My 10 favorite batting stances

A few months ago I posted my 10 favorite pitching windups. And, because I know you are wondering, here are my 10 favorite batting stances.

10) Paul O’Neill. I always thought he looked so stiff when hitting.

9) Chuck Knoblauch. Loose wrists.

8) Derek Jeter. The best thing about Jeter’s stance is what he does AFTER he swings. He just launches the bat behind him.

7) Kevin Youkilis. This is a real Facebook page.

6) Julio Franco. The bat was parallel to the ground.

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5) Ichiro Suzuki. He is running when he hits the ball.

4) Gary Sheffield. Waggle waggle waggle.

3) Jeff Bagwell. The strike zone was approximately 0.2 inches large.

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2) Craig Counsell. I mean, who hits like this?

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1) Tony Batista. There was no one like Batista.

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My 10 favorite songs with parenthetical song titles

Parentheses in song titles are an odd thing. Do you ever think about this ? You don’t? OK. Sometimes I am not sure how my mind works, but I feel compelled to write about this nonetheless.

Joe Posnanski wrote about this on his blog back in January, and I think he sums it up well:

I am way, way, way too fascinated by parenthetical remarks in song titles. Take the Simple Minds song “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” To give you an idea how insane I think that title is, I got it completely wrong the first time. I thought the (Don’t You) part was in parenthesis. That made little sense. The way it actually is makes even less sense.

Look, these quotes might not be quite as powerful if we had used parentheses:

“(All We Have To Fear Is) Fear Itself.”

“(Ask Not) What Your Country Can Do For You.”

“(A House Divided Against Itself Cannot) Stand.”

I’ve always thought parenthetical songs carried a panache that other songs didn’t. There is a reckless courage about them. They have style. Here are 10 of my favorites.

 

My 10 favorite songs that are shorter than 90 seconds

There are two reasons most songs are three to five minutes:

1. We have short attention spans.
2. The original format of 78 rpm-speed phonograph records only allowed three to five minutes of music per side.

And then there are songs that are barely even songs – they are more like interludes that somehow find their way onto an album. Today I’ll list my ten favorite that are shorter than 90 seconds.

By the way, you’ll notice that Pink Floyd appears heavily on the list from yesterday and today, particularly songs from their 1977 album, Animals. That was one of the strangest albums ever made in terms of song length. Three songs were longer than ten minutes, and two were less than 90 seconds. And that’s the whole album. They were an unusual band.

My 10 favorite songs that are longer than 10 minutes

l’ve been working on three separate lists about quirky music stuff. They’ll appear here over the next three days.

Today: My 10 favorite songs that are longer than 10 minutes
Tomorrow: My 10 favorite songs that are less than 90 seconds
Thursday: My 10 favorite songs with parenthetical song titles

You should know by now that this is the place to come for meaningless lists.

Today we start with my 10 favorite songs that are longer than 10 minutes (studio version only). There isn’t much to choose from here because, well, it’s very rare to see a song that’s longer than 10 minutes. It’s hard to pull this off if you haven’t established yourself.

In no particular order, here is my list. And, hey, let’s get some participation on this thing. Did I miss anything? What is your top 10? Or top 3? Feel free to leave a comment below.

My 15 favorite songs I played in high school band

I had the good fortune to play a lot of good music in high school. Here are my 15 favorite:

15) Festive Overture, Dmitri Shostakovich

14) Abram’s Pursuit, David Holsinger

13) Hungarian March, Hector Berlioz

12) Poet and Peasant Overture, Franz von Suppé

11) Procession of the Nobles, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

10) Second Suite in F, Gustav Holst

9) Klezmer Classics, Johan de Meij

8) Suite of Old American Dances, Robert Russell Bennett

7) Saturn, Gustav Holst

6) La Forza Del Destino, Guiseppe Verdi

5) Lincolnshire Posy, Percy Grainger

4) Roman Carnival, Hector Berlioz

3) Mars, Gustav Holst

2) The Pines of Rome, Ottorino Respighi

1) Carmina Burana, Carl Orff