Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frankie Lee Sims - I'm So Glad

This one is dedicated to my great friend BH, who would have loved it unreservedly and who will, unfortunately, never get up on his feets again. Gone, gone, gone, the boy's long gone, all the way gone. I'd pay good money to spend one more afternoon at his place, with him, drinking Gypsy Rose and listening to his Lightning Hopkins records, without a care in the world.

"They will dig your grave in the morning . . ." True that, Brother Frankie Lee, and thanks for testifying.

Baby Washington - Silent Night - 1967

Let's kick off the Christmas season with a little Justine "Baby" Washington, the favorite singer of no less than Dusty Springfield.

There's so little of Ms. Washington on the 'Tube that it is probably a sin, and certainly a crime against nature. The hit-counts are low too. Don't join the rush to avoid her! Embrace the wonderfulness!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary! Or Welcome To The Permanent National Security State

There’s an important anniversary coming up, but don’t look for it on CNN or, God forbid, Fox News. December will see the seventieth (“70th”) anniversary of “emergency” war powers in the United States. I put emergency in quotes because the nature of the emergency has shifted over the years. World War II to the Cold War, and then to the War on Terror. The operative words are “war” and “emergency,” and don’t look for relief any time soon. From now on, it’ll be one thing or another, you can be sure of that.

Through this permanent emergency our vaunted democracy has been subverted by the unitary executive, the new imperial theory of the presidency. Presidential power has grown exponentially since 1941. A real war to win, and then a new godless enemy to oppose. Then a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons to develop and maintain. Along with the weapons came a great diversity of delivery systems and a vast worldwide network of bases to serve the effort. Secret intelligence agencies, we can’t even be sure of how many of these agencies exist. How much they spend is a complete mystery. It’s become a national security state, a permanent shadow government, unelected and barely supervised, jealously guarding its secrets and withholding evidence and information.

And always the fear, fear, fear. Be very afraid, people! And do what we say, and give us what we want. No more Soviets? Be afraid of Muslims! They hate our freedom! Red alert!

It’s part of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, theoretically under the president, but in fact it predates and survives any individual president. Who’s really in charge now is, I think, a valid question.

Barack Obama showed every indication of being a different kind of president. On matters of national security, however, the difference is between what he has done and what he spoke of before he was sworn in. That first couple of days must be murder for a new president, being informed of all of the ongoing programs that must not be disturbed. President Obama has largely hewn to the line that he inherited, and, once more, we see wars ending or winding down with no corresponding diminution of military spending, troop levels, or foreign deployments.

So, Happy Anniversary! Next year we’ll be voting again for president, but whoever wins the job, don’t expect too many changes. I have a hunch that anybody who didn’t take the message in those first few days of briefings would very quickly suffer an unfortunate household accident, you know, break their neck falling down in the shower or something, have an unanticipated heart attack. After all, it’s an emergency!

(Pace, Garry Wills, “Entangled Giant,” 2009, from which some ideas were freely borrowed.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hotel View Hat Yai Thailand

Taken out the window of my room on the twenty-first floor of the Regency Hotel in Hat Yai.

There are a surprising number of tourists in Hat Yai, surprising because it really is quite an ordinary, down-in-heel place. Most of the tourists come from Malaysia, some in family groups and some in groups of men (I leave you to fill in the blanks on that last one).

I will say that the food was outstanding, particularly the sea food. The peninsula is pretty narrow at that point, so the sea is close by on both sides. People were very nice, which seems generally to be true in Thailand. Certainly the one hundred or so grad-students in my class were very friendly and cooperative, as is always the case.

Air Approach Floods One

Coming in for a landing at BKK, last Sunday. The flood water levels in Bangkok are coming down, but there's still a lot of water around, as can be seen in this video.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Hollies 'Just one look' NME Awards footage as featured on Ready Stea...

For me, as you may have noticed, it's all about the covers. The Hollies remain one of the most successful cover bands in history. They stole, or let's say borrowed, from great acts too, including the Beatles, and their versions always hold up very well in comparison.

I used this video to illustrate that they also were a band that could set up and play. It bears repeating: they were a great act, and they deserved every bit of their success.

Doris Troy - Just One Look

The original. Great song, great production, great singer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Local Transportation In Hat Yai, Thailand

Also, a photography lesson: never photograph a large object in strong back-light!

These little snub-nosed pick-up trucks serve as the "song taows" in Hat Yai.

