Nice Guys Finish Last

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The Book of the Week is “Nice Guys Finish Last” by Leo Durocher with Ed Linn, published in 1975.

Durocher was born in 1906 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. He began his baseball career playing utility infielder for the New York Yankees in 1925. He developed a reputation as a contentious alpha male. Branch Rickey, one of his bosses through the decades, said he was a “… man with infinite capacity for immediately making a bad situation worse.”

Durocher squandered his initial $5,000 annual salary on clothing, food and nightclubs in New York City. Always in debt, he was a pool-hall hustler, too. But everyone wanted to be seen with him, as his social set consisted of celebrities who lived life in the fast lane.

According to the book (which appeared to be credible although it lacked Notes, Sources, References, and Bibliography) professional baseball culture for most of the twentieth century was mean-of-spirit, with alcohol-fueled violence. Team personnel such as Durocher were always thinking of new dirty tricks to win games.

Durocher admitted to trash-talking to batters to psych them out so his team’s pitcher would strike them out. Players suffered injuries galore due to lack of protective gear that would minimize or prevent injuries; batters especially suffered, as team-managers told their pitchers to deliberately hit batters with their pitching.

If hit, the batter was awarded the equivalent of a single as compensation. Durocher wrote, “I once saw Diz [pitcher Dizzy Dean] hit seven straight Giants [the baseball team players] in Miami early in the exhibition season, because the Giants had the nerve to score seven runs off him in one inning.” Finally, in 1940 (!), team-executive Larry MacPhail of the Brooklyn Dodgers ordered his players to wear plastic batting-helmets. This, after batter Joe Medwick was knocked out by a pitch by Bob Bowman of the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Durocher claimed that during the time he managed the Dodgers, MacPhail “fired” him zillions of times in the mid-1930’s, but most of the time, didn’t really mean it, until a tipping point was reached. As is well known, from the 1970’s into the 1980’s, the “You’re fired” situation became a running joke between Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and team manager Billy Martin, in order to entertain baseball fans.

Read the book to learn of other similar episodes, and trials and tribulations Durocher faced in his career (hint– major issues included his own newspaper column; the ongoing hostilities between the Yankees and the Dodgers; the media’s anti-Durocher lies and smears in its baseball reporting; punishments imposed by a few baseball commissioners over the years for alleged libel committed by, and gambling among, members of the ball clubs managed by Durocher; and a few of the colorful characters whom Durocher recruited and managed) and more. Curiously, Durocher failed to mention performance-enhancing drugs.

Anyway, speaking of contentious alpha males, here’s some advice for voters in this ditty concerning the 2024 candidates.

SHOW, NOT TELL

sung to the tune of “Express Yourself” (Official Video) with apologies to Madonna.

[spoken] C’mon America, do you want to see substance and quality in 2024? Of course you have something to SAY about it. That is how we roll.

Ignore the candidates’ bragfest, people.
Feel FREE to put them to the test.
You know, you know you’ve got to make them disPENSE with their spiel.
We want to KNOW their positions for REAL.

Politicians PULL the strings and THEY reap all the gold.

Their eight-year plan is way too vast.

You know, that never lasts, no, no.

What we need is a maTURE public-servant whose policies are smart and sound.
What we usually GET is a king on a throne, who’s abOVE the law and brings us down.

Ignore the candidates’ bragfest, people.
Feel FREE to put them to the test.
You know, you know you’ve got to make them disPENSE with their spiel.
We want to KNOW their positions for REAL.

Deep tax cuts are the way to your heart, but they treat you like an airHEAD. No, budget plans are NOT romantic. We’re hypoCRITically in the red.

Well, there’s no FREE lunch in life, it is TIME for the nation to move ON. Govern-ment should give you chances, but you’ve got to CRE-ate wealth on-your-OWN.

Ignore the candidates’ bragfest, people.
Feel FREE to put them to the test.
You know, you know you’ve got to make them disPENSE with their spiel.
We want to KNOW their positions for REAL.

De-STRESS yourselves. You’ve got to make them SHOW, not tell. Hey, hey, hey, hey.
To distinguish the greats, make them have the debates.
Show what they’ve GOT. We’ll see the best of the lot.

After all, you won’t reGRET it. Think about how much support they deserve.
If they don’t deserve it, they shouldn’t get it.
It’s YOU they should serve. So please

Show themselves. Show themselves. Hey, hey.

