Fair warning: You might be a little disappointed if you came here strictly for sports content. While I’ll have the usual bullets and obligatory baseball bites, today is all about music for me. The second Saturday of April is Record Store Day, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put that on hold. As America’s Pastime and music are my two passions, you’re going to have to bear with about a 50/50 mix in this one.
— Record Store Day (@recordstoreday) April 7, 2020
Perhaps I’ll inspire you. If not, I do apologize. I’m a little down because I had hoped to procure this year’s vinyl coup de gras, a nine-LP box set from The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Biggie’s Ready to Die (2LP), Born Again (3LP), Life After Death (2LP) and Junior Mafia’s Conspiracy (2LP) pressed on clear vinyl and housed in a boxed set.
Further, the Rolling Stones have (finally) decided that RSD is a big deal and had planned to drop a limited edition master of Let it Bleed (1969), handcrafted on a manual press, using layers of different colors one on top of another. As a result, each long player will be unique in design.
And as if the shopping day delay wasn’t enough tragedy, RSD founding father Paul Quirk recently passed away after a very short battle with cancer. Quirk helped launch the tradition of supporting independent record dealers in 2007.
It’s a little hard for me to focus on baseball today. I hope you’ll understand.
Cubs News & Notes
- Per Forbes, the Cubs are worth $3.2 billion. By comparison, their South Side rivals are worth $1.65 billion. I honestly never would have guessed the White Sox are worth that much. Hard to pity the owners these days.
- Still no deal between Marquee and Comcast to report. Both sides are in agreement on one thing, however. When representatives for each entity were asked each had the same response: There was nothing new to report.
- Jon Lester could be the next Cub to have his number retired by the organization.
- I would have thought Joe Maddon was a lock until he leaked some of what he thought were the more unsavory details of his dismissal.
- Trevor Megill has likely earned a spot in the team’s bullpen once the season resumes.
- David Ross will probably give a roster spot to reliever Casey Sadler, too.
- The virtual Cubs lost a tough one in Pittsburgh yesterday, dropping the series finale to the Pirates 6-4.
- The Strat-O-Matic Cubs, backed by a strong performance from starter Kyle Hendricks and a bomb from Jason Heyward, beat Pittsburgh 4-2, improving to 9-4 on the virtual season. Chicago leads the NL Central by a game over the 8-4 Cardinals.
- Baseball Reference is also simulating the 2020 season via Out of the Park Gaming if you need more virtual baseball to satisfy your cravings.
Odds & Sods
It appears that CI’s Ryan Davis and Sean Holland have started a trend that the best in the business are going to mimic.
Joon Lee: Sources say 30 players set for MLB The Show league https://t.co/VfHyShEP0b
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 10, 2020
Apropos of Nothing
Record Store Day would have been tomorrow (though some reported June 18) if not for the current pandemic, and it has been moved to June 20 so that (hopefully) we can all get out and support our favorite vinyl shops. But it’s about supporting the artists, too, so I thought I’d give you five spins you might like to add to your collection this weekend. Just try to find them online from your local independent dealer.
- Sun Records RSD3 Complete Collection – Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins. You’ll need a mini-phonograph to play these 3″ masters, however.
- Billie Eilish Live at Third Man Records – Back in November, Eilish and her brother Finneas performed an intimate acoustic set in The Blue Room at Nashville’s Third Man Records. The set was pressed on opaque blue vinyl with black paper sleeves and includes an exclusive poster.
- Fleetwood Mac Alternative Rumours – On vinyl for the first time, the alternate version of the band’s iconic album will include early and alternate arrangements for Gold Dust Woman, The Chain, Don’t Stop, Dreams, and Second Hand News. You’ll have to wait until June to get it though.
- Otis Redding Just Do it One More Time (Live at Monterey) – “I’m pretty sure I’d just seen God on stage,” said Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, after watching Otis Redding at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. The marbled vinyl LP also includes opening performances by Booker T and the MGs, and the Mar-Key Horns.
- James Brown’s Get Down With JB: Live at the Apollo IV – Now this is exactly what Record Store Day is designed for (or should be). A live James Brown Revue from the early 70’s at the Apollo never before released on vinyl, limited to a nail-biting 2400 copies. If you find it, you’ve unearthed a treasure.
How about a nice memory from Manager David’s last regular season home game as a player in 2016? Yup…he homered in that one, too.
MLB News & Notes
The Korean Professional Baseball League will start its season in May. South Korea has been consistently ahead of the curve in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On this day in 1913 the New York Yankees officially played their first MLB game in New York’s historic Polo Grounds. They were previously known as the New York Highlanders.
The Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox are baseball’s highest valued franchises.
Braves starter Cole Hamels said he hopes that by extending the season later into the calendar year and perhaps expanding the postseason, MLB could play “the most games possible” and perhaps ensure that “a majority of time that fans eventually will be able to come.”
Author’s Note: I used to call Henderson “Hendu” but I cannot find any reference to that nickname. Anybody else remember that?
Wait…isn’t this what got Pete Rose banned from baseball? Rays starter Blake Snell and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge have made a $5,000 bet on the outcome of this season. It’s for charity, so the wager is totally on the up and up.
“Taters—that’s where the money is.” – Reggie Jackson
— OldTimeHardball (@OleTimeHardball) April 8, 2020
They Said It
“Well that’s what makes it beat
When I’m standing on the street
And I’m standing underneath this Wrigley’s sign
Oh so far away from home
But I know I’ve got to roam
That’s what makes the Irish heart beat.” – Van Morrison, What Makes the Irish Heart Beat
Friday Walk Up Song
Slim Slow Slider / I Start Breaking Down by Van Morrison – I’m just in the mood. A live performance from the Hollywood Bowl in 2008. Morrison is one of the rare performers who gets better with age, particularly in a live setting. A few years back I was lucky enough to get a limited edition promotional pressing of Live ’79 at the Roxbury on Record Store Day.