JETHAWKS PROFILE: RICK'S RETURN : A FLOOD OF MEMORIES ACCOMPANY BURLESON IN RETURN TO LANCASTER.Byline: Chris Cocoles Daily News Staff Writer
The adjectives to describe Rick Burleson
adj. or·ner·i·er, or·ner·i·est
Mean-spirited, disagreeable, and contrary in disposition; cantankerous.
[Alteration of ordinary. and a few others not fit to print.
Rick Burleson the manager possesses all of those labels, but there is another side to the former JetHawks manager who will make his return to Lancaster Municipal Stadium tonight as the San Bernardino San Bernardino, city, United States
San Bernardino (săn bûr'nədē`nō), city (1990 pop. 164,164), seat of San Bernardino co., S Calif., at the foot of the San Bernardino Mts.; inc. 1854. Stampede's skipper.
A few examples of the Jekyll to Burleson's Hyde:
Burleson can pull off a practical joke on his players with the most seasoned pranksters.
When angry pitcher Brian Sweeney Brian Edward Sweeney (born 13th June 1974 in Yonkers, New York) is a baseball pitcher for the Japanese Nippon Ham Fighters franchise.
After making his debut with the Mariners in 2003, Sweeney moved to San Diego in 2004 and then signed with Japan's Hokkaido Nippon Ham took out his frustrations by splintering a plastic chair into multiple pieces, Burleson gathered the remnants of the seat and dumped them into Sweeney's clubhouse locker.
``That really (ticked) me off. I needed to get him back,'' said Sweeney, who spent the past two seasons playing for Burleson and will oppose him when the JetHawks and Stampede stam·pede
1. A sudden frenzied rush of panic-stricken animals.
2. A sudden headlong rush or flight of a crowd of people.
3. open a three-game series tonight.
Another destroyed chair provided Sweeney with an opportunity, which promptly was dumped on Burleson's office desk.
``That night we got our butt kicked,'' Sweeney said. ``All of a sudden I looked down the hallway and (the chair) went flying out of his office against the drinking fountain.''
Playing ``Name That Tune'' while the batting practice music blared was a ritual for Burleson and JetHawks radio broadcaster Rick DeReyes.
``There was one time when I was walking on the field and he said `Steely steel·y
adj. steel·i·er, steel·i·est
1. Made of steel.
2. Resembling steel, as in color or hardness: steely eyes. Dan-Journey. 2-0. Game. Set. Match,' '' DeReyes recalled.
Carl Hernandez spent 1997 as the JetHawks' bus driver. Every road trip Burleson parked himself in the seat directly behind Hernandez's pilot's nest.
Hernandez was the team's bus driver for that one season only - he now chauffeurs The Famous Chicken. But Burleson hasn't forgotten the kinship he developed with this behind-the-scenes personality.
``The past couple years he's taken the time to give me a call around Christmas time just to ask me how I'm doing,'' Hernandez said. ``That's a good compliment to me. I was visiting him in San Bernardino last week and he embarrassed me in front of (Stampede hitting coach) Steve Yeager
Burleson was the one of the California League's best managers the past two seasons. Given few top prospects by the parent Seattle Mariners The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Mariners have played in Safeco Field. since making his managerial debut two years ago, Burleson guided both his JetHawks teams to playoff play·off also play-off
1. A final game or series of games played to break a tie.
2. A series of games played to determine a championship.
Noun 1. berths.
While he squeezed everything he could out of his team's talent base, Burleson demanded his players leave nothing on the field.
Running such a tight ship isn't for everyone.
``A lot of the guys who had problems with Rick were the ones who didn't give 100 percent,'' JetHawks catcher Greg Connors said. ``And if you're not giving 100 percent every time out you're cheating yourself.''
Added Sweeney, ``I really enjoyed playing for him because he reminded me of my college coach. With them it's always play hard or go home . . . If you're not used to playing for that kind of coach it's tough to adjust to.''
Burleson, a 13-year major-leaguer and a former coach at that level, strived to achieve a big-league atmosphere in his Single-A clubhouse.
In 1997, with the hot summer weather making it uncomfortable to take batting practice in uniform, Burleson allowed his players to work out in t-shirts and shorts, provided everyone wore identical outfits.
Dan Hubbard, DeReyes' radio broadcast partner, saw that move as Burleson's way of developing a big-league attitude.
``That was his job, to get these kids into the major leagues,'' Hubbard said.
As for returning to the city that christened his budding budding, type of grafting in which a plant bud is inserted under the bark of the stock (usually not more than a year old). It is best done when the bark will peel easily and the buds are mature, as in spring, late summer, or early autumn. managerial career, Burleson had a mostly positive experience.
``It's a class setup in Lancaster. I have good memories of my time in Lancaster,'' he said. ``It was my first two years as a manager and the people were good to me, as far as (owners Mike and Matt Ellis Matt Ellis (born August 31, 1981, in Welland, Ontario, Canada) is a professional ice hockey left winger. He currently plays as captain for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. ), the fans and the booster club A booster club is an organization that is formed to contribute money to an associated club, sports team, or organization. Booster clubs are popular in American schools at the high school and university level. , which is one of the best I've seen on any level.''
Burleson's return to The Hangar in a Stampede uniform will be somewhat bizarre for JetHawks vice president/general manager Matt Ellis. But only until tonight's first pitch.
``I'm sure I'll walk up to Rick and tell him `I hope we kick your butt,' '' Ellis said. ``And I know he'll feel the same way.''
PHOTO Even though former JetHawks manager Rick Burleson is wearing a different hat these days, he still appreciates his time in Lancaster.
Jeff Goldwater/Daily News