Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

12 September 2008

The Mets are not only losers, but they're also cheaters

Or at least that's what I thought, strike that -- knew, after reading a quote from J Roll in this week's Sports Illustrated. Nestled deep in a piece about the resurgence of effective base stealing, it goes a little something like this...

To combat Henderson, pitchers developed new routines. They'd hold the ball or step off or—well, let's let Rickey tell it. "There was the back step, the back kick, the fake throw," says Henderson, rattling them off. "They made that stuff up when I came in the league. They were like, We got to stop that crazy brother."
Another, more subtle anti-Rickey tactic was for the home team to water down the dirt around first base so that he couldn't get a good jump. Henderson responded like a bored Labrador, digging holes until he found purchase again (and irritating many a first baseman in the process). It's a strategy that lives on. According to Rollins, a couple of teams still do this, primarily the Braves. Says Rollins, "New York used to, but then they got Jose Reyes and suddenly, wouldn't you know it, it stopped."

Speaking of thievery, it seems as if Floyd "I said I retired, but I'll be back next year" Mayweather is about $7 million lighter in jewelry weight.

This week's Rolling Stone makes it clear why Russell Brand, who did a servicable job hosting the VMAs, will never be all that well received in the hearland.

Photo from The Sun
(Full story not online; just this excerpt):

RS: You've had a fraught history with MTV. When you worked for the network in the U.K., you were fired for showing up to work dressed as Osama bin Laden -- on September 12, 2001. What were you thinking?
RB: I was taking loads of crack and heroin. And I was a little bit excited because I'd been talking about Osama bin Laden for ages before that, right? So it was kind of like when a band breaks that you've liked for ages. I was like, 'I told you this guy was going to be big!' Still, what I did was deeply regrettable. I mean no disrespect to the thousands who lost their lives in that terrible tragedy. It was a very, very stupid thing to have done.

Sure was.

And finally, while I don't listen to DMB all that much anymore -- the pukey kids at the shows proved to be my first "you're getting old" moment, hence driving me toward other tunes -- it was saddening to learn that saxophonist LeRoi Moore passed away last month at 46, to very, very little fanfare.

Photo from Rolling Stone

RIP, LeRoi.


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