The Pinetar Rag

July 15, 2014

Is he retired yet?

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 5:58 am

Waiting for the HR Derby to com on last night and we began noticing how many references to Jeter there were.  In fact, this whole All Star break, a standard question in interviews is, “…what will it be like playing in Jeter’s last All-Star game?”  Seriously, grown men are asking this question of other grown men.  When will it be over?

July 9, 2014


Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 7:36 pm

Just in case you forgot who Maxi Rodriguez was: there’s this

July 5, 2014

Greatest film ever made?

Filed under: Canned Heat,Giants — mcgonnigle @ 12:10 am

This is one of the greatest films ever made.  Have you seen it? 

I was recently talking to The Swami, who loves films, about movies and so forth, and I told him that the best movie I’ve ever seen is “Sunset Blvd” (Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Billy Wilder Directed).  I finally got him to watch it and he did not like it.  Gave it a “meh”.  He said he could not reconcile Holden narrating the film from the pool, in which, he is floating dead.  I said, “…it’s just a plot device, come on!”  He just can’t get past it. 

I spoke to him on Thursday (yesterday) about the Giants trip through the house of horrors and he was good about it.  They lost again.  Stults messes with your team?  Then you’re having a bad run.  Stults is not Grover Cleveland Alexander (I know, I know, he’s a lefthander).  Of course the conversation touched on things like Joe Hatten and Larry Jansen and 13.5 games out on August 12 (1951 Giants-Dodgers reference).  I love it. 

We are going to see the Swami this Summer and I have ordered up a full blown replica jersey: Giants #35.  Sal Maglie.  Just to psych him out.  I can hear it now in that Brooklyn drawn out way he has of speaking, “…Briiiine, Maglie was terrific.  He won the Dodgers the ’56 pennant  you know?  He came over from the Giants and went 13-6 and he was the one that got beat by Don Larsen…” 

My connection with Maglie?  Besides the razzing of the The Swami?  He was a monstrous Dodger-killer.  When I was pitching in little league, and threw quite hard, I was afraid to hit a kid who crowded the plate.  My father, who was a NY Giant fan, told me about this guy, “The Barber”, Sal Maglie, and how he would knock guys down (especially the Dodgers) and I should throw inside and guys would not get hit, but they would back off, and then I would relax and could retire them!  This was 1974 or 75 or 76.  I never saw this guy.  But I heard from dad, a lot about him. 

Later on, in high school, I called him at his home in Grand Island, NY.  I forget how I got his number–probably just called information.  I spoke to him and he was a really nice guy and I sent him a picture I had drawn–a pencil sketch–and he agreed to sign it and he did.  That and something else.  I hope I still have that somewhere.  I would love to show my son.  Well anyway, when I hung up the phone, I was all, “…I just talked to The Barber!!” 

The Rag readers know that I consider the 1951 Giants the pinnacle and always wanted to meet one.  I came really close to meeting Sal Yvars, but he passed before it could be arranged.  I had forgotten that I had at least SPOKEN to a member of the ’51 Giants: Maglie.  The Giants did not do names on the jerseys, so a basic Brandon Crawford #35 will suffice (have to).  I thought about getting the lettering, but that’s dopey.   Thankfully, the Giants have gone back to that classic 1950′s style lettering and that just looks great.  It’s a shame the team doesn’t look too good right now. 

Oh, and I had forgotten also that I spoken to Ralph Branca (a 1951 Dodger) in person, in February, at the Yogi Berra Museum.  I gave him a hard time for his ragging of the Giants and their sign stealing (not against any rules) while he had a pitcher on his team who went 22-3 throwing the spitball (he admitted it; it was against the rules).  I told my dad that story twice while he was sick.  I wasn’t sure how much of it he understood.  I think the second time, he got it–I thought dad would enjoy that I gave Branca a hard time and stood up for the Giants!  He did appreciate it.  Sadly, I can’t tell him a 3rd time.  I also told him that his grandsons got balls from the Giants in Pittsburgh after batting practice.  Brandon Crawford was one, I believe.  He heard that–it registered.  He was 10 years old when the Giants won the 1936 pennant with Ott, Hubble and Bill Terry.  That was Travis Jackson’s last season.  And I think Jo-Jo Moore was on that team.

June 29, 2014

Princip Bites Archduke Franz Ferdinand: History comes out different

Filed under: Uncategorized — mcgonnigle @ 7:46 pm

100 yrs ago yesterday, the old archduke was shot.  Think it would have been better for all concerned if Princip just bit him?

Interesting debunking of things

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 6:32 am

This guy is pretty accurate and entertaining.  Click on a few of these–they are pretty short.

June 27, 2014

Look closer at Begin the Beguine

Filed under: Blues,Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 10:39 pm

This is perhaps the best song ever written.  Certainly, it is the best song of the BBE.  Every time I listen to the Artie Shaw arrangement, I am amazed.  It never gets old.  Let’s take a closer look at this American meisterwerk.  Shaw didn’t write it, but it’s safe to assume that it NEVER would get legs without his brilliant arrangement.  So, oddly enough, we are maybe more impressed with an interpretation than with the authorship!

