This could be a case of Dodgers, and Scully

Yes, fine, there’s a reason for the blog title, a slight tweak on a song lyric.

As I write this, I’m listening to the dulcet tones of Vin Scully, commentating on the opening home game of the Dodgers season. Ironically, this is almost certainly because I am in the UK, and ESPN UK are taking the coverage from TWC Cable, a privilege that far too many in LA cant do, because of the financial demands said cable company makes on other broadcasters in the area, to take their coverage. I know there has been efforts to get this sorted out this year, for a major reason, but I have no idea how successful that has been.

Yes, this marks the start of Vin Scully’s last season doing the commentaries for the Dodgers games, sad news. Fine, he’s been doing it for nearly 70 years, first in Brooklyn, then of course, for most of those years, in Los Angeles. To say he is probably the most legendary baseball commentary man, would be putting it mildly! Oh, and how many people in their late 80’s could be as sharp, and informative as him?

Irony is, I saw the Dodgers live a few times last season, but the only times I heard Vin, I was in the UK. I was either at the game, or it was the playoffs, and you got the national coverage, and besides, as I was in Hollywood, I probably couldnt have got the pictures of TWC, and the voice of Scully, for reasons mentioned above.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say a bad word about Mr Scully. Mind, I have only listened to him for the last few years of his long career, but even so…I doubt they have!

In truth, short of a miracle, I’m never going to meet the legend, but hopefully over the course of this season, as well as tonight, I’ll hear him a few times more. Yes, fine, in an ideal world, I’d get back to Hollywood this year, go to a Dodgers game, and meet him. Yes, reality, none of that is going to happen without a miracle at present!

But fine, for the next couple of hours or so, before bed, I’m going to enjoy listening to him.

Oh, the video. Well, it mentions Scully, though not the one I’m listening to, tonight.

There is one more retirement this year I want to mention, David Ortiz, in Boston. Yes, fine, same issues with seeing him live this year, I guess?

Edited to add 2 things. Firstly the road leading up to Dodgers Stadium has now been renamed. Yes, you guessed it, Vin Scully Avenue!

Secondly, tonight, one of those pure Scully moments. One of the Arizona players is named Socrates, so we got one of those special stories, about the Ancient Greek of the same name, while he was batting. Heaven!

Back to live baseball again!

I’ll be honest, I cant remember the last time I saw live baseball, from here in the UK. It would be somewhere in the mid, to end of September range, but exactly when, no idea! On the other hand, when did I last see live baseball, thats easy! Game 1, World Series, will never forget that, especially as the Royals won both that, and the World Series. But yes, thats right, I didnt see it in the UK. I got to see it in my sweet little rented apartment in Hollywood! Hey, because of my location, the game started late in the afternoon, the beauty of being on the West Coast, of course. I was able to watch it all, and still get to bed at a decent hour, given I had to be up early to fly back to the UK, the next morning.

And yes, for the first time since that memorable day, I’m watching live baseball. Fine, its pre season, so fairly meaningless, and its not Kansas, or the Dodgers, but its live baseball, late in the afternoon my time. Boston, and St Louis, if you must know, care of ESPN, the UK version over here, at least.

But yes, I’m 4 hours ahead of East Coast time, instead of 3 hours behind. Yes, I know, its normally 5, but we dont go forward over here till next weekend, unlike you American folks!

I hope I can get to some genuinely live baseball again this year, though at present, I have no idea how thats going to happen. Lottery win, maybe, but seriously? And, where that might be? Yes, a return to Dodgers stadium would be heaven, but practically…hmm? Yes, Dodgers are my National League team, fine? 😉

Otherwise, I’ll have to settle for a few matinee games, on TV, care of ESPN UK, over here. But I hope I can do more, I really do. Anyone want a ‘kept woman’ in Hollywood, lol? No, thought not!

So, to the video. I want to go back to live baseball, ideally in a stadium, and I’d love to go back to Hollywood, and live, ideally for more than 4 glorious weeks, but anyway…So fine, this song seems pretty apt!

Jean and Louise, at the baseball

Given that there was no major league baseball team in Kansas City before 1955 (now the Oakland A’s), and that the Dodgers didnt move to Los Angeles until the 50’s, its highly unlikely that Jean Harlow ever saw a baseball game in her short life. Its possible (while in New York) that Louise Brooks did, but given it was never mentioned, and nor, back then was it considered a woman’s game (mind, that would make the perverse Brooks more inclined to go), I wouldnt imagine she did.

None of that mattered today, as 2 passionate baseball fans (myself, and Kate) headed to Kaufman Stadium, for a game between the local, Kansas City Royals, and the Boston Red Sox, most definitely Kate’s team! As seemingly is the modern trend, the football park is literally a few hundred yards away.

