Monday, June 30, 2008

Conked republic

Blog on the Run editor

In a roundabout way, there's been quite a bit of news centering around a couple of Key West's finest. Though, I guess if you have a familiarity of any area and you read a lot of news stories, you'll always be able to draw connections between certain stories and a certain place. There's always a connection if you look hard enough. But if you tell a girl you "feel a connection" then there's no chance there's a connection.

About 10 days or so ago, former Key West High School catcher Ralphie Henriquez Jr. was on the opposite end of this semi-infamous YouTube sensation and SportsCenter clip:

Ralphie was Key West baseball in 2005.
When Key West hits the road, the team doesn’t travel alone. Up to four busloads of parents and fans travel hundreds or even more than 1,000 miles to games, all of which are broadcast live on a 5,000-watt AM radio station.

“It’s like a freaking band of gypsies,” a veteran Florida area scout said. “I’ll never forget when they piled off a bunch of buses in Orlando and the parents there were staring, like ‘What planet are these people from?’ Yeah, they love their baseball.”

Key West went on to win the state title that year. I broke my leg jumping over a fence following the state semifinal victory. After following them all season, all the way to Sarasota, I missed the state championship game. I liked that squad but Ralphie was the most different. Coach's son in a place where only in D.C. are politics practiced more often. I'd say a majority of people - even his teammates - disliked him. He eventually became a second-round draft pick a couple weeks after that state title game but hasn't done much. He's struggled and is still playing split-season A ball in his fourth professional season. The guy picked right after him? Kyle Slowey. He pitched a three-hit shutout yesterday to lead the Minnesota Twins to a win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Not exactly the Brooklyn Cyclones. (NOTE: On his stats, I think it's funny that they combined his dad's stats with his own. That's something me and my dad will never have to worry about ... unless it's a "Miller Lites consumed" stat.)

So when I told The Sports Writer about the video, he laughed and said, "only Ralphie."

The publisher of the paper in Key West was John Cooke. It was Jack Kent Cooke's son. JKC owned the Redskins until his death in 1997. Can't really own a team when you're dead. The decision making aspect, yeah, that is no more when your time has expired. Fucking biology. The son was a pretty nice guy. He was very hands off - at least with the sports department. He had an office in our newsroom and I had maybe five to six meetings with him in the course of two years. I remember he wanted there to be more outdoors coverage. Eh. I probably didn't listen.

Anyway, JKC's daughter ... he had her when we was 74 ... PIMP (!!) ... is 20 years old now. Her name is Jacqueline Kent Cooke. She's pretty hot.

(Then and now.)

I never saw her in the newsroom. Then or now. Damnit to hell. Anyway, she ran into some problems with the law over the weekend in Boston.
The pair returned to the car 10 minutes later and told the officers that it was useless for them to keep watching because they could not stop them from driving home, police said. The officers again suggested a taxi.
Didn't work out well. I think the mug shot tells the story. She does look kind of "dirty hot" in it.

So Henriquez takes his cuts and walks away. Pissed off, but you know, doesn't really do anything stupid. Maybe Jackie Cooke could have taken some cues from the fella a year her elder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ralphie Henriquez's name should be spelled D-R-A-M-A — remember his dad's resignation only to return two days later? I stand by my "Keys Player of the Year" decision, sorry Butler. (Best thing about the kid, he called me to thank me for a story the night Hurricane Charley plowed the island).

Only reason he's still in the pros is his above-average catching skills. He's a Conch fritter when it comes to curve balls.

P.S. Ghost sucks like this blog...

— SW