June 9, 2009

The Equivocal Equivalent of an Equivalency Test.

I recently read an article announcing Paul McCartney's upcoming gigs at the newly built Shea Stadium. I can't stop thinking about the news item, not because I'm interested in baseball, or Two-Thousand Late McCartney, but because of the awkward quote found deep in the article:
"For the Mets organization to land McCartney as its inaugural entertainer is 'the musical equivalent of a grand-slam home run in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded,' says Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live, which is promoting the concerts."
I see this cliche fantasy scenario brought up fairly often but here in particular, it just doesn't seem to fit. Let's jump in and tear it up.

While I'm not a baseball fan, I know what it means to be playing in the bottom of the ninth. It suggests that:
  • You are playing for the home team.
  • You are not winning.
Granted, you may not necessarily be losing (if it's a tie score), but the fact remains--you didn't score enough runs against the away team in the last eight innings for the game to be over by the end of the top of the ninth. Either way, you haven't been so impressive.

Now it's your last chance to win and you've got the bases loaded. You get a grand slam and score four runs. Great job! Unfortunately, I don't know what the exact score of the game was before, so it's entirely possible that you are still losing the game. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt (just this once) and assume that your intention is to describe a "come from behind victory" to end the game.

But isn't this the inaugural concert of the new Shea Stadium? Wouldn't this just be the musical equivalent of a first inning scoring opportunity? Chances are, a first inning grand slam it would probably give you the early lead in the game--a tactical and psychological advantage. Maybe it wouldn't be as dramatic as a grand slam in the last inning, but four runs are four runs, you know?

Billy Joel playing the final concert at the old Shea Stadium... now that's sounds more a bottom of the ninth inning with loaded bases (ok, technically it sounds like torture to me). Paul McCartney joining him on stage for a few tunes... there's the musical equivalent of a grand slam. This grand opening of the stadium should really be considered a new game really. A new game in the following season even.

Before I "Let it Be," let's "Get Back" to the original quote because "I've Got a Feeling" there's more than meets the eye. I don't think Randy Phillips is really talking about the Mets organization or Paul McCartney wielding the bat for this hypothetical grand slam. I think he's talking about his own company, AEG Live. "To land McCartney" for a concert may be a big deal in the promotions world, but to compare it to a "come from behind victory" is unnecessary unless:
  • You are not winning.
AEG Live is described on their own webpage as "the second largest concert promotion, special event and touring company in the world." Did you see that? Second! They are the ones preoccupied with catching up. They are the ones who need to sell the drama. They are the ones who are looking to hit the ball out of the park.

Oh, by the way... Shea Stadium is the park, Paul McCartney is the ball, and I won't be cheering unless he plays this version of "Yesterday"...


kcw said...

Rollie talking baseball is like me talking music. Except, in this instance, you make a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Nice Transformers reference!

trix said...

did you know that rob and i got tickets to see the old macca in action?