I think I read in Artie’s bio “The Trouble with Cinderella”, that he liked that Begin the Beguine was 108 bars and not the standard 32.  That is what drew his attention to it.  Shaw was an interesting cat.  He quit music a bunch of times and really wanted to be an author.

And while we’re at it, have a listen to this from Louis and the Hot Fives 1926.  Remember, July 4th is coming and that is the day of the Louis-all-day-radiothon.  Don’t do the 4th with Louis.

And if you can’t get enough, here is a melody that will live forever.  Sidney Bechet’s version is maybe better, but I’m on the Pops train tonight.  If you hear that wide vibrato of Bechet’s, there’s only one guy it could be.


June 26, 2014

Dobson worth a look

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 10:34 pm

This man just passed recently and you might want to take a look at his story.  Interesting man.

Big Time TJ II

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 7:18 pm


I actually turned off this game in about the 5th inning.  I didn’t realize it was a no hitter and I had things to do!  Kruk and Kuip were not saying boo about the nohit deal and I recall the walk so my impression was just that he was going well but not stellar!  Hopefully, this will get the Giants out of that black lagoon stretch they went through.  Vogy tonight vs  Reds at 10pm.  Pull up a chair, J.  Put the Rugby down…No Morse either–he’s sick.  The new kid is up so you might have a start for him at first.  Like this Joe Panik kid too.

June 24, 2014

World Cup Red

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 1:41 pm

Wow, that straight red card on Italy vs Uruguay was HARSH!  If a guy was on a yellow, I would have had trouble giving him the 2nd yellow on that.  Even a yellow might have been a stretch on a different day.  I know the Italians have benefited from calls in the past but this one was a real head-scratcher.  Unless you subscribe to the notion that the tourny is rigged in favor of Central & South American teams.  Don’t know.

June 21, 2014

World Cup: “Managed Outcome”

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 3:09 pm
I haven’t posted anything and I understand there are 3 or 4 fans out there.  Been depressed about the Giants hitting the skids, no question.  It was bound to happen but it is now reaching worrysome levels.  Belt will be back soon and Huddy was due for a stinker.
The world cup: as many readers know, I feel that the cup is “managed” somewhat.  I feel that only certain countries are allowed to reach the final.  Look at the list of countries.  Going back to 1966, only the Netherlands has reached the finals and not won it at some point.  All the other finalists are from the list: Brazil, Arg, Spain, Eng, France, Germany, Italy.  That’s it.  No one else.  The Euro’s?  Arguably just as good a tournament and oddly enough, Denmark and Greece have won it recently.  There’s only 4.5 million Danes, give or take the Faroe Islands.  So little countries CAN win big tournaments, er, just not this one.  You fill out your office pool any other way at your own peril.  Me?  I have Argy over Brazil in the final.  Really just want to see what Javier Mascherano will do in a WC Final (and Messi) (and Maxi Rodriguez on the bench).
I wonder what a pro statistician could tell us about sample size and what the odds are that only a small list of countries seems to ever even reach the finals?  I first formed this thought in 1994, while sitting at the world cup semi-final at Giants’ Stadium between Bulgaria and Italy.  Bulgaria looked real good and then had a man hauled down in the box–no call.  Then I realized, “Bulgaria isn’t going to get to the finals”.  TV money?  Probably.  We’ll see.
The fallout today?  England goes out to Suarez’ 2 goals and this is my worst nightmare.  I believe that the English refs in the Premiership will take it out on him with their whistles, or lack thereof.  This will hurt Liverpool to the tune of 3 to 6 points next season.  But the villain isn’t Luis Suarez–it’s Glen Johnson, maybe the most over rated player out there (not going to say Jeter–don’t want a torch bearing mob outside my house).  He scores the occasional goal by cutting across the 18 and putting the ball on his left foot and shooting through traffic.  It’s so predictable that I don’t know why anyone would fall for it, but they sometimes do. 
Glen Johnson drifted a good 3 or 4 yards off his marker, who was far post, and that allowed him to receive the ball, settle it and flick it to Suarez.  NO WAY should he have been able to do that properly marked.  And Gerrard should not be the centerpiece of midfield.  He figured in both goals.


Have you seen the Lois Lerner story?  She targeted the Tea Party and then all her emails for that period go missing and are destroyed?  Wow.  No willfull coverup there, eh?  Where are Woodward and Bernstein?  They have a rooting interest in this one, do they?  Richard Nixon was chased from office for far less and yet this won’t even crack the network news.  Breathtaking, and sad.  I think of all the people who warned of stuff like this and how they were pilloried and laughed at and called names.  They were right.  It’s happening.  Sad.

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