the Giants have started.  And, they have done it without Pence’s bat really so far.  And Panda hasn’t really gotten comfortable.  Nice to see Morse contributing and not just with jacks.  Hicks has been a nice surprise.  Pagan is hot and getting his hits.  The things you worry about?  Lincecum, Vogy and to a lesser extent, Cain.  Cain-Greinke on Sunday night.  A shame really, because I can’t stay up on Sun nights and get to work really.  Can’t remember the last time I saw the closer in the Sun night game.

I have bet the Swami a hamburger vs a cheeseburger on the Giants-Dodgers season series.  I lead 2-0.  I get cheese and he doesn’t because the Dodgers have a 60+ million dollar payroll advantage (oink oink).  Q: How do you know when your payroll is too high?  A: When you pass the Yankees.

Spoke to the Swami and sure enough, Joe Hatten and Ralph Branca came up.  You don’t plan it out, but at some point, there will be talk of a team from the 40′s or 50′s.  The point was somehow, how outclassed the 1949 Dodgers were to the Yankees in the world series.  Joe Hatten was no Allie Reynolds.  Ralph Branca was no Vic Raschi, I think was the point.

Swami was excited by the season but concerned about Kershaw.  I think the Giants are concerned about the season–about the Dodgers.  They are a focused group.  A tight group.  I don’t think the Dodgers are nearly as close.  They are more a rotisserie team.  And then there’s Puig.  Could be a 1970′s TV show: “And then there’s Puig”.  Late for the game, hurts himself diving into first and gets picked off.  How do they say “10-cent head” in Havana?


Liverpool play a tricky match vs West Ham tomorrow.  Big banana peel, that one.  The Hammers have won like 6 of 9 or something.  If they win, they go top again for another week.  It’s been a fun ride–I hope it continues.  2-1 Liverpool.  Predicting NOT a fun watch though.  If Liverpool and the Giants win, well, that would be nice.

April 2, 2014

What to take out to the ballgame

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 2:59 pm

With baseball here, you might be heading out to game.  A lot of folks have their own things that they bring and rituals and so forth, but I want to add one thing to your “bring list”.  When you finish a 2-liter bottle of soda, or 16oz or 20oz, save a couple caps and rinse them real well.  drop one or two in your pocket.  Most parks will uncap your soda and confiscate it so the capped bottle can’t be thrown as a missile.   You just leave the concession stand and use your cap.  Ha~!  Take that overpriced, uncapped beverage!

March 26, 2014

This guy never gets old

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 10:33 pm

Oh, you have to get a load of this.

And just to contrast that guy, there’s this.

And to be fair to Ritchie, this is one of my favorite solos…just wonderful playing.

March 21, 2014

Jeter & Harvey

Filed under: Canned Heat,Mets — mcgonnigle @ 8:43 pm

Saw Jeter hit tonight.  He looks just done.  I figured this guy would play until he was 44 and try for 4000 hits, so you know if he’s quitting, he knows he’s done too.  Same thing with Sabbathia.  If he loses all that weight, that tells me one thing: that he’s scared.

Here’s reason number 472 why I’m a Giants fan and not a Mets fan.  Click here to read it in a new window.  Is there any other franchise so ham-fisted as the Mets?  So clueless?  You won’t let a star player who puts lots of fannies in the seats, you won’t let him talk to the media?  You’ll break up his talk like he’s some grade school kid?  Stay classy Mets.  If I were Matt Harvey, I would call my own presser, and announce that as soon as feasible, I would like to be traded from the New York Mets.  Nothing like a distressed seller to lower prices.  If I were Harvey, this would just frost me.  Harvey’s good enough to do that–to tell them to go take a hike.

And you know, when the Mets are as pure as the driven snow…oh, no, they aren’t.  They are involved with Ponzi schemers.  But Matt Harvey can’t talk the media.  Yea, ok, got it.

March 15, 2014

Is this what happened to Al Gore?

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 7:10 pm

Legend has it that J spends every night lately, with a snifter of The Kraken, ensconced in the high backed leather chair, creating solar systems and then watching them stabilize.  He does it with this.  He’s pondering precession, among other things.  The corncob pipe with the Half & Half is put aside–he’s agog.  He’s also beside himself at the thought of Liverpool beating ManU at Old Trafford and making the title race ratchet tighter.  If there were a high backed leather chair on The Stretford End, he’d be there.

It’s addictive.  It’s hypnotic.  It’s educational as heck; I was explaining, or trying to explain to my son how Neptune was discovered and he didn’t get it and that lead to the search for this.  He has a better grasp of it now!

I think, it could replace the lava lamp, or the nightlight.  You create a nice system and you really feel like you are the man!  Try it.  Don’t just use stars, either.  Fling a planet and then put some asteroids near to it and make your own dynamic system (the stars don’t move–the planets do and we know in reality, that the whole system moves so I like that better.  In fact, the Earth doesn’t revolve around the Sun; they BOTH revolve around their mutual center of gravity!  For big vs small dances, that point might be inside the bigger object, but that object would still then wobble about that point!)

(oh yea, and one more thing, please don’t tell a global warming Liberal about the Sun–scientists that they are, they don’t want to know)

Found another one.  They each do things the other does not do.  If you create two equal sized points, you will see them both move or wobble like I said above.  The trails slowed my pc down–but they can be turned on or off and I had the whole cluster on so maybe that was it.  I will use this one to show my son how the influence of gravity is less as you move away because at age 6, I’m just not getting into the Inverse Square Law~.  You just create a medium or heavy object and then a line of light ones, running away from it–you will see the ones close in interact and the others be hardly affected at all!  I love it!

Gross Kopf Bochy

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 10:08 am

Bruce Bochy is known for having one of the largest cap sizes in Major League Baseball at over size 8.  When he joined the Mets in 1982, they did not have a helmet that would fit him, and they had to send the ones he was using in the minors.

March 13, 2014

MLB Idea

Filed under: A's,Baseball,Canned Heat,Cardinals — mcgonnigle @ 10:05 pm

Was looking at an A’s fan with an elephant plush toy at the game and I thought about where that came from: the A’s were “White Elephants” and it went back to Connie Mack when someone said of the newly formed AL, who’s president was Ban Johnson, that Johnson had better watch it with that new franchise in Philly because he’ll have a White Elephant on his hands.  Connie Mack eventually put that little elephant patch on the sleeve of the old A’s.

That wasn’t my thought–that just triggered it.  My thought was: why don’t teams that have moved, play a few home dates in their old cities?  The A’s could play in Philly or KC.  The Giants in NY.  Dodgers too.  The Braves in Milwaukee and Boston.

The idea that just because a team leaves a city due to financial considerations, that they just abandon those fans is so 19th century!  The Nats should play 10 or 15 games in Montreal every year.  Why not?  Why not leverage both fanbases?  I know older guys who are STILL Dodger fans from Brooklyn.  My dad didn’t want to root for the Mets, but with the Giants gone, what was an NL fan to do?

Precedent?  The Packers play in 2 cities.  The Celtics too.  I’m sure there are financial covenants in place that would render most of these ideas moot, but why not?  (J is bowled over by this of course).

March 10, 2014

The Giants Win The Pennant 2014 Re-enactment

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball This Morning,Canned Heat,Dodgers,Giants — mcgonnigle @ 9:52 pm

GiantsCelebrateMy kids built this baseball stadium out of blocks.  I saw that they had their little plastic guys in an odd formation and I asked them what was up?  My 6 year old explained that the group at home plate were the Giants celebrating and I said, “…who are these guys?” and he said, “…the Dodgers.  They’re walking to the clubhouse in center field.”  You can’t make this up.  True story.  I had read them the story of the 1908 “Merkle’s Boner” and shown them the footage of the “Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff” and of course grandpa regaled them with stories of 1951 and 1954.  That’s what you get.  Go Giants!

March 8, 2014

Well some, but not others…

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 11:01 pm

I thought that this was a put on; something from ooh, say, Spinal Tap.  But it’s real.  Wow.  And this guy could play.  I still get lost in his playing on Who Do We Think We Are on Place in the Line and Rat Bat Blues and Our Lady and of couse Lazy from another album.  But, you can see how he might have been tough to work with!

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