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The Beatles: A Digression

I got a few e-mails today about my reference in the ALCS gamer this morning to The Beatles' entire "Sgt. Pepper's" album playing over the PA at Fenway Park before last night's game. As a couple of readers noted, it was a tribute to the 40th anniversaries of both "Sgt. Pepper's" release and the Red Sox's 1967 "Impossible Dream" team. Dr. Charles Steinberg, a Red Sox marketing executive and a Beatles fanatic, drew the connection and has even worked up a billboard showing ex-Red Sox stars in a Sgt. Pepper's-style montage. Actually, there was a story about this in The New York Times a couple of days ago that I apparently missed. I'm sort of embarrassed that I got beat on a Beatles-related baseball story, as I fancy myself a bit of a Beatles fanatic and expert myself.

I first noticed the music as I was walking from the interview room to the press box about an hour before game time. I heard "Getting Better," and figured it was some sort of thematic song choice -- you know, "It's getting better all the time" -- that was supposed to have some relevance to the Sox. But then the songs kept coming -- "Fixing A Hole," "She's Leaving Home" and so on.

I'm not among those who claim "Sgt. Pepper's" is the greatest Beatles record, let alone the greatest album of all-time, as Rolling Stone once named it. Pound-for-pound, I'd take "Revolver," "Rubber Soul" and probably "The White Album" ahead of it. But as I was reminded again last night, once you get past the over-the-top, cartoonish element, that album is simply incredible. "She's Leaving Home" might be my favorite Paul song of all-time (with a chorus by John), and obviously "A Day In the Life" may be John's finest songwriting achievement, at least outside of "In My Life."

But anyway.... baseball. We all had high hopes for a brilliant pitcher's duel last night, and only Josh Beckett held up his end. C.C. Sabathia was terrible, as he admitted later. And we wound up with a blowout. Huge game tonight for the Indians. If they somehow lose with Fausto Carmona on the mound, this puppy could get wrapped up quickly. But I suspect Carmona is going to be every bit as awesome as he was against the Yankees last week.

Incidentally, the speculation here is that Beckett will NOT be brought back on short rest in Game 4 (as I hinted at in my story), because they want to make sure Schilling has extra rest between his starts. In other words, they want him to get the extra day and start Game 6 (if necessary), rather than follow Beckett in Game 5 on regular rest (there's an off-day between Games 4 and 5 this year).

Found a bar last night to catch the end of the NLCS game, but got kicked out at closing time with the game entering extra innings. Made it back to my hotel just in time to see the end, at roughly 2:45 a.m. I saw where Commissioner Bud Selig expressed some concern about the low ratings. Well, duh, maybe he ought to do something about the ridiculous start times.

Update: Game 2 lineups (no surprises -- both are exactly the same as Game 1)

For the Indians:
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
C Victor Martinez
1B Ryan Garko
SS Jhonny Peralta
LF Kenny Lofton
RF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Casey Blake
(RHP Fausto Carmona)

For the Red Sox:
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B Kevin Youkilis
DH David Ortiz
LF Manny Ramirez
3B Mike Lowell
RF J.D. Drew
C Jason Varitek
CF Coco Crisp
SS Julio Lugo
(RHP Curt Schilling)

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 13, 2007; 3:48 PM ET
 
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Next: The ticking clock

Comments

Let's hope they don't bring Beckett back early; how nice it will be to have a knuckleballer pitch in the LCS. And then, of course, in the World Series where we can find out how knuckleballs behave at altitude.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | October 13, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi Dave -

I'm a Beatles fanatic myself. Actually been to Liverpool once, have a couple of autographs, collectable pictures, etc. I can't pick a favorite album. As Sir George Martin says when asked to name his favorite Beatles song, "I can't name one favorite song anymore than I can name one of my children as my favorite."

I'm also a fellow Vandy grad (at least I've been told you're a Vandy guy) and runner up for the Grantland Rice Scholarship in 1967!

You should do a combination baseball-Beatle themed chat someday. Anyway, just responding to your Journal item.

Posted by: Vandy | October 13, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I saw the Beatles/Red Sox montage early this morning. It's a good time waster, I guess, if you are into that sort of thing. To check it out go to...


http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/sports/20071011_VECSEY_GRAPHIC/


Fairly impressive, but a but uneven. Sportwriters, players, management and even musicians make up the picture.

Yes, there are Yankees players in the picture as along St. Louis Cardinal players as well, but there are no references to the "Big Red Machine". I guess Fisk's arm waving shot was just Carlton taking batting practice.

Posted by: Viva Livan | October 13, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Dave - There you go again, being psychic! I'm listening to the Beatles, waiting for the game, check in and the Beatles are your first topic of discussion! First, you predict on August 14 that the Phillies will win the east and now this! Great news, fellow Journalers! You can get Jon Miller and Joe Morgan doing the game on free radio - 1000 AM, a blowtorch out of Chicago! Tell all of your blind friends! The Danny has been overcome by the City of Broad Shoulders, Slaughterhouse to the World! Thank you, ESPN Chicago! I'll definitely go there to buy my next BMW from the sponsoring dealership!

Posted by: flynnie | October 13, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Can I go back and second those who say commitment to the plan does not hinge on any one player? I tell you what you do with Fick, you hang on to him until you find someone better to replace him. Ditto, all other members of the 40 man roster.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 13, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The lineups are exactly the same as last night? I would swear the Kielty started in right last night for the Red Sox.

