Jeff · April 1, 2005 at 9:36 am · Filed Under Mariners, Off-topic ranting 

With the season around the corner and today being a frivolous Friday, I figured now was the time to get a few general observations off my chest. I was going to do an April Fool’s Day post “arguing” that the Mariners should trade for Ryan Howard, but Dave’s under enough stress lately. For better or for worse, I actually believe everything written after the jump.

* Exhibit A in why you should always take fantasy baseball advice with a grain of salt is this important keeper league question David Gonos suggests you ask yourself:

Does Willie Bloomquist take over for Boone in 2006, or does Boone remain in the Emerald City?

It’s rare that a single “no” can take care of two questions, rarer still that one is so stunned by part of an inquiry as to render a more complete answer impossible.

* Bill Simmons puts me to shame with his knowledge of the NBA and pop culture arcana. So can he stick to that, and stop writing about Nirvana?

He’s done so in three recent columns. This one isn’t the worst — that was the bit where he claimed that, had Kurt Cobain lived, he’d be on a reality show for has-beens today — but this one illustrates a lot of what he has wrong.

There are the factual errors (Nirvana had produced only one, not two albums before Nevermind; also, apart from the question of which album you like better, it’s ludicrous to claim that every reviewer thought Pearl Jam’s album “Vs.” was much better than Nirvana’s “In Utero”).

There are also important omissions. It’s unfair to say that Nirvana had a head start on Messrs. Gossard, Vedder, Ament et. al. in terms of buzz. Pearl Jam was a much-anticipated successor to Mother Love Bone, a band on the cusp of making it, and included members of the late and lamented Green River. Around this time, Kurt Cobain was still glomming on to The Melvins for credibility. Think about that.

This is why Simmons should not call himself “The Music Guy.”

(And yes, that second Simmons link takes you to a Van Halen message board instead of the Worldwide Leader. I figure my fellow David Lee Roth believers need hits more than Bristol does. Plus, a Van Halen message board: how cool is that?)

* Speaking of reality TV: the only reality show I want to see Jose Canseco on involves Montecore the tiger and a suit made of t-bone steaks.

* Did anybody notice a month ago when Dallas Morning News columist Gerry Fraley half-seriously tried to start a rivalry between the M’s and the Rangers?

[Yes, it requires registration, but you can use mine: jeffmshaw at hotmail period com, password 842600]

To keep pace with the spring training unpleasantness, the Rangers need a blood rivalry. The ingredients are there for a feud with Seattle. Manager Buck Showalter seemed miffed that Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said at the start of spring training that the Rangers’ pitching is shaky. Rangers general manager John Hart fired new Seattle manager Mike Hargrove in 1999 despite five consecutive playoff appearances when both were at Cleveland. Hart picked up left-hander Brian Anderson from Bavasi in a contentious trade in 1996. The Rangers will have 19 games against Seattle this season. Stay tuned.

Well, I noticed. And I can say that I am all for this, especially if we get to sing “When You’re a Jet” before rivalry games.

* Lost in the shuffle from the Abraham Nunez signing was a prestigious award for Jeremy Reed. He won the Rookie of the Spring award, which is “given annually to the top Seattle or San Diego rookie at the conclusion of spring training.”

Clear a spot in the trophy case, Jeremy. This one should fit right between the little league trophies and the $2 winning scratch tickets. Hopefully, Reed can bring home similar honors from the 162 that count.

* Albert Chen, the guy who writes a non-daily non-blog for Sports Illustrated, predicts the Mariners will win the West. Woo-hah! Might as well not play the games and skip straight to the AL playoffs. Somebody tell Selig.

I think Chen may be the only national writer picking the Mariners. Here’s hoping he is as accurate as he is iconoclastic.


35 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. anotherjeff on April 1st, 2005 10:10 am

    I liked “VS” better than “In Utero” Even as I’ve said that, I dont think comparing the two is fair. For those well versed in that era of music, I probably dont need to waste your time explaining the unfairness of the comparison.