What we need is a maTURE public servant whose policies are smart and sound.
What we usually GET is a king on a throne, who’s above the law and brings us down.

After all, you won’t reGRET it. Think about how much support they deserve.
If they don’t deserve it, they shouldn’t get it.
It’s YOU they should serve. So please

Ignore the candidates’ bragfest, people.
Feel FREE to put them to the test.
You know, you know you’ve got to make them disPENSE with their spiel.
We want to KNOW their positions for REAL.

De-STRESS yourselves. You’ve got to make them SHOW, not tell. Hey, hey, hey, hey.
To distinguish the greats, make them have the debates.
Show what they’ve GOT. We’ll see the best of the lot.

SHOW themselves. SHOW themselves. Hey, hey.

To distinguish the greats, make them have the debates.
Show what they’ve GOT. We’ll see the best of the lot.

De-STRESS yourselves. ReSPECT yourselves…

Our House – BONUS POST

[Please note: The word “Featured” on the left side above was NOT inserted by this blogger, but apparently was inserted by WordPress, and it cannot be removed. NO post in this blog is sponsored.]

Here’s a little ditty that summarizes events of the past week or so in the United States House of Representatives.

OUR HOUSE

sung to the tune of “Our House” with apologies to “Madness” (the band).

McCarthy sold-his-SOUL, feeling pressed.

Reps are tired, they need a rest.

The committees are plotting beHIND closed doors.

The Caucus’s power took a LEAP. [ah-ah-ah]

Biden holds an olive branch, his legacy is now.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.

Our House, in the middle of the–

The Caucus was uncowed.

Males are always power-struggling and they’re usually quite proud.

The Speaker went-fifTEEN-rounds.

Only concessions slowed him down but defeat was not allowed.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.
Our House, in the middle of the–

Our House, in the middle of the heat.

Our House [Tabloids tell us that the radicals took hold of it.]

in the middle of the–

McCarthy rejected-the-Jan.-6 panel’s work.

His base didn’t know, whom to desert.

Then he wanted to probe the probers.

See him long-to-stay where Trump’s YOKE is. [ah ah ah]

Pelosi’s the one they’re going to miss in lots of ways.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.
Our House, in the middle of the–

[I remember way back when, men had honor

and the world didn’t have so very MANY spies.

No more PRIvate lives.

Such a FREE time.

And I remember how we’d live, simply face to face,

used our brains.

Software wouldn’t come between us.

No Tweeters.]

McCarthy sold-his-SOUL, feeling pressed.
Reps are tired, they need a rest.
The committees are plotting beHIND closed doors.
The Caucus’s power took a LEAP. [ah-ah-ah]
Biden holds an olive branch, his legacy is now.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.

Our House, in the middle of the–

Our House, we need IT for demo-cracy.

Our House, in the middle of the heat.

Our House, that is where some people sleep.

Our House…

Did Elon Musk Lose Your Favor – BONUS POST

[Please note: The word “Featured” on the left side above was NOT inserted by this blogger, but apparently was inserted by WordPress, and it cannot be removed. NO post in this blog is sponsored.]

As is well known, the messaging-clutter in the United States has reached a screaming crescendo. Here’s a question in connection with the tenor of the times.

DID ELON MUSK LOSE YOUR FAVOR

sung to the tune of “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor” [1961 Hits Archive] with apologies to the estate of Lonnie Donegan.

Oh [bleep], oh [bleep], oh you.
Whatever shall we do?
And YET one more bleep.
The question is so deep.
At stake is big-time dough.
Politicos want to know,
the pollsters’ Twitter question:
Is it yes or is it no?

Did E-LON Musk lose your favor by poor judgement overnight?
If the critics say just quit it,
do you keep your account in spite?
Do you seek out all the radicals?
Do you follow the Left or Right?
Did E-LON Musk lose your favor by poor judgement overnight?

Here he COMES with excessive pride.
His atTORNeys by his side.
THOSE lies and smears
everywhere are stoking fears
that our country could be wrecked.
But free speech is guaranteed,
and as Musk has trouble with control, he wants to take the LEAD.

