August 23, 2011
"Being cool is what Rickey Henderson practices all day." - Rickey Henderson
-While playing for the Mets in 1999 Rickey Henderson notices a lot of commotion in the locker room before a game. Observing an abnormal amount of reporters in the clubhouse Rickey asks a fellow Met what was up. Tom Robson, the Met's hitting coach, had just been fired. Henderson said, “Who’s he?”
Point being, Rickey Henderson didn't need no hitting instruction. Why would he care to even know the team's hitting coach? Come on, he's Rickey Henderson.
-After the Red Sox sealed their first World Series win since 1918 Henderson called someone with the team apparently unaware that the series was over. Rickey simply needed tickets to Game 6 at Fenway Park. A game that would never happen. Way to pay attention Rickey.
-During Henderson’s first season with the Padres, he was greeted by San Diego veteran Steve Finley. In an attempt to fit in Rickey asks if the Padres are required to sit in specific places on the team bus. “You have tenure, sit wherever you want,” Finley offered. A confused Rickey Henderson looked at Finley and corrected him. “Ten years? Ricky’s been playing at least 16, 17 years.”
So Rickey goes with the 3rd person reference after misinterpreting the word "tenure". Welcome to San Diego Rick!
(Check out the bat flip, self encouragement, side step and collar pop following the home run stroke at 2:13. Totally badass.)
-Whenever the New York Mets visit Cinergy Field in Cincinnati they typically stay at a hotel within a mile of the ballpark. It's common for the ball players to walk to the park or at least take a bus. One afternoon, a few of the bus bound players arrive at Cinergy Field only to notice Rickey had chartered a stretch limo for the short trek.
We've got a real life Willey Mays Hayes on our hands here.
-As a young Oakland Athletic, Rickey Henderson had a locker next to future Moneyball author Billy Beane. Beane struggled somewhat to stick in the Majors and was once sent down to the farm team to sharpen his skills. When Beane was called back up Henderson greeted him and asked, “Hey, man, where have you been? Haven’t seen you in awhile.”
I guess the inability to play baseball well was a foreign concept to Rickey. "Sent down to the Minors? What are the Minors?"
(Below you'll see Rickey homer in a celebrity softball game over All Star weekend this year. Rickey can still play. Rickey knows it too.)
-Legend has it that before every game Rickey plays, Rickey stands butt naked before a mirror and repeats, “Ricky’s the best,” for several minutes.
-Rickey had the pleasure of being Nolan Ryan's 5,000 strikeout victim after which he stated the following, “It gave me no chance. He (Ryan) just blew it by me. But it’s an honor. I’ll have another paragraph in all the baseball books. I’m already in the books three or four times.”
I'd love to link a video of the famous at bat but remember, Major League Baseball doesn't want fans of the game to enjoy the history of the sport online.
-A teammate in Seattle once overheard Rickey saying this to himself following a strikeout, “Don’t worry, Rickey, you’re still the best.”
-On the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played streak Rickey sat out a game because, "Rickey's mind ain't right."
-In 1987 former Baseball Tonight analyst Harold Reynolds led the AL in stolen bases with 60. Rickey had missed a large portion of the season due to injury. After the season, Rickey calls the new stolen base king and according to Reynolds, the following exchange takes places,
"The phone rings, 'Henderson here,' I say, 'Hey, what's going on, Rickey?' I think he's calling to congratulate me, but he (says), 'Sixty stolen bases? You ought to be ashamed, Rickey would have 60 at the break,' And then click, he hung up."
-And for the most famous Rickey being Rickey story of them all. I read this in a SI article about 11 years ago and since then John Olreud and Rickey Henderson have attempted to distance themselves from the validity of the story. For legends sake I refuse to believe this story was made up. It's just sounds too much like something Rickey would do.
Early in the 2000 campaign Rickey was waiting for his turn in the batting cage. In an attempt to endear himself to his "new" teammates Rickey approaches Mariners 1st basemen John Olerud. Trying to strike up a conversation, Rickey asks why Olerud practiced the odd habit of wearing his batting helmet while playing the field.
Olerud, probably surprised by the question, politely explains that he had a brain aneurysm as a child and needed the extra protection from batted balls. Rickey Henderson, not noting the incredible coincidence, responds that he had played with a player in Toronto and New York who had the same condition.