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself

  2. JMB on April 1st, 2005 10:19 am

    Hey, am I the only person on the planet who doesn’t think U2 is the greatest thing ever? And am I the only person who gets upset when KZOK (“The Classic Rock Station”) plays U2 music that, while certainly rock in genre, isn’t really from the “classic rock” period? Gimme Led Zeppelin over U2 (or any other band, for that matter) any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


  3. Steve Thornton on April 1st, 2005 10:29 am

    WHAT, exactly, does Wee Willie have to do to kill the buzz? People think he’s a great defender, and I suspect they will continue to do so unless he has a leg amputated or something. They continue to believe that his, uh, scrappiness makes up for the lack of any hitting ability or results. Will this still be true if his average — and of course Willie is ALL about average — drops below .200? .180? Is there ANY level below which he will have to sink before he gets off this roster?

    I predict Willie WILL be getting about 500 AB in 2006, and 2007 and 2008 as well. The only thing that can stop him is the aforementioned missing leg, or at least two more consecutive 95+ loss seasons.


    I can’t stand U2, or Nirvana, or P.J. All that groaning testosterone on the one hand, the God complex on the other. Gimme a band that can actually write interesting pop songs, like the Go-Betweens.

  4. Mojo on April 1st, 2005 10:30 am

    Never thought of myself as a David Lee Roth believer but I guess I am. 🙂 Too bad the VH brothers had to be so arrogant..

    U2 is wwwayy too young for the HOF but I don’t think there is anything wrong with a really great song from the last 15 to 20 years being considered “classic”. If KZOK was 60’s and some 70’s only it would get a little old (no pun intended).

  5. Jimmie the Geek on April 1st, 2005 10:44 am

    I liked In Utero better than VS, myself but I always thought Vedder was a poseur. I saw them at the Off Ramp when they were still an unsigned Mookie Blaylock, and Vedder was smiling and joking the entire set. His “angry man” persona after 10 hit just seemed too affected to me.

    The really sad thing is the revisionist history concerning Nirvana. I mean back in the day, everyone was talking about Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone as the bands that were gonna make it big; Nirvana caught everyone (and I mean everyone) off guard.

    I have an unopened original copy of the Deep Six compilation that Cris Hanzek gave me while we were at his studio mastering my band’s CD back in ’92. I sure wish I had Ebay’d it while it was worth something! I saw the U Men open for Husker Du in ’86, and they flat sucked. Sorry.


  6. Evan on April 1st, 2005 10:53 am

    I think In Utero was Nirvana’s best album. So easily better than Vs. Maybe not as good as 10, though.

    The Rock & Roll HoF is a total joke as long as Black Sabbath isn’t in it. In fact, when they inducted AC/DC, Brian Johnson said that very thing. The same goes for Deep Purple.

  7. Xteve X on April 1st, 2005 10:55 am

    I might be unique in that neither U2, Pearl Jam, nor Willie Bloomquist do jack for me. I’ve always despised Pearl Jam’s music as warmed over 70s riff rock, U2 hasn’t made a good album in ten years, and ’nuff said about Willie B.

  8. Jimmie the Geek on April 1st, 2005 11:00 am

    The U Men sucked, not Husker Du. I should have been more clear on that. Husker Du kicked ass… literally. 🙂

    With regards to “Classic Rock”: the year I graduated from High School, Led Zeppelin IV was 11 years old and was considered dinosaur rock by me and my buddies. The album that changed my life came out in 1984 (The Replacements Let It Be), or 21 years ago. I’m old. 🙁 Hey, they play Train in Vain all the time on KZOK, too.

    OBBaseball: Ummm… Go Dodgers?


  9. dw on April 1st, 2005 11:00 am

    Something to think about:

    Led Zeppelin’s last studio album (In Through The Out Door) was released in 1979. U2’s first album (October) came out in 1980.

    I’m willing to say that 20% of this site’s readership wasn’t born when either album was released.

    And in the knife-twisting department, it has been 33 years since Led Zeppelin IV aka Untitled aka Runes aka Zoso was released. When that album was released (November 1971) it had been 32 years since Glen Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” had hit the US Top 10.

    More knife twisting? We are further away from the Beatles appearing on Ed Sullivan (1964) than the people watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan were from Louis Armstrong’s first recordings with the Hot Fives (1925).

    And still more: We are further away from the release of Bleach (1989) than Bleach was from Saturday Night Fever (1977).

    So, be careful what you call “classic.” We’re only a few years away from KJR calling themselves “Classic hits of the 80s and 90s” with all the 60s and 70s stuff kicked down to KIXI.

  10. Jordan on April 1st, 2005 11:02 am


    I get upset when KZOK plays U2 as well. It seems virtually ANY station can play U2 whenever they feel like it.

    What REALLY irritates me is when KZOK plays Guns N’ Roses.

    Ahhh, 1987, the pinnacle of Classic Rock. The TRUE year that Rock N’ Roll achieved perfection (NOT 1974).

  11. David on April 1st, 2005 11:06 am

    I think one of the more hilarious things about In Utero was that it spawned an ill-fated copy attempt. What am I talking about? Why, I’m talking about the “Razorblade Suitcase” album by Bush, of course! Around the same time, they had a Rolling Stone article that was entitled “Nirvana Wannabes,” and then they had Steve Albini on the mixing board for the album, like In Utero did. What was the result? Crappy music for Bush, though it “sounded” like Bush were playing the same instruments that Nirvana did. The main difference, of course, is that Gavin Rossdale is a musical black hole, and Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl had/have more talent than Gavin could even dream of having.

  12. Brian Rust on April 1st, 2005 11:07 am

    I may be dating myself here, but when Cobain died I suddenly understood my dad’s indifference at the tragic death of John Lennon.

  13. Rob on April 1st, 2005 11:21 am

    Jeff and those that hate registration sites. Just use http://www.bugmenot.com/ gives you a login to almost any free site. And if you have firefox you can download the bugmenot plugin. Which alows you to right click on a ewbpage that has you enter a username/pass and select bugmenot in the right click menu and it fills it in and logs in.

    One of the great tools when reading news sites.

  14. Jason on April 1st, 2005 11:22 am

    U2 – Big thumbs up

    Pearljam – Thumbs up to the good stuff

    Nirvana – Decidely neutral, though I hated living on Queen Anne the week after Cobain’s suicide when everyone headed for the Center for the memorial

    Bloomquist – Thumbs down, though I may have the solution. Every ST game I went to this year and he played I’d make nasty comments about him and his fan base, and the he’d turn around and have a good game…

  15. dw on April 1st, 2005 11:22 am

    What David’s leaving out is:
    — Bush was successful in the US but a commercial bust in the UK. They embraced (cribbed) grunge at the same time the Blur v. Oasis Battle of Brit-Pop was ramping up.

    — They didn’t just steal from In Utero, they also stole from Surfer Rosa. In fact, you could make a good argument that In Utero plaigiarizes heavily from Surfer Rosa. And a bit from Seamonsters by the Wedding Present, also produced by Albini.

  16. isaac_spaceman on April 1st, 2005 11:24 am

    I agree that you can’t solve critical disputes like these because there’s no accounting for taste (I’m in the camp that thinks Nirvana was seminal and Pearl Jam was Def Leppard v2.0, but if you disagree I still love you), but I absolutely love the probably apocryphal story about Nirvana playing the Central Tavern before 8 people the night before Nevermind was released.

  17. JMB on April 1st, 2005 11:38 am

    Hey Jordan (#10),

    Good point on GnR. That’s much more heinous than U2. And it’s not that I hate GnR, either.

    Also, I was born in 1978, just before Zeppelin’s last studio album, so I *just* snuck in there dw. Doesn’t stop me from owning the complete boxed set, though. 🙂


  18. Jim Thomsen on April 1st, 2005 11:41 am

    My two irrelevant anecdotes:

    1. Andrew Wood, that great grunge-rock casualty, was a year begind me in school on Bainbridge Island. What I remember about him best was that, in the mid-70s in junior high,l he was the world’s biggest KISS fan … he would often show up to school wearing the full makeup and somehow kids didn’t rag him about it because there was something so serene and serious and dignified about his rock-hero worship. Man … if he had lived a little longer, he might be right up there with Kurt in the rock-star pantheon.

    2. In early 1988, a bunch of friends and I drove down from Bellingham for a weekend of carousing in Pioneer Square. We were big fans of a band called The Walkabouts that happened to be playing that night on a triple bill at the J&M Tavern. After The Walkabouts played their set, the last band came on and launched into a set of what sounded to my tragically unevolved ears as ear-bleeding, soul-screeching, cacophonous thrash. We all looked at each other and said, “Geez, these guys suck. Let’s get out of here.” And that’s the story of how I walked out on Nirvana.

    I think I’m going to form a band, and call it Willie Dynamite. Our first album will be called “In Utilito.”

  19. aaron on April 1st, 2005 12:47 pm

    Jimmie: U-Men and Husker Du would be way too much rock. The U-Men, so I’ve heard, were fairly inconsistent live, but they DO remain the only band to ever set Lake Union on fire. Which is cool.o you still have that copy of “Deep Six?” Cuz’, you know, it’s still worth something to NW music fetishists like me.

    As long as we’re talking music, RIP Billy of Guitar Wolf. Bad times.

    Also, I’m all for WFB taking over for Boone in ’06. There’s no way people can keep up their blind admiration for his “gritty, hard-nosed” game when bars are using his batting average to set their beer prices.

    Or maybe they can. I forgot about Dan Wilson for a second there.

  20. Mr. Mitchell on April 1st, 2005 12:54 pm

    First of all, because someone was joking around at a show does not mean they are not filled with angst. Eddie Vedder, despite what some may believe, is a very passionate and caring man. He just lacks a sense of humor. How can people not appreciate all the stances Pearl Jam has taken? They rebelled against MTV, Ticketmaster, and have held dozens (literally) of charity concerts in the last thirteen years. I respect that and I still think they are a great live band.
    I like Nirvana and appreciate Kurt, but today the only great album to listen to in the first half of Incesticide. Part of it is because everything else has been overplayed, part of it is because as a 30-year old with a family I just don’t have as much to be pissed about anymore. The music is more of a reminder of what I felt at the time.
    On a different note, the band that has held up the best over time is the Screaming Trees. Listen to Dust or Sweet Oblivion and tell me that their music doesn’t translate now. Great stuff. Mark Lanegan has the best voice in rock.

  21. david C on April 1st, 2005 12:59 pm

    We always talk here about the player’s first 40ab’s colouring the rest of their career. Nirvana had the first great grunge single in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – Nevermind was a great album too but not so much better than PJ or the Pumpkins, etc. that they should deserve demi-god like status in the media. Had Cobain not ‘quit’ he would have suffered the fate of Peter Frampton/Dale Murphy – I believe that was partly his motivation for what he did.

    Where is Nirvana’s influence today? The grunge sound was a fad and everyone – Pearl Jam included moved on. You want an influencial band from the 90’s – try Green Day. The musical equivalent of Bobby Abreu – not ‘sexy’ but very consistent and frequently copied.

  22. Adam M on April 1st, 2005 1:16 pm

    Amen to Jimmie – my recollection is a lot of people thinking Mudhoney would be superstars and Nirvana was this quirky band that would never get out of the NW. Nirvana > PJ, but that’s just me. Most people I know who prefer PJ are from outside the NW, doesn’t make it wrong, just an observation. PJ sounded too polished for me, plus I really like post-punk, which was a big Nirvana influence. And Steve Albini. Simmons says In Utero was the sound of Cobain running out of ideas, but it’s really Steve Albini making a Nirvana album. IU sounds a lot like the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa (also Albini produced–the sequencing is strikingly similar), and they still managed to put out 1 classic album and 2 near-classics. Kurt was able to make 3 great albums with 3 very different (and dominating) producers and still sound like Kurt–that’s talent. Think his post-Utero output would have been just fine. Simmons insists they would have petered out if he’d lived, but isn’t that really what happened to PJ? Hell, judging by his Foo Fighters work (esp. Coulour/Shape), Grohl could have carried the band by himself for 10 years. And I suspect KC would have kicked Courtney (and heroin) to the curb sometime around ’97, which could only help.

    Love this blog.

  23. John D. on April 1st, 2005 1:31 pm


  24. eponymous coward on April 1st, 2005 1:56 pm

    Wilson Valdez?

    So this uses up the two DL spots for Bucky and Rafael Soriano, and we still have Nellie and Sele to promote to the roster. Double-You-Tee-Eff?

    Oh and Valdez’s minor league stats:


    So, basically, Ramon Santiago with less power and more singles. 😐

  25. Gary on April 1st, 2005 2:15 pm

    Hey, Jim Thomsen: I still like the Walkabouts and I’d have walked out on Nirvana at the time myself.

    Speaking of walking out on a band . . . In 1964-5 I was a freshman at the University of California at Davis. The Rolling Stones actually played a gig there and I could have gone for a buck-freaking-fifty, but as I told my friends: “Look, this is basically a one song band. Count me out.”

  26. Kevin on April 1st, 2005 2:46 pm

    Can’t let the David Lee Roth comments go by unnoticed. So which sucked worse, Van Halen without Roth or Roth on his own? Bloomquist vs. Cirillo, in the end they are both too painful to think about. The rolling stone record guide, 2nd edition, said that Roth was the most annoying lead singer in human history, and I can’t argue with that. Eddie rocks though; eruption ensured his immortality at a very young age.

