07.03.14

From The Desk Of Randy L. : I Have Seen The Future Of American Rock Journalism & His Name Is Dale Baker

Posted in Baseball, Rock Und Roll at 7:29 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE :  From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive The Randy L. visits CSTB to weigh in on the more pressing issues of the day.  Upon learning of the virtual stir caused by a letter to Cleveland Scene, Randy offered, no, he totally insisted on having his say – GC)

I’m sure some of you think I’m all business-and-labradors, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  RANDY L LIKES TO KICK BACK.  RANDY L LIKES TO ROCK.  And when I’m simultaneously kicking back and rocking (and doing my best to put unsavory news stories out of my mind), I’m a devoted fans of musical artists who (like myself) are at the top of their games.   Dave Mustaine.  The National.  Taylor Hicks.  And lest you think it’s only modern, avant-garde talent that I’m down with, I’m a connoisseur of the classics, too.  As such, I consider myself to be the continent’s biggest fan of George Thorogood & The Delaware Destroyers.  At least I used to consider myself to be the continent’s biggest fan, as that was before I read the following letter that appeared in a publication far more obscure than the New York Yankees Magazine, Yearbook or Media Guide  :

I wanted to contact you to inform you about a tremendous injustice happening in Cleveland. I wouldn’t believe it had I not only witnessed it, but I was also accosted by these perpetrators of complacency.

Last night, my wife and I attended the George Thorogood and the Destroyers Rock concert at the Hard Rock Racino and this is where the trouble began.

Let me give you some background on this just in case you guys are from Pittsburgh or Sacramento or Albuquerque. You see, growing up in Cleveland, we take our Rock N’ Roll seriously. Its not just some fashion statement to us. Its our culture and religion and the reason we get out of bed some days. Its the soundtrack to our lives.

We had visionaries like Alan Freed lead the universe to the drinking hole of Rock N’ Roll. We petitioned and won the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. We are the Home of the Buzzard. Now, I know that doesn’t mean much to kids these days, but growing up in Cleveland in 70’s and 80’s, it means everything. And anyone who attends a George Thorogood concert should understand this without question.

So when you listen to classic rock in Cleveland, you will here Mr. George Thorogood and his Destroyers at least once every 2 hours. Cleveland supports George…until last night.

As I said, my wife and I went to what we thought was going to be the Classic Rock party of the summer. Unfortunately, our hopes were dashed moments into the first song.

Some rotten bastard had the stones tell us to “Sit down”.

Sit down?

Sit down for George Thorogood? Sit down for Rock N’ Roll? Sit down while George tore into a blistering opening opus. This somehow did not compute in my thinking machine.

Mind you, this wasn’t some security thug. In fact, it was a (gulp)…fan? I turned and looked and everyone was sitting. The entire place was sitting.

“Well, they must be tired? Perhaps they have been rocking with George for 40 years and they are tuckered out?” I figured. No mind, we shall stand for them and show Mr. Thorogood that Cleveland still appreciates his brand of Rock N’ Roll.

Then another person tapped my shoulder. This time it was younger gal. Clearly she had not been rocking with George for 40 years and therefore, could not be that tired. “We’re trying to watch the show. You guys need to SIT DOWN!”

“Sweatheart, why don’t you stand up and let that electric guitar flow through your soul?” I replied. And that’s when they ganged up on me.

This gang of sleepy golf shirted target demographics for Viagra all pestered us to “Sit down”.

Oh dear friends and neighbors, I’m here to testify that this really happened in Cleveland. Dear friends and neighbors, they were serious about sitting through this show. They wanted dinner theater.

I texted my friend and brother in Rock to ask for advice. Do we sit and be respectful to the crowd behind us or do we stand? He texted back and said that Rock N’ Roll has become complacent and that we needed to do what was right.

Well, this thing was bigger than the moment.

At that point I was so disappointed with the Cleveland Classic Rock fans, that I walked away from the thing and looked for someone from security to move us someplace that we could stand and be out of the way of the lethargic beer bellies.

Hard Rock staff was very understanding but would not move us. They said, we can stand in front of our seat. And they told the people behind us the same.

Of course that didn’t stop the complaining. They spent more energy and focus on us than the thunder from the Destroyers. They wanted to sit and rest their tavern tumors. As my brother in Rock said, “You can’t be a Rocker wearing Dockers”. And he was prophetic about this.

At this point, we just tuned them out and hoped that by the time George tore into “Who do you love”, these slumberous fans would press there Florsheims to the floor. No soap. They just sat there like grumpy curmudgeons from the balcony of the Muppet Show.

Look it, I just wanted to make you guys aware and perhaps through your power and influence on Clevelanders through Scene Magazine, we lift this listing ship of complacency.

Anyways, we have several more shows this summer. I will keep you abreast of this unsettling trend.

Respect the Rock,
Dale Baker

Mr. Baker sounds an awful lot like me — a passionate, free spirit, somehow remaining youthful while surrounded by pocket-protected NERDS arguing that Aldo Nova‘s Greatest Hits “don’t make for a productive work environment”. Oh, really? So you mean scouring Craigslist’s “Librarians Who’ll Do It With Anyone” section has anything to do with the job description of General Manager? Hey, you know what’s great about George Thorogood’s “I Drink Alone”? The song isn’t called, “I Drink With A Delusional Blackmail Artist Who’ll Cost Me My Family And Maybe Even My Job (Unless Randy L. Bails Me Out Again)”.

So really, you white-wine-at-the-Eddie-Money-concert types can fuck right off, along with Brian Cashman. Dale Baker is my kind of American, and on this most historic of weekends, I’d like to personally invite him to dine with me at the New Stadium’s Hard Rock Cafe. It might not have the history of an Ohio greyhound racing track’s “Hard Rockisno” or whatever the fuck they’re calling such bush league monstrosities, but I can promise you, after I’ve brought in George Thorogood for a rare Bronx appearance, anybody caught sitting down is getting punched (females under the age of 10 and persons in wheelchairs excepted). RESPECT THE ROCK OR TAKE ONE IN THE GUT.

God Bless America,
Randy L.

06.08.14

A Commercial Message From The Desk Of Randy L

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 3:24 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. graces CSTB’s vast readership with his thoughts on the events of the day, sporting and otherwise.  Upon the the New York Yankees’ introduction of 3 Bombers-branded wines, Randy asked, no, he insisted on having his say – GC)

If we can adjourn for just a moment from thoroughly dull topics such as the Stanley Cup Finals, the Belmont Stakes and our crosstown “rivals” going into the tank even earlier than usual, I’d like to draw your attention to a unique opportunity to turn your shitty studio apartment / parents’ basement or Red Hook hovel that you share with a half dozen other aspiring artistic geniuses into a palace with all the ambiance of NYY Steak.  If only for a night.

I am fully aware that most of the persons reading this haven’t been on a date since Waldman’s last pregnancy test (and the two dates in history might not be unrelated), but that’s why your best buddy Randy L. is here to add some class to your sad fucking existence. Not since Neil Strauss’ award winning “I’m A Schmendrick With Revenge Fantasies” DVD box set has there been a more sure-fire means of locking down an evening with that special someone.  Whether you chose our 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, the 2011 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, or our New York Yankees™  Reserve 2013 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (do not worry, we can vouch for the fact Brian Cashman’s fingers have come nowhere near these bottles), you’ll have no trouble demonstrating to the object of your affections that you’re part of the same tradition, success and grandeur one associates with The Yankee Universe.

Every since we announced the launch of these excellent-yet-affordable wines, my phone has been blowing up with any number of Yankee alumni eager for free samples.   Mickey Rivers, Jason Giambi, Luis Polonia, Joba Chamberlain, Shane Spencer, they’re all eager to find out just how special these wines are.  Even Vin Baker’s been in touch, though I’m pretty certain he’s never been part of our organization.

Of course, all of he above are gonna have to pay just like the peasants reading this.  We didn’t become the most successful professional team sports franchise of all-time by just giving stuff away.

05.31.14

From The Desk Of Randy L. : Enough About Dave Hudgens, There’s A Big Offer (Still) On The Table

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 10:09 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time,  noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. takes advantage of the freedoms afforded him by CSTB to weigh in on the events of the day. Following this week’s dismissal of Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens —- and Hudgens’ subsequent comments about Mets TV broadcasters and players’ difficulty coping with fan cruelty, Randy graciously offered, well, he demanded to have his say – GC)

Readers of this blog — all 4 of them — are no doubt familiar with the old baseball axiom, “he who listens to the fans ends up sitting with them”.  I’m not entirely certain that’s how it’s turned out for Dave Hudgens —- in the unlikely event he’d wanna attend a game in the future, Mets tickets are probably out of his price range (and then there’s the matter of whether or not his severance checks bounce).  That said, this latest, all-too-typical embarrassment for our crosstown rivals is a cautionary tale for what happens when people who can’t pack my intellectual lunchbox attempt to run a baseball team.

For starters, there’s reports Hudgens was shitcanned following an angry text from genetic lottery winner Jeff Wilpon to the emasculated, titular General Manager Sandy “Nice Name For A Man” Alderson.  Not only do I find these rumors believable, but it all sounds terribly familiar.  If I had a dollar for every time I’ve intercepted a text message from the Yankee Universe’s own genetic lottery winners Hank and Hal to our own emasculated, titular, librarian-fucking GM, I’d have as much money as Jason Giambi’s spent on penicillin over the last decade.

Upon being shown the door in Flushing, Hudgens strongly suggested Mets legends-turned-TV analysts Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez had quashed team morale with their pointed critiques. I afraid this particular scenario is not one I can personally relate to. If, for instance John Sterling dared to suggest that our 40 year old team captain wasn’t in the prime of his career, do you have any idea how quickly he’d be selling pencils in midtown Manhattan?  Also,  are there still men wandering around midtown Manhattans selling pencils?   I rarely get out of my car in that part of town, but Mickey Rivers has told me some pretty wild stories about the 1970′s.

The portion of Hudgens’ exit interview I found the most curious, however, was his insistence that veterans like Curtis Granderson and David Wright are somehow intimidated by jeers from the paying customers.  To which I’d reply,  what paying customers?  There’s acres of empty seats! If Chris Young needs privacy to hit higher than .200, he’s in luck — he’s got more peace & quiet at Citi Field than he’ll find in most libraries (the exception of course, being libraries in which Brian Cashman is having very loud sex with someone on staff — those libraries aren’t quiet at all, and actually have more in common with select restroom stalls at the new Yankee Stadium).

I’ll remind you all again that I’m not merely penning these entries because I relish the misfortunes experience by the Wilpons, their players and fans.  On the contrary — a strong New York Mets franchise makes all of New York a better place to live (and more importantly also drives up the value of our ballclub, though it seems a little insane a team with 2 fluke trophies can even be mentioned in the same breath as the most successful franchise in the history of team sports). And that’s why for the third time I am repeating the most gracious offer the Wilpons will receive short of Bobby Bonilla saying, “that’s ok, you don’t have to keep paying me.”  We’ll still take Matt Harvey straight up for Alex Rodriguez.   That’s right, a sure-thing, first ballot Hall of Famer on the brink of breaking the most hallowed record in baseball, for an attention-starved, obscene-gesture-making PUNK who has yet to accomplish anything of note in the big leagues (an undignified headhunting display on national TV doesn’t count).  And we don’t even know if he’ll be physically fit (with Mets physicians on the case, let’s just assume he isn’t).

One of these days, I’ll grow weary of such benevolent overtures and shall simply retire to my private table at NYY Steak, from which vantage point I’ll no doubt see highlights of David Wright, unprotected in the batting order, popping up weakly in a crucial spot. Or I’ll witness young Mets phenom Jacob DeGrom being committed to a mental institution once he’s realized he’s toiling for a team that aren’t going to score any runs for him (a situation that might well have been averted had Sandy Denny or whatever he calls himself shown the good graces to return my messages and bring A-Rod’s bat and nearly 700 career home runs to your fucking ghostland stadium).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a TV commercial to supervise.  Stephen Dorf looks really good in pinstripes and starting next month we’ll be selling blu e-cigarettes at all Yankee Stadium concession stands (with charging stations available to those with Audi Club access).   “We’re all adults here…and we’re 28-time World Champions.”.  Pretty good, right?  I wrote that myself.

DUECE OUT THA ROOF,

The Randy L

05.14.14

From The Desk Of Randy L : On The Yankees’ Crosstown Rivals & Their Willingness To Poison The Opposition (& Themselves)

Posted in Baseball, Food, New York, New York at 4:50 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive / labrador enthusiast Randy L. shares his thoughts of the day with the lucky CSTB readership.  Following the New York Mets scoring 21 runs over 2 nights against the Yankees in the Nu Stadium leg of the Subway Series, Randy offered, well, he demanded to have his say – GC)

Greetings, citizens of Yankee Universe and the slovenly, slouchy, unshaven, garbage-stench persons in 7-Line t-shirts that saw fit to leave my glorious baseball palace covered in hot dog wrappers, urine and used syringes.  It was like visiting Jason Giambi in his hotel suite the morning after a night game!  What sort of fetid dump plays host to “humans” like this anyway?

Oh right, CITI FIELD, that glittering monument to a family that after further enriching themselves thru the most nefarious of means, now cries poorhouse anytime their long-suffering GM so much as wants to buy a new pack of toner.  Yeah, I’m well aware the Mets put quite a beating on our boys the last two evenings, but there’s little glory in running up the score, especially against a Yankee squad decimated by injuries.  I’m pretty sure it was Harvey Keitel or Edward James Olmos who once said, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  And get going we shall, though you’ll note Cashman and both of the genetic lottery winners who unjustly bear the last name Steinbrenner got going out of here at around 1pm this afternoon.  Not sure what’s up with Hal and Hank, maybe they had tickets for a “Godzilla” preview (still pissed we couldn’t work out some sort of Hideki Matsui licensing fee for that one — I guess you can just steal intellectual property these days with no recourse).  Brian’s got his Depo-Provera appointment, and if nothing else, that should make him a little less excitable if he has to answer any questions tonight after our pitchers get shelled.

All kidding aside, I offer nothing but congratulations to my close friends,  Saul Katz, Fred & Jeff Wilpon, on the Mets’ past two victories. It’s a crying shame such an achievement had to be tarnished by news reports the Citi Field outpost of Oscar Meyer’s Shake Shack had apparently caused projectile vomiting on the part of Phillies manager Ryne Sandburg and Mets 1B Lucas Duda.  Guys, I can fully understand serving tainted meat to a visiting team, but sickening one of your players?  CLASSIC METS, though I will admit I generated a similar reaction from the entire Yankee front office when I mistakenly CC’d everyone on the hidden camera footage I’d obtained of our former 3rd baseman challenging a half dozen muscular women in what was apparently a futile attempt to revive the Apartment Wrestling circuit of the 1960′s.

In contrast to the piles of gristle, sawdust and rat feces that compose Shake Shack’s burgers, offerings at our highly rated NYY Steak, conveniently located at Yankee Stadium result in only the happiest of family gatherings, anniversary dinners, etc. NOT TRIPS TO THE FUCKING EMERGENCY ROOM.   You know that old joke about Elton John having his stomach pumped?  Well, I don’t. I keep waiting for someone to tell it to me.  But I’m almost 100% certain the punch line has nothing to do with NYY Steak, where we observe the highest standards in food preparation.

Go get ‘em tonight, Bombers.  I’ll take my victory WELL DONE.

Randy L.

04.24.14

From The Desk Of Randy L. : If You’re Not Cheating, You’re Not Trying

Posted in Baseball at 3:43 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, CSTB is fortunate to feature the observations of Bronx baseball executive Randy L.   Upon hearing of Yankee starter Michael Pineda’s 10-game suspension for use of a foreign substance, and GM Brian Cashman’s profuse apology for such, Randy insisted, no, sorry, he demanded to have his say – GC)

Greetings, Yankee Universe and those who so dearly wish they were part of our solar system.  Like most of you, I was saddened by events at the New Yankee Stadium last night that saw our fine young pitcher, Michael Pineda ejected, and subsequently suspended for simply being easier to bust than Jon Lester. Look, I realize for our society to function properly, there are rules that are applicable to all of us, but think for a minute, if you will, about the sort of unselfish act that was required to subdue the big market Red Sox while risking such extreme punitive measures.  In my book, Michael Pineda is a real hero and a fantastic role model, one willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win a 28th World Championship.   You don’t think Pineda knows where he could end up if he falters?  That’s right, Trenton, NJ.   How would you perform with that kind of pressure hanging over your head?  I’m willing to bet you’d screw up at least a couple of Subway orders.

So imagine, if you will, my discomfort this afternoon, upon learning our Lothario Of The Librarian circuit, Brian Cashman, has declared, “we as a group are embarrassed.”  SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, NEEDLE DICK.  I couldn’t be prouder of Michael Pineda than if one of my prized labradors had just won a trophy in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.   Which category you ask?  Oh, I don’t know, the one for BORN WINNERS WHO AREN’T PUSSIES LIKE CASHMAN.

