Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NKotb Part Six: Honolulu Headhunters

The final installment in our New Kids on the Block series features the Honolulu Headhunters.

After four tumultuous years in Portland, the franchise was taken to Kansas City by BBQ legend, hodgenice. The KC rebuilding program was eerily similar to the Royal program, often turning to youth, but rarely producing more than a mediocre season. While the franchise has never finished in last, it's also never been to the playoffs.

The move to Honolulu has already been chronicled HERE, but it's worth re-visiting. The governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, incensed that the Dolphins decided to flee her fine state, blockaded the team's moving vans. Only after Commissioner jwendt promised a replacement franchise were the Dolphins allowed to relocate to San Francisco.

Fifty HR hitters Yamil Abreu and Livan Suarez return to an offense that can score. However, the staff ace (Edgar Romo) is 4 games below .500 for his career. Defense was a problem in the past, and the Headhunters have handed the starting SS job to a Rule V choice, Winston Peters. He brings a slick glove, but little bat. The failure to sign last season's 1st round pick, Pedro Escobar, and previous trades of three first round draft choices hamstring the farm system, but budget cuts make building the farm a priority.

The headhunter's actually has a dual meaning. As widely reported in the popular press, team owner mesco12 did make his fortune in outsourcing, placing C-level executives in many of the firms that caused the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980's. However, the name actual springs from mesco's role as an extra in an episode of Hawaii Five-O that originally aired on October 17, 1968, during 5-0's first season. In that episode, entitled, "Samurai", mesco and Ricardo Montalban guest starred with Montalban playing an underwold mobster being investigated by Dan-O and the boys. Mesco, in a uncredited role, played a hitman (or headhunter) attempting to knock of the Montalban character in the episode. To this day, mesco blames show creator Leonard Freeman for not crediting him, thus giving rise to Montalban's acting career. Montalban would go on to star in Fantasy Island and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Mesco continues to purchase vehicles only with cloth seats in protest of the famous Chrysler Cordoba featuring "Corintian Leather" commercials which starred Montalban and which Mesco believes should have been "his gig".

No comments: