Here’s the thing about a Paul McCartney concert. It doesn’t matter.
For me, at least, the experience was made the second Sir Paul strummed his first note on stage. At that point, he could have waved goodbye and left and I would have been satisfied. I saw a Beatle.
Luckily, that didn’t happen. Instead, McCartney played a great two and a half hour show at Yankee Stadium Friday night. And I enjoyed every minute of it, even though I was literally sitting in the last row of the upper deck.
But, I could never get over the the fact that Paul McCartney is, in fact, Paul McCartney. Early on, he said “Here’s an old song that you might know,” then played All My Loving. And, even though I’ve heard that song 75,000 times in my life, I had this minor epiphany when it started. “Holy shit, that’s the guy who wrote it!” Later, he walked to the back of the stage and played guitar with a little feedback from the amp. Again, it hit me. HOLY SHIT! HE HELPED INVENT THAT! (It was actually John Lennon, but I’m sure Paul was there.)
Ideas like that popped into my head all night. Going in, there was some talk that some special guests might show up. Maybe Billy Joel would stroll onstage for a song or two. Maybe some other rock legend. That idea had me pretty excited. But, unless that guest star was Ringo Starr, what would be the point? I like Billy Joel a lot. I love Bruce Springsteen the way people down south love Jesus. But, having either of them on stage would have added nothing.
You can’t top a Beatle.
Which brings me to the final thought I had last night. Earlier this year, Paul McCartney was honored at the White House. That means, at some point, Paul McCartney and Barack Obama approached each other in a room and shook hands. Who wins that one? Is Barack Obama more excited to meet one of the Beatles? Or is Paul McCartney more excited to meet the most culturally significant political leader in history?
Chew on that one for a bit.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start. This was one of the worst issues of Sports Illustrated I’ve ever read. And that was especially disappointing, when you consider the photo they chose for the cover. ( I am referring to the one above, not the photo of Carlos Ruiz that was apparently used for some regional issues near Philadelphia.)
One of the few bright spots was this week’s Inside Baseball column. It was an old fashioned trade rumors piece by John Heyman, (just like I asked for a couple of weeks ago.) I won’t even quibble with the fact that it mentioned Francisco Rodriguez as a probable trade target, but came out a day after he was traded. Joe Sheehan tried to ruin it with his soulless run differential sidebar. I glazed over pretty early into that one.
The Legion of Arms: Part II Brotherly Glove by Gary Smith
No joke. I had a dream about this article before I read it. I’m not claiming some psychic experience. I saw it in the Table of Contents Wednesday Night, then it popped up in my brain later on. During the dream, I was annoyed by a series of callbacks to the stupid nicknames Gary Smith made up in the first Legion of Arms article, which was published in this year’s Baseball preview issue. Luckily, that’s not what this article was.
That doesn’t mean I loved what I got instead, though. Why can’t this guy just write a straight forward article? Instead, he turns Carlos Ruiz into some sort of Siddartha character. Also, did anyone else initially think Ruiz was taking a shit when he locked himself in the bullpen bathroom. I’m still not entirely convinced he wasn’t.
He Gave His All. Make It Matter by Dick Friedman
I can’t argue with this article’s sentiment at all. Hopefully, no one else can either.
Back On (A New) Track by Lars Anderson
I did not read this article
3,000 Reasons To Party by Joe Posnanski
I’m not sure if I can judge this objectively, but I like the idea of writing about the concept of 3 thousand hits while also writing about Jeter. The fact that it was a relatively short article helped Posnanski stick to his concept instead of digressing into a hagiography of DJ.
The Swinger by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck
I have been reading some things about this novel. It’s pretty obviously a slightly fictionalized version of Tiger Woods. I really wasn’t too interested before reading this excerpt. That fact hasn’t changed.
Countdown to Tragedy by Brad Wieners
WIENERS! HAHAHAHA. I didn’t read this article.
POINT AFTER by Chris Ballard
Ballard’s such a good writer. The topic of this column is nothing Earth shattering, but he delivered it artfully and with humor.