Evil Rick Rizzs
For all the grief people give Rick Rizzs, you have to give the Mariner broadcaster one thing: he’s a relentless optimist. Anyone who can find the bright side of a Yankee sweep makes Norman Vincent Peale look like the dead guy from Joy Division, and I respect that.
I find it hard to give Rizzs a hard time because he seems so unflappably affable. I don’t know how he does it. Doesn’t everyone have a dark side?
Well, when I went to the game the other night, I was surprised to see a familiar looking man sitting next to me. He had wild, distinctive eyebrows that sloped downward, a supple voice that rumbled dramatically and just the hint of a brimstone flash behind his eyes.
“Say, friends,” he offered, even though I was the only one around, “Bret Boone might not have skills he once had, but you know what? He’s not trying as hard, either.”
I watched the rest of the game with Evil Rick Rizzs.
Whether Evil Rick is a refugee from some parallel universe where up is down and Ichiro can’t hit, I don’t know. Perhaps he is a ghostly doppelganger, haunting Safeco Field in search of his amiable terrestrial double; perhaps he is a Sybil-esque independent persona. Or perhaps he is the physical manifestation of an overactive imagination.
Whatever he is, I had to ask him to write us a post.
After a spirited negotiation — Evil Rick asked for 12 fresh souls, but I talked him down to a case of Billy Beer, a lock of Bud Selig’s “hair” and Pete Rose’s autograph — we reached an accord. This is what he turned in:
Well, good evening, friends, Evil Rick Rizzs with you tonight. My good counterpart is off at the library with Dr. Jekkyl, or volunteering at the Dorian Gray Soup Kitchen or something. Useless hippie.
You know, folks, when Jerry or whatever his name is asked me to write this, I was thrilled. No, not because of any opportunity to reach dedicated fans. I hate the Internet and everything on it. But thanks to the fifth-best blogger on this site, I have a forum for a few things I’d like to tell you about myself.
Like how, before Ryan Franklin pitches, I like to remind him that surrendering flyouts costs the “K’s for Kids” program financial support. So he is effectively stealing money from children in need.
He sometimes cries.
Then I just point at the tears, say “that is your MAGNOLIA MOMENT!” and cackle like a vampire.
Say, friends, whenever the Junior Sportscaster Inning rolls around, I bring a puppy into the booth. Then, I kick that puppy. Hard. Because I hate children and puppies, and because the puppy’s anguished yelp will hold more meaning than any exchange with Little Billy.
“Billy,” I’ll say through clenched teeth, rooting for the Mariners to make outs in a blessed hurry, “how are you doing today, pal?” “Good,” he’ll say. “Billy,” I want to tell him, “do you know what ‘monosyllabic’ means, buddy?”
But then I remember that every moment of air that kid fills is a moment that Henderson or Valle can’t speak. This brings an evil grin to my evil, evil face.
Ah, now listen that whistle. The sound of that locomotive outside Safeco Field reminds me of how much I would like to run over Dave Valle with a train.
Here are some tips for all you Little Leaguers out there: quit now, before your dreams fail. Also, kids, when mom or dad get a speeding ticket, wait until the officer has moved on and your parent is seething with rage. Then, point at the dollar figure and ask: “Are these the happy totals?”
After seeing Bill Buckner at the park last night, I removed a delicious Washington apple from my lunch bag and made as if to offer him a bite. “Hey Bill,” I said, flipping him a friendly wave. He smiled.
Then I rolled the apple between his legs, gave him the cackle, and hid behind Evil Dave Henderson.
Speaking of Evil Dave, after we stage a hostile, possibly armed takeover of the broadcast booth, I will implement the following rules: first, mention any “hitting streak” before it reaches five games, go to jail. No exceptions. Second, after any praise of Willie Bloomquist, the broadcaster is required to pause two full seconds, then say: “Of course you realize that, with those farcical comments, I am just mocking you.”
My fellow broadcasters will learn. Oh, they will learn. Turkey vultures will feast on the bones of my enemi …
Oh, all in good time. So, when do I get paid for this?