As baseball's gearing up for the sweet run to the playoffs, I couldn't be more excited as the Detroit Tigers just put down rival Cleveland three games in a row to secure their best lead over the division all season. Justin Verlander tows the slab tonight for the Tigers. He's looking for his 19th win of the season and I'm in Stevens Point, WI surrounded by Brewers fans. That's fine. I can get behind a ball team that celebrates the craft of beer making, but I'm secretly conflicted considering DBD bassist, Jim Roll, is a Cubs man and I don't know if my flimsy, week-long support of one of the Cubs' NL rivals might tarnish the Jimmer's appreciation of our numerous baseball talks. Sorry Jim. You and I both know that this year isn't one the Cubs will remember.
So, I'm sitting here at Gruu's on Main in the aforementioned Stevens Point, left to my devices, which, as you can see, contain one (1) pint of Point Special, one (1) Raymond Chandler novel, one (1) laptop, and fifteen (15) cigarettes.
None of these things are helpful in trying to quit smoking. Except, maybe, the laptop ("lung cancer" image searches...yikes).
I was leaving the Tokyo Steakhouse from a lovely lunch and when I turned on my car, Del Shannon's brilliant "Runaway" was on the radio and I could think of only two things:
1. "Runaway" was recorded in Ann Arbor, MI
2. Watching Justin Verlander's pitching today must be the baseball equivalent to what it was like to hear the synth solo of "Runaway" in 1961
Am I right? 1961! Synthesizers! That vocal! (To get his vocal that high, they slowed down the tape a little, so upon playback it sounded slightly sped up, just like JV's fastballs. I wonder if Verlander actually slows down the opposing batters' minds to make his fastball look faster. I guess, in a sense, that's exactly what he's doing when he hurls a 74 MPH changeup, but I digress.) But seriously, that synth part is like the slider Verlander throws that, after three years of tossing, he still denies is a slider.
And since I'm going down this route, perhaps Brandon Inge's theme is "The Cat Came Back," Magglio Ordoñez's theme is "The Old Man's Back Again," and the Chicago Cubs' theme is... well, let's have Harry Belefonte and Odetta perform it for you: