Friday, June 20, 2008

Candlesticks, canned Willie, Crenshaw and the rest of the Friday Five

Now that every baseball writer in the country has vented his spleen over the way the Mets fired Willie Randolph, can we move on?

Seriously, it’s like they were having a contest to out-outrage each other. And the main beefs didn’t have to do with whether Willie should have been booted. No. Their undies were in a bunch over the time of night and the distance from home.

Excuse me, sportswriters. Can you please tell me what is the acceptable time of day and distance from home to fire a manager?

I can deduce from the rantings that 3 a.m. East Coast time and 3,000 miles from New York is bad. So are we talking noon in Denver? Or 2 p.m. at a Sonic Burger in North Carolina? Maybe 10 a.m. at the White Castle near the Sunrise Mall?

Seriously, somebody out there deliver the guidelines because Mike Greenberg of ESPN radio is still worked up.

Two other managers got canned this week, but apparently the time and place of those firings met with the approval of the media, since spleens were left unvented.

Despite being distracted by the dismissal and the dissing, I am able to deliver a Deezo Friday Five in a relatively timely fashion.

1) So far, I like the Jerry Manuel era. He already has called Jose Reyes “she” because of his tantrum and said he’s like a “gangsta” threatening to “cut” players who don’t behave.

That means in two days, he’s delivered two interesting quotes, which is two more than what we heard from Willie during his 3.5 years on the job.

2) This week marks the 20th anniversary of “Bull Durham,” which, when you think about it, is a dumb title for a great movie. It’s like saying “Met New York” or “Empire Evil.” interviewed director Ron Shelton about his favorite scene.

“Like most of the general public, I liked the meeting on the mound because I had to fight to keep it in the movie,” he said. “The studio kept saying the scene did not advance the plot. I said: 'There is no plot. It doesn't matter.' When we screened it for audiences, it was always the audience's favorite scene.”

Here’s the dialog:

(Larry jogs out to the mound to break up a players' conference)

Larry: Excuse me, but what the hell's going on out here?

Crash: Well, Nuke's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man's here. We need a live... is it a live rooster?

(Jose nods)

Crash: We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present.

Crash: Is that about right? [the players nod] We're dealing with a lot of shit.

Larry: Okay, well, uh... candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let's get two! Go get 'em.

Brilliant! But I would have asked him about the title.

3) Sidewalk chalk. My daughter likes rules. She’s destined to be a dorm R.A., if not the person overseeing the R.A. program, running it with an iron fist.

She was understandably outraged when someone in our neighborhood decided to walk their dog and allowed them to make a No. 2 deposit on our grass without scooping it up.

She proceeded to take a break from drawing otters on my driveway to offer on the sidewalk what we shall call “constructive criticism” to dog walkers, in graphic detail.

And the big block party is this weekend, when most of the neighborhood will be setting their folding chairs near that sidewalk.

Could be worse. There were no drawings of dead baby barn swallows. But we now have new rules about acceptable uses of sidewalk chalk.

4) My favorite part of the block party is the “extreme” bocce game.

The equipment is the same, but this isn’t the kind of thing you see in the parks with old guys gently rolling balls on small, flat courts.

In those games, someone rolls a small white ball called a jack. Then players roll larger balls at it, getting points for coming close to the jack.

In extreme bocce, you throw the jack overhand in any direction, with the entire neighborhood serving as the court. Backyards, front yards, across streets — it’s all in play. Someone’s flowerbed usually gets a little mussed up, but as long as nobody breaks a window, it’s all good. We praise each other for our difficult placements and yell "extreme!" whenever someone's petitunas are endangered.

5) This week’s Hidden iPod Gem harkens back to my days as a desk aide in the Nassau Community College Student Union.

Typically, my duties including wearing a gray smock-like shirt, answering an occasional question and helping with whatever events were scheduled for that evening. Some day I’ll tell you the story about helping Dr. Ruth with her projector.

But one fun part was being around when bands came in for their soundchecks. Marshall Crenshaw was in during his “Field Day” tour, warmed up by playing “Someday, Someway,” which was neat, and “Whenever You’re on My Mind,” which was and is one of my favorite songs.

Crenshaw fans bemoan the “Field Day” mix, saying the drums are too high, vocal too low and everything else too muddy. That may be. But I still love “Whenever...”

Here's a clip of him singing it recently in a place that looks like the Student Ballroom look like a career highpoint.


Rickey Henderson said...

Good call on the candlesticks line--it's one of Rickey's favorite movie quotes.

And yes, you're spot on about the media hysteria over Willie's firing (which Rickey admittidely played into upon hearing the news). Look, it's over and finally done with, let's move on, because 5 games back in the NL East aint all that bad...

RG PetComm said...

You should be thankful for dog walkers.
Dog walkers and dogs are the most reliable and inexpensive security resource in society. With their daily presence in our parks and on our nature trails, they are the eyes and ears of the community, frequently the first to discover crime and consistently a deterrent to it. We should be encouraging the presence of dog walkers and their dogs rather than implementing public policies that restrict and prohibit them.


John Murray said...

Dexter will only go on the lawns of the more annoying people in my community. then scurries away in the dark of night snickering over his small brown shoulder like Muttley...