Posted by: gonats | October 13, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, there you go being all sensible and [stuff].
=========
Can I go back and second those who say commitment to the plan does not hinge on any one player? I tell you what you do with Fick, you hang on to him until you find someone better to replace him. Ditto, all other members of the 40 man roster.
Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 13, 2007 07:51 PM

Posted by: cevans | October 13, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

And there goes Manny and Lowell making the case for why you might WANT expensive free agents. 6-5, Sahx.

Posted by: cevans | October 13, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Barry, you're absolutely right about Sgt. Pepper's. Some good songs -- and at least one great one -- but the other three albums you mentioned hold up a lot better.

Posted by: Cosmo | October 13, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Cosmo, agreed, but it was Dave. Barry would never say it that snarklessly.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 13, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Nice adverb.
_________
snarklessly

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | October 13, 2007 11:50 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | October 14, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, flynnie, for the radio info. Will tell my other baseball buddies about that.

Agree re. a baseball/Beatles chat. Also agree that it would be hard to pick a favorite song. George Martin rocks.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 14, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, just looked at the gamer on the Cleveland site. Hope that I bracketed the video recorder long enough to capture the end of the game after I retired at 12:30. Perhaps if the Sox 'pen had been paying attention to the game earlier rather than having their little percussion jam session, the Indians might not have blown their doors off in the 11th. Wonder whether that session was supposed to be a mockery of the drummer boy in Cleveland? At any rate, goooooooooooooo Tribe!!

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 14, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Freudian slip there, SCNF. Halloween is coming up. WooWoo! WooWoo!

"When will baseball learn that people are now owls."

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | October 13, 2007 11:55 AM

Posted by: Bob (ow)L. Head | October 14, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

In other news, the Commies just hired Dusty Baker. Bad move for both I think. This will not end well.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | October 14, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Those of us with more advanced musical tastes rely on XM satellite radio and Robert Aubry Davis (VOX), among others, to bring us what we prefer. When I go to the ballpark, I cringe when all that loud garbage is playing, and to think some of you guys call it music (but then again, your hearing is very likely to be seriously impaired by now)! To think there are classic popular albums like "The Cole Porter Songbook" (Ella) that go unplayed at stadia.

At least Slowes and Jaegler understood how bad it was at Shea, and said so.

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | October 14, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Ditto JohnR(VA)...XM has been a savior to music & baseball. As far as baseball stadia music...call me old fashioned, cause I am, but good old organ music suits me just fine for baseball. Why they choose to end longtime traditions at most parks baffles me. I feel sorry for new fans who never experienced the way it was., the way it should be again.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | October 14, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Mastny, the rookie reliever, set down Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowe (MVP candidate)! Wow, what a game! Great gamer, Dave! You nailed it - what followed WAS a dazzling display of lockdown relief pitching! And these Indians CAN hit! Natsfan1A I've got a Grundig radio that brought in the signal clearly fom ESPN 1000 AM in Chicago. Anyone else have the pleasure of Jon Miller's company for 5 hours and 14 minutes?

Posted by: flynnie | October 14, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

On "All Bets are Off" with Bruce Drennan on the Sports Time Ohio Network (from 2:35-3:35 AM) Bruce Drennan said, "Did I hear Tim McCarver call Koko Crisp 'one of the greatest center fielders in the game'? We had him here in Cleveland. He's a nice player, but let's not lose our heads!" He than went on to say that it sounded like McCarver was developing larryngitis, which is one of the best developments of the ALCS. And "what a glorious victory"!

Posted by: flynnie | October 14, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

JohnR: You mean you listen to XMU on XM too? And here I assumed I was the only one out here with "advanced musical tastes." So you must be bopping along with me when the park busts out some Franz or the Bravery between innings. Isn't that the best?


/snark

Posted by: JennX | October 14, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

For all those who've posted concerns about the start times of games, I'd encourage you to read "Game Time vs. Bedtime" in the Post's Sunday Outlook section. While it doesn't address all the start-time issues folks have been discussing in this forum, it does explain precisely why we have 8:00 p.m. as opposed to 7:00 p.m. start times for the World Series (and, by extension, for east-of-the-Mississippi division and league championship series).

Posted by: RFK Section 314 | October 14, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Slowes' comments on the noise at Shea in the final series of the year were hilarious! I could feel his pain...

---

At least Slowes and Jaegler understood how bad it was at Shea, and said so.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 14, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"JohnR: You mean you listen to XMU on XM too? And here I assumed I was the only one out here with "advanced musical tastes." So you must be bopping along with me when the park busts out some Franz or the Bravery between innings. Isn't that the best?"

Yo, Snark:

If the ball parks are not going to go with the traditional organ accompaniment (per SC Nats Fan), how about a Hayden string quartet? Or some of Glenn Gould's Bach?

Sorry, I do not recognize Franz or Bravery, so I can't comment there.

It seems to me one reason a very low level of music (played loudly) at stadia has come from someone's decision to reward the athletes on the field wth snippets of their favorites. This is an example of the idiots taking over the asylum.

Posted by: JohnR (VA) | October 15, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

John(R)Va - If given the choice, what would you do: attend the Festival of Early Music in Utrecht or stay here for October baseball?

Posted by: flynnie | October 15, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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