Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Return of Simon, Randy, And That Other Judge

Coming in new for 2009 (this is where Flava Flav says, "Yeeeeeah, boyyeeeeee"), I'm going with the same general format as before, but with a few minor changes to build the all-important brand. Generally, we'll have some sort of pop culture analysis, some sort of rant or monologue, and then some sort of special feature.

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • We all secretly hate and love American Idol, right? It kind of sucks but we're hanging on every moment. We care that it sucks. It's cheesy as hell, but, for instance, how great was that home video at the beginning of the screaming girls? So, we begin another year with a younger, hotter judge ready to kick Paula the hell out.
    • We do have a lot to look forwards to, with an extended Hollywood round. I think that's actually the best part of the show, because the (relative) cream rises to the top and you get to know the finalists, so they're not just springing them on you randomly like they did with Catherine McPhee or David Cook. Plus, we know we're not seeing everything in these first few shows (so there's not much to comment on for right now).
  • Random Hatred And/Or Love:
    • I fully endorse the National Safety Council's push to ban cell phone use entirely while driving. No phone, no hands-free, just do it like a band-aid, one motion -- right off! If it's really as or more dangerous to use a phone in any way as it is to drive drunk, we just shouldn't be doing it. I know it may be inconvenient, but I think we can make do somehow. I use the cell-phone a lot while I'm driving and I think I'm a great driver (while I'm in the United States) but I'm willing to give it up to make the roads safer. It's just a matter of changing our mindset to where we'd no sooner make a call than get behind the wheel after three beers. It's possible and it might even help our stress levels as well.
  • The Mini-Random Interview: Tony Gwynn:
    • With Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice having been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, we turned to a recent Hall of Fame inductee for his thoughts on the Hall.
    • Random Babbles: Mr. Gwynn, it really is a pleasure to welcome such a great player. A guy who stayed with one team his whole career and who hit like nobody since Ted Williams. Welcome.
    • Tony Gwynn: Thanks, it's great to be here.
    • RB: So, Rickey was a no-brainer, right? Greatest leadoff hitter ever. But Jim Rice, who was a very good power hitter and a former MVP, had to wait fifteen years to get in. Amazing that the voters came through for him.
    • TG: You know, I played with Rickey Henderson on the Padres twice, once in 1996 and once in 2001. He was a crazy dude. I remember him in Spring Training in 2001. It was March 14. I woke up at 7 A.M. and grabbed a waffle with some canteloupe and a protein shake for breakfast. At 10:32AM, during some time when we were just shagging flies, Rickey walked over to me and said, "Hey, Rickey remembers playing with a guy just like you around five years ago. Here in San Diego, chubby dude, talked like he was white. Rickey thought he was the greatest hitter Rickey had ever seen."
    • RB: Nice. Any Jim Rice stories?
    • TG: No, he was with Boston his whole career. Different league and no interleague back then. Only played the American League once during my career, in 1984, when Detroit beat us in the World Series.
    • RB: Yeah, well Rice is sort of questionable anyway. Surly guy, probably lowers the bar a little for future sluggers. He definitely didn't do anything as well as Henderson stole bases.
    • TG: Hey, I'll tell you what. Did you know I stole fifty-six bases back in 1987? I had been doing a lot of speed training during the offseason. My routine was that I would wake up at 7 A.M. I'd grab a breakfast of grapefruit, pancakes, and sausage. I'd eat until 7:45 A.M., reading the newspaper. Take a shower, shave, and around 8:13 A.M., I'd be ready to go lift some weights. Now, at that point, I was focusing on my legs, since I knew that I like to choke up on the bat to get hits and therefore wouldn't focus much on power. I had watched a lot of videotapes -- shoot, my wife almost left me because I watch videotape during her birthday and our anniversary -- and seen that pitchers were disrespecting me, even though I had stolen thirty-seven bases the year before.
    • RB: Great, thank you for your time.
    • TG: No, wait, I'm not done.
    • RB: This is supposed to be a mini-interview --
    • TG: So, promptly at 10 A.M., I'd be done with a round of weights and ready to do some sprints. I'd go ten lengths of a football field and then do twenty shuttle runs to help build some explosiveness. This really helped, for instance, on June 4, 1987. We were playing a game at Montreal. We threw out Dave Dravecky and they answered with Floyd Youmans. I went four for five in that one with a double. I remember there were something like 13,677 people in the crowd to see it. I was fast as a devil, I tell you. In the seventh, I got an infield single. I noticed that their catcher, Mike Fitzgerald, wasn't really concerned with me even though the Expos only had a one-run lead. So -- and the game was only two hour and forty-two minutes, so this must have been an hour and forty minutes in -- I get a nice lead and steal second. Kruk walks behind me and we -- I mean, even Kruk could steal on Youmans and Fitzgerald -- pull off a double steal and I grab third. Benny Santiago stranded me there, but that was two stolen bases off of an infield hit. Not bad. And that wasn't even the only time I had two stolen bases in a game that year! Let me tell you about June 20... (Gwynn proceeds to go on as I walk away, shaking my head.)

1 comment:

Shtetl Fabulous said...

I love you but until radio improves significantly, I fully support the rampant use of cell phones while driving. It's when I catch up on all my calls. Though I do use a Bluetooth because it's a primary offense now in New Jersey.