Thoughts from the Dugout: Wild for the Wild Card Games!

Image of Madison Bumgarner

After much ado (or relatively little), we’ve reached October, the best time of the year to be a baseball fan. Ten teams will vie for the right to play in the World Series. It’s a month long extravaganza featuring the best of the best.

But first…

Wild Card Round

A one game playoff where the winner moves on to play the division winner with the best record in their respective league, and the loser goes home.

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Thoughts from the Dugout: The Domino Theory

Image of the Washington Nationals

We’re near the end-game. Two more September updates, and then it’s time for playoffs, aka: that time when everyone else on staff hates me because the Recorder will be swarmed with baseball articles. Tuesday night, the first two division berths were secured by Beltway powerhouses Washington and Baltimore (let that sink in for a moment), both of whom easily clinched their divisions with leads of 12.5 and 13.5 games (as of Wednesday). In addition, the Angels are assured of a berth of some kind – barring a monumental collapse of infinitely small odds, they’ll clinch their division sometime this week. (Before Wednesday’s games, they had a magic number of 2 to clinch the division – one A’s loss and an Angels win would grant them the title, in other words. Again, we’re talking an unprecedented collapse for them not to win the division.)

(Thursday update – Sure enough, last night, the Angels clinched the division by winning 5-0 against Seattle as Oakland dropped a game against Texas 6-1. Rather than edit everything, I’m simply noting that I submitted my copy for deadline before Wednesday’s slate of games. You’re on your own.) [Read more...]

Rock and Roll Rising From the Mud: 10.5 Observations on Riot Fest

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1. Rock and roll is not dead…but it is very dirty.

Recently, Gene Simmons asserted that “rock is dead” – this article can be considered my dissent against that statement. Sales may be dropping, and manufactured pop, rap, and metal may continue to keep their footholds in the musical consciousness, but as long as artists reach the masses with passionate, high-energy performances full of unexpected surprises, rock and roll will never die. Riot Fest, celebrating its tenth anniversary in Chicago, is the ultimate case in point, as I witnessed on the one day of concerts I attended.

Saturday at Humboldt Park proved to be a beautiful day, albeit full of mud leftover from Friday’s rain.  I wore my old sneakers to the festival and immediately threw them out on my return home. Nobody emerged with clean shoes. None of us minded. For my part, I saw nine acts and change from noon to 10 pm, some of whom I was familiar with, some of whom I love, and none of whom did note for note recreations of their studio sound. It was an experience worth every penny.

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