The Baseball Project, 'Volume 2: High & Inside' (Yep Roc)

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Volume 2: High & Inside
Critical Mass
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Label: Yep Roc

by David Menconi

Where some baseball fans collect bubble gum cards, Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn (assisted by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, and others) write catchy and proudly dorky garage-pop songs in tribute to unlikely heroes ranging from eccentric 1970s Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych to current San Francisco Giant free swinger Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval. Unfolding like an epic tragedy, "Buckner's Bolero" defends 1986 World Series goat Bill Buckner as a fine player who didn't deserve his fate. Journeymen that they are, though, McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows) and Wynn (ex-Dream Syndicate) understand the poignant vindication in being remembered at all: "Maybe Bill Buckner was lucky his luck was so rotten."

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