No one forced Chris "Mad Dog" Russo to reach deep into the hyperbole bin and say that he'd retire "on the spot" if the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the National League Championship Series into a live microphone, but he did. Sure, he almost immediately backtracked after realizing what he'd done and, sure, when we blogged it yesterday we obviously knew he'd find a way to weasel out of the throwaway line. But no one forced him to clarify that he meant radio-only retirement when asked about it on his MLB Network show. And certainly no one asked him to double down before Game 7 with a vow to stand by his promise.
It was great theater last night as the plucky Diamondbacks did, in fact, advance to the World Series with Russo in the back of a lot of minds as we all sort of wondered how he'd handle it. It would have been tremendously cool had he actually filed his retirement paperwork overnight but of course that didn't happen as this morning he and Howard Stern got together to come up with some sort of compromise after Russo pulled a page out of the I Think You Should Leave credit card roulette loser and refused to pay up.
From Awful Announcing:
“You gotta do something so outrageous that they forget about the fact that you said you were gonna retire over a baseball game,” Stern said, initially proposing a couple of ideas that weren’t family friendly enough for Russo to consider. “What were you thinking though, saying you’re gonna retire if the Diamondbacks win, that’s crazy!”
“How bout this,” Stern continued. “You come on my show, I’ll come into Manhattan for this, we put you in a bikini and you walk down the street with a sign that says, ‘I’m a d****e.’ If you do that…it will make all the media and everyone say, ‘Wow, this guy was standup, he took it, obviously he couldn’t retire, but he was humiliated.’”
Russo agreed. He will not retire. He will wear a Diamondbacks branded bikini and walk down a Manhattan city block holding a sign that says, “I’m a liar and a dope.”
Credit where it's due. Russo knows New York and there's a decent chance no one is going to notice or care about a man in a bikini wearing a sandwich board because it's the 11th-most interesting thing a person will see on their walk to work. But we have to wonder: is Russo actually going to do this? There's good reason to be pretty dubious.
In fact, since we're all just saying stuff: I will retire if he makes good on the bet. That'd be a win for everyone involved.