Charles Barkley (right) presents Jerry Colangelo with a
"Barkley Special" wig on Saturday night. (Tom Hood/AP)
11/09/2003 6:51 PM ET
Colangelo roasted at charity event
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- No subject was out of bounds when Jerry Colangelo was roasted at a charity event Saturday night at the Dodge Theater.
The roasters -- who included among others Sen. John McCain, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, NBA Commissioner David Stern, former Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Grace, former NBA star Charles Barkley and D-Backs pitcher Curt Schilling -- poked fun at everything from Colangelo's cologne to his frustration in trying to win an NBA championship as head of the Phoenix Suns.
When it was Schilling's turn, the right-hander, who has been at the center of a trade rumor involving the Yankees, poked fun at himself as much as Colangelo.
"I'm having a little bit of a dilemma," said Schilling, who went 8-9 during an injury-plagued 2003 season. "I'm supposed to roast a guy who paid me $10 million this year to win eight games. But as a soon-to-be former employee ..."
Schilling then went on to say how much he enjoyed playing for Colangelo, who he considered one of the classiest owners in the game. Schilling then pulled his cell phone out of his pocket.
"Hello? Yes Mr. Steinbrenner. Yes. Without a doubt you are the classiest guy I know. Yes, 26 world championships. He only has one. You're right. OK, I'll see you soon."
Recording star Glenn Campbell changed the words of a few of his tunes to honor Colangelo and McCain, an Arizona senator since 1986 and a good friend of Colangelo's, brought some political humor to the event.
McCain poked fun at the fact that the Suns, who are also owned by Colangelo, have never won an NBA championship.
"What's with the name Colangelo?" McCain asked. "It sounds like some sort of a medical condition. I've got some bad news for you, sir, you've come down with an acute case of Colangelo -- a degenerative illness that will eventually render one utterly incapable of winning an NBA championship."
And McCain praised Colangelo's wife, Joan, saying, "She's still the only person who we know who loves him as much as he does."
But some of the biggest laughs came at the end, when Colangelo got the opportunity to take some shots at the roasters. He saved his best lines for Grace, who retired after batting .200 in 2003, and Barkley.
"And by the way Gracie, you know how you gave Sammy Sosa such a hard time about his cork in his bat?" Colangelo said. "You know if you had used cork in your bat this year you might have hit better than a buck ninety.
"Seriously, I want to congratulate you on your speech Mark. It was almost as funny as your performance on the field this year. You know when you weigh more than your batting average it's time to hang it up."
Colangelo and Barkley engaged in a bitter feud after the power forward left the Suns in the mid-90s, but the two have reconciled and in fact Colangelo announced towards the end of the roast that Barkley would be inducted into the Suns' Ring of Honor this season. That didn't stop him from taking a few shots at Sir Charles' expanding waistline.
"I learned a long time ago to live my life by three simple words: Never believe Barkley," Colangelo said. "After all this is the same guy who claims he was misquoted in his own autobiography. By the way Charles, I really like the title of your most recent literary masterpiece -- "I Might Be Wrong...But I Doubt It." It's a fine name for a book, but I've an even better title for you -- "I Could Be Skinny...But I'm Not". Or how about, "I Could Go On A Diet...But I won't".
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.