Did E-LON Musk lose your favor by poor judgement overnight?
If the critics say just quit it,
do you keep your account in spite?
Do you seek out all the radicals?
Do you follow the Left or Right?
Did E-LON Musk lose your favor by poor judgement overnight?

Now the nation’s split in two.
Democracy will come through,
at every level, yeah, every single level.
Each side keeps the other in check.
We do it with Big Tech.
The most influential voices keep the candidates neck and neck.

If a price tag’s made of a price,
what’s a hashtag made of? [Boom, boom]

Did E-LON Musk lose your favor by poor judgement overnight?
If the critics say just quit it,
do you keep your account in spite?
Do you seek out all the radicals?
Do you follow the Left or Right?
Did E-LON Musk lose your favor by poor judgement overnight?

By poor judgement overnight?

You’re the best, and Twitter loves you, and it wants to make things right.
It’s going to be the most trendy, uncensored social media site.

By poor judgement overnight?

A spade is a spade and
a fact is a fact.
He’d sing another chorus but
he’s afraid of getting hacked.

By poor judgement overnight? Yeah!

Burn Rate

[Please note: The word “Featured” on the left side above was NOT inserted by this blogger, but apparently was inserted by WordPress, and it cannot be removed. NO post in this blog is sponsored.]

The Book of the Week is “Burn Rate, Launching A Startup and Losing My Mind” by Andy Dunn, published in 2022. Born in February 1979 in the United States, the author won the lottery in that he had family and friends who knew him well enough to recognize that, given his personality, his behavior was anomalous. He was doubly lucky that not only did he get mental-health treatment before he ended up in jail (well, at least on one occasion) or in the cemetery, but also, he could (with assistance from others) afford it.

“… for many, even a ‘chill’ drug like marijuana can stimulate a manic episode.” The author got to college still unaware that bipolar disorder (aka manic-depressive illness) ran in his family; his grandmother had had it. People who actually have the condition suffer under a Damocles sword their whole lives, as their mental state goes through unpredictable cycles, even with medication. Of course, stress exacerbates the highs and lows. The medication has side effects that are meant to dull the emotions, so bipolar patients don’t experience and enjoy life as much as people whose brain chemicals are more stable than theirs.

According to the book (which appeared to be credible although it lacked Notes, Sources, References, or Bibliography and an index), while in college, the author was ingesting alcohol and controlled substances such as ecstasy, magic mushrooms and marijuana on a daily basis, and taking the (radical) acne medication Accutane. Somehow, he graduated anyway, and got his MBA at Stanford. He explained that the professors there educated students in entrepreneurship, if they wanted to go that route. The author did.

After years of interesting ups and downs, in 2016, the author– a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs (who had last been World Series winners in 1908)– was afforded the opportunity to see game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland. But first, he had to rush to JFK airport from the streets in the East 50’s in Manhattan, beginning an hour before his plane took off, to get there. His cab driver did 90 MPH. Sympathetic people at the airport made way for him when they heard about his situation.

Read the book to learn of the author’s other trials and tribulations, triumphs and defeats. Speaking of defeats…

This is the song Hillary Clinton is singing now.

IN POST-CLINTON TIME

sung to the tune of “Sunny Afternoon” (Official Audio) with apologies to the Kinks.

My opponents BEAT me the last two times.
Deplorables and BERnie were unkind.
I SOREly miss the Situation Room.
And though I CAN-not be in charge,
I’m not locked up, I’m still at-large.
All I WANT’S in-the Situation Room.

Save me, save me, save me
from bad publicity.
I’ve got lots of enemies.
It’s a VAST right-wing conspiracy.

And I love to hobnob with elites,
brag about my political feats.
I SOREly miss the Situation Room,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time.

Donald Trump’s ruined my rep.
He’s in his safehouse doing ’24 prep,
spewing the usUAL blather and cruelty.
Now I’m here online,
doing the grass-roots, make-work grind.
I SOREly miss the Situation Room.

Help me, help me, help me
revive my ca-reer.
Well, give my Party money
to get me out of here.

‘Cause I love to hobnob with elites,
brag about my political feats.
I sorely miss the Situation Room,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time.

Ah, save me, save me, save me
from bad publicity.
I’ve got lots of enemies.
It’s a VAST right-wing conspiracy.

And I love to hobnob with elites,
brag about my political feats.
I SOREly miss the Situation Room,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time,
in post-Clinton time.