I won’t mess around with Jim (Croce)

Long ago there was a singer, Jim Croce, who (supposedly) wrote and (actually) performed some catchy tunes – this was in an era when melody was important, and jacking up the background noise in recordings was not yet being done. Here is one that is fairly typical of his output, Time in a Bottle:


That type of music actually played and sold as “rock and roll” even as it is a classic ballad. He was not a terribly good singer, that is, lacked vocal range.

I never thought much about Croce. Here is what is interesting: In reading about his death on September 20, 1973, it appears to have been real! The only spook markers are 9/20 (=11) and the aircraft being a Beech 18 (=9=3*3). I have not seen 9/20 used in that fashion before, but have not looked for it either. He and four others were taking off from Natchitoches Regional Airport in Louisiana when their plane hit a tree. All were killed. I could look into the matter further, but in 2019 I am not going to mess around with Jim.

Talking baseball

This reminds me – I was watching a baseball game last week, Reds versus Mets. The Mets’ pitcher, Noah Snydergaard, pitched a beautiful game, but the umpire was giving him every close pitch. Knowing that he could play with the edges of the plate like that, batters were forced to swing at pitches they otherwise would not have. In the end, the Reds’ Jesse Winker and David Bell, player and manager, were ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes. They had each built up a head of steam seeing one bad call after another. They boiled over.

This is one of many problems with baseball – too fine a line on the edges of the plate, allowing any pitcher with good control to own the opposition. Snydergaard is good, granted, but watching him pitch is boring, maybe even for Mets fans. Baseball could do us all a favor by allowing a pitch to be called a ball unless, say, a third of the ball is actually in the strike zone. Right now only the outer portion of the circle that forms the baseball has to touch any part of the strike zone.That’s too fine, and umpires miss too often, just going by the box on the TV screen.

In fact, we have the technology now to allow electronic monitoring of balls and strikes. This would then relegate umpires to safe versus out calls, where they just as often get it wrong and are overturned by replay technology.

Other suggested rule changes:

  • Designated hitter for everyone. This is controversial, as traditionalists don’t want any changes in the game, ever. The American League has built stronger teams due to it, as pitchers do not get a break, facing real hitters throughout the lineup. Like many others, I do not care to see a pitcher bunt or to see 9/10ths of them bat.
  • Relievers must face a minimum of three batters. Another problem in baseball is the interval between pitchers,  where one is removed, and the action is paused while a new one takes his warmups. This is usually not a big deal, but some managers (Tony LaRussa comes to mind) would make two or three changes in an inning, each pitcher facing one batter. It’s tedious to watch, and leads to the roster spot given to a LOOGY, or left-handed one-out guy.  Forcing every pitcher to either end the inning or face three batters will put LOOGY’s out of work. That’s OK, as most of them are not very good pitchers.
  • Extra innings: Many baseball games are played to empty stadiums and absent TV viewers as they go on and on and on into the 13th, 14th, even 18th inning. Rosters are used up. pitching staffs depleted. Most often the home team wins anyway. A proposed rule change is that beginning with the top of the tenth inning, the visiting team places a man on second base. If that player scores, it does not affect his personal statistics or eligibility to play again later in the game. The same with the home team in the bottom of the inning. The idea is, as with football, to end the damned game in a reasonable time.
  • The shift: We now see four-man outfields, infielders all on one side of the diamond.  Again, this makes hitting, already difficult, even harder. Fans like hitting. Another proposed rule would draw a line from home plate across second base to the center field fence. There are eight defensive players. Four would have to be on one side of that line, four on the other. That would give a slight advantage to the hitter.
  • Move the pitching mound back. This would surely advantage the hitter, but would stress all existing pitchers who spent their lives building arms and pitches designed for sixty feet six inches. It might lead to chaos.
  • Pitching clock – forcing the pitcher to set up for his next pitch within 20 seconds of receiving the ball back from the previous one.

I support all of these changes except moving the mound and the pitching clock. As I understand, some are under experimentation in the Atlantic Coast League, an independent league where teams are not affiliated with major league teams. Of course, the rule of conservatism is to change slowly and carefully, and that is what is going on. However, something ought to be done with this game to produce a little more hitting and to speed it up.

9 thoughts on “I won’t mess around with Jim (Croce)

  1. I always like Jim Croce…sad that his death was most probably real, but happy he wasn’t part of a hoax!!


  2. My suspicion is that if machines called balls and strikes, very quickly the average final score would be 25 to 22 or thereabouts. Major league hitters would adjust in a fortnight, no longer having to worry about location and deceptive junk ballers. With an absolutely fixed strike zone, speed and changing speed would be the main requirement of pitchers and if you think Tommy John is vexing the game now, the shelf life of pitchers would be much shorter than it already is. Rosters would have to expand to allow 130mph pitchers to face the line up only once. 40 man rosters with 25 pitchers. Baseball would turn back towards its roots and start to morph into Cricket.
    I say keep the umps. The statheads have done so much to dehumanize the game that keeping the umps keeps some very human guess work involved.
    May look further into Croce. He was heavily promoted for a short time. Harry Chapin, another of this type, also went out young from an accident.


    1. Chapin is juiced. Burke and Forbes figure in his tree. His grandfather was an honored academic preaching Marxist Freudian flim flam. That world hunger stuff seems like government cover.
      Croce’s early moves seem like possible military cover, too. Playing concerts in Africa and the like. Attended Villanova whose alumni fill the various public stages. I like Croce’s stuff. Chapin accelerates the suicide side of human nature.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When Straight was here we looked into Croce, to see if he turned up as anyone else. Nothing even close. He is Jewish, if that matters. I wonder if these musicians that seem like annuals instead of perennials are killed off because it is understood they have no staying power?

        Reminds me, I watched an HBO George Carlin special from 2008. He was angry, but not hitting his notes anymore, just anger and an audience laughing on muscle memory. So I looked up his date of death, sure enough, 2008. He too could have been retired, having lost his mojo.,


  3. I stumbled onto this site while researching John Denver’s death. While perusing several blog posts here, I noticed that it is common to question the authenticity of song writers. Why is this? Why suggest that ghost writers have more writing talent than the person who made the song famous? Also, don’t you guys realize that people actually do take drugs, abuse alcohol, and then suffer the consequences? Why is every celebrity death a hoax? Frankly, it isn’t possible for the required number of people involved to hide all the evidence of these so-called faked deaths. “Two can keep a secret, but only of one is dead.”


    1. Regarding song writing, it is simple logic – the ability to perform, and also to be attractive, and to play musical instruments are all indeed rare traits when combined. Add to that song writing ability, and it is a perfect storm. It is far more likely that, given what we have found about aristocratic roots of most famous people, pop and rock stars are recruited from within the ranks of peerage, trained, hyped, and given their music to perform and told to pretend they wrote it. Those who write the music are also gifted, but are more likely less attractive and unable to perform and draw attention that way, though musical training and ability with instruments is a likely presence … thus I presume that “Yesterday,” a song far too complex for a young man with no musical training to write, came from some one like (or some group including) George Martin, classically trained and very talented. That is but one example. There was some heavy talent behind the Beatles writing that music. And anyway, if McCartney wrote Yesterday, which one? there were two of them, twins.

      Most of the deaths that I have investigated just don’t add up. Yes, they do hype drug and alcohol abuse, but I find that often to be nothing more than predictive programming. Janis Joplin, for instance, not terribly talented (also a set of twins), and was set to have a brief career, and so was said to be a crazy addict and alcoholic. Far more likely she was more stable in her habits, as she (they) lives to this day as Amy Goodman, and appears healthy. Why do they fake their deaths? We speculate they are given assignments … music, like any other aspect of our system of control, is not free enterprise, but rather guided and used to control youth. During Vietnam, there was an huge push from above to control the breakout of free thought and skepticism that accompanied war protest, so that scores of fake musicians made their way to LA to become famous on meager talent and “lead” the protest movement. After the (fake) Manson affair effectively ended the Vietnam War protests, there was less need for musicians, and they were slowly “killed” off, that is, reassigned or retired to more mundane lives. A few, say John Denver, possessed of real abilities (though I doubt he wrote his own stuff) and were allowed to carry on, though at age 53 Denver was pretty much used up, so that his fake death was used to recharge his body of work, generating new sales totaling, we are told, $33 million or more. Fake deaths like his, Prince, Elvis, Karen Carpenter and others, are also used to spike sales, as even trash (in Denver’s case) can be recycled and sold to honor the dead icon.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If the last saying would be true, there would never have been secrets, which evidently is bogus. And no, not every celebrity death is a hoax and quite some rockers indeed use drugs and alcohol. Still, there is something Rotten in the state of Denmark.

      In this interview, just after David “Bowie” Robert Jones’s “death”, you see him playing his own “manager”. A clear case of TRIOMF; trolling by the mainstream oligarchic elites, in our muffled faces:

      Liked by 1 person

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