Well, thanks to anyone who's read some of these gamethread previews -- now, lately, Saturday Rambles. Or at least glanced/skimmed them for six months. Or never sent angry emails to Jesse saying "get that a-hole off my Twins site!"
Ultimately I'm hugely grateful to everybody for tolerating this. I've learned a lot doing it, at the expense of your time.
I have no idea why posting a pregame piece became obsessive for me. (Actually, I do, but that's not interesting.) I know it was something I didn't plan for, so, when it surprisingly kept going, I put much more thought into the bits. Which meant discarding stuff that didn't seem quite right.
Anyhoo, here's the leftover B-sides. I think a few are fun.
What beer best suits your baseball team? This silly list will tell you. It's not a slide show and the beers are well-selected. It's hard on the Twins, but the team did suck then.
Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy makes his own beer. Twins Cities homebrew shoppe Northern Brewer expanded to Milwaukee, and made a recipe with Lucroy. (I'm annoyed Northern Brewer doesn't have a Plouffe or Perkins recipe yet, since both those nerds homebrew. NB does have a Lou Gehrig-inspired one, and they donate a huge chunk of the sale price to ALS research. I'll make it for sure eventually.)
I brewed that Lucroy beer, timing the aging so I could drink my first one now. How is it? Fine. Beer nerd talk, nose, mouthfeel, blah blah. It's fine. And, just so's you know, I'm drinking it late at night, not after waking up the pre-game morning. I'm not Austrian.
Speaking of Austrians, this is the dumbest thing ever. I convinced myself it would be a good idea to try celebrity impressions doing a Twins lineup. I attempted the only two I can somewhat pull off, and I failed badly. So instead, here's one I utterly didn't pull off. My Oregon-accent version of Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, Oscar-winner for "Inglorious Basterds." It's so awful it cracks me up: 20151002_024249.0.m4a
Dave Winfield was from Saint Paul! George Steinbrenner, the decomposing ghoulish Yankees owner, hired a bookie with mob ties to smear him! Interested in writing about that? I was! Until I read Jim McLennan from the Diamondbacks SB site nailing it. Been done already, and been done terrific. Whoops!
(Although, McLennan proves there is more than one wingnut on SB doing posts outside his home team's history, so it's not the world's craziest thing. Only mostly crazy.)
Do you know the "Just For Men" ads with ex-MLBer Keith Hernandez and ex-NBAer Walt Frazier? Where two middle-aged guys sell beard dye to older dudes so they can "stay in the game?" Those ads were always creepy as hell. Someone must have figured that out, as the most recent installment has our older gentleman coloring his beard for a domestic partner. Sure, less creepy. Until it manages to get creepier than ever:
Alright, I'll end with a final mini-essay. Because the story is mind-boggling. I was looking into the Beatles at Met Stadium 50 years ago (and just had to share one priceless clip of a total cracker cop talking about the Fab Four bringing girls -- Girls! -- up to their hotel rooms. Thank your chosen God there was no YouTube back then, or cool people would have avoided Minnesota for decades.)
Local media covered the 1965 Beatles anniversary from every angle, so I didn't bother. I did stumble on this Beatles-related nugget. It's stellar. Literally.
OK -- you're vaguely aware of the Voyager probes, right? We launched them in the late 1970s, they toured our solar system's outer planets, they worked brilliantly (and are still sending data from deep space!) You may have heard that each contained a golden record. There's a record and a record player of sorts on each Voyager. It has sounds of Earth like whales singing, people talking, and of course music. (It even has video images -- yeah, records can play video. During the 1980s there were video players which used records, and people bought them, and my dad had one, and that's all I'll say about those.)
Carl Sagan, the "Cosmos" guy, led a group of science-y types who decided what went on the record and how to provide instructions in symbols alien species could possibly decipher. If you like, you can read about that whole process. The funny bit, the point of this story, is Sagan's committee wanted to include a Beatles song, "Here Comes The Sun." Because, Sun. This Solar System. Here comes a probe from our sun. Right?
The Beatles, all then alive, were thrilled.
The music company, EMI, said "no." Copyright concerns, you see.
Think about this for a few seconds.
Imagine the process via which a Beatles song in space could ever cost EMI one farthing.
First, space aliens -- Kilngons, let's say -- have to find the Voyager probes. Which, "Star Trek I" aside, are due to run out of nuclear power a few years from now. So they'll be sending no radio signals. And it'll be millions of years before they even get anywhere near another star system. The Klingons would essentially have to run into one by accident. Without smashing it to bits.
The Klingons would have to take a Voyager apart and figure out what the symbols meant. Then, once they played the record, they'd have to come to Earth. And stop in a record store. And go looking for more Beatles music. And understand the record labels' language, so when one Klingon thought about buying a single of "Here Comes The Sun," Worf could tap her on the shoulder and say, "nope, we've already got that one."
Thereby depriving EMI of whatever a single retailed for back when Voyagers were launched. Like, what, 50 cents?
Eventually, a different company bought the Beatles songs, and they allowed NASA to beam one at Polaris. BTW, super-science guy Stephen Hawking disapproved of goodwill messages like this, suggesting, with some cause, that maybe we shouldn't be greeting aliens since our history demonstrates first contacts between cultures tend not to go well for half of them. "Star Trek 8" aside.
I'm out, folks! It's been a blast, thanks again, and we'll see what happens with this silly Saturday series in the future. Devereaux has a piece to post soon. Maybe others will too. I need a long break from reading so much about sports.
Catcha for the gamethread before noon, and -- if I haven't made this disgustingly clear -- writing these has been a joy, because of the terrific feedback you provided. Sorry this last week's is B-sides, I'm a little worn out. BUT I UNLOCKED MY CHALLENGE! And y'all didn't totally spew hate over these in the process! Dang, but that's cool of you!