Daily Dirt: ‘Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball’


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Daily Dirt for Feb. 3, 2022

The MLB labor dispute is nearing an end. I promise. So while you wait for those first reports from spring training, allow the ensuing words to provide comfort and solace … I think these are my five favorite baseball-related quotes of all-time:

  • George Will: “Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True., And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona”.
  • Leo Durocher: “Baseball is like a church. Many attend, but few understand”.
  • Bill Veeck, Jr.: “There are only two seasons: winter and baseball”.
  • Rogers Hornsby: “People ask me what I doin the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the winder and wait for spring training”.
  • Jacques Barzun: “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.”

2. Here are some more Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-worthy artists who have been overlooked:

First of all, just a reminder that to be eligible for the hall, an artist/group must have  made their first recording 25 years prior to the current year. So in this case, we’re talking 1997. Today, I’m offering four Black artists who should have been overlooked:

Junior Walker and the All Stars: Walker is the only Motown star who was primarily an instrumentalist. His sax-powered hits like “Shotgun,” “Road Runner” and “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” are classic. He was also an extremely underrated vocalist.

Barry White: Did you ever hear Barry White’s voice? And if so, can you ever forget Barry White’s voice. I didn’t think so.

The Spinners: The Temptations and Four Tops are always considered atop the list of elite Black groups, but the Spinners are right there, too.

Jerry Butler: He’s already in with the Impressions, but he deserves a spot for his solo career, too. “What’s The Use of Breaking Up,” “Western Union Man,” “For Your Precious Love,” “Moon River,” “Make It Easy on Yourself,” “Let It Be Me,” “Never Give You Up” and “Mr. Dream Merchant” headline The Dream Merchant’s catalogue. Jerry’s now 82, let’s get him in before he is no longer with us.

3. We’ve passed the halfway point of the NBA season. Here’s my top five teams, and my five most disappointing teams:

Best teams

  • 1. Phoenix Suns: What a fun bunch to watch, triggered by sharpshooter Devin Booker.
  • 2. Golden State Warriors: If only they could get everyone healthy. Night in, night out Steph Curry is must-see TV.
  • 3. Milwaukee Bucks: I’m still a believer the mighty Bucks will be peaking at the right time.
  • 4. Chicago Bulls: I think both the Bulls and No. 5 Cavs will eventually overtake the Miami Heat in the East.
  • 5. Cleveland Cavaliers: They are incredibly young and talented, and only getting better. The biggest star may very well be coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

Most disappointing

  • 1. Los Angeles Lakers: Sorry, LeBron, this bunch is a disaster. And no one feels sorry for you. No one.
  • 2. Boston Celtics: And these guys aren’t much better. Jayson Tatum, however, is a superstar.
  • 3. Los Angeles Clippers: Not a good season to be an NBA fan in L.A.
  • 4. San Antonio Spurs: What, “Pop” is not a coaching genius after all?
  • 5. Brooklyn Nets: I’m tired of hearing about all the injuries’ and vaccine issues. This particular group has never delivered.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He sounds like Barry White if Barry White had ever inhaled helium.

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