Daily Dirt: Steve is walking on sunshine in anticipation of those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer…and baseball!

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Daily Dirt for Wednesday, April 6, 2022

ESPN experts feel it could be a long summer for the St. Louis Cardinals. How long? You’ll know once you work your way through Thought No. 3 … Welcome to Vol. 253 of The Daily Dirt.

1. We’re “that close” to being able to enjoy sunshine and blue skies on a daily basis.

We’ll soon be able to walk to the mailbox without putting on a winter coat. We’ll soon be cruising Broadway with our windows rolled down. And we’ll soon be wearing shorts and T-shirts. So … what best accents those sunny skies and our daily doses of rays? Tunes, baby. Tunes.From the early 1960s to the 2000s, these were the songs — at least in my mind — that have defined those warm-weather months between now and the start of football season:

  • 1. “A Summer Song,” Chad and Jeremy (1964): This will always be the perfect summer song — no pun intended. It’s difficult to comprehend it was 58 years ago that this classic-to-be was released. Sadly, Chad Stuart died in 2020 at age 79. Jeremy Clyde, 81, continues to tour. For the record, their only other medal-worthy hits were “Yesterday’s Gone” and “Willow Weep For Me”.
  • 2. “Vacation,” Go-Gos (1981): If you just want to feel good on a hot summer day or evening, this is the song you want playing on your car radio while you cruise the strip.
  • 3. “Walking on Sunshine,” Katrina and the Waves (1983): Ditto.
  • 4. “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night),” Meatloaf (1977): And if you’re in the mood for one of those mini-Meatloaf concerts, this is the choice. The perfect song to play on the road from Quincy to Springfield.
  • 5. “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” Nat King Cole (1963): I was attracted to the music of this master at a young age, and to this day I still enjoy his music. I should thank my mom and dad for playing Nat King Cole in our home when I was a wee lad. I’m also a big fan of his “Ramblin’ Rose”.
  • 6. “All Summer Long,” Kid Rock (2007): “Singin’ Sweet Home Alabama’ all summer long … 
  • 7. “Summer Nights,” Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (1978): Some 44 years later, I still think Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (and the entire supporting cast) looked more like they were 30-somethings (rather than teenagers) in that movie.
  • 8. “In the Summertime,” Mungo Jerry (1970): Lead singer Ray Dorset had the world’s best sideburns.
  • 9. “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly and the Family Stone (1969): Still the perfect backyard party song for a warm July evening.
  • 10. “Summer Rain,” Johnny Rivers (1968): Incredibly, Rivers is still performing at age 79.

Honorable mention:

  • “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper (1972).
  • “Summer of ’69,” Bryan Adams (1985). “
  • Saturday in the Park,” Chicago (1972).
  • “Suddenly Last Summer,” Motels (1983).
  • “Endless Summer Nights,” Richard Marx (1988).
  • “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama (1983).
  • “Sunshine Superman,” Donovan (1966) Little known fact: pre-Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page provided some key guitar work on this memorable .45.
  • “Waterfalls,” TLC (1994).

2. Just a warning — wherever you are driving in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri, sooner or later The Daily Dirt will spot those catchy vanity license plates.

This week’s medal-winning Great Plate debate finds include:

  • Gold medal: GO SING. Preferably, a Rod Stewart song.
  • Silver medal: BASIC. Just your … umm, basic plate.
  • Bronze medal: NERD 3. I always have a soft spot for nerds … of any number.(By the way, we’ll be expanding our weekly top 10 for the year to the top 20. Check this space Thursday!)

3. ESPN has released its Opening Day rankings of the 30 MLB teams.

Here are the Worldwide Leader’s top 10, plus a few others of regional interest:

  • 1. Los Angeles Dodgers: The only real question for the Dodgers is when — or if — Cody Bellinger will start to hit again.
  • 2. Toronto Blue Jays: Who’s going to be American league MVP, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Shohei Ohtani?
  • 3. Atlanta Braves: Yes, the Braves lost Freddie Freeman, but they gained Matt Olson and will welcome back Ronald Acuna from the injured list.
  • 4. Chicago White Sox: DId the Chisox really just sign Johnny Cueto?
  • 5. Houston Astros: Don’t forget, the Astros get Justin Verlander back, and when he rounds into form they will likely run away and hide in the American League West.
  • 6. New York Yankees: Arguably, the only team that did less than the Yankees in the offseason were the Cleveland Guardians.
  • 7. Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers have the potential to win the National League Central by 10 or more games.
  • 9. Tampa Bay Rays: Not even manager Kevin Cashman’s annual magic with the Rays’ pitching staff will be able to keep the Blue Jays from winning the American League East.
  • 10. San Francisco Giants: Personally, I think the Giants are a bit high on this list. I’m looking for a major fall-off following last year’s surprise 100-plus win season. That’s usually the way the law of averages works.

Others of interest:

  • 15. St. Louis Cardinals: Our friends at ESPN feel there’s a good chance the Cards finish under .500 for the first time since 2007.
  • 22. Chicago Cubs: Rookie Seiya Suzuki will hold the Wrigley faithful’s interest … for awhile.
  • 23. Kansas City Royals: The Royals are the Cleveland Guardians, minus the starting pitching.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Steve once turned down an offer from Chad and Jeremy that may have changed pop music history. Just think, all these laters you could be listening to Chad, Jeremy and Steve.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He was more likely to get an offer from Moe, Larry and Curly.

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