The weather was gorgeous, as was my company, Kate, and excellent service was provided by the Royals staff. In front of me, as I type this, sits a replica Royals batting helmet, which contained Nacho’s, sauces, and other things, and must have been hell to clean. But one young man did just that, and I have it as a lovely souvenir to take home. Wonderful touch.

Oh, fine, the result, the Red Sox won!

The wonderful holiday continues, and tomorrow the plan is to head to a vintage clothing store, no idea why lol! I think the aim is to make me look Harlow like, though anything more wouldnt surprise me in the slightest.

Yes, I’m having lots of fun!

Patriots Day, Boston

Ideally I wanted to post this yesterday, but hey, little things like work have a bad habit of getting in the way!

Thankfully, yesterday, Patriots Day passed off peacefully in Boston. So alright, fine, the Red Sox lost, but I cant have everything! Nearly pulled off a dramatic win (I got home in time for the bottom of the 8th innings), but it wasnt to be. But everything else…was beautiful, in its own way.

Unlike a year ago. Ironically, the Red Sox won that day, a walk off hit against the Green Monster gaining the result. The team then went off to get ready to fly out to Cleveland, where they were next playing. Meanwhile, downtown, the Boston Marathon was in its final stages, the winners having long since finished, the fun runners now filing in. As is known, 2 bombs went off near the finishing line, killing 3 people, and injuring over 200 more, an awful event. One policeman died 3 days later, when they were trying to capture the bombers.

Back at Fenway Park, they heard the explosions, just as they were about to leave for the Airport. By the time they got there, and even more so, by the time they reached Cleveland, it was all over the news. Ironically, Cleveland were now managed by a former Red Sox manager, Terry Francona, so the whole occasion was especially sad for more than just the visiting team.

Anyway, what happened next, is now history. The team picked up on the whole ‘Boston Strong’ matter, and for the rest of the season, said emblem was seen at Fenway Park. Neil Diamond turned up in person to sing ‘Sweet Caroline’, a Red Sox tradition now, and the team turned on the performances. Yes, thats right, they went from worst, to first, in one glorious year.

And on the celebration parade, at the point where the bombs exploded, the bus stopped, the players got off, and paid their tributes, a touching moment. Lets just forget the beards they grew though…facepalm!

So alright, I guess I ought to put up the Neil Diamond video, right? Wrong, this is much more fun. Besides which, I know my dear friend Kate cant stand the whole Sweet Caroline thing, so she might appreciate it more this way.

Given my love of vintage, discovering Postmodern Jukebox was an absolute delight for me. I have to say that my office is nothing like this, I only wish it was!

What is more, later this year, they are going on tour, dates below, and they are coming to Manchester, the UK version, though I have seen its on a Saturday, so might be tricky for me! But I will try to get there, I suspect. The dates:

We’re going on tour! Come visit the Postmodern Jukebox universe (preferably, while wearing your best vintage clothes)!

Confirmed shows (with more dates on the way):
June 2 – The Great Hall; Toronto, ON
June 3 – Cabaret Mile End; Montreal, QC
June 4 – Brighton Music Hall; Boston, MA
June 5 – Toad’s Place; New Haven, CT
June 6 – The Met; Providence, RI
June 9 – Highline Ballroom; New York, NY
June 10 – The Hamilton; Washington, DC
June 13 – Whelans; Dublin, Ireland
June 14 – The Ruby Lounge; Manchester, UK
June 15 – O2 ABC; Glasgow, UK
June 16 – The Institute; Birmingham, UK
June 17 – Dingwall’s; London, UK
June 18 – De Roma; Borgerhout, Belgium
June 19 – Divan du Monde; Paris, France
June 20 – Sugar Factory; Amsterdam, Netherlands
June 21 – DR Concert Hall; Copenhagen, Denmark
June 25 – Lucerna Music Bar; Prague, Czech Republic
June 26 – Magazzini Generali; Milan, Italy
June 29 – Bikini; Barcelona, Spain

Yes, they’re playing Boston, which is why I didnt mind sneaking this in. I would love to go to the Ruby Lounge, in vintage clothing, but given I would have to get there, and back by train, on a Saturday night, I suspect not! But if anyone has a vintage car, and wants to take me, boop, boop a doo! Might even be rumble seat weather by then, at least for going over!

Baseball is back!

