Throwing Tomatoes: Rapping and Unwrapping

Kevin PaulSenior Analyst IJune 24, 2008

That’s right friends, it’s time to hurl some more tomatoes.  Don’t worry, this batch is safe. 

While I go and unwrap a package of these magical red fruits, let me start by preparing to send some in the direction of a particular sports icon, who also has a part-time gig as a rapper.  C’mon, you know who I’m talking about. 

Let’s get this thing started—where do you direct your tomatoes this week?  

Throwing Tomatoes – Volume VII  

Top of the Vine This Week:  

Shaquille O’Neal 

…for giving the media something to chew up and spit out for a month.

Per O’Neal during a freestyle rap in a night club the other night, “You know how I be, last week Kobe couldn’t do without me.”    What would have been more fitting to say?  This…”You know how I be, recent months the Suns couldn’t win with me.  You know my game’s overripe, I choose to rap instead of work from the charity stripe”.  Hey, give me a break, I was just freestylin’.  All in all, I shouldn’t complain.  This performance was a ton better than any of his movies.


 Los Angeles Lakers 

…for draining the life out of what was an NBA Finals filled with “mega-hype”.

It was the Lakers and Celtics in the NBA Finals for the first time in over two decades.  It was supposed to be a great series.  It was supposed to live up to the hype.  It flat out didn’t.  Kudos to the C’s though—they were clearly the better team this time around.


Coco Crisp 

…for not just charging the mound against James Shields and the Rays days ago, but recently thinking his suspension should be reduced to less than seven games.

Rays manager Joe Maddon probably deserves a tomato here too.  Still, Crisp should have known Tampa was going to throw at him.  He should have kept his cool and not charged the mound. 

Honestly, I also have to give him a gold star for his dodging of the original punch by James Shields.  That was a “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out” type of dodging maneuver right there.  I bet the ensuing dogpile didn’t feel too great, though.


Pacman Jones 

…for thinking that changing his name will officially change his image.

Sorry Pacman—or Adam, is it? I guess I should think about giving you a “gold star” for trying.  Still, I just can’t do it.  Leave your name alone—just change yourself.  Maybe I’m the kind of guy that needs to see results first.


Johan Santana 

…for giving up a grand slam to an AL pitcher.

That’s right, Felix Hernandez hit a granny off of Santana, the first time an AL pitcher had done so in nearly four decades.  What’s the phrase I’m looking for?  I believe it’s “even a blind squirrel finds a nut some day.”  Sorry, King Felix—but hey, take care of that ankle.


Baseball Players Using Viagra  

…as a performance enhancer.

I saw this report a few weeks ago via Fox Sports.  Still, this story has more than four hours of lasting time (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).  Therefore, I had to mention it here.  Hmm...I guess the players are going to need larger cups.


The Big Brown Saga 

…for not disappearing.

First off, this was the most disappointing Triple Crown race in years, if you ask me.  Now, a report on ESPN is stating that a freelance photographer submitted closeups of a loose shoe on Big Brown’s right hind hoof. 

However, don’t go and try and question the photographer’s “cred,” as Rick Dutrow apparently confirmed this.  Still, the Big Brown story is done.  Let’s move on to the next horse which only wins the first two legs of the Triple Crown.


Tiger Woods 

…for making the wrong decision regarding the U.S. Open.

I know Tiger is competitive.  I know how much he loves to play—and more so, how much he loves to win.  I know he wants Jack’s record.  I know he wanted that U.S. Open. 

Still, he’s no superhero—even if he managed to win at Torrey Pines while basically playing on one leg. 

Think of it this way, if he sacrifices the U.S. Open to heal more, he then has the British, PGA, and Ryder Cup.  That’s more opportunities for big victories.  Bad move Tiger.


Don Imus 

…for being Don Imus.

Yes, a race related comment happened again, this time involving Pacman Jones (wait, wait, I remember—Adam Jones).  Seriously, this guy should just write up an excuse and apology before every show.  Face it, “Donny Boy”—you’re under a microscope and will be for life.  Get used to it.


Honorary Tomato Throwers of the Week

Because those who found success earn a chance to sling one at their opposition:  

Rocco Mediate – at Johnny Miller for making those ridiculous comments during the U.S. Open 

Chicago Cubs – at their south side neighbors, who they recently swept out of Chi-town 

Baltimore Orioles – at their critics who said they would be lucky to win 50 games. 

Kobe Bryant – at those who said he would never get back to the Finals again without Shaq   

This has been “Throwing Tomatoes”… but don’t worry, these weren’t laced with salmonella.