Month: February 2016

Real Country

There was one upside of being stuck in traffic – and then stuck in the car wash line – on a February day with 60+ degree weather. The Bluegrass Junction station on Sirius XM radio was featuring a live concert of The SteelDrivers – a band I highlighted in my Favorite Roots Music Albums of 2015 post last December.  (Oh yeah, it was also the winner of the “Best Bluegrass Album” in that other little year-end list – The Grammy’s.) After playing “If it Hadn’t Been for Love” from their first project (the black album), fiddler Tammy Rogers mentioned that “some singer you might have heard of – named Adele” – had covered that song earlier this decade and featured it in her Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVD.  I knew Andrew would love this. So I returned home and told Andrew the story.  I mentioned that Chris Stapleton – who wrote and sang on the original SteelDrivers version – just won Country Album of the Year for both the CMA and Grammy’s, which …

My Own Personal Spring Training

As I post this, the clock on Spring Training Countdown (motto:  Winter Bad. Baseball Good.) reads:  4 days, 7 hours, 37 minutes, 7 seconds.  It is clear I don’t have much time to get in shape for the season! My own personal spring training generally consists of reading a new baseball book and re-watching Bull Durham (best baseball movie ever).  However, our tape/CD player is broken (I know, we’re old school), and so I had to improvise and instead read two baseball books.  It is tough duty, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get into shape. I began with 2015’s Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-year Losing Streak by Pittsburgh writer Travis Sawchik. This is a terrific book about how the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, stumbling along in a 20-year losing streak (remember Sid Bream and Barry Bonds and Skip Carey’s classic 1992 “They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream” call) turned around their fortune as a baseball club.  The Pirates did it using big-data …