*If you love/hate the content of Out of Left Field this week, you can thank/blame MrLefty. In fact, he had so many ideas for this column that I suggested maybe he’d like to write it himself. But he says he only traffics in concepts, and he’ll leave the word-smithing to me. 🙂
Long before I was DrLefty, I was JuniorHigherLefty, and I started listening to the San Francisco pop music station KFRC (610 AM). One of the first songs I remember hearing on the radio was “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson, and I thought, “What a weird dude/song.” I’d been too young to be allowed to see the movie Midnight Cowboy, so I didn’t know that his cover of “Everybody’s Talkin'” for that film had been a huge hit and won a Grammy Award. And I didn’t own the 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson, so I hadn’t yet come across Nilsson’s other Grammy winner, “Without You.” (If you want to make your ears bleed, dial up the original version of that song by Badfinger. MrLefty inflicted this on me last night during dinner. “Make it stop,” I said.”) I also didn’t know that Nilsson wrote “One” (is the loneliest number), which Three Dog Night turned into a top-ten hit in 1969.
Anyway, as a 12-year-old, I thought “Coconut” was a strange and kind of stupid song, and that was before I understood that it was played with just one chord, C7. But it actually was a big hit that rose to #8 on Billboard in 1972. And upon reflection, I think it’s a brilliant metaphor for the state of the San Francisco Giants right now.
For you youngsters (i.e., Johnny Black), “Coconut” is about a woman whose brother (or “brudder”; the song is calypso-themed) bought a coconut, and she added a lime. She made a drink as follows: “She put de lime in de coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up.” This combo sounds disgusting, and the next line is unsurprising:
She put de lime in de coconut, she called de doctor, woke ‘im upAnd said, “Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”I said, “Doctor, to relieve this bellyache?”
You put de lime in de coconut, you drink ’em bot’ togedderPut de lime in de coconut, then you feel better Put de lime in de coconut, drink ’em bot’ up Put de lime in de coconut and call me in the morning
The 2023 First-Year Player Draft
OK, this will have my attention. The draft will start on Sunday and continue through Tuesday. The Giants have three picks the first day because they have a compensation pick for losing Carlos Rodón as a free agent. They’ll pick at spots 16, 52, and 69. Melissa Lockard had an excellent analysis of what the draft might hold for the Giants: She pointed out that they have gone pitcher-heavy in the last two drafts, and, with the graduations of Schmitt, Bailey, and Matos, and other top position player prospects in AA or higher, the system has gotten pitcher-heavy, especially at the lower levels. The draft is supposedly deep with college position players, and it seems like a safe bet to assume that the Giants might pick one or more of those in the early rounds. We’ll see. Interestingly, despite the heavy focus on pitchers in 2021 and 2022, two of their best recent draftees are the first position players they took in those years (Vaun Brown in the 10th round in 2021; Wade Meckler in the 8th round in 2022).
Oh, and speaking of Rodón, he finally made his first start for the Yankees last night and pitched pretty well (but was the losing pitcher when his offense got shut out–sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it, Carlos?). But the real news is how weird and unattractive he looked–pudgy with a 70s porn star mustache and his jersey open with no undershirt to expose his manly chest hair. Ewwwwww.
rodon got his chest hair out he said i gotta look sexy in my debut pic.twitter.com/GzsW1pKNyL
— tommy kahnle’s #1 fan (@jonmoxIeys) July 7, 2023
The All-Star Game
Meh. Eight Braves, six Rangers, four Dodgers (Kershaw is out) and one Giant, whom I’m sure we’re all hoping doesn’t pitch in the game. We’ll watch it because we always do, but basically the ASG just means a few sad days of missing meaningful baseball. On the other hand, the Giants really, really seem to need the break, so I guess we shouldn’t begrudge it to them.
But “I can’t live/if living is without you,” Giants. Lefty out.
[I mean, seriously–this is an AMAZING vocal, maybe one of the best pop vocals of all time.
Also: Harry Nilsson was really an interesting dude. Among the various factoids called to my attention by MrLefty: Nilsson didn’t tour or do concerts. (This was back in the day when your songs would get on the radio and people would go to record stores and buy albums. Poor Taylor Swift has to do a cajillion stadium shows just to keep food on her table.) Nilsson was also close with the Beatles, especially John Lennon, who was a huge admirer of Nilsson’s talent. Finally, two musical artists, Cass Elliott of the Mamas and the Papas and Keith Moon of The Who, both died (not at the same time) in the guest room of Nilsson’s London flat–both at age 32. Nilsson was so traumatized by these deaths that he sold the flat to Pete Townshend, Moon’s bandmate.]