Life Is Like A Guitar

Tuning a piano is a big job, but it is very straightforward. You can tune each string to its note, and then you’re done. All of the “A’s” are “A’s,” and et cetera. Pianos are meant to be in tune when they are played, and they go there willingly. There’s very little mystery about it.

Guitars are not as simple as all that. Only six strings, but where the notes must be set is not straightforward at all. Six strings, E, A, D, G, B, and E again, but if you merely tune each string to the designated note you will not be able to play chords without the whole thing sounding very sour. Guitars are not meant to be played “in tune,” in fact they are never in tune at all, it’s impossible, they are inherently out of tune.

So tuning a guitar is a real challenge. You need to know quite a bit about what you’re doing, and you need to have a pretty good ear.

As you go from the E to the A, the D and the G, and finally to the B and the other E, the notes must get a little bit sharper every time you move to a new string. Or else it’s trouble, I’m not making this up. You can’t just take one of those electronic boxes and put all the notes where the needle meets the center point. After you get a good E, you need to play an A at the fifth fret and see where the needle goes. It’ll be an A, but it’ll be a little sharp. Then you need to put the A string to the same point on the meter, the same sharpness. And there you go, by the time you get to the other E it’s all pretty sharp indeed.

I like to start from the A myself, get a good A up on the A string. All bands and orchestras tune to the same A, and if they think it’s important, well, I just trust them. I don’t know why they do it that way, but they must have a reason, mustn’t they? These days I keep an A tuning fork around, set the A, and do the rest by ear.

Even then, when you’re done and you’ve got it pretty much where you want it, you need to play a few chords to be on the safe side, and you’ll probably end up sweetening it some more, somewhere.

Then there’s scale length, you’d assume that it was standard, but you’d be wrong. Most guitars have either a twenty-five and a half inch scale, nut to bridge, or a twenty-four and three-quarters inch scale. If you get used to tuning one or the other, switching can be quite an adjustment. Some manufacturers use unique scale lengths, like twenty-five inches, you have to wonder: what were they thinking?

Guitars are mysterious things from the get go, even before you start to play a song. After you start to play something the guitar quickly goes out of the tune you just so laboriously put it in. The rougher you play, the faster it goes out.

Pianos, then, are models of decorum. Simple to tune (although labor intensive, with eighty-eight strings and all), and then they stay in tune for a while, unless the humidity changes or something. Nobody’s hanging on the strings all the time, just little hammers hitting them a little shot.

It occurs to me that tuning pianos is like building a car, or a camera. Just make exactly the right parts, and put them together in exactly the correct manner. No mystery, it’s right or it’s wrong. Tuning a guitar is more like building a life. Some things are more wrong than right, some more right than wrong, but most of it is off in the grey zone somewhere, and it’s all very personal.

Life, like a guitar, is all about feel. What feels right to one person may feel quite wrong to someone else. Often in life, as with a guitar, the clearly right thing turns out to be a little bit wrong. Life comes in different styles and sizes too, and whatever it is that you are accustomed to may be comfortable for you but pinch for someone else.

For guitars, as in life, the truth is an unattainable goal. You have to get used to notes that are a little bit sharp, or a little bit flat, as the situation may require. In either thing, if one were to demand the pure truth, the results would sound a little bit sour to most people. If one is to build a proper life, or tune a guitar, one must have a certain flexibility, a sense of humor about things. One must be accepting of imperfection, and try one’s best to work with it.

I have no idea what brought all of this on. Too much time on my hands, I suppose.

Regency Hotel In Hat Yai, Thailand

I taught a class in Hat Yai this weekend, and the Regency is where we get our discount. Every little bit helps.

These are the lobby elevators. I walked over to them and it was a minute or two before I found the call buttons. I thought about asking the guy at the door, but I thought that would make me look ridiculous. I considered sitting down where I had a good view and waiting for someone else to come over, maybe see them push a button. Then I thought, I can't let this thing beat me! It has to be here! I stood back, and before long I realized that the buttons were in the snouts of the mythical creatures.

Not a bad hotel, not expensive (eighteen dollars or so, 800 Baht). Good, free breakfast. TV had Fox News, the SyFy Channel, Al Jezeera, NHK, the Universal Channel and Star Sports, that was it for English but that's pretty good. All a little bit down in heel, but you can see that it was really special when it was new, marble bathroom and all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blow Up

Just watching Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" on TCM. God, were we ever so young?

Monday, November 14, 2011

TAB the Band "She Said No (I Love You)".mov

I love this, and I found it in a strange place. It was part of a musical interlude on the Voice of America channel in my guest house in Krabi (see post down a few). So in between Iranian expat's bitching in Farsi about God knows what they'd play a few songs, and this was one of them, "Music Mix USA." This is on a Thai TV, some kind of low-ball cable situation, at a beach resort town. This is a weird new world we live in, my friends.

Global Warming And Floods, Floods, Floods

We're having an interesting year in Thailand. Lots of water, lots.

So this whole Global Warming thing, what's up with that? In a nutshell: the numbskulls that run things these days think that they know everything. Why, otherwise, would they have hundreds of millions of dollars while the rest of us have nothing? But really, they don't know jackshit about anything at all. All they know is where the best restaurants are, and how much custom yachts cost. So, if you tell them that a change in average temperatures of only three and a half degrees, Fahrenheit, will absolutely ruin the world and get us all killed, they know much better than the scientists. They know everything! Hah! they say, so it goes up from ninety to ninety three! Big deal! What harm could it do! And what about all of that cold weather last winter? Picture these words in the mouth of George W. Bush to get the full effect. The prototypical power-elite idiot, born and bred.

The effects are a little weird. Here in Thailand, it's gotten a little bit cooler if anything. Global Warming is actually Global Climate Change. So our really, really hot season, which usually came in April, hasn't been so hot the last few years, and our cool season, instead of being some kind of cruel joke, has actually been cool, at night anyway. Instead of being hotter, the rainy season has gotten longer, sometimes in connection with a La Nina condition. In the eastern part of Thailand, there has been plenty of rain the last few years but it started late and came all at once, very bad for the poor farmers. This year the rainy season really kicked our ass, it's still holding us down and beating us, a real curb-stomping.

Alas, Babylon! All of y'all under about forty years old will be hit with the worst of this. I'm with you on the cutting edge here, but I'll be long gone before it all turns into some kind of zombie movie. I hope.

What can be done about it? Oh, don't even think about it. There's nothing that you can do. It's a done deal. The powers-that-be know everything! It's only three degrees! When the zombies are at their doors, 1) their private security guards will keep them safe; 2) they will still have climate-controlled houses and plenty of food; and 3) they will blame it on somebody else, probably the Democrats.

So good luck!

Local Transportation In Trang, Thailand

Every place in Thailand has its own variety of local transportation. This beautiful tuk-tuk is in the typical style of Trang. Most of the travelers that I saw in Trang were Thai, like this group taking pictures of each other with the Trang tuk-tuk. Almost no Farang.

Lots of motorcycle taxis too, and song-taow (the pick up trucks with two rows of benches in a covered bed, hence "song-taow," or "two rows"). Not a metered taxi in sight. Some local buses, not many.

Everybody that I met in Trang was just great, very friendly and reasonable. I took a few rides on the motorcycles and a tuk-tuk just like this one (the official color, I think). They always quote a Farang a price that is a little bit high, and here was no exception. All of the drivers thought that it was really outstanding that I could give them shit in Thai about the high quote, though. No hard feelings, more like wow! this Farang knows his stuff! Very good natured. In places where there are lots of tourists, the guys resent not getting the tourist price.

From The Phi Phi Andaman Legacy Guest House In Krabi

I taught a class in Trang province last weekend. Very beautiful countryside, very green, ridiculously green, nice hills with strange shapes, fabulous beaches with islands reminiscent of the hills. The people were wonderful, very friendly, very attractive women, even by Thailand’s high standards, great seafood everywhere, great weather, nice cool breeze. In the provincial capitol of Trang, a pretty big place, I didn’t see many Farang at all, and I got around a bit. The ones I did see looked like they lived there. The plane down was almost all Thais.

For my return flight there was nothing available from Trang, so I booked a flight from neighboring Krabi. My class was in the morning; I took the bus to Krabi in the afternoon, two and a half hours or so. I’d never been to either place before. Same kind of scenery, maybe even a little bit more scenic. Krabi, unlike Trang, was crawling with Farang on vacation.

So walking about I was surrounded by young, White trekker types with colossal back-packs, the town was swarming with them. They were a particularly foul breed, no one was smiling, they spoke languages that I mostly didn’t recognize. Young people from every rat-hole in New Europe can obviously afford to travel now.

