In Which I Poach On My Partners’ Territory

I generally leave music commentary to the Trunk, for the very good reason that he knows much more about it than I do. I can’t resist noting, though, that I’ve discovered a new favorite: Elvis Presley. I grew up just in time to miss Elvis; the British invasion was new, and Elvis defined the concept of passe. I never really did listen to him. Now I’ve started, and he is, as my son would say, insanely good. A couple of nights ago I was playing Elvis when my eight-year-old daughter walked into the room, just in time to hear “Blue Suede Shoes.” She said, “Wow! What’s that?” and started dancing. She danced her way through my Elvis playlist–fast songs only, no “Love Me Tender” for eight-year-olds. Thus was Elvis discovered by two new generations, almost simultaneously. If, like me, you’ve never given him a chance, you should.
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Then there’s baseball. Deacon was my baseball mentor many years ago. He once took a college class in statistics, mainly to improve his annual baseball predictions. He would set aside a weekend each spring to predict the performance of every starter in the major leagues, and thereby to forecast the final standings in each division. He is the only guy I ever knew who took the trouble to figure out, statistically, the exact weight that should be given to hitting (50%), pitching (40%), and fielding (10%). And this was in the pre-computer era when calculations were done by hand.
Anyway, the Twins’ six-game winning streak was broken today, but, of far more importance, the newly-minted, division-leading Washington Nationals’ winning streak was extended to five games. Deacon shifted over from baseball to soccer some years ago, but I’ve always suspected it was due less to the superiority of soccer as a sport–a laughable concept–than to a broken heart over the latest departure of the National Pastime from the Nation’s Capital. Now, baseball is back. And maybe in a big way. In the photo below, the Nationals’ Nick Johnson triples to tie the score, earlier today:
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DEACON adds: I was at the game today and had a great time. It was the first baseball I’ve seen in Washington for 34 years (I refused to attend the various exhibition games with which baseball tried to pacify us over the years).
It was the 1994 strike, more than the departure of the Senators, that drove me away from baseball. Until that year, I still followed the game religiously even with no team to support. But when it became clear that the players and owners didn’t care enough about the game to complete the season, I figured I was a fool to care so much. If the strike hadn’t driven me away, the steroid induced home run boom probably would have. For me, there was a lot not to like about baseball.
Now it’s clear that there’s much more to like. However, once you fall out of love, there’s no falling back in.

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