Monday, July 18, 2016

3 Cards and the Truth

Nashville legend Harlan Howard wrote dozens of hits in his life, so much so that he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997. He was asked one time how he formulated great country songs. His reply is now practically a cliché, but he said it first. His response was, "Three chords and the truth."

The now-legendary giving of Matt from Bob Walk the Plank is almost a cliché by now as well. The guy opens up more top-end cards on a regular basis than I see in a year living in the card show lands here in Atlanta. His recent mailer to me brought to mind Harlan Howard -- it contained three cards and Matt's truth that he had stocked up again on Brewers.

Relying on Harlan's line, here are three songs to go with the three cards.

Ry Cooder, "Three Chords and the Truth"

It's not an exciting video for sure -- basically someone just put up the cover art for the album and uploaded the song. It's a bluesy five-minute song of three chords and Ry Cooder's truth. It's worth a listen -- it sort of reminds me of early 1970s Rolling Stones in some respects.

Corey Knebel's truth is that he attended the University of Texas at Austin and was a Detroit Tigers' first round draft pick (39th overall) in 2013. He signed shortly thereafter, and by the next May he was already in the major leagues with Detroit. He didn't do all that well in his first exposure to the majors, but he was still in demand enough to be sent to the Texas Rangers in a 2014 July trade with Jake Thompson for Joakim Soria. 

Neither Thompson nor Knebel made it through the 2015 season as a Ranger. Thompson went to Philadelphia as part of the Cole Hamels trade, and Knebel came to Milwaukee with the already departed Luis Sardinas and minor league pitcher Marcos Diplan in the Yovani Gallardo trade in January of 2015. Knebel just got recalled from Triple-A a couple of days ago. If the Brewers trade Jeremy Jeffress and/or Will Smith away by the end of July, don't be surprised if Knebel and Tyler Thornburg share closing duties to see whom the long term closer is.

Mrs. Jay Barker, er, Sara Evans: "Three Chords and the Truth"

Look, Sara Evans looks really good now, especially since she is now 45 years old. I mean, that's older than me and I don't look that good.  

</insert charity laugh>

In this video from 1997, Sara was around 25 years old. Let's just say that she was displaying her best fastball in this video. She is gorgeous and, to top it off, this song really allows her to show off her vocal abilities -- unlike all the overdubbed stuff that literally everyone puts out these days.

And I am not even that big of a country music fan. But, if it sounded like this more often, I might listen more often. Instead, it's Florida-Georgia Line and Luke Bryan singing songs that make them sound like 40-year-old overgrown bro frat boys thinking they are still 23. 

Taylor Jungmann actually attended the same high school (Georgetown (TX) HS) as Corey Knebel, and he also attended the University of Texas. Jungmann was the Brewers 1st Round pick -- 12th overall -- in 2011. Two picks later, the Marlins selected Jose Fernandez, and 6 picks later, the Athletics selected VandyBoy Sonny Gray. 

On the bright side, Jungmann is a better hitter than either Fernandez or Gray. Jungmann looked decent last year, but this year he has been a train wreck. He's been demoted to Double-A Biloxi after 20-2/3 innings of 9.15 ERA ball in Milwaukee and 31 innings of 9.87 ERA pitching in Colorado Springs. Usually ERA does not tell a complete story, but in that neighborhood there are only horror stories.

U2: "All Along The Watchtower"

In their version of the Bob Dylan classic which Jimi Hendrix appropriated and made his own on Electric Ladyland, U2 added lines to the song that did not appear in previous versions. In particular, in the bridge of the song, Bono sings, "All I got is a red guitar. Three chords, and the Truth. All I got is a red guitar. The rest is up to you."

Because I was a big U2 fan in high school -- they lost me for a while with that Zooropa stuff, though some of those songs are now okay -- I must have listened to Rattle and Hum from first song ("Helter Skelter") to last ("All I Want Is You") dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Keep in mind -- I grew up in the country, didn't go to the cool kid parties, and I spent a lot of time in my bedroom going through magazines to find evidence for debate topics. 

I know -- it's a complete shock that I wasn't at the cool kid parties after that last revelation.

To be fair, though, Matt did send me a revelation as well:

It's a Jonathan Lucroy 2016 Topps Clear serial numbered 3 of 10! Holy moly. This is my first of the acetate cards that Topps has put out the past several years, and I must admit that I am impressed -- it is a good looking card on both sides of it.

Lucroy is in the news so much lately for trade rumors that I half expected him to be dating Taylor Swift at this point. One day, it's Texas. The next day, it's Boston. Then, it's Cleveland. 

To be honest, I'm okay with him getting traded if it means a good return. I'm also okay if Lucroy retires as a Brewer after a contract extension after the 2018 season. Either way, it's a win for the team.

But, with three printing plates and this clear out of the way, do I need to go for the rainbow?

Maybe. Of course, there is that framed version of which there are only 16. That one might be tough to come by too...or...


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  2. Sara Evans, or as I like to call her, the future Mrs. 2x3Heroes.

  3. I thought maybe that Sara Evans song would be the first one you've posted that I actually heard, but nope...came from the time before we had any country channels on TV and I hadn't made the switch on radio.

  4. Dave Mason does a killer version of All along the Watch Tower

  5. I was so happy when I found the Lucroy. Let me check which silver frame I have of his (I know I have one). I'm thinking it is likely one from last year that will be /20 not /16.

  6. Went through a short period as a country fan, but came back to metal several years ago. But dear God I love Sara Evans....