Seriously, it hardly seems yesterday that the Boston Red Sox were winning the World Series, celebrations commenced, and Baseball went into slumber for the winter. Well, its back! Today marked the start of the pre season matches, albeit 2 teams (New York Yankees (swear words) and Detroit Tigers) playing against college teams, before the ‘more serious’ pre season matches get under way. I know, I know, pre season cant be taken too seriously, and doesnt count for anything in just over a month, but…

To prove just how international baseball has become, this season doesnt start in the US, or even in Canada (just to prove I know there is a team in Toronto), but in Australia of all places, with 2 games between the LA Dodgers, and the Arizona Diamondbacks taking place about a week before the ‘normal’ start of the regular season! Boston Red Sox, and the Seattle Mariners, in the UK would be nice, but hardly practical at the end of March lol!

As to who will win the leagues, and more importantly, the World Series, your guess is as good as mine. Though no, I dont expect Seattle to do so! Kansas City, well maybe, but I suspect they, like Pittsburgh (first time in over 20 years) last year, would just love to make the play offs, having got so close last season, we will see.

Given the frozen tundra that most of the US has been this winter, its hard to believe that in just over 4 weeks, the regular season gets under way, but it does. Incredibly, this year looks like a rare event of late for me, no live baseball. I will only be in the US once during the season this summer (September) and on the planned dates, Kansas City (the only team in any range) is away most of the week, ah well…Alright, last year all I got was a minor league game, in Rochester, in freezing temperatures, but I braved it, because it was my only chance!

Next year, hopefully normal service will resume, though I have little idea where at present, if it does.

The video, well, a sort of tenuous connection, no more. A song, and a video not much younger than me! I wanted to get a Seekers version, but couldnt find a live version, so settled for this American ‘2 hit wonder’ group instead.

25 years on, and all that

Yes, its funny to think, it was 25 years ago that I first saw Fenway Park, my first ever sighting of a Baseball stadium. No, I was nowhere near the stadium, I saw it from a viewing floor, in some downtown tower in Boston. Just a set of lights in the distance, and a name on the display, where we were standing and looking out. Yes, me and a female partner, shocking stuff, not! Might have been more controversial back then though, lol!

Didnt think any more of it at the time, it was just a landmark, lit up in the darkness of a September evening in Boston. Hey, I didnt know anything about baseball back then, lets face it. The only US ‘big 4’ sport that had crossed the Atlantic by then was NFL. Mind, back then, there were a ‘few’ less TV stations than there are now over here! 4, if I remember rightly, and that was it!

15 years on, I got my first sighting of Baseball on TV, long before the digital TV explosion over here, and currently leading to a good number of matches being covered over here each season.

The one connection, a match at Fenway. Back then, in September 1988, I saw a stadium in the distance, where the Red Sox were beating the Orioles. Yes, its amazing what you can work out with a calendar, and the MLB website. This week, 25 years on, I saw highlights, on a TV, in the UK, of them beating the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

In a year when I also returned to Rochester, another city visited on that first trip to the US in 1988, its a nice way of turning full circle. Mind, I wouldnt have spent time on the internet back then, thats for sure!

One of the highlights of the World Series, from the MVP, that great guy named David Ortiz, also known as Big Papi

The Red Sox anthem…hopefully?

Yes, honestly, almost the last baseball posting for the year, I promise you. There ‘might’ be one when the World Series is over mind, especially if the right team win just one of the 2 games back at Fenway, the next 2 evenings. Yes, Boston are 3-2 up, as they head back home, hopefully to celebrate the winning of the World Series. Do you know the last time that Boston won the World Series, at Fenway, it was 1918! Yes, they’ve won it twice already this century, but both times in the opposition stadium. So lets hope Fenway (not juat the dog) gets the celebration it deserves over the next 2 nights! Well, hopefully tomorrow is all it will take, but… Boston will celebrate Thursday I suspect, regardless!

Yes, incredible, the last time they celebrated at Fenway, Louise Brooks was just leaving Cherryvale, to move to Wichita for the first time. Not even known, beyond close family and friends, I suspect. WW1 wasnt even quite finished at that time! Fenway Park was 5 years old, and looked very differently to how it does now. Certainly the surrounding area must have changed even more dramatically? Now, they have 2 chances to put that piece of history right.

It ownt be easy mind, the St Louis pitcher in Game 6 has a lot in common with the closer for Boston, they dont give up many runs! And seriously, you dont want a tight ending to Game 7, I shouldnt think! The other hero for Boston, it could only be David Ortiz, who in this series has nearly hit the ball 3 out of every 4 times that he’s been to the plate, truly incredible, even more so given he is no youngster any more.

So fingers crossed that tomorrow night, or the night after, the team and their fans will be celebrating a win, in their own wonderful stadium.

That anthem, well, its a great song, from a not so great film, but hopefully it sums up the Red Sox attitude, I’m sure it does.