They mostly seemed very unhappy and anxious, so much so that it felt vaguely dangerous to be around them. They wore outfits that no self-respecting person would even consider wearing under any circumstances, not even to a dirt-bomb fight. Shorts of all lengths, bandana-headed, petal-pushers, faux ethnic garments, T-shirts and tank tops (the better to display their bad tattoos).

These young people rented huge motorcycles and thundered around town desperately trying to look cool. I’ve only seen these kinds of rentals before in Phuket and Pattaya. Some real Harleys, but mostly Japanese copies, and some big bullet-bikes. (See accompanying photograph.) They parked the bikes in front of bars and sat around drinking bottles of beer in foam cozies, desperately trying to look bored. It was all so desperate, man. Back in Slovakia they probably study accounting.

Older White tourists were present too, dressed only slightly better. People will leave the house dressed in any damn thing these days. The older crowd looked unhappy too, slightly confused, disoriented, like people soon after a hard interrogation.

The TV in the guest house was downright strange. It had the big three Thai commercial channels; French TV5 Monde; a Dutch channel of mostly talk shows where the sound kept cutting in and out; a channel that alternated one of the lesser C-SPAN’s and Voice of America, in Farsi no less, go figure; a strange Thai channel called Top Star that featured very glossy propaganda boosting the Royal Family; a Pakistani shopping channel (!!!!) that spent all day flogging bootleg Blackberries in a mix of English and some local Pakistani language (the “spokesmodel” was a poor bony thing, wall eyed, screechy voice [“50% off! for ten minutes!”], horrible make up, wearing black designer jeans and a tight, black top, mascara all over the place); and of course a music channel featuring unlistenable World-Pop and some Asian lip-synchers.

The Dutch channel reminded one that they really wrote the book on dressing funny, the Dutch. How, I always wonder, can they be so square and so cool at the same time? Maybe they prove that it’s cool to be square.

TV5 Monde showed a French variety show that sub-titled itself “the Greatest Cabaret Show In the World,” in English, as though they were specifically trying to impress us, we English speakers. To their credit, the show did feature topless Crazy Horse beauties, no pasties or tiling. There was a woman with a trained cat act, ten or more cats doing tricks usually associated with dogs. One of the cats was casually grooming itself while it rolled a barrel across the stage. The act was otherwise uninteresting.

I say one of the lesser C-SPAN’s, you know the ones I mean. One show I watched was a panel discussion about President Reagan’s legacy, held at Notre Dame University. It was a love fest. The panel consisted of four old, White, fat Reagan White House capo-regimes, I did not pollute myself with the memory of their names. To hear them tell it, Reagan was a hard working, hands-on genius who solved all of the world’s problems and was personally responsible for every single good thing that has happened since, and not at all the ego maniac who should have been impeached for Iran-Contra. Reaganomics! Trickle down my ass.

On the flight from Krabi to BKK most of the announcements were made in Thai, then English, then tapes of Spanish, French and German. At that, I think they missed communicating with most of this crowd.

Did I say that I try to keep this blog nice and light and airy? My! but I do get the vapors sometimes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tin Roof Blowdown Redux

Like I said, I just read "Tin Roof Blowdown" by James Lee Burke. There is a lesson here for understanding the nature of the 21st Century. My paperback edition was chock full of wild praise from quality sources, the New York Times, other high-tone newspapers in at least two English speaking countries. I say wild praise, it was indeed hyperbolic praise, superlatives even. Deserved?

It's a nice book, but I don't think Shakespeare is in any danger of being overtaken. Nor, I think, should Charles Williford or Elmore Leonard be too worried. Nor the very underrated George V. Higgins. Nor Dash Hammett or that L.A. fellow, Raymond Something. Mickey Spillane is probably safe too. Hemingway? Definitely safe.

So praise these days comes by the bushel, and must be discounted accordingly. Be forewarned.

I did enjoy reading "The Tin Roof Blowdown," but I am famously easy to please. I do read some actually literary novels, some old, some new, but I do enjoy the occasional "railway novel," commuter stuff, read to fill time on the train or bus. Or just to kill time waiting for the inevitable. Anything, God, just make this whole thing go away.

I've read worse; but I could recommend better.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dixie Cups - Iko Iko (Rare clip)

I'm just reading "The Tin Roof Blowdown" by James Lee Burke, his Louisiana novels are always a treat. Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of old New Orleans feature prominently. It's got me all jakamo-fino.

I try not to bore you with everything that I am thrilled to find on the 'Tube, but I thought this one was worth your time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bangkok Flood Update

I'm still flood free, by the way, but Bangkok in general is still reeling from the whole flood experience.

It's still spreading, coming down from the north and in from the east and reaching areas of Bangkok proper. They finally closed the subway yesterday. The river defenses are holding up, but the entire west bank is under water. I'm on a high spot, twenty-one feet about sea level, so there's a chance that I'll escape altogether. These two coming weekends I'll be teaching at remote campuses, so I'm hoping that the airport stays open. It's surrounded by water too, east of the city, and the predictions for continued service are disturbingly vague. ("We're doing everything that we can!")

I spoke to lots of people at school today, and a few of them have been flooded out of their houses. One is sleeping in her office! My flood-affected colleagues are still getting paid at least, that's one good thing. We're government officials, a privileged minority, the checks keep coming.

Most people who have been affected by this flood season aren't so lucky. Lots of places, huge places, and millions of people, have been unable to work for up to three months now. That's a big problem in a country where, for most people, if you don't work, you don't get paid. Stores are closed, factories too, and rice fields are submerged. All of those people have been without an income for a while now.

The secondary effects of the flooding are starting to show up now. Water-born illnesses, especially in children who cannot resist playing in the water. Crocodile attacks, no lie! Hundreds of the things have escaped from crocodile farms. The no-money thing has really hit home too, suicides are being reported. Tempers are getting frayed, and the ramifications of these floods will be with us for a long, long time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army Live on Conan

An important point, in a minute.

At this time I was very occasionally taping a Conan show to watch the next day. I was vaguely aware of the White Stripes, I'd heard a couple of things on Napster. I was knocked out by this, the concept, the presentation, the enthusiasm. Nice to see it again.

Now, the lesson. Take a look at this on YouTube so that you can see the two attached comments. Negative comments based on the quality of the video. It just goes to show: what people get free, in abundance, they do not value. Not content with having so much great music at the tips of their fingers, these ingrates want HD.

"What people get free, in abundance, they do not value." I don't want to get maudlin or personal, but you'll think of some examples pretty quickly if you put your mind to it.

Another Flood

These are from a few years ago, but they answer the question, "where did all of that water in Bangkok come from?"

This is the Yom river up north, taken in a restaurant that was usually about fifty feet from the river. Towards the end of the rainy season, September or so, these rivers can get pretty full. The year in the pictures, this one overflowed.

Every year, all of this water makes its way to the Gulf of Siam, much of it coming through Bangkok in the Cha Prayao river. This year the rain up north was a lot heavier than usual and the entire process was magnified and accelerated.

Wolves That Eat Wolf (And Then Sell Wolf Sandwiches To Other Wolves)

This comes from Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog (

What Could Go Wrong?
Posted on 11/02/2011 at 3:50 pm by JM Ashby

The subprime loan market is making a come back, but with a twist.
This time we will package subprime auto loans at risk of default into triple A-rated securities, rather than home loans.

The Los Angeles Times today noted that investors are pouring money into car dealerships that provide high-cost loans to those with poor credit. The dealers are assembling these loans — about one in four of which defaults — into securities, selling them off much like subprime mortgage securities were sold around the world. In fact, “in the last two years, investors have bought more than $15 billion in subprime auto securities.” The Times noted that “although they’re backed mainly by installment contracts signed by people who can’t even qualify for a credit card, most of these bonds have been rated investment grade.

The subprime auto securities are receiving AAA ratings and being sold in the same manner as the mortgage-backed securities that lead to the 2008 financial crisis.

Meanwhile, Standards & Poor’s does not even consider the United States to be worthy of a AAA rating. Chew on that.

End of re-post.

I love the title, “What Could Go Wrong?” But we all do know, don’t we? Oh, yeah, not all of us, evidently.

Perhaps overlooked is the fact that this kind of lending is unethical in the first place, even if you don’t bundle the dubious loans and pawn off the risk immediately onto credulous morons. It’s just an excuse to gouge an extra ten percentage points or so of interest out of people who can barely afford the car in the first place, the car which they probably need to go to the job where they don’t get paid enough. The wages are low, and the interest high, for the same reason: it’s legal these days to take advantage of powerless fellow citizens, and fewer among us find it immoral to do so.

Back in the 1990’s I worked for a time around the edges of a similar business. It was a small private bank that was involved with real estate loans. They had a lot of good loans, some they held themselves and some were in partnership with private investors. They also did a brisk trade in high risk loans. Second and third mortgages, some totally unsecured because the value of the house wouldn’t even cover the senior mortgages. For the most dangerous of these they could extract over thirty percent interest. Lots of people really love their houses, and they will grasp at any straw to keep them.

The failure rate on these mortgages was understandably high. You could be forgiven to wonder how they made any money on them. The amounts were usually pretty low, almost all under ten thousand dollars. With the interest so high, even a couple of years of payments cut down on the exposure. When the inevitable end came, and the house went into foreclosure, and no money from the sale went to the “washed-out junior,” they were still not without recourse.

At that point, they turned the loan over to collections. This was done by a friend of mine, and my involvement was doing grunt work for him, appearances and paperwork on an hourly basis. I say “collections,” but the cases never generated any cash. The idea was to win the case and record the judgment with the county. That way, the judgment would show up in the escrow if that person ever got back on their feet and bought another house, which happens frequently. The judgment would then need to be paid before the next house deal could proceed. My friend, I can tell you, is a good man, but I still didn’t hang around that crowd too long.

These days companies don’t even have the decency to service their own predatory loans. They quickly bundle them for sale to “investors” who assume a risk that they may or may not fully understand.

These are cruel businesses, selling high interest loans to people with few resources and little demonstrated ability to repay. Instead of helping people who have been driven to near destitution by circumstances, we throw them on the tender mercies of the “free market,” the modern equivalent of “the wolves.” Now, even the wolves feed on each other. Ethics and morals seem to be outdated ideas in our brave, new world. Sometimes I wonder if the red, white and blue isn’t too colorful for our new America. Maybe our new economic reality, this fervent monetism, needs a darker banner. Black, I’m thinking, with a skull and some bones on it. Maybe a wolf’s skull. Even a human skull might be too good for us anymore.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Candido Candido's Funk

"No information," but this is an album from the early '70's. New York musicians is my guess, sounds like Cornell Dupree on the guitar end.

It's a great album. I have no idea why or how I got it, but it was and is a favorite of mine. I had friends then that showed me the benefits of Latin music, and culture, and food, and life in general. This was still in New York. Always interesting, like the time my friend Herbie asked me, "so Fred, my father moved back to P.R. and I'm collecting his welfare. You think they'll catch me?" He had the identical name, so I told him not to worry.

But Candido . . . I don't know much about him, but this is a great cut, and the entire album is outstanding.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Good Job For A Lawyer

Tony LaRussa retired today. He was the number three winningest manager in baseball history, and a lawyer.

I used to think, and may have reported here, or written in a dusty notebook, which is approximately the same thing, that there were four lawyer/managers in baseball. Some sources do list four OTHER guys, but Wikipedia now calls it seven all together. I don't usually give to much credibility to the Wiki, but for this purpose I'm sure they're close enough. They also inform us that Branch Rickey said that "luck is the residue of design," on the strength of a quote from Larry King, serial husband and check kiter. To Wiki's credit though, they do mention that the line actually came from John Milton. Me I thought it was Connie Mack, and I may have reported that here too. Me and Wiki! Watch your ass boys and girls! Check your own damn facts!

For winning, Tony got beat out by Cornelius McGillicuddy (Sr.!), the great Connie Mack, and John McGraw. Tony comes in a number three, everybody else eats their dust.

A couple of the other lawyer/managers are interesting. Monte Ward played back in the day and finished his career with over two thousand hits and over one hundred games won as a pitcher. He's the only guy who ever pulled that off, and he was a successful manager and a lawyer besides. Some guys hog all of the kudos.

Miller Huggins was a very good player, and then he managed the Yankees from 1918 to 1929. With players like that, he had a very, very successful record! He was a lawyer before he got into the baseball racket.

Branch Rickey was a player and a manager, both things without success. He went on to do some interesting stuff as a front office guy. He gets credit for the farm system and integrating baseball by hiring Jackie Robinson.

Connie Mack was definitely not a lawyer, education wise. He did manage to complete the eighth grade before dropping out at the age of fourteen, which put him ahead of two of my grandparents. He lived to the age of 93 though, and he won about a thousand games more than any other manager. He'd have done alright in the courtroom too, that's my guess.