Tuesday, September 12, 2006

1971 World Series, Game 3

Pirates vs. Orioles, bottom of the seventh, the Orioles' Mike Cuellar blushing on the mound after Roberto Clemente forced an errant throw to first with his high comebacker and trademark sprint down to first:

Cuellar, flustered, now walked Willie Stargell on four pitches, bringing up first baseman Bob Robertson with runners on first and second. Robertson to that point was hitless in the series and had lined out and struck out twice in three previous at-bats against Cuellar. He took the first pitch for a ball, then fouled off the next. From the Pirates dugout, Danny Murtaugh noticed that Brooks Robinson was cheating by two or three steps, as he had said he would against the big right-handed pull hitter, playing deep and close to the line. Murtaugh gestured to third-base coach Frank Oceak, who flashed a sign down to the plate. Robertson gave no recognition that he received the sign, so Oceak went through the motions again. From second base, Clemente sensed the confusion and raised his hands over his head, attempting to call time. But it was too late; Cuellar was in his windup. In came a screwball, a few inches outside, and out it went, soaring into the seats in right center. Only as Robertson touched home plate and Stargell congratulated him with the words "That's the way to bunt the ball!" did he realize what he had done. "Guess I missed a sign," he said sheepishly when he reached the dugout. "Possibly," responded Murtaugh, smiling.

Excerpt from David Maraniss' excellent biography of Clemente, Clemente, which is really more a book of baseball and social history than a strict bio. After reading this book, I now understand why my R.I. born and bred uncle is such a huge Pirates fan.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mama Bird

I hate Danceteria. Due to First Ave.'s unfortunate 'rhea curfew, Thursday night's Erase Errata / The Gossip show felt hurried and unnecessarily abbreviated. While openers Mika Miko would have benefited from a shorter set, Erase Errata and The Gossip were forced off the stage to please the nicely dressed Danceteria masses after all-too-brief sets.

I've definitely heard Erase Errata sound better – on their first two studio albums. Their performance certainly exhibited what happens when a pivotal band member (whose guitar pretty much defined their sound for me) leaves to pursue other opportunities. Still, I enjoyed the original band's remnants and the resulting sound enough to want to seek out their new album. Plus, I dug their style – were they going for '80s trailer park?

Now, on to Beth Ditto. Having eaten only a half hour before strutting her stuff for the eager crowd, Ditto suffered from recurring regurgitation throughout the set ("I've vomited three times already") – but dutifully re-swallowed so she could keep on singing for us. The other two band members (Brace Paine and Hannah Blilie) were also energetic and entertaining. And, Mark's right, Hannah's probably the hottest drummer around.