Party of Five sets the record straight

Originally Published: July 12, 2011
Page 2

POFKurt Snibbe / ESPN.com

Welcome to another edition of Page 2's Party of Five, in which five writers tackle five questions that the world needs answered right now.

(Or later, depending on how much time you have to kill.)

Today, we'll discuss the ball from Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, Yao Ming, Mike Vrabel, the jury for the Roger Clemens trial and a huge new football recruit in Texas.

1. What would you have done with the ball if you had caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit?

Patrick Dorsey: Asked A-Rod to sign it.

Vincent Thomas: Let me answer this with a couple of titles of 1990s street anthems. "Get Money." "C.R.E.A.M." "Money, Cash, H**s." I know I'm supposed to think Christian Lopez is a noble, stand-up fan for giving the ball to Jeter without asking for anything in return (like cash, cheddar, bread, paper), but staying with the '90s, Souls of Mischief said it best -- "That's When You're Lost."

Jim Caple: I would have had him sign it for me at the All-Star Game. ... Wait. No. I guess not.

Mike Philbrick: I would have given him the ball for nothing because I kind of feel bad for him. Think about it: He's a few years from ending his career and he's dating Lyla Garrity. We all know what she does to her captain boyfriends when the cheering stops. Needless to say, I think Jeter should do whatever he can to make sure Tim Riggins doesn't get to set foot in Yankee Stadium.

DJ Gallo: I've been in the outfield bleacher seats at a major league game when a home run ball rockets into the crowd. So I know that I would not have caught it. A better question for me would be: "How would you sleep at night knowing you could have caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, only to shriek and pull your hand back at the last second?"


2. Yao Ming is reportedly retiring. What was his greatest contribution to the NBA?

Dorsey: Refusing to do "My Giant 2."

Thomas: Right now, the International Impact Mount Rushmore for basketball has only three permanent faces: Michael, Magic and Yao. The fourth is fluid. If you don't follow hoops closely, you probably don't know how hugely important Yao's career was and is to basketball's worldwide popularity. His contribution is vast and will be lasting. With that said, his greatest contribution to society was this classic T-Mobile commercial with Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade. It included the iconic lines "Don't be like baby," "Put the waitress on" and "EAT. THE. HEAD."

Caple: I'm not sure, Vince. That was good. But what about his classic commercial with Verne Troyer (Mini-Me)? He made Troyer look like Muggsy Bogues.

Philbrick: Reportedly, China pressured the Rockets to change their uniforms to be more in the style of the Chinese national team. So anyone who could end this era deserves our praise.

Gallo: Who's Yao Ming? Wait, is that the guy Charles Barkley said would never score 19 points in one game as a rookie? I never bothered to pay attention to his career after that so as not to waste my time on a scrub. Did he ever reach 19 points?


3. Mike Vrabel, who was arrested on felony theft charges in April at a casino, has retired from the NFL and will become an assistant coach at Ohio State. Is this a good move for a program trying to rehabilitate its image?

Dorsey: Vrabel's arrest might have been a misunderstanding. Even if it wasn't, I'm not sure what's wrong with the hiring. "Steal from the rich riverboat casinos, give to the poor five-star recruits in exchange for their LOI signatures." Wasn't that Robin Hood's catchphrase?

Thomas: So he allegedly stole some bottles from the resort deli. Cut him some slack. I feel you, Mike. I definitely ground my teeth to near chalk dust the one time I was bamboozled into dropping $50-plus for a fifth of Stoli.

Caple: I have no problem with this hire. Now, had he done something truly reprehensible, like sell something that already belonged to him in exchange for, say, a tattoo, well, that would be un-American and could not be condoned.

Philbrick: As Hulk Hogan did when he became bad guy/heel Hollywood Hogan, the Buckeyes should just make the most of it and embrace it. Recruit only players with criminal records. Set a maximum for SAT scores and GPA. Make all players sign their letters of intent in tattoo form. Sure, the NCAA might drop the hammer, but it's going to do that anyway. Might as well go out the way of 20th-century philosopher Jon Bon Jovi in a "blaze of glory."

Gallo: The program is trying to rehabilitate its image, but it's also trying to earn the NCAA's mercy with its recent self-imposed penalties. So maybe Ohio State sees hiring a guy with no coaching experience and a recent felony arrest as a check in the "Penalties" category.


4. Describe the perfect juror for the Roger Clemens perjury case -- both for the prosecution and the defense.

Dorsey: For the prosecution: Either: 1. A teammate from that Astros-Yankees period when he made all his road starts via Skype; 2. A supporter of pretty much any non-Yankees team, from the Red Sox to the Blue Jays to the Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; or 3. Mike Piazza. For the defense: Any devoted fan of Clemens' (NSFW language) scene in "Kingpin."

Thomas: I know this is about lying to a grand jury, but still, it seems as though regretful bacne sufferers prone to finger-wagging would be ideal jurors for the prosecution team. If I were the defense, I'd try (albeit haplessly) to circumvent the rules and fly in actors who have recently starred in Marvel-based films or one of those ancient-time war flicks. I might be referring to dudes like Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, but might not, too.

Philbrick: For defense, anyone who answers "yee haw!" to the jury question, "What is your opinion of the color burnt orange?" For the prosecution, I'd go with anyone who throws the terms "fair," "logical" and "truth" around during questioning.

Gallo: For the defense: someone who will be sympathetic to Clemens. The ideal juror would have a love of frosted tips, a Yankees background and his own shady links to performance enhancers. So, Alex Rodriguez. For the prosecution: Anyone who owns a Boston Red Sox or Mike Piazza jersey.

Caple: Well, I think that in the interest of justice, both the defense and prosecution want a juror who will LISTEN closely to every word of testimony. So the perfect juror for both would be someone with a third ear sticking out of his forehead.


5. How long until college football programs begin recruiting promising left tackle JaMichael Brown?

Dorsey: Begin? Sources say the process already started, as nurses spotted the parents with handfuls of "It's a Buckeye!" bubblegum cigars.

Caple: Indeed. Mike Vrabel already bought him a scarlet-and-gray baby bottle. Well, I'm not sure he bought it. But he gave him one.

Thomas: Mack Brown is "staying out of it." But the heavy hitters are swarming. Longhorns super fan Matthew McConaughey took time off from his "Bernie" promo tour to cut the umbilical cord. The parents aren't known potheads, but rumor has it that Ricky Williams personally dropped off a couple pounds of "greenery." It's on.

Philbrick: USC coach Lane Kiffin probably will start sending letters soon, probably the magnetic ones for the fridge, to start. But the buzz should really pick up in a few years when HBO starts filming a season of "Hard Knocks" at JaMichael's day care center.

Gallo: Sixteen pounds, 1 ounce is a full 3 pounds heavier than Colt McCoy was as a Texas freshman. All the kid really needs to do now is work on recognizing defenses and get potty-trained and he can be starting for the Longhorns by midseason.

Back to Page 2

• Philbrick: Page 2's Greatest Hits, 2000-2012
• Caple: Fond memories of a road warrior
• Snibbe: An illustrated history of Page 2
Philbrick, Gallo: Farewell podcast Listen

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