Wednesday, November 08, 2006
"Pick up the phone, Rickey. It's me: You."
Reason 7: He'll give the best interviews
On his album, "Shut Up You Fucking Baby," comedian David Cross said, "If you've ever seen Rickey Henderson interviewed, it's the best. It's sweet, it's sweet glorious music. It's like he's communicating secretly to an intergalactic leader from another space federation."
To most people, this statement would appear to be a gross exaggeration. But to anyone who's ever had the good fortune to hear Rickey speak, it is 100% truth. Rickey Henderson's interviews are gold. He is a master in the art of referring to oneself in the third person. And with Rickey, it is always entertaining because he doesn't use it as a gimmick or to be funny. It's indeed like he exists on a different plane than the rest of humankind.
The 2006 Mets were a team that fans felt good about rooting for because they played hard, played smart and appeared to be a group of genuinely good people. But for the most part, postgame interviews got to be a drag, with players rotating through their short lists of appropriate reponses like, "There's a lot of baseball to be played," or "One game at a time." These are good things for fans to hear and players to say especially if they mean it, yet in August, after hearing it for the umpteenth time, it tends to get old and scripted.
However, when a player like Rickey steps up to the mic, all bets are off. Minds are blown. He says things no one in baseball has ever thought to say. When questioned about his bizarre interview style, Rickey once responded:
"Listen: People are always saying, 'Rickey says Rickey.' But it's been blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I'm ticked off, saying, 'Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?' They say, 'Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don't you just say, 'I?' But I never did. I always said, 'Rickey,' and it become something for people to joke about."
When you've got a guy like that on your team, you've got something special. With the Mets constantly battling the Yankees for their share of front-page media exposure, having Rickey around can only help. His interviews alone could have people talking about the Mets for a long time, as well as attract new fans who have never heard Rickey speak before.