— Days Without Shea —

On Wednesday, a truckload of cows was delivered to a Jamaica, Queens butcher for slaughter.

At least one cow was definitely not OK with this plan and broke free. Fortunately, the Internet was there to capture the moment:

There was good news for the cow: the city's animal control department named the jaywalker Molly and will find the speedster a good home, or farm.

I know a good pasture in Flushing where Molly could roam. She definitely shows some speed and, as a quadruped, has two extra hamstrings should one go awry. Lets just change her name from Molly to Wally.

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How big were The Remains?

So big that The Beatles had to close for them at Shea Stadium in 1966.

In case you aren't hip to the Boston garage rockers, here is a clip:

And why do we bring this up now? Because Barry of Barry and the Remains gave this very cool interview recently, where he remembers that legendary gig when The Beatles re-rocked Shea:

Nashville's Barry Tashian remembers playing second base at New York's Shea Stadium.

Well, playing a guitar on a stage erected near second base. Tashian wasn't good enough at baseball to become one of the 127 second basemen in New York Mets history.

Not that it was ever an ambition. He was a Dodgers fan.

Also, he preferred music over hardball, and he stood on that infield stage at Shea in 1966 because he and his band, The Remains -- a collective launched when the members were students at Boston University -- were in the midst of a rock 'n' roll tour.

They were opening for a Liverpool combo called The Beatles.

So, what was that like? Funny, but a lot of people seem to ask Tashian that very question. Turns out it was pretty cool.

It was cool to be 21 years old and be part of the biggest rock tour in the world. It was cool to hang out with George Harrison in hotel rooms, playing guitar and listening to sitar player Ravi Shankar's music on Harrison's futuristic portable music device, a "cassette player."

"He had headphones for it," Tashian says. "He'd let me put the headphones on and listen, and he'd say, 'This is North Indian classical music.' "

George was a nice guy, as were John, Paul and Ringo. Tashian says they were just like their characters in the comedy film A Hard Day's Night.

Tashian says he'll never forget the shrieking, crying and roaring from the stadium crowds on that tour.

And Tashian says he really, really should have asked for autographs.

But why would he collect autographs? After all, he was going to spend the rest of his life around rock stars and adolescent shrieks and cassette players. He and The Remains weren't at fantasy camp, they were joining the club.

"Oh, I thought we were going to be world famous as soon as the tour was over," he says. "But...we weren't. And we broke up. Now, I think, 'Why did we ever break up the band after we did that tour?'

Because we were kids, and I guess that's what was going on."

The Remains became part of Boston rock lore: Beantown's no-hit wonders. They were way-pavers for Aerosmith, the J. Geils Band and others. In 2009, the America's Lost Band documentary explored the group's legacy, and last year Barry & The Remains were inducted into the Boston Music Awards' Hall of Fame.

As for Tashian, he found other doors through which to walk. He found himself drawn to country music, went west, joined up with country-rock innovator Gram Parsons and contributed vocals and guitar work to Parsons' now-legendary 1973 solo debut, G.P. He moved to Nashville in 1980 and spent nine years as a member of Emmylou Harris' Hot Band. And he and wife Holly Tashian have released seven studio albums and toured the world as a heralded country and folk duo.

Every now and again, at a concert hall or a folk club, a festival or a house concert, a fan would appear holding a Remains album, hoping for a signature and a conversation. Sometimes the autograph-seeker had seen Barry & The Remains play sweaty, energetic shows in 1964 at Boston club The Rathskeller. Other fans had seen stadium shows with The Beatles and remembered the hard-charging little rock quartet that opened the evening and then backed The Ronettes and Nashville-born Bobby Hebb (of "Sunny" fame) before ceding the stage to the Fab Four.

Those fan interactions were reminders to Tashian that The Remains had been a fun thing for people, that the lack of popular success hadn't negated the good feelings folks had for the music. And Tashian missed playing rock 'n' roll.

He and original members Vern Miller, Bill Briggs and Chip Damaini re-formed, releasing Movin' On in 2002. It was their first album in 36 years. They began playing live shows, too, and they noticed that much of their audience wasn't even alive when The Beatles were around.

As he prepared to turn 60, Tashian heard his first adolescent shrieks since August 29, 1966, when he walked offstage at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, just before The Beatles last-ever concert tour appearance.

"We have a young fan base," he says. "For the most part, it's not people our age."

Where do young people in Nashville go to hear music? One place is The Basement, a venue on Eighth Avenue South that holds approximately 55,500 fewer people than showed up for the Beatles/Remains Shea Stadium gig. (That one drew 55,600, by the way.) On Wednesday, Barry & The Remains will play a 9 p.m. show at The Basement. They'll play old favorites (including "Why Do I Cry," featured in the recent movie Superbad) for a roomful of mostly new fans, and in the days to follow they'll begin work on another new album.

From The Beatles to The Basement in 45 short years, and Tashian is pleased as punch with the whole thing.

But he still can't hit a curveball.

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by Kingman on August 9 at 7:55AM
As markets tumble, London burns and Met starters flock to the DL, it's tough to find some inspiring news.

Beating the Padres in comeback fashion provides some relief. But even better is the story of Mike Baxter, who was called up to replace Jose Reyes and his most expensive hamstring injury.

Baxter hit an RBI double in the 8th to help the Mets overcome the Padres and save the bullpen.

Baxter is a Whitestone native with great memories of Shea Stadium. He had never been to Citi Field. In fact, he had never been back to this part of Flushing since his big game for Molloy High School in 2002:

The last time Mets outfielder Mike Baxter visited the corner of Roosevelt and 126th in Queens, the Whitestone native was playing shortstop for Archbishop Molloy High School in the 2002 NYC Catholic High School Athletic Association's 2002 city championship game at Shea Stadium.

Baxter returned Monday as the Mets' newest callup after being claimed off waivers from the Padres on July 22, and marked his debut with the club with a pinch-hit RBI double off the glove of retreating San Diego left fielder Kyle Blanks.

"It's just a crazy day," Baxter said. "The fact that I'm back, that I got called up and the fact that we're playing the Padres is pretty wild."...


Baxter came back to his locker in the Mets clubhouse to 22 text messages wishing him congratulations. Though he no longer resides in Queens during the offseason, Baxter estimated that somewhere between 50 and 80 friends and family members were in attendance for his Mets debut.

Prior to his appearance in the 2002 high school championship game, Baxter was a frequent visitor to Shea, where he cheered on shortstop Rey OrdoƱez and the turn-of-the-millennium Mets.

"We were always coming to Shea," Baxter said. "My family would take me, my aunt would take me every year, we'd always pick out the best promotion and come."

After leaving Molloy, Baxter attended Columbia University for a year before transferring to Vanderbilt, where he was selected by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2005 Draft. Baxter had surgery to repair ligaments in his left thumb in March and was on the 60-day disabled list when the Mets scooped him up off waivers.

Welcome to the Mets, Mike.

[September 8, 2011 11:08 PM]  |  link  |  reply
johnny ice said

mike baxter is the best

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Yesterday, Larry Jones reminisced about Shea Stadium.

In today's NY Times, Barry Larkin talked about how he almost became a Met and how much he loved Shea Stadium...so much that the middle name of his oldest daughter is D'Shea. That's two non-Met ex-major leaguers who named kids after our beloved Shea. I am still not aware of anyone naming a child after Citi Field. Would that be a boy's name or girl's name? Either way, I have decided the next kid a father will be named after Loge13.
Here is the relevant bit from the Larkin interview:

Larkin had a chance to play in October with the Mets in 2000. The Mets traded for Larkin that July, agreeing to send their top prospect, outfielder Alex Escobar, and pitchers Eric Cammack and Jason Saenz, to Cincinnati. None of the players had much of a career, and Larkin, who hit .313 that season, might have helped the Mets win the World Series.

But Larkin vetoed the trade and signed a three-year, $27 million contract extension with the Reds.

"I'm happy I stayed where I was," Larkin said. "In '99, we had a one-game playoff against the Mets. So I was thinking, at that time, we still had a chance to win in Cincinnati."

Even so, Larkin said he would have come to Shea Stadium if the Mets had offered a multiyear deal. His wife was excited about it, said Larkin, who so enjoyed playing in New York that he had given his oldest daughter, Brielle, the middle name D'Shea.

"I absolutely loved it there," Larkin said. "I wanted to be a fighter pilot when I was a kid, so I loved the roar of the engines so close to La Guardia, and the energy of the fans. They would get on me, 'Yo, Larkin, you stink!' And if I did stink at the time, I would say, 'Yeah, I do,' and they'd start laughing. I always had great interaction with the fans. Every time I would go there, I'd recognize some of the same guys. I just really, really enjoyed that."

[August 16, 2011 9:45 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Portland construction company said

Well,the old stadiums were constructed in a sound fashion.The designs are very constructive and creative.We can copy these designs.

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Chipper has some sage advice for the rebuilding Mets: rebuild Shea Stadium.

Make no mistake. Jones, like David Wright, misses Shea Stadium.

"Citi Field is a lot bigger than Shea; it doesn't affect me as much as it affects Wright and [Jason] Bay and those guys," said Jones, who will return to Atlanta's starting lineup tonight following knee and quad injuries. "At Shea there was a jet stream out to right-center. I've seen David tattoo balls here that sometimes get caught that would have been home runs at Shea. It's funny to see those guys lace a ball off the wall and get to second base and look at me, like 'Damn!' It can be frustrating."

And so it was in the first inning last night, as Wright blasted a long double off the wall in left-center to drive in the Mets' only run. Wright crushed the pitch from Tim Hudson, but had no hope of clearing the fence.

"I've played here long enough to know that's not a home run here," said Wright, a hint of dejection in his voice.

"You better swallow your pride when you walk into this park," said Jones, who added he has no plans to retire, "and try to hit the ball into the gaps and concentrate on being a .300 hitter instead of a 30-home run guy."

Added Wright, "It's a big park, there's no sense whining about it."

We should listen to Larry. After all, he named his daughter Shea.

[August 6, 2011 6:40 PM]  |  link  |  reply
G-Fafif said

Chipper's son, actually, but yeah, even Larry Jones recognizes something's wrong.

[August 7, 2011 2:52 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Kingman Author Profile Page replied to G-Fafif

Indeed. At some point, ownership is going to need to consider the wisdom of moving the fences. There has to be a way.

[August 6, 2011 11:54 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

The ballpark isn't going to change substantially, but maybe our hitters should listen to Chipper's batting tips.

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