July 12, 2007

Rickey Being Rickey

In the Spirit of Rickey Henderson joining the Mets coaching staff, here are a couple of funny incidents involving Rickey:

He is well known for his malapropisms, being an illeist (for example, calling Padres GM Kevin Towers to inquire about a contract and leaving a message starting "this is Rickey, calling on behalf of Rickey."), and for talking to himself at length when he is up to bat. He has been known to speak to his bats, asking them which one has the next hit inside them. In 2003, he discussed his unusual habit, saying, "People are always saying, 'Rickey says Rickey.' But it's been blown way out of proportion. I say it when I don't do what I need to be doing. I use it to remind myself, like, `Rickey, what you doing, you stupid....' I'm just scolding myself."

In 2001, he described a long single this way: "I hit it out, but it didn't go out." Another time, Tony Gwynn offered a seat to Rickey on the team bus, saying that Henderson had tenure. To which Rickey replied, "Ten years? What are you talking about? Rickey got 16, 17 years."Another story occurred while Henderson was playing for the Oakland A's. Team bookkeepers could not account for a $1 million discrepancy in their finances. The mysterious figure was eventually traced to Henderson, who had received the sum as a signing bonus. Instead of cashing the check, he had it framed, and it still hung on his wall.

One widely reported story, however, is by all accounts a fabrication. Supposedly while playing for Seattle in 2000, Henderson went up to John Olerud, and remarked on Olerud's practice of wearing a batting helmet out on the field, noting that "Rickey used to have a teammate in Toronto who did the same thing." To which Olerud was said to have replied, "That was me." The two men had also been together the previous season, with the 1999 New York Mets.

Source: Wikipedia

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