The Pinetar Rag

September 10, 2014

Nation in a Panik; Joe Panik, that is.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mcgonnigle @ 12:38 pm

Joe Panik went 5 for 5 last night while Yusimero Petit pitched a 4 hit CG.  But if you turn on MLB channel, chances are, there’s someone gushing about (a) Kershaw or (b) Jeter.

Come here if you want gushing about Joe Panik.


September 6, 2014

Long time, no post

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 1:32 pm

No posts for a while for a variety of boring reasons.  We’re back.  Lot to catch up on.  Took a long trip down South and crossed this one off my list: Floyd’s Barber Shop in “Mayberry”.  And by Mayberry, I mean, Mt. Airy, NC.  We saw Andy’s house of course (it popped up on the GPS and we were a block away).  What else did we do down there?  What didn’t we do?


Here we are on top of Lookout Mountain overlooking Chattanooga, TN.  That’s Moccasin Bend on the TN River.  Chat is to the right.  When you walk the park at the point, you see these incredible photo opps and some of them feel familiar–and they are–mostly because you’ve seen US Grant or Gen Thomas posing there after the “Battle above the Clouds” in 1863.  Someday, I would not mind living up on top of there.  I recall about ten years ago, doing an engagement at a client, for a week, Covenant Transport, the big trucking company.  The building is right down Lookout Mt to the left in that photo.  On the maps app, the building is literally in both TN and GA.  Must be a mistake, right?


We did a lot more stops of course: Asheville, Shallotte, Atlanta and many little ones in between.

July 28, 2014


Filed under: Canned Heat,Giants — mcgonnigle @ 8:39 pm

Took the guys down to The Bank in Philly the other day for the Giants.  Nice day.  Day game.  Giants going for the 4 game road sweep.  And, we were regular patrons and not working the game with the Jackie Robinson statue.  I’ve never had a bad time out at the game.  The boys enjoyed the Phan Phun Zone, which is very similar, but a smidge better than the one in Washington. 

My Phillies guy was shocked to see the whole family decked out in Giants stuff.  He was awesome and turned up at our seats with some backpacks for the boys and 2 bobblehead Phanatics and a Phanatic DVD.  It was really nice to get the treatment and I’m sure some folks in the section were like: “…what’s so special about Giant guy?”

It was fun talking to my guy and hearing some stories about his world–the Phillies.  He was startled that morning because he saw Cole Hamels with a packed bag and thought, “trade”, and after he stuck it to the Giants, I was wishing the same thing.  He also confirmed what I always thought, which was, that Hunter Pence was/is one of the nicest guys to ever get dressed.  He was great with the programs and the kids stuff that they do down there and that is just nice to know.  He is my current favorite ballplayer.  The little things are the big things.

The Bank is a nice place.  One of my favorites along with PNC and AT&T.  I’d put it 3rd behind those two.  Just.  And the first row of the upper is a decent seat–like the old mezz in the Vet–you’re not that far up yet.

The Giants?  It’s scary how much Pagan drove that offense.  I’m not an Uggla guy.  I want to see more Joe Panik out there but when Panik sprained his ankle, what choice did they have?  I like Blanco higher up the lineup, but he only hits when down.  Peavey?  Well, if Uggla doesn’t kick one, he’s 3-3 there and that’s not bad.  He could be a smart addition–time will tell.  I think Cain is probably toast this year.  So after Bum and Huddy, you are into some question marks.  Love Vogey but he can take damage.  I went from thinking they can’t lose to “will they make the playoffs?”  Nothing more sickening than the Dodgers’ payroll, so you have to pull for them.  I think besides Jeter-fatigue, I have Dodger-fatigue as well.  The national guys love to bloviate about them and ignore the Giants.  We’ll see.  Pirates tonight.  Joe Panik at 2nd.  Bring it!

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.

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