Olerud responds, "Yeah Rickey, that was me."
Rickey didn't have time nor a desire to remember ex teammates. Never mind that Rickey happened to live, travel and win a championship with Olerud on previous teams.
August 13, 2011
Todd is a jovial middle aged guy with a quick wit and creative sense of humor. I miss the days of over hearing him at the office saying to client's,
"Sir, I'm sorry I wasn't here on Christmas Day to draft your account," or telling dear old Gladys from Virginia that he loves her following their conversation.
Mr. Totale lends some interesting insight here in regards to Death Row Records and their ultimate demise. Take a look at his excellent work.
Death Row Greatest Hits
Written by Todd Totale
“I held a copy of Death Row Greatest Hits for you.” Brad told me bluntly over the phone. His tone suggested that I had ordered this from the record store he worked for in Iowa City.
The thing was, I hadn’t ordered Death Row Greatest Hits at all.
The record itself was already a few years old, and I had aligned myself with the “East Coast” faction of rap music, or as least as much as a middle-aged white guy from Iowa could.
Sure, I was entertained by many of Death Row’s hits, especially when you heard them played on a loud system in a club.
It was hard not to resist them.
But I wasn’t motivated enough to really seek out their output beyond The Chronic. Snoop seemed more of a character to me, the stoner trash talker who was more of his environment than a legitimate threat.
And Tupac too. With every bit of bravado, I was old enough to remember that he was in the Digital Underground at one point, thereby neutering any bit of gangsta shtick.
Then, things started getting weird within the Death Row camp, and you could watch the artists initiate their mass exodus from the label. You’d hear rumors about the label head, Suge Knight, and you’d chuckle over the visual of Vanilla Ice hanging out a window, ankles held by Death Row thugs until he signed over the rights to “Ice Ice Baby.”
Snoop got arrested for murder. He delivered “Murder Was The Case” on some awards show like he meant it. You could see his stoic demeanor change to a scared man as he pleaded “I’m innocent….I’m innocent” at the end of the song.
Tupac got shot.
And guess who was by his side when the bullets entered?
I remember flying back to Iowa from Arizona after he was murdered. I sat next to a white kid with a huge folder of cds (this was the 90’s), all of it rap music. His jaw opened when I told him that I had walked by the place where Tupac was shot just a few weeks before. It was obvious that this guy had more of an impact on our youth than just some simple ruffian.
This meant the same thing to them as the death of Lennon or Cobain did for me.
And then there was Dre himself, certainly the main contractor of Death Row’s sound, who just walked away from the nonsense completely, leaving the rumblings of Suge’s inner circle to cast him out in the only way they could. I imagined that Dre heard the static of “faggot” and “pussy,” and I also bet that he beefed up his security in preparation for something more than just words.
It’s hard to fathom now, but all of this shit was going down in clear view of everyone. You’d watch MTV News breaks on the hour about these kinds of shenanigans.
Suddenly it all fell apart.
“Meet the new boss,” Pete Townshend said, “Same as the old boss.” And this was true at Death Row.
Before long, Suge was in jail himself.
Other staff members too.
And then Death Row was overtaken by white guys.
Just like before.
Iowa City was about an hour-and-a-half from where I lived at the time. It was a place that I’d frequent maybe once a month to get the collegiate oddity. But my job had placed my travels from the southern most tip of the state to the southern half of the I-80 line, so it wasn’t unusual for me to visit the I.C. at least once a week. The time made perfect fodder for the “I’m gonna stop by a record store” kind, and since Brad’s place was close to the interstate, what the hell.
But I swear to God that I never ordered Death Row Greatest Hits even though he had assured me of its awesomeness. I never debated the statement either, because a legitimate greatest hits compilation of Death Row Record’s best singles would undoubtedly be awesome.
So with that being said, Death Row Greatest Hits does contain every hit the label presented during the label’s incredible rags-to-riches-to-rags story and it is undoubtedly awesome.
Yeah, some of the songs have been tinkered with a bit and a few songs repeat through the 2-disc set as a result, but you could simply hit play on disc one, let the seventeen tracks run through, reach the end and wonder how an hour-long jam like that could be any better.
