Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The Sweet Sound of Summer
2008-06-24 12:15
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Lovely piece by John Branch in the Times the other day about an 89-year old organist Lambert Bartak.  Worth a click.  Man, baseball organists are a beautiful thing, no?

2008-06-24 12:31:07
1.   Raf
Man, baseball organists are a beautiful thing, no?

I think so. Apparently, the general public doesn't think so, as evidenced by the obnoxious music you hear at the ballpark nowadays.

2008-06-24 12:53:14
2.   standuptriple
Preaching to the choir. I say get rid of all the techno/club/cotton-eye joe crap. While you're at it, dump the jumbotrons. Maybe people will pay attention the the game. The Build-a-Bear in the SF outfield stands makes me want to take a flamethrower to that part of the beautiful park.
2008-06-24 12:56:44
3.   dianagramr

"But we have flamethrowers. And what this indicates to me, it means that at some point, some person said to himself, "Gee, I sure would like to set those people on fire over there. But I'm way to far away to get the job done. If only I had something that would throw flame on them."

(It all comes back to George Carlin somehow)

2008-06-24 13:14:54
4.   Chyll Will
2 And I'm sure the groundskeepers wouldn't mind at this point if they banned "YMCA" maybe forever... the looks on those guys' faces when they start that routine are rather chilling.
2008-06-24 13:30:39
5.   monkeypants
4 No doubt.

One of my fears for the new stadium is that it will actually be even louder...and imagine what it will be like with sound effects and the wrap-around scoreboards. Yikes!

2008-06-24 13:35:26
6.   Alex Belth
I remember a few years ago they had some sort of "throwback" night at PNC in Pittsburgh, where they ONLY used an organist, no electronic scoreboard or soundtrack. It looked SOOOOO cool. Imagine, be able to hear yourself think at a ballpark?
2008-06-24 13:37:19
7.   monkeypants
Pete Abe just posted that Damon and Matsui are banged up, so Justin Christian has been called up to start in LF. I guess he bats RH, but, ummm, what did Brett Gardner do to Cashman's wife?

Who gets the axe for Christian? Pete Abe thinks Traber.

2008-06-24 13:41:51
8.   Bob B
Agreed. We'd all be happier with just the organ and the game. Worse is professional football games, they fill the commercial time-outs with ultra loud noise or sometimes blast the same TV commercials on the Jumbotron. Unfortunately, baseball doesn't give fans credit for just wanting to watch the games and listen to the sounds in the stands and on the field. I know that before all the electronica, the game felt more pastoral. I even hate listening to "Take me out to the ball game" (should be just a Cub thing as far as I'm concnerned) I guess that will just have to be a memory for those of us who grew up in the 50's and 60's.
2008-06-24 13:44:41
9.   monkeypants
8 Worse than football? Seriously, have you been to a Yankees game lately? They blast commercials during the breaks between half innings. Simply awful.
2008-06-24 13:56:07
10.   Josh Wilker
The worst I've heard anywhere is a Nets game a couple years ago. I was with my brother, a guy I love to talk hoops with, but after a couple attempts we just ended up sitting there mute amid the aural assault.
2008-06-24 14:16:59
11.   Just fair
Up here in Rochester, the Red WIngs (Twinkies Farm Team) have had the same Organist for about 30 years. He also plays for the Americans (local AHL team) and fills in for the Sabres when needed. What an awesome job. Fred Costello is his name.
2008-06-24 14:18:06
12.   Jeb
Lifetime minors: .287 .349 .422 .771
2008 season: .309 .360 .455 .815

I checked Christian's numbers at the Minor league equivalency calculator (see link below), which mehmattski posted earlier) and if you plug in his 2008 numbers here's what you get in terms of average, OBP, SLG and OPS --- .267 .317 .385 .702

So, from a major league standpoint, he's slightly better than the offensive equivalent of "Melky" in 2008(who's .254 .312 .371 .683)
My guess is that given the fact that he's a righty and the Yanks are facing three lefties in Pittsburgh that's why he got called up. But, he's 28 and he's a stop-gap not a prospect.
2008-06-24 15:22:53
13.   RIYank
12 Facing lefties: I'm sure you're right. But the thing is, Gardner is much better than Christian against lefties.

Well, now we'll have a really good pinch hitter, that's for sure.

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