Moving the Babe (Times Link)

Published: 20081113

Construction workers at the old Yankee Stadium begin the delicate process of moving the historic monuments to the Yankees’ new home.

Cool pics of Monument Park being dismantled.


Sorry America, NYC Doesn’t Care About Bowl Games

ESPN keeps trying to tell me how it cool it is that they are showing 8 billion bowl games yesterday and today.   I remember from my childhood that there’s probably games on the networks today.  I guess.  I don’t actually know.  You know why?

I live in New York and we don’t care about college football.

Nope, sorry.  We don’t.   We don’t take anything away from you.  Enjoy the games.  We get it, you have nothing else to do.   Around here we have a zillion sports options, and let me rank them for you.

Top Tier:

1.  Yankees
2.  Mets
3.  “The Football Giants” (there hasn’t been a baseball team called Giants around these parts in 50 years but they still have to be referred to as the Football Giants.)
4.  Jets

That’s it.   The Yankees can sneeze and get the back page so they are #1.   Baseball is still king in this town so they are #2.   NFL comes next, and the Football Giants are the defending champions and always the team of the rich people so they are third.   The Jets are their loser cousins that work a blue collar job, still it’s the NFL so they live.

Now there’s a gap.

5.  Knicks.  The problem is that the Knicks suck.  When the Knicks are good suddenly everyone is a Knicks fan.  Right now the NBA is about as popular as NASCAR in New York.
6.  Rangers.   If the NBA is NASCAR then the NHL is Arena Football, as in skip a season and see if anyone cares.   Sure if the Rangers make the Cup Finals suddenly all the Messier jerseys will come out of storage, but it’s hard to find a hockey fan around here.


7 (tie).   Argue this one any way you want.   Nets/Devils/Islanders.   The Nets are in the NBA but said they were leaving NJ to go to Brooklyn, except they never do so they have no fans.   The Devils had a ten year run of tremendous success, won three cups, lost a fourth in the finals, have the greatest goaltender of all time and yet nobody cares.  The Islanders were really cool 25 years ago and haven’t done a thing since, so the fanbase dwindles year after year.

Still, all that more popular than college football around here.

Out of Town Teams:

10.   Dolphins.   There are a lot of Marino jerseys in these waters.  The fans of fins are all hopped up this week, so they are noticeable.

11.   Cowboys.  There’s a bunch of 40 year olds who got into football in 1977.   Then there’s a second wave of college kids who know about Troy Aikman.


12. (tie)   You pick which has more fans.   When St. John’s basketball is good that becomes trendy.  It isn’t and hasn’t been for a while.   Manhattan basketball sometimes pops up.   The Metrostars/Red Bulls – I guess someone is going to those games but I’ve only met one guy who does who you can read about here.

15.  The Poker freaks.   ESPN has ruined the Friday night poker game for everyone forever by televising this WSOP nonsense.  Try to get the fellas to play “deuces wild” for more than one hand before the Texas Hold ‘Em silliness begins.  Still, way more popular than college football.

Now that we are 16 teams deep, college football makes the list:

Right around now, when the Yankees aren’t signing anyone, and the Rangers are off, and Manhattan isn’t playing, a New Yorker will pay attention to College Football.  Sure we’ll tune in for the BCS game, we also tune in for tke Kentucky Derby and the World Cup finals.   It’s something to stare at.

Sure Rutgers think’s they are a big deal – they got all uppity when they were like 7 & 0 a few years back.  Nobody cares there papajohnsbowl winners.   There’s some old dudes who follow Army/Navy.   There’s some Irish guys who think Notre Dame has something to do with them, but only when ND is good.

Oh yeah then we get to NASCAR.

So America enjoy your national holiday of watching games New York doesn’t care about.  We’ll be scouring the wires to see if Lowe signs with the Mets or if the Yankees sign Manny.

MLB Network Debuts Today

Published: January 1, 2009
The MLB Network springs to life Thursday evening, a lavish $54 million network venture, direct from Secaucus, N.J.

A Future Look Back At 2009

I’m back from the future and 2009 was a helluva year in New York sports.

January 1st:   a cable outage prevents the metropolitan New York area from watching any college bowl games.   Nobody notices.  

January 2nd:  In the second cable oddity in as many days, YES airs an episode of “Yankees Classics” in which the Yankees lose to the 1985 Orioles 3-2 in ten innings.   Immediately following the game the Mark Texieira Yankeeography debuts.

January 3rd:   Jets hold press conference in which Brett Favre reads from cue cards.  He is pleased to be the “GM & HC of the NYJ.”   Coach Favre is unsure if Brett Favre will return as QB in 2009.

January 8th:  With the nation getting ready to talk about the BCS Championship, the Yankees offer Manny Ramirez a ten year one billion dollar contract.

January 17th:  Andy Pettitte announces “I’ve always been an Astro” and signs a one year deal with Houston.

January 20th:   The Yankees hold a noon-time press conference to introduce Manny Ramirez as their new left-fielder and successfully knock Barack Obama off the front page of the Post.

February 1:   The Giants defeat the Dolphins in the Super Bowl.   After the game Giants ownership announces that because of their inability to compete in the modern NFL, not only will the Giants charge PSLs, the bathrooms will now require a key which can be rented for $10 per game.

February 2nd:  Bill Parcells quits the Dolphins and hints that he might like to run the Lions.

February 3rd:   The Jets copy the Giants bathroom-key idea, although bathrooms will still be free for the upper deck.   Fans from the lower deck are welcome to walk up the ramp to use the free restrooms.   In 2009 this passes for fan-friendly.

February 15th:   Jimmie Johnson wins the Daytona 500.  Nobody up north cares.

February 16th:   With Parcells-mania hitting Detroit, Bill drops a hint that he’d really love to run the Atlanta Buccaneers, and this time he isn’t just teasing.   When reminded that Atlanta and the Bucs are two different teams Bill yells at the reporter.

April 13:   The Mets decide to wait out an April ice-storm, and the first pitch at Citi Field is thrown at 10:07pm.   The Mets look stunning in their white pinstripe uniforms, with no names on the back, and blue hats.   Johan Santana pitches 8 and a third of one run ball, but K-Rod serves up a two run homer as the Mets lose 3-2.

April 16:  On a beautiful 85 degree day with not a cloud in sight and low humidity, the Yankees open their new stadium.  C.C. Sabathia throws a perfect game and Jeter, Manny and Tex each get 4 hits.   The $20 “Jumbo” beer makes its world-wide debut.   The next day on his radio show Michael Kay talks about how he knew fans would show up and that any complaints about the price of tickets were silly.

April 19:  With the Mets now 0 and 5, the debut their new all-black uniforms including black pants.   Johan Santana pitches 8 and a third of one run ball before K-Rod blows the save in the 9th.

May 2:  Jimmie Johnson wins at Richmond, his 11th straight NASCAR victory.   Nobody up north notices.

May 5:  With the Mets now 7 games back the head writer of writes his annual “The Math Proves The Mets Are Finished” article.  The next day he writes the first of seven “Lee Mazzilli Should Be The Manager” articles that will appear throughout the season.

May 20:  A game behind Boston, the Yankees announce that they can no longer compete in modern baseball without PSLs.  All fans holding tickets are retroactively billed for $20,000.   Michael Kay is heard to say on his radio show that if you can afford $45 seats you can afford twenty grand.   After a fan lawsuit, the case winds up before the Supreme Court.

May 23:  The Supreme Court rules in favor of fans in Yankees PSL case.   The Yankees respond by removing the seats, and successfully argue that they only sold admission, not a place to sit.   Capacity of New New Yankee Stadium becomes 130,000 with the cheapest standing space $65.
June 1:  Derek Jeter heads into June batting .206 but fans still love him.  A-Rod gets booed after hitting his 27th home run in a 9-2 loss.
June 12:  The Yankees host the Mets before a full standing capacity of 130,000.  On his Monday radio show, Michael Kay says that if you could afford $45 to sit you can afford $60 to stand.

June 14:   The Mets-Yankees game is scheduled for 8:05 so Phil Mushnick writes about late starts.  Johan Santana holds the Yankees to one run in 8 and a third, but K-Rod gives up a two run homer to A-Rod to blow the game.

June 15:   Lazy bloggers write yet another article about the Seaver trade.

June 18:  The Chiba Lotte Marines fire Bobby Valentine who mentions that he wouldn’t mind managing the Mets.

July 4:   With Dave Righetti in attendance, A.J. Burnett throws a no hitter in front of 128,995 fans at New New Yankee Stadium.

July 5:   Bobby Valentine is hired as the Mets international scout.   Within two days the Mets announce they have signed “the Japanese Barry Bonds.”

July 14:   Andy Pettitte (12-2) edges out Mike Pelfrey (11-1) to start the All-Star Game for the NL.   A Yankee starts at every position except second base, including Derek Jeter who is hitting .194.

July 30:   Six games back of the Phillies, fans clamor for Omar Minaya to trade for Pettitte.   Instead the Mets grab some random middle relievers.

Aug 1:  In a game against Arizona, Jerry Manuel finally does go gangsta and stabs Jose Reyes who doesn’t run out a ground ball.   Manuel is arrested and replaced by Bobby Valentine. writes a “Lee Mazzilli should have been the guy” article.

Aug 2:  Jose Castillo takes over as Mets SS while Reyes recuperates from stabbing wounds.  Meanwhile in the Bronx Derek Jeter is hitting .114 but it’s a clutch .114 not like A-Rod who leads the league with 48 home runs.

Aug 7:  The Japanese Barry Bonds makes his debut as the Mets left fielder.  

Aug 17:  Jets HC & GM Brett Favre offers Kellen Clemens and three #1s to the Patriots in exchange for Tom Brady.  Surprisingly the Patriots accept.

Aug 21:  With Brady taking the majority of snaps in practice, player Brett Favre announces he will return for 2009.  HC &GM Favre installs player Favre as QB1.

Aug 22:  The Jets beat the Giants 34-13 in preseason action.

Sep 1:   Bobby V has the Mets now just 2 games back.  

September 6th:  Patriots QB Matt Cassell slips in the shower and is out for the year.  Kellen Clemens takes over at QB for the Patriots.

Sep 11:  Lazy Bloggers wax poetically about Mike Piazza.   In a pivotal game against the Phillies. Johan Santana holds the defending champions to one run in 8 and a third, but K-Rod serves up a two run homer to give the Phils the victory.

Sep 20:   Jose Reyes returns from the disabled list to become a bench-warmer to Jose Castillo who is hitting .395 since taking over as SS.  Bobby V decides to ride the hot hand.

Sep 28:  The Mets are 6 back in the wild card with 6 to play.  Bobby V is hoping to catch the Reds for a one game playoff.

September 30:   Alex Rodriguez hits his 73rd home run of the season in a 10-1 loss and is booed.  Derek Jeter is hitting .085 but fans still love him.

October 3:  Johan Santana throws 171 pitches in 10 innings to defeat the Astros and keep the Mets playoff hopes alive.

October 4th:  Andy Pettitte outduels Derek Lowe, eliminating the Mets from playoff contention.  After the game the Mets hold the ceremony to retire Keith Hernandez’s #17 in front of a half empty stadium.

November 5:  The Phillies defeat the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series.  Several Mets observe that the Mets are the better team.  Michael Kay observes that if you hold Game 7 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium people will gladly pay $185 to stand.

December 1:  The Jets enter December 8-4 with talks of an MVP for Brett Favre and coach of the year for Favre.  With games against the 1-11 Dolphins, 2-12 Bills and Bill Parcells’ Jacksonville Jaguars, there is talk about a Week 17 showdown against the 7-5 Patriots.

December 27:  The 8-7 Jets need a victory against the Patriots coupled with a Browns loss to gain the final wild card spot.   Trailing 24-14 at half-time the HC & GM of the NJY Brett Favre benches QB Favre, and Tom Brady makes his Jets debut in the second half.   Brady goes 14 for 14 but it’s not enough to outduel league MVP Kellen Clemens and the Patriots.


Cowher Says No; Go Get Shanahan

I really am a nice guy.  I should just sit here with my mouth shut and let the Jets do their usual silly things.  Yesterday I heard talk of Marty Schottenheimer (not the son) being considered as HC of the NYJ.  Marty is the Bobby Valentine of football.  He’ll get you close quickly, but never over the top.

Word today is that Bill Cowher told the Jets to MOSFU (trust me an MOSFU isn’t good).   That’s smart for Bill.

Meanwhile the Broncos did the Jets a favor by firing Mike Shanahan.  Back in September Shanahan was agenious when he went for two against the Chargers.  Now he’s a bum.   He’s one other thing, a winner.   The Broncos were never awful, and they always found players to replace other players.   If you play fantasy football you know this to be true.

The other thing Shanahan did was win with an old QB named John Elway.  

It seems like the Jets want someone who can deal with one more year of Brett, and then plug someone else into a system.   Mike is your guy.

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