Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rickey Fly Right

I was extremely pleased that Jim Ed Rice finally made it to the Hall of Fame, but I took particular pleasure in also seeing Rickey Henderson, a true one-of-a-kind ballplayer, making it unarguably to the hallowed Hall. Anyone who has followed baseball closely knows that Rickey was also a one-of-a-kind character, and the hope was he would deliver a left field induction speech, but, alas it didn’t happen. Somehow Rickey flew right. What follows is what Rickey Henderson’s Hall of Fame speech shoulda sounded like:

As soon as I hit the bigs I knew I’d end up here, cuz I knew from the gitgo, just looking around and seeing what I could do and how I could do it, that I had to be one of the greatest. Rickey always believed that, and Rickey made that happen, and Rickey made sure all them others knew it too. Maury Wills, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Redass Ty Cobb, they had nothin’ on me, I was stronger, faster, and had balls twice as big as any of ‘em. Rickey don’t care much about speeches or speakin’, cuz Rickey was never about that anyways.Rickey never played that shit. Rickey’s gotta say what Rickey wants to say. Rickey played hard, and Rickey was a hard man hisself. Sure I played for my home town team the A’s and for that fat-ass redneck Charlie O, but I never really gave two shits—Rickey was in it for the dough, Rickey was in it for the show. Pay me enough, and I played it all out. Fans loved to watch Reggie Jackson, but all that bigheaded show dog could do was hit the ball into the cow patches. Rickey angled walks, Rickey banged doubles, Rickey stroked the long ball, Rickey poked it the opposite way, Rickey look right down all them pitcher's beady eyes. Rickey scored all sorts of runs, and then scored some more, and Rickey could steal a base whenever he set out to. Rickey do what Rickey had to do. I looked fine doin’ it too. I just didn’t catch a ball, first I caught up to it and then I snatched it down. Satchel Page he had the style. Baseball easy, it don’t change, you gotta bring the style to it.

Billy Martin was a racist mofo, but he dug the Rickey style, and he knew I like to shove it down the other guys throats just like him so most of the time he forgot I was just another black bastard. Billy told me to stick it to ‘em, fuck the score, then stick it to ’em some more. Billy get all drunk at night after the game and start motherfuckin everybuddy, but he never tried to knock me down, he knew that Rickey just too hard to try and come with any of that drunkass tough guy shit. I never studied no pitchers, I just check out the pitchin’ at the moment. I play ball with the ball. Dug in, squared off, and beat the shit outta the ball when I could, or dumped a bunt up their slow-mo butts. Had a lot of teammates but never gave a shit about their names, their kids, their mammas. Rickey just all out determined to swipe another bag or dance across home plate, all of it resultin’ in bringing more bacon home. Rickey never really had much taste for home-home, cept for the cookin’, just passed through between changing up my uni. That’s important shit too, the uni. Gotta look right, whatever goddamn color they put on it, gotta fit right, let the muscles get breathin’ and streamline the dirtflyin’. Rickey knew how to fly in that dirt and Rickey went for the bag like he was trying to grab a c-note. All them skinny-ass latin boys and pasty white flat-ass infielders didn’t want go near what Rickey was bringin’. Most catchers couldn’t beat me to the bag if even if they had a stomach full of turnips and beets. Rickey just flyed right past ‘em.

I listen to some of the bullshit these Hall of Fame fellas behind me throw around, and they make it out that playin’ ball is some kinda science thing. Rickey played it simple---put me right up in that leadoff spot and I’ll make it happen. Baseball ain't about head scratchin'. The game make perfect sense with your brain turned off. Start the game out all starched and purified, and Rickey turn up the dirt and color up that uni, work those muscles and pound that plate, and catch everything under the sun in between ups, just for the kicks. Rickey stole the most bases ever, that’s since they started messing with baseball, no one gonna fly any harder and touch that, and no one gonna throw me out even today. If anyone still smart enough to sign me up tomorrow Rickey gonna get right out there and grab some steals just to start out, ain’t no catchers today that could touch me. Rickey score some runs today too, cuz Rickey know how to get on base, and no matter when they playin’ ball, that’s all that the whole damn thing comes down to. And getting paid right too. When you get right down to it that’s a stat that oughta matter just as much as anything else when it comes to the goddamned Hall of Fame. Gotta get paid to do it another day. The more the pay, the faster the flyin', the higher the style, the greater the greatness. Rickey didn't play that other shit, Rickey just played the game easy but all the time hard.

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