All right. Stop collaborating and listen up for a second.
Vanilla Ice is back with a brand new intervention — and he says he will try to solve a couple of problems, yo, the Tampa Bay Rays are having.
The Rays, who often experience lower-than-hoped attendance at Tropicana Field despite high-quality results, are bringing in Ice (or, Rob Van Winkle, if you're not into the whole brevity thing) as part of a postgame concert series.
[Photos: See the Tampa Bay Rays in action]
In addition to performing favorites from back in the day such as "Ice, Ice Baby" and "Ninja Rap," the Chilla' who is 'Nilla also will throw out the first pitch ("his first in any sanctioned game," he says) before the Rays host the Cleveland Indians.
How could the the good people of greater St. Petersburg possibly turn down Rays baseball AND a free performance by a hip-hop pioneer? The Trop ought to be packed to the catwalks.
In a conference call that included the Stew, the '90s rap icon showed his humanity when one of the reporters (OK, it was me) asked him to intervene with Upton, who has struggled in dealing with uncertainty about playing time, a possible trade and other questions.
"I'll lift him up and bring back some good memories," Ice said. "Get him up on stage with us, and bring him back some good times."
A lyrical poet rocking Z. Cavaricci pants could be just what Upton needs right now.
Teammate Evan Longoria(notes) confronted Upton about not hustling after a ball during a game in late June, and manager Joe Maddon has replaced him in the lineup occasionally because Upton wasn't hitting. Over the past several seasons, Upton has been benched a few times after suffering lapses in concentration.
The criticisms aren't necessarily misplaced — in Major League Baseball, giving anything less than your best is a felony — but Upton isn't the only Rays player producing below expectations. He just always seems to catch heat.
Upton has sulked about sitting, and talk of him being traded can't help him to know where he stands. Hopefully, Ice steps up as someone who knows about making it big at a young age, only to face a backlash when the second and third songs don't chart as well.
What might be his approach with Upton?
"Get some self-esteem in him," Ice said. "Tell him 'It's all gonna be OK. Yesterday is history and tomorrow's a mystery.'
"You think that'll work?"
It couldn't hurt.
"All right, I'll give it a shot," Ice said.
Though he's a Palm Beach resident and identifies more with Miami — it's the town that created all of the bass sounds — Ice says he is a sports fan who keeps up with the Rays.
"I appreciate that they're kicking [butt] this year. The Rays have got a lot of people stirred up," Ice said. "I'm the guy that reads the USA Today with the updates of who's in first, second, third place, and I know they've been trailing New York, but I know the records are close. The Rays are playing some really good ball, and they're a Florida team and I'm anxious to come down and absorb the whole Tampa Bay Devil Rays [scene]."
Oof, the Devil Rays? It's OK folks, he's from the '90s.