Operation Phil Collins

Happy Friday!

Today’s content may be the proudest I’ve ever been about anything ever written on this blog. Which, as you probably know, isn’t really saying much, but keep reading.

I take pride in a lot of things, which can be a good and bad thing. Some of my recent brainchildren include several “This is TinCaps Baseball” spots and a promotion for “Manly Monday” featuring Ric Flair’s theme song which I thought would never be equaled. This week may have been my greatest accomplishment in recent memory.

On Wednesday, there was a VIP luncheon in the Suite Level Lounge at Parkview Field. To illustrate how high-class this event was, Brent Harring was wearing a suit. To further illustrate how high-class this event was, I’ll mention that I was not invited. Clearly the clientele was top-notch. Unfortunately for everyone, the luncheon happened to be right outside my office. After it was over, Allan Wertheimer did was he always does after a daytime event where food is served: he went out and scavenged some leftovers for his lunch. This time he invited me, so I went out and saw just about everyone was checking out the food. After enjoying some apple crisp (which tasted phenomenal), somehow Phil Collins came up in conversation. This is where our story gets good.

Abby Naas heard us talking about Phil Collins. I don’t know about you, but when a group of people is talking about something I don’t like, I generally either don’t contribute or gently hint that I’m not a big fan. Not Abby. She proceeded to unabashedly trash Phil Collins, never giving a good reason other than he “sucks,” then stormed off. I don’t know what Phil Collins ever did to Abby, but it’s unimportant. I, like anybody else who has any musical taste, enjoy Phil Collins’ work. In fact, I’d list him among my top 20 favorite musicians. He’s a wonderful singer / songwriter and a virtuoso on the drums. Needless to say, Abby’s aggression against Phil Collins would not stand… man.

So the next day (Thursday), I decided to defend Phil Collins’ honor in the form of an office prank. Being that my desk is isolated from the rest of the ballpark, I would need some co-conspirators. So I recruited Tony DesPlaines, Tyler Baker and Tiffany Haupt, one of our new interns, because their cubicles surround Abby’s. I sent them the following e-mail [begin quote]:

Dear Potential Co-Pranksters,

As you may remember from yesterday, your office neighbor (Abby Naas) was haphazardly throwing around the opinion that Phil Collins “sucks.” I think we can all agree that this is not only untrue, but the opposite of the truth. This aggression will not stand. Therefore, I propose “Operation Phil Collins.”

Here’s the plan: We bombard Abby with Phil Collins / Genesis classics until she realizes Phil Collins doesn’t suck. I will list below several hits and the three of you can just rotate playing them at audible (but not overpowering) volumes. So Tony will begin with “Sussudio.” AFTER IT ENDS, Tyler will play “Easy Lover.” Then Tiffany plays “Invisible Touch.” If she doesn’t freak out after three songs, Tony keeps it going with “Land of Confusion,” Tyler plays “Misunderstanding,” Tiffany goes with “Don’t Lose My Number.”

[end quote]

I went downstairs to check on the progress of our mission at one point while “Land of Confusion” was playing and could barely contain my laughter, so I had to leave. From eyewitness accounts, at some point Abby, not realizing a prank (not to mention six consecutive Phil Collins songs) was being played, unwittingly began humming to a Phil Collins song, then realized what she was doing and totally freaked out. To put the exclamation point on the prank, I called Abby on speakerphone with “I Can’t Dance” blaring in the background. She was furious.

All in all, Operation Phil Collins went better than I ever imagined. Hopefully this goes to show that there are stern and swift consequences for having poor taste in music.

Also today, Bill Lehn came up to have a business meeting. As you probably read, he just got back from working at the Super Bowl, so you know he had a lot to talk about. The highlights are that, on game day, he woke up at 3:15 a.m., worked until about 2 a.m. the next day (nearly a 23-hour work day, for you non-mathematicians out there), stopped off for breakfast on the way back to the hotel, then hibernated for an undisclosed amount of time. In journalism, this is what they call a follow-up story.

Random Friday thoughts…

  • More prospect rankings came out this week on MLB.com, along with their fantasy baseball rankings for the year. I, for one, can’t wait until it’s time to draft fantasy baseball teams, and not just because fantasy football was an unmitigated disaster for me this year.
  • It’s buried in this story from the San Diego newspaper, but the Padres fired Tom Gamboa as the minor-league field coordinator. He knows everyone in baseball, so he shouldn’t be out of work for long (unless he wants time off). This seriously bummed me out… Gamboa was one of the nicest people I met in 2009, in or out of baseball.
  • LeBron James is a complete and utter freak of nature. If you don’t believe me, watch the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Magic. Every time he got the ball, at least four Orlando defenders would collapse into the lane to try and stop him. He still scored 11 points and had four assists in the fourth quarter, including two straight trips where he hit a turnaround, fadeaway three-pointer which rattled out then back in, then hit a long two-pointer with the entire arena chanting “MVP.” I can’t decide which I like more: that performance or this MVPuppets commercial with a cameo from Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
  • Speaking of commercials, this SportsCenter spot is fantastic.
  • Speaking of basketball, can we stop it with the “single fan standing up like a tough guy when a superstar goes bananas”? This happened last night whilst LeBron was tearing apart the Magic. LeBron has the talent, you just pay through the nose to watch it. If this were simply a show of unbridled “holy cow, I can’t believe that just happened,” it would be one thing, but it looks to me more like “I sit close to the court so I’m in LeBron’s posse.”
  • Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine both announced retirements this week. While I liked Thomas better (mostly because of the contribution “Big Hurt Baseball” on Super Nintendo had on my youth, but also because Glavine beat my Indians in the World Series and may have never thrown a strike the entire game), is it REALLY retiring when it’s 2010 and you haven’t played since 2008?

I think that’s all for now… In honor of Valentine’s Day and the wildly successful Operation Phil Collins, here’s musical guest Phil Collins!

Have a great weekend!


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