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Death and Taxes
by Jim Sells
Man, weeks like this are the reason I still listen to albums like The Doobie Brothers "Minute By Minute" . I mean, here I was, primed and ready to celebrate Jackie Robinson's amazing life AND set y'all straight on some diamond wisdom PLUS break off a little music knowledge (MASTODON!) . . . and that horrible thing occurred in Blacksburg. "Minute by minute by minute by minute/I keep holdin' on . . . " How true is that . . .
Anyway, it's become obvious that the NL Central is terrible and any TV games that they are scheduled in should be moved to public access cable. Their streams are weak and their seed impure. I had a suspicion that the Brewers might sneak into this thing and I may have been right. So far, it's been the bullpen to the rescue but, if Ben Sheets gets right, they have just as strong a case as anyone to win a very weak division. Keep an eye on Miller Park-there may be strange shit brewing there.
Another musical tip for karmically-screwed times: "Katy Lied" by Steely Dan is another candidate to be added to my CD player's shuffle function. The temperature for that album was very cool with a slow-moving low paranoia front lingering on the horizon. "Bad Sneakers" and the title track are worth the price of admission and when you tack on "Any World (That I'm Welcome To) and "Dr. Wu", your bang for buck ratio is maxed out.
The Braves are going to be for real all season, for various reasons. I watched Jeff Francouer, who has never been very selective at the plate, go to right and right-center the other night twice. Last year, that would've been unheard of-it was pull, pull and more pull. Pitchers Chuck James and Kyle Davies took some lumps last year and have looked like they took notes. James is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA and Davies just got going with a 6 and 2/3 inning debut featuring 8 K's. I mention this because everyone's on a big Mets kick. I don't see it. That line of thought has El Duque making it all season; John Maine never having that one bad start that he always seems to have every season that leads to total meltdown; and that Aaron Sele can be productive in their rotation. What else need I say? The Mets are taking strong psychotropic medicine and I'm just not qualified to pop that bubble . . .
Mastodon is strong as train smoke, progressive metal with no apologies for those left behind. Everyone has hip-hop/R&B/soul/etc. in mind when you mention Atlanta but this bunch is here to represent. AND they filmed the video for "Colony of the Birchmen" inside Ruby Falls, a weird little tourist attraction right here in my back yard. Kick ass . . .
I don't know, y'all. There's no reason in the universe right now - Seattle's first in their division; the Phillies are worse than the Nats; and Brad Penny is 3-0. What the hell? Maybe some chips and salsa in a recliner I reclaimed from an apartment fire (not mine, thank God) is what I need. My stream of consciousness is flowing toward munchables and highlights on "Baseball Tonight". Peter Gammon's continued good health is proof of God's status as THE hardcore baseball fan.
Y'all pray for the victims' families and be good AND safe. I got a tee time with John Smoltz.