With the possible exception of Jason Giambi, I’ve not met an individual more prone to thinking with his prick than our moralizing general manager.  Does he really believe the fans and media have completely forgotten the way he tarnished this franchise’s good name by breaking his marriage vows with a paramour that made Steve Phillips’ intern seem like Courtney Thorne-Smith by comparison?

Look, nobody cares more about the integrity of the game more than Randy L.  That’s why I’ve been so tireless in making certain the hot corner at our palace of a ballpark is a fraud-free zone.  But compared to the truly horrible things happening right his moment in John Sterling’s hotel suite this nation’s schools and streets, it seems the height of hysteria to make Michael Pineda Public Enemy Number One.

How would I have handled the situation?  Simple — first Boston reporter who asks me about last night gets this answer ; “it’s a regrettable situation, but not nearly as much so as your team’s color guy aiding and enabling a murderer.”

MIKE FUCKING DROP.  That’s how it’s done, Cashman.

Randy L.

03.06.14

From The Desk Of Randy Levine : An Appreciation Of Chelsea Handler’s Handling Of A-Rod

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 8:39 pm by

(Editor’s Note : From time to time, CSTB is blessed with the observations of noted Bronx, NY baseball executive Randy L.  Upon hearing of comedian/author Chelsea Handler’s recent critical remarks directed at suspended New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, Randy asked, no, he insisted on weighing in – GC)

As Spring Training commences here in Tampa, I’m well aware that many members of our organization enjoy healthy, consensual relationships with other adults. What John  Sterling gets up to in his own time is not necessarily illegal, and while our General Manager has caused us no shortage of embarrassment with his zipper problems the last several years, as I’ve already explained in this very space, we’ve got that matter well under control.

When it comes to a certain member of the Yankee universe who is currently banned from donning our uniform, visiting our clubhouse or making use of training facilities for roughly one calendar year, however, I am sorry to say that I am not in a position to police Alex Rodriguez’ carnal desires.  His pathetic attempts to chat up the lovely and talented Ms. Handler were as awkward to read about as they were highly surprising (for one thing, she doesn’t look like Lex Luger with Farah-hair).

Still, while it pained me to see this world-class franchise dragged thru the mud on yet another occasion by a preening, supercilious boor, it was hard to take issue with Chelsea’s savvy assessment :

“Just the way he conducts himself,” Handler said. “He’s got a centaur of himself in his bedroom. Yeah, him and a horse, combined as one person … Plus he dates all these girls, he just sleeps around. I don’t like guys who cheat on their girlfriends, you know? I’m not into that.”

Bravo. You know who else isn’t into that? Randy L., that’s who. Leave the species-splicing to the experts, that’s what I’ve been saying for years. And fidelity, genuine, deep fidelity against all encroachments (Jacoby Ellsbury in a towel on Family Day, a Jacoby Ellsbury screensaver on your wife’s laptop, your wife serving soup made from Jacoby Ellsbury’s underwear for your anniversary dinner) is what our civilization is based upon. If we were all just a bunch of grunting, stupid animals attempting to mate with every creature whose stench met our fancy, the Cleveland Police Department would constantly be issuing APB’s for people meeting the description of Nick Swisher.

With a little more than a month standing between us and our quest for a 28th World Championship, let this latest unsavory incident between Alex Rodriguez and Chelsea Handler serve a as learning lesson for the dozens of young prospects attending our training camp; keep it in your pants, gentlemen, or I might be compelled to put it back for you.

02.19.14

From The Desk Of Randy L: Can Rick Pitino See Porcini From Atop His High Horse?

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, The Internet at 3:07 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, CSTB is graced with the observations and commentary of noted baseball executive Randy L. of the Bronx. In the wake of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino’s recent comments about social media, ie., “I think anyone who reads social media that’s in sports is not all there”, Randy asked, no, he demanded to have his say – GC)

Greetings to the jobless, dateless and hopeless individuals who make up what’s left of this blog’s meager readership. You might think with everything happening in the my Yankee Universe of late —- the signing of Masahiro Tanaka, the pending retirement of Derek Jeter, the Westminster Kennel Club show — I’d not have time to follