I like Rick Renteria, I really do. In fact, I’ve been a big fan of his since before he was named the Cubs manager. Call it revisionist history, but I was advocating his hiring from the moment his name came up as a possibility. But good luck finding evidence, since Yahoo erased any trace of its Contributor Network.
Also, you’d have to move past my swooning over Brad Ausmus and Joe Girardi. But after the top options had all been removed, I was all over Renteria. Huh, sounds kinda like the Cubs. Ricky did a pretty decent job this past season, all things considered; he helped to foster bounceback seasons from the team’s two long-term signees and was much more likable than the cardboard cutout they had last year.
But with all the Joe Maddon talk, I feel the need to distance myself from Renteria, to put him at arm’s length, emotionally speaking. I mean, the thought of having Maddon in Cubbie Blue is enough to assuage any distress, but I want to be proactive in my separation from the past nonetheless.
If Meatloaf taught me anything, it’s that objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are. That said, I’ve chosen to compile a list of all my favorite Ricks and Rickys from pop culture, knowing that Renteria will fall quite a ways short of the example these guys set. Because I just can’t, in good conscience, argue for the Cubs to avoid Maddon. I would do anything for love of the Cubs, but I won’t do that.
Wow, that was bad. Let’s just move on to the list, in which I refrained from listing Cubs* so as to further distance Renteria for the time being.
Rick Fox (Warsaw, Indiana, yo!)
Rick Nelson (bridging the gap from Ozzie and Harriet to long-haired twin pop stars is quite a feat)
Rick Riordan (sue me, I enjoy the tween pseudo-mythology)
Rick Carlisle (almost as wooden as Sveum)
Rick Pitino (I like him more every time he beats UK)
Rick Springfield (Jessie’s Girl, need I say more?)
Rick Ross (I love rap, but I really don’t care about Ross)
Ricky Ricardo (I don’t have much ‘splaining for this one, never really watched I Love Lucy)
Slick Rick (because who doesn’t love story-telling British-American rappers?)
The Rick (erstwhile star of ESPN commercials, he’s the only man to lay down a bunt in a wiffleball HR derby)
#10 – Rick Astley
Taking a cue from C. Thomas Howell in Soul Man, Rick Astley fooled a lot of people in 1987. Astley caused more than a few double-takes when people who had heard his melodic bass tones were struck by the appearance of the goofy ginger dancing awkwardly in the music video for Never Gonna Give You Up. Then there’s that whole Rickroll thing.
#9 – Rikki Tikki Tavi
Think a mongoose isn’t totally badass? Think again, my frent. This little dude helps to protect a family from the venomous attacks of two cobras, using grit, guile and speed to do so. Basically, he’s like Ryan Theriot but actual value.
#8 – Branch Rickey
The driving force behind the integration of baseball, this man was integral in bringing Jackie Robinson to Brooklyn. However, the fact that he was way before my time hurts him a little here. I also believe that this guy was more a genius businessman than a civil rights advocate, but he was incredibly influential and important either way.
#7 – Rick Moranis
I enjoyed lots of his roles, but it’s the portrayal of Louis Tully/The Keymaster in Ghostbusters that earns him a spot on the list. Truth be told, he made it on the strength of one line alone:
Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!
#6 – Rick Calloway
Forgotten in the mix of names like Steve Alford, Keith Smart and Todd Jadlow (okay, not really), Rick Calloway was a starter on Indiana University’s 1987 national title team. UK fans will mock the fact that it’s been that long since IU’s last title; Purdue fans will mock the dusty banners, then realize they’ve got nothing in the rafters to dust.
#5 – Rick Vaughn
Had Major League II been something other than an abject disaster, I’d probably be forced to move Vaughn up couple spots. Nonetheless, Wild Thing’s fireballing ways and unique coiffure were sufficient to put him right in the middle of the Rick list.
#4 – Ricky Henderson
Even as a Cubs fan, I loved me some Oakland Athletics in the 80’s and 90’s. And Ricky Henderson was headlining that group, along with several other teams throughout a Hall of Fame career that is absolutely unparalleled. But as much as I’d love to elevate a guy who constantly referred to himself in the 3rd person even higher, I just can’t.
#3 – Rick James
Ah, the Superfreak. He returned to popularity thanks to a Chappelle’s Show skit, which lives forever as one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. If you need further explanation, or just a break from my idiocy, please see the clip below (warning: NSFW due to some language):
#2b – Rick Monday
If you don’t know, now you know:
#2a – Rick Grimes
I decided to share the second spot of the list and everyone’s favorite sheriff-turned-leader-of-zombie-apocalypse-survivor-group grabs half of it. I’m very impressed by the fact that he has yet to yell “Cawrul!” in that British-guy-speaking-in-Southern-accent voice, which is probably what granted him this lofty position.
If you don’t watch The Walking Dead, you should. Well, unless you prefer to avoid violence, language, and zombies. In that case, just stay far away.
#1 – Rick Rubin
There’s nothing profound here, not that there was in the rest of this anyway. But there’s simply no doubt that this bearded virtuoso is the King of the Ricks. I’m not going to do you the favor of linking to his discography, as I’m sure you’re perfectly capable of doing so. But even if you think you know him from his work with the greatest acts in rap, check out the list. Unreal.
So there you have it, several Ricks who fall above Renteria on the all-time list. And maybe the Cubs skipper stays around, leads them to a title, and immediately vaults to the top of the list. I’ll gladly re-run this insane little post and laugh at myself when that happens.
But until then, I’m going to distance myself and maybe grab a cup of Joe.
Who did I miss? You vote for your favorite Rick below or use the comments for write-in votes.
*Monday is the only Rick associated with the Cubs, though it’s for his patriotic action and not his playing career, so I made the exception; otherwise, Sutcliffe and Reuschel would have been there too.