Friday, January 21, 2005

Flotsam & Jetsam

Before I finally finish the year-end wrapup, a few odd items:

Yanks Owe City Dough (Steve Zipay, Newsday)

Damnit, Newsday doesn't rhyme their headlines like a real city tabloid should, but I'll do it for them! The Yanks apparently underreported their Stadium income to the City, and will now pay $3.6MM to make things right.

Not much to talk about, here, although the mention of underreported income might be of intertest to the Commissioner's office, which collects revenue sharing money from the team.

Now That's An Arbitration Demand! (

Roger Clemens is making Randy Johnson feel bad. Just after the Big Unit got his heavy-duty extension from the Yanks, the Rocket put in a request for A-Rod dollars--$22MM--in arbitration with the team.

The result has been that the Astros have made Clemens the Majors' highest-priced pitcher, at $18MM on a one-year deal. It makes me feel better, so long as the Rocket has bailed on New York, that at least he's not pitching for ridiculously discounted prices.

Can a Reality Series be Far Behind? (Michael Morrisey, NY Post)

With Alex Rodriguez and Curt Schilling bickering in the press like Felix Unger and Oscar Madison, is there any doubt that someday ESPN is going to stick these two in an apartment, and make a reality show out of it ("Next season on 'Strange Roomies': Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield!")? I mean, this is almost as pitiful as the Orel Hershiser/Matt Williams feud some years back. Why don't these boys just kiss and make up?

Admittedly, that would make for a very different reality show. On pay cable, I think.

Mets Lead Exciting Lives

This one's a catch-all, since the cross-town rivals have definitely set the pace this off-season. First, Pedro, then Beltran. Now, Mike Piazza's getting married to a Playmate of the Year, rendering the Anna--er, Kris Benson signing somewhat redundant. That is, unless Wilpon's goal is to collect hot player spouses. Maybe the new Mets network will have a Spice Channel component? Anyway, you have to wonder if maybe the Mets would've outbid the Yanks for Carl Pavano, if only he'd popped the question to Alyssa Milano.

(BTW, when the Mets have Benson pitching to Piazza, would that be the all-time hot wife battery? I originally wrote "all-time spousal battery" but that's more Ike Turner than Hugh Hefner.)

Now, the Mets' protracted pursuit of Carlos Delgado begs the question: are the Mets soon to be the baseball team in town. This is something I'll have to look at in greater detail (probably once Spring Training rolls around, given how many unfinished projects I have right now).

Right now, I'll leave things with the comment I made on Alex Belth's Bronx Banter website:

The Mets are serious contenders, with or without Delgado--they've already picked up the best starter and the best position player on the free agent market this winter. They better contend after spending those kinds of dollars.

If the Yanks stumble (meaning 2nd place, with or without the Wild Card), and the Mets get going (meaning playing meaningful games in mid-September), there are lots and lots of people in this town who will jump bandwagons, and declare the Mets New York's team. Since I never liked the bandwagon Yankee fans all that much (I think they're the ones that keep demanding "Cotton Eye Joe" during the 7th inning stretch) I won't shed many tears if that happens.
Two notes on this. First, I think Omar Minaya's done a great job getting Pedro and Beltran, even though he arguably overpaid for both players. Omar's M.O. (say that a few times fast...) is to make a big splash when he starts out with a club, and these guys are the right answers, at least for the next 2 years.

Second, let me clarify about bandwagon jumpers. I don't really hate them. Every time a New York team gets hot, lots of people will suddenly jump on the bandwagon, non-fans and more casual fans alike. And some of those folks actually become serious baseball fans, lifelong fans, after the fad dies down. That's a good thing.

But if you're going to come into Yankee Stadium to heckle the Yankees, you better not still have the price tags on your new team's jersey or cap. And I better not have seen you a couple of seasons ago, cheering for the Yankees. Flip flops of that sort just make you a punk.

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