My First Dance with ChatGPT

I’ve been meaning to try out ChatGPT for a while and today I just did it.

What I requested:

Make a list of the number 1 and number 2 songs from each year in the 1980s from the Billboard top-40 list.

Here’s what it came back with:

Here’s a list of the number 1 and number 2 songs from each year in the 1980s from the Billboard Hot 100:


“Call Me” by Blondie
“Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” by Pink Floyd


“Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes
“Kiss on My List” by Hall & Oates


“Physical” by Olivia Newton-John
“Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder


“Every Breath You Take” by The Police
“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson


“When Doves Cry” by Prince
“What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner


“Careless Whisper” by Wham! Featuring George Michael
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves


“West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys
“Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel


“Alone” by Heart
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston


“Faith” by George Michael
“Need You Tonight” by INXS


“Like a Virgin” by Madonna
“When I See You Smile” by Bad English.

These are the number 1 and number 2 songs from each year in the 1980s from the Billboard Hot 100 list.

Not bad, except for 1989, which was the year Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” debuted. I haven’t fact-checked this yet, but the other years look reasonably accurate.

Another try:

Me: Make a list of the top 7 hitters in Detroit Tigers history.

ChatGPT: Here are the top 7 hitters in Detroit Tigers history, based on various statistical measures:

Ty Cobb – Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Tigers and finished his career with a lifetime batting average of .366 and 4,189 hits.

Al Kaline – A Tigers legend, Kaline spent his entire 22-year career with Detroit and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980. He won 10 Gold Gloves and was a 15-time All-Star.

Charlie Gehringer – Nicknamed “The Mechanical Man,” Gehringer spent 19 seasons with the Tigers and was a six-time All-Star. He finished his career with a .320 batting average and 2,839 hits.

Hank Greenberg – Greenberg played for the Tigers for 11 seasons and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1956. He was a four-time American League home run champion and two-time MVP.

Harry Heilmann – Heilmann spent 16 seasons with the Tigers and was a four-time batting champion. He finished his career with a .342 lifetime batting average and 2,660 hits.

Ivan Rodriguez – Rodriguez played for the Tigers for four seasons and was a 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Bill Freehan – Freehan spent his entire 15-year career with the Tigers and was a five-time All-Star. He won five Gold Gloves and was known for his exceptional defense behind the plate.

Running again

In October, I decided to end my retirement from running. The goal wasn’t to get back into marathon shape — or even 5K, 10K or half-marathon shape. I simply wanted to add a new dimension to my boring resistance and cardio workouts.

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Two months later, and more than 12 years since I last ran with regularity, I’m back in decent running shape. After a week of run-walking two miles, I can now run between two and three miles, on a regular basis.

Getting my wind back was tougher than I expected because I had forgotten that I live in a sneaky-hilly neighborhood. When I take the dog for a walk I don’t notice the inclines as much as the dog does.

Now I feel them, and I don’t like them. They have, however, made the first few weeks of running pleasantly challenging.

It’s nice to be a beginning runner again, just doing it to stay in shape, not really caring about my pace and, most importantly, not training to compete in an organized race.

Remembering Johnny B.

It bummed me out to learn today that John Wockenfuss died on Aug. 19 but also that he suffered from dementia in his final years.

I wrote this on my old Tigers site, The Daily Fungo, on Johnny B.’s 59th birthday, Feb. 27, 2008.

Wockenfuss John

The first time my brother imitated the finger-waving batting stance of a Tigers player by the name of “Wockenfuss” I was convinced he made it up.

Not only did the name sound like a cartoon character, the flapping of the right hand on the bat was too much for my nine-year-old brain to process as a viable approach at the plate.

I soon learned that Johnny Bilton Wockenfuss was a real-life person.

Never a superstar, he was a Super Sub before the phrase existed. He played key roles for the Tigers and helped the club bridge the gap between emerging contender and World Series Champion.

‘Fuss was drafted by the Washington Senators in the 42nd round of the 1967 amateur draft. His road to Detroit wound through Arlington, Texas, after the Senators relocated following the 1971 season.

On June 6, 1973 he was traded by the Rangers with Mike Nagy to the Cardinals for Jim Bibby. Less than six months later – on Dec. 3 – St. Louis sent him to the Tigers for minor-leaguer Larry Elliott.

Ironically, Wockenfuss made his major league debut on Aug. 11, 1974 against the Rangers at Arlington Stadium – and faced the pitcher he was traded for a year earlier, Bibby.

He started at catcher, as he would 12 more times that season, and, batting ninth, went 0 for 2 with a walk. In his first big-league at bat (leading off the Tigers third) he popped out to shortstop Toby Harrah.

Wockenfuss’s first major league hit would come three days later at Tiger Stadium off Royals starter Steve Busby — an RBI single with two outs in the ninth (Jim Nettles, brother of Graig scored).

During the lean years of the mid-1970s, Johnny B. – wearing first #45 and then, from 1976 on, #14 – steadily gained playing time, primarily behind the plate for manager Ralph Houk. When Sparky Anderson was hired in 1979, ‘Fuss became more of a first baseman/outfielder/DH hybrid.

For the next four seasons, Wockenfuss had a .265 average. His best year at the plate for Detroit was in 1982 when hit batted .301 in 79 games.

In the spring of 1984, the buzz around Lakeland was about a team poised to make the leap to the postseason. Wockenfuss had been so valuable to the Tigers over his 10 seasons that no one suspected he wouldn’t be with Detroit on Opening Day.

But on March 24, 1984, roughly one week before the Tigers opened the season in Minnesota, ‘Fuss was traded with outfielder Glenn Wilson to the Phillies for Willie Hernandez and Dave Bergman.

We know how that played out.

In Philadelphia that year, Wockenfuss played in 86 games, mostly at first base, batting .289. In 1985, he appeared in just 32 games, collecting six hits. When the Phillies released him on Aug. 19, 1985 – almost 11 years to the day of his debut – his career was over.

Two years later, though, he was back in the Tigers organization as the manager of Lakeland in the Florida State League. He appeared to be on a meteoric rise in the organization. In 1988 he led the Glens Falls Tigers of the Eastern League two a first-place finish. The next season he was promoted to manager of Toledo where the Mud Hens finished in sixth place. He lasted only 24 games of the 1990 season before he was fired on April 29.

And that was all she wrote for Johnny B. Wockenfuss as a member of the Tigers family.

I remember feeling bad in 1984 that Johnny B. wasn’t around to enjoy the Tigers World Series championship. Years later when the Pistons won their first NBA Title they had some of the old guard on hand for the celebration. Too bad Wockenfuss couldn’t have participated in a similar sort of revelry in October ’84.

Raise a glass today for Johnny B. Wockenfuss. He’s 59.