Side two-although a bit weaker track by track-is still pretty close to perfect, which makes Death Row Greatest Hits a nearly flawless compilation that’s hard to stop once you hit play.
And I can’t think of another label compilation of similar composure that rates as consistently good, something where you can set it and forget it without worrying if a dud is going to affect your audio decorations.
“G Thang,” “Gin & Juice,” “Dear Mama,” it’s all in here. Even the hardcore shit-the kind when it wasn’t embarrassing to say “Ice Cube,” out loud. It’s in there too.
Back to the story: Even though I never asked him to hold a copy of Death Row Greatest Hits, he saved one for me anyway. For nearly a year, he had reminded me that D.R.G.H. had fallen out of print because of all the legal wrangling of the label’s C.E.O., Suge Knight.
I’d always assumed that the release would be a cornerstone to that label’s catalogue. But evidently, they had temporarily let this classic record fall out of print. There was no telling what whitey would end up doing to this label that had its credibility firmly on the streets that they promised to uphold, so yeah, it was entirely believable that this album could have been forgotten, especially if someone else was running its getaway car.
They would have chopped it up into box sets, setting categories for each disc (“No Vaseline” for Disc Beef while “Murder Was The Case” fell with Disc five-o).
They would have added bonus tracks or ‘recently found’ 2Pac rhymes.
They would have removed that awesome family portrait painting from the fold-out cover.
Although I’m sure that the record found its way back into print, thereby ending Brad’s theory of a rare commodity (who knows, comment if you know if this record is worth anything in its original state) while leaving me with an unequaled cornerstone, not just for Death Row, but for any self-respecting record collector looking for square one when it comes to West Coast Rap of the 1990’s.
It’s a bargain even at full price.
WRITTEN BY TODD TOTALE
@Humblebrag is this month's feature twitter feed on The Pete Myers Rules. Essentially the idea behind @Humblebrag is to expose people who unintentionally use their Twitter account in an egotistical manner. Every worthwhile tweeter does it in some fashion.
I found myself humblebragging just last month when, unbeknownst to me, I gave up a Saturday to help construct a children's playground in downtown Iowa City. See, that last sentence was a humblebrag. Thankfully slip ups happen frequently because reading other humblebrag's takes up a good share of my ample free time.
I know I'm completely ripping off this column idea from Grantland so if you're here looking for an original thought come back tomorrow.
Having already pirated the idea, allow me to turn over full credit to young comedian Harris Wittels. @Humblebrag was his idea from what I can find. Wittels previously wrote for The Sarah Silverman Program and currently lends his writing talent to Eastbound and Down along with Grantland.
This is how Harris Wittels defines the art of the humblebrag :
A Humblebrag is basically a specific type of bragging which masks the brag in a faux-humble guise. The false humility allows the offender to boast their "achievements" without any sense of shame or guilt. Unfortunately/fortunately, Humblebragging is very commonly used in our society, and for some reason Twitter seems to be the perfect forum for people to do it.
In lieu of the upcoming College Football season I'll be maintaining a Top 10 poll all year of the best humblebrag's. New entries must best previous humblebraggers to break into the prestigious Top 10. This stuff is just too funny for me not to bite the idea. Do yourself a favor and immediately follow @Humblebrag.
Top 10 Coach's Poll (first place votes in parenthesis)
#1. (51) Guy asks for an autograph on break, I oblige and proceed to get marker on my hand... #whenwillitend @JasonMercier
A near unanimous #1 in the preseason poll is this gem by "professional poker player" Jason Mercier. The gall of these poker fans! One, to ask for a signature while I'm taking a break from playing cards and two, for me to get ink on my precious hands. How will I ever dig myself out of this one?
#2. (3) I feel bad for giving out my business card in church, but hey - they asked. @TroyEaves
You must appreciate the humblegragging talent of one @TroyEaves. He doesn't mean to self promote in a religious setting, but the demand is just so high he can't help it.
#3. (1) Great, bentley has flat tire, now taking a cab : ( second problem with that car this week! @LilyMorrow21
Conference foes will have a hard time knocking @LilyMorrow21 from the top of the rankings this season. Wife of Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow (career ERA 4.28), Lily just can't catch a break. She's been forced to ride in an alien device known as a "cab" and refers to her $200,000 Bentley as "that car". How some people are able to go on with their lives is a mystery.
#4. (1) The awkward feeling when you're in the dentist chair watching tele and you see yourself pop up on the screen. #awkward @greggculkin
Nope. Never felt that one myself @greggculkin. How about the awkward feeling when you realize you don't have enough money to cover the co-pay? That's more like it!
#5. Cant't believe I am in the gym on my holidays...Whats wrong with me??... @TipsarevicJanko
Chris Farley fans will recognize the similarity between this remark and Farley's famous, "You know where the weight room is?" line in Tommy Boy.
#6. Im humble because I've been through darkness that most wouldn't be able to handle. I've felt things that hearts shouldn't feel. That's why. @XavierSilas
Ah @XavierSilas! The claim of humility followed by a detailed explanation of why you're humble. Even though it didn't crack my Top 5, this tweet should rest beside the picture of humblebrag in the dictionary.
#7. did I just get offered a book deal? I'm too tired to comprehend @MsGinnis
So @MsGinnis has caught the break of a lifetime. The chance every creative person dreams of. Her exhaustion level is too high for her to comprehend the offer right now. It is not high enough, however, to prevent her from sharing her dilemma with the public.
#8. Concorde limo in NY f***ed up my airport pick up. Again @AlecBaldwin
Rich people complaining about being inconvenienced by luxury transportation are my favorite. I would bet Alec hasn't taken the CTA in a while. Concorde Limousine charges these rates by the way. A trip from Manhattan to Kennedy Airport only $79? Sign me up!
#9. Maids leave my house so I can go workout!!! #Takingforever @RobJanof
If you want to follow a dark horse this season I'd recommend @RobJanof's preceding masterpiece. Janof is famous for his role at Apple Computer where he is credited with designing the company logo. He's obviously earned the privilege of having other people clean his house. Just don't take too long. Rob has things to do! I know I hate it when the maids won't leave my house. I never get in my cardio!
(10)Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge is officially the loudest first class lounge on the planet. A cacophony of babies, dishes and cell phones. @mrsvsouth
Babies, dishes and cell phones!?!? At a public lounge, albeit a 1st class lounge? The gall of these people making noise and such. I know of dozens of other airport lounges that remain completely silent. My business is going elsewhere.
The lounge in question seems like a nice enough spot. It only costs $45 to access the ability to purchase further comforts. A price not worth paying for some.
Others receiving votes :
An uncomfortably large number of people seem to be googling my name today. Was it something I said? @urbanofile
I forget. What airport do u fly into to get to Maui? @Sophiedee
The hotel room is $800+ per night and they charge 50 cents per minute for Internet! Fuck me. @DanaBrenetti
August 12, 2011
CHICAGO- When it came to the Finals MVP, no one bothered polling George Karl.
"Dennis Rodman won them two basketball games Game 2 and tonight," said the Sonics coach. "Dennis Rodman was the difference. We controlled Michael Jordan for the most part in this series. But Rodman got them the extra possessions and extra opportunities. And rebounding was the fundamental thing they did which kil led us."
Dennis Rodman stuck the knife in. He had 11 offensive boards, again tying the Finals mark and getting one less than the entire Sonics' team. He held Shawn Kemp to 18 points. The only place Rodman did not succeed was on the MVP ballots. But then again, Michael Jordan usually wins those, as he did last night,
"I thought Dennis did everything to deserve the MVP," said Luc Longley. "He did everything to help us win. Not just in the Finals, but through the whole playoffs. Without him, there's no doubt we wouldn't have won."
So what now for Rodman? He's a free agent July 1.
"The way I look at it, I'll be coming back here," he said. "But first, two other big things have to be taken care of. They've got to worry about Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. If I'm here, great. If not, I'll go somewhere else, I guess."
"A lot of people thought that I would come in and tear this organization up," he said. "One thing they can't take away from me is the fact that I'm a competitor, a fighter and I go out there and work my butt off every night. I had no doubts I could come in here and do what I had to do."
If the Bulls had any, they were eliminated throughout the season.
"When he did his head-butt, I told Dennis, 'One more incident like that and you're gonna have to deal with me, never mind the league,' " said Bulls VP Jerry Krause.
"But let me tell you: Except for that one thing, he did everything we asked. He was never late to practice."
At one point in one of their conversations, Rodman even told Krause he thought he was a "nice guy."
"I told Dennis, 'See me at the end of the season and you'll see just how nice I can be,' " said Krause.
Sounds like there's a contract in the offing. But first, Rodman had to go out and celebrate. How did he plan on doing it?
"You ought to come and find out,' he said, heading for the United Center door.
August 11, 2011
August 7, 2011
"Most gifted athlete ever to touch a football field. Period." -Michael Irvin
August 3, 2011
Coralville Police Shutdown Several Children's Lemonade StandsAugust 2, 2011
CORALVILLE, Iowa -- Police in Coralville shut down at least three lemonade stands run by children over RAGBRAI weekend. According to Dustin Krutsinger, police shut down his four-year-old daughters stand after just 30 minutes. Krutsinger said the officer told his wife, “this isn’t the first time I’ve had to do this.”
Krutsinger said his daughter was selling lemonade for 25 cents a glass, and had made less than $5. According to the city of Coralville, 4-year-old Abigail Krutsinger was in violation of a two day ordinance, which required all vendors to have permits when RAGBRAI rolled into town.
Josh Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the ordinance was passed to protect riders from possible health risks. Similar ordinances have been adopted in other host towns for years, he said. Now Schamberger said he fears that the work of 500 volunteers may be forgotten, and lemonade stand shut downs will be remembered.
Krutsinger said he understands why the city drew the line, but thinks they took it too far.
“If the line is drawn to the point where a four-year-old eight blocks away can’t sell a couple glasses of lemonade for 25 cents, than I think the line has been drawn at the wrong spot,” Krutsinger said.
A mother of six also said her kids had their lemonade stand on 18th Avenue shut down after just 20 minutes.
Bobbie Nelson said she laughed when a police officer told her that a permit to sell lemonade would cost $400.
"The kids were devastated," Nelson said. "They just cried and didn't understand why."
Nelson said her 4-year-old and 6-year-old sons were the driving force behind the stand.
She said they stayed up late to work on signs to advertise, and that they "had a hard time sleeping" the night before.
"They didn't know what was going on, they just thought their signs weren't good enough," Nelson said.
Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth said the city was only trying regulate hundreds of vendors in order to stay up to code with the county health department.
"The question is who do you enforce it against, and who do you not?" said Hayworth.
A phone call to Coralville Police Cheif Barry Bedford wasn't immediately returned Tuesday.
Mitch Gross, a member of the Coralville City Council, said he believes the city will learn a lesson from this. Gross said he expects future ordinances to apply only for vendors who set out to "make a profit."
"It was never our intent to shut down kid's lemonade stands," Gross said. "We never really thought about it."
August 2, 2011
How do you measure an offensive lineman's value in numbers? A center doesn't pile up measurable statistics that help you win your fantasy league. A good lineman simply shows up Sunday after Sunday and makes his start. The good one's do it consistently over a long period of time. Consistency is what Olin Kreutz brought to the Chicago Bears during his 13 years in blue and orange.
Kruetz has been around since the last NBA lockout. There are only 10 players still active in the NFL (9 now that Randy Moss retired) who were drafted ahead of Olin Kreutz. We picked him the same year Wannstedt whiffed on Curtis Enis. Excuse me, but that was a long freakin time ago. I dare say that Kreutz has been vastly under appreciated since he assumed the starting role in 1999.
Once he wrestled the center position away from Casey Weggeman, Olin never gave it back. Kreutz has started every single game the Bears played (sans one) since 2001. Only missed one game in 10 years. That's consistency, that's Olin Kreutz.
Olin captained the Beloved through a reasonably successful era. A NFC title, a Super Bowl, four division titles and two 13-3 seasons all came under Olin's command.
Now we bid him farewell. He's off to finish his career somewhere other than Chicago. Once again Bears management was able to downgrade at a position where an upgrade was desperately needed.
They had obvious problems making plays last year. The solution? Trade one of their few playmakers (Greg Olsen) for a 3rd round pick they're sure to make a bad decision with next year.
They had glaring problems on the offensive line all year. The solution? Let their most consistent, veteran interior lineman walk away for nothing.
The engine is running at Halas Hall, there's just no one behind the wheel.
Thanks for 13 great years Mr. Kreutz!