Friday, May 23, 2008

Don't You Miss....?

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. "
~ Bertold Brecht

Change is inevitable, some of it is good, some is not. One of the few things I’ve finally learned is that adjusting to change will usually increase your opportunity to enjoy life.

However, you still can’t help but miss a few things that aren’t the same anymore.

Don’t you miss the Rolling Stone magazine you read in the late 70’s and 80’s? The one with great “think” pieces by Mikal Gilmore and Anthony DeCurtis, and PJ O’Rourke (his trip to still Communist Warsaw made me laugh until my sides hurt) Christopher Connelly’s reviews (and his ABBA apologies) and of course the weirdly attractive articles by Hunter Thompson. The College Issue was always worth looking foward to each year. I picked up a copy of RS several months ago – I didn’t recognize 95% of the recording artists they were talking about and I guess that their current audience can’t read an article that is longer 3 or 4 paragraphs.

Don’t you miss music videos on VH1? I’ll admit it: I liked music videos. Some of them were pretty clever and at times even a little better than that, does anyone remember Van Halen’s video for “Right Now” – maybe one of the best ever. VH1 has turned into some kind of reality TV clone, it seems the only videos they are showing are 10 year old re-runs of Pop Up Video on VH1 Classic.

Don’t you miss being able to read Peter Gammons for free on Sorry but I just can’t bring myself to pay even a nominal fee out my hard earned salary to the world wide leaders of “snark”.

Don’t you miss blog entries: like this one on Postcards From Elysian Fields?

Don’t you miss those wonderful warm, cream cheese filled, sugar coated soft pretzels at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco? They had those at the concession stands for one season (2003) and never again…too bad!

Don’t the ol’ Toledo readers of this blog miss: Faygo’s Red Pop and Rock ‘N Rye, Dudley’s Hot Dogs, the duck soup at Old Oaks, White Hut Hamburgers, Joe Ashton on Dialing for Dollars during the 4 o’clock movie on Channel 11, the Lion Store, Bob Kelley, John Saunders, Gordon Ward, and the soft serve ice cream stand on Reynolds Road near the old library and Walford’s?

Don’t you miss “Later” with Bob Costas? I worked the evening shift at the front desk of the Stoneleigh Hotel for a couple of years, when I arrived home at midnight – I always tuned into “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Later” on NBC. You either love Costas or hate him (I love him) this show was great – his interviews with Paul Simon and Paul McCartney were memorable.

Don’t you miss real Top 40 radio? I grew up listening to CKLW and WTOD – where you were likely to hear a Marvin Gaye tune, followed by a Led Zepplin song and then maybe Jeannie C. Reilly’s “Harper Valley PTA”. Take a look at the Billboard charts from 30 years ago – everyone listened to a wide range of music – I’d like to think it made us a little more open minded.

Don’t you miss warriors like Rick Helling and Bobby Witt in the Rangers starting rotation? I remember a game at Chicago during the 1997 season , the weather was terrible, windy, rainy – truly miserable. Bobby Witt stayed on the mound and pitched one heck of a game. I keep reading that Kevin Millwood has that kind of warrior mentality – it would be nice if he stayed off the DL so we could all see if that is true.

Don’t you miss “Sports Illustrated”? I saw a copy while in my dentist’s office the other day. I was shocked at how thin the magazine is, how the once thoughtful writing now caters to the short-attention span audience. The issue naming the 1980 Olympic Hockey team as the sportsman of the year is probably one of the finest piece of sports writing you will read. Just my opinion – but the last good issue of SI was the week after 9/11 – moving, respectful, loved Rick Reilly’s column.

Don’t you miss "SCTV"? Edith Prickly, Brock Linehan, Sammy Maudlin, Count Floyd (“very scary stuff”) The Great White North, Bobby Bitman, Dr. Tongue, Lola Heatherton, Ed Grimley (“I must say”) – I’m already laughing while type this (and I know Mike Hindman is too!)

Don’t you miss “The Game of Week” on NBC with Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek? Okay, in ancient times we were limited to one national game on Saturday afternoon – while now there is a national game four or five times a week. But I’m old enough to remember that it was a different set of teams every week – not just the Red Sox and Yankees. Check the ESPN and Fox schedule - there is a NY team or Boston game scheduled every week.

I know many of us still miss Mark Holtz, and always will. One of my favorite memories is a September Saturday night – the Rangers were out of contention (as they always were back then) Mark was reading college football scores with Eric naming the mascots for all the schools – it’s hard to put into words – but if you heard and remember then you are smiling too. And... don't you miss Ranger games on WBAP? - no matter where you were you could pick up the radio signal - I live in Arlington about 4 miles from the Ballpark and when I drive down Bowen Rd. the current KRLD signal fades in and out.

Don’t you miss the real “Sports Central” with Brad Sham? Not the very poor imitation that is on the air now. Brad's show had no bombast, no over hype or poorly thought out rants – just thoughtful commentary and interviews. Plus I think that Brad Sham was the best of Eric Nadel’s radio partners (after Mark Holtz) – and I understand why Cowboys fans wanted him back on their broadcasts.

And if you’ll indulge me for just a minute: I still miss my Aunt Mitzi’s smile, Uncle Steve’s wry wit, Oscar and Sophie’s kind friendship, Grandpa Lewandowski’s cigar, Granma Lewandowski’s chicken soup, Granma Czajka’s back porch, talking with Mr. K, Aunt Jo’s big hugs, the welcome at Uncle John’s and Aunt Harriet’s home, Uncle Art’s hearty laugh and so many more family and friends who aren’t with us anymore.

“In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, and nothing which goes is lost.”
~ (Unknown)

-- Marla Hooch

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Wrong Game Report

Does anyone remember the game the Rangers game played on July 27, 1994?

There were 35,000 plus tickets sold. The Rangers lost to the Twins 1-0 . The losing pitcher was John Dettmer who pitched 7 1/3 innings giving up one run. That winning run was scored in the first inning on a single by the late Kirby Puckett (driving in the always annoying Chuck Knoblauch).

Of course, everyone remembers the game the next day – July 28, 1994 – it’s chapter 14, on page 197 in the book “Perfect”.

Why do I bring this up?

Because I went to Frisco this weekend to watch a baseball game – not the one that's being written and talked about on Sunday – I was at Saturday night’s game. The one no-one, except me, will write about.

The game was interesting – Michael Schlact had another rough outing – 6 IP – 10 Hits – 5 ER 4 BB – 1 K. He left in the 7th without recording an out and San Antonio (Padres) leading 5-4. Brian Gordon came in got the Riders out of the inning without allowing any of inherited runners to score, and pitched well in the 8th and 9th (1 hit, 0BB, 3K) to earn the win. On the offensive side of things – Max Ramirez did not start the game – came in the bottom of the 8th as a pinch hitter (and promptly grounded into a double play) Chris Davis struck out twice and was intentionally waked in the 8th inning – and wound up scoring the winning run on LF Dustin Majewski’s single.

A few things I noticed: I knew it was going to be nice afternoon when Chris Davis took the time to smile and wave …. Ben Harrison has a really cheesy mustache (see the photo gallery)… since I published a picture of Steven Murphy in his fetching pink uniform top previously, I felt I had to publish a more “manly” picture of him in his regular uniform top (also in the very brief photo gallery for this game)…as I wrote on another blog – you’ve heard players say that the double play is a “pitcher's best friend” – I’m here to tell you that Elvis Augusto Andrus all by himself is “the pitcher's best friend”… Frisco turned four double plays during Saturday’s game – two of them started by Andrus – his defense definitely lives up to the hype - by the way Elvis is hitting .286 in his last 10 games…RHP Tommy Hunter was sitting a couple rows in front of me charting pitches and definitely enjoying the change of venue from Bakersfield … C Tim Gradoville showed some real chutzpah by bunting with 2 strikes in the 2nd inning – and yes, he got the bunt down and was called safe at 1st – although some of us were under the impression that the 1st base umpire was being very generous to Riders all afternoon.

But in the end, Saturday’s game was just a prelude to bigger things the next day….

P.S. Baseball Mom and I were at Kenny Rogers perfect game on July 28, 1994 – and I have the ticket stub to prove it -- Marla Hooch