    I try not to hate something just because it’s popular, but honestly how can you not be tired of U2 by now?

    Vitalogy rocks and is a better album than either Vs. or IU.

    Thanks for the diversion.


  27. Mojo on April 1st, 2005 3:04 pm

    Do you remember when Van Halen reunited for two songs with Roth singing? I don’t know what ever happened to those songs but I thought they were better than anything they did with Sammy.

    DLR solo was not great but at the time had some great videos. I was a sophmore in High School when VH 1984 came out. That’s still a great album.

    Personally, I wish I was around when Queen was touring. Freddy Mercury would have been amazing to see live. Some great “classic” rock there.

  28. Vedder is Bedder on April 1st, 2005 4:35 pm

    My first post ever, and it’s at the bitter end (?) of an off topic thread.

    10 is the best Grunge album ever. Vs. is number two.

    The year after graduating from college in Oregon, a friend (from Bainbridge, who probably knows you, Jim. He knew Andy, a bit) and I drove from Canada to Mexico and back, listening to 10 and Pretty Women, Pretty Wiped Out over and over and over. Because of this obvious bias, and because of Nirvana’s eventual fate, I recognize PJ is the last “world’s greatest rock band.” The last to hold all of our attention (with Vs.) before the splintering of the culture with the advent of the internet and 100’s of cable channels. The last to hold the zeitgeist of a nation in their hands. The co-opting of grunge by the establishment is my own version of the day the music died. Seeing grunge in Nordstroms was my Altamont. I’m still not over it. Sure there are good and great bands now, but none that we all agree on. Who’s even close? U2, for what its worth, may be reclaiming (self-consciously, but I’d argue with much merit)the title with their last two albums, but not in the completely ready to take-over-the-world way PJ did.

    By the way, does anybody have any suggestions about how to get Pretty Women’s Pretty Wiped Out? I know Joseph has moved on in interesting ways, but I’d pay darn near anything for that cd. I’d like to check my memory against the evidence, but THAT album was better than Nevermind, too.

    Oh yeah. 1984 was the beginning of the end for VH. Sorry. The keyboards killed the band more than Dime Bag Dave.

  29. ray on April 1st, 2005 4:44 pm

    Mudhoney beats all of dem guys!

  30. Brian on April 1st, 2005 4:47 pm

    One slight correction to post #9. U2’s first album was Boy. October was their second album.

    #27: Humbug, it is getting really bad when people are calling bands I’ve seen live great classic rock. Sigh. I was around when Queen was touring and saw them in the late seventies at the Coliseum. Shows at venues that large are way too impersonal (I enjoyed the Queen show, but it was no exception) and I won’t go to any more. I’m also old enough to have seen U2 at the Paramount but that’s even bigger then I like for concerts these days.

    FWIW, I preferred In Utero to Vs.

  31. aaron on April 2nd, 2005 1:00 am

    bleach is still the best nirvana album. they covered shocking blue fer chrissakes! how cool is that?

    #30: queen is touring soon. with paul rodgers (of bad company) on vocals. yuck.

  32. GWO on April 2nd, 2005 5:28 am

    Karmically enough, I’ve just found my old copy of SuperFuzzBigMuff. Will stick it on in the car, now. For the record, IMHO the dodgiest Nirvana B-side is better than the finest moments of Pearl Jam.

    PS : The VH1/BBC “Classic Albums : Nevermind” is well worth a watch.

  33. DEA on April 3rd, 2005 10:42 pm

    #28: A search on amazon.com for “Pretty Wiped Out” yields one result in their zShops for $39.50. Never heard the album, but I’d be interested.

  34. backwardsk on April 4th, 2005 4:40 am

    I dont recall, and I dont have the resouces present to double check, but I was under the impression that nevermind was Nirvana’s third LP.
    Incesticide, Bleach, Nevermind, In Utero…etc.
    Bleach could have followed nevermind though, dont remember. Does anyone know?

  35. GWO on April 4th, 2005 5:39 am

    Bleach was first, then Nevermind, then In Utero, then Unplugged, then “From The Muddy Banks…”. Incesticide was a collection of B-Sides/Rareties, and was released between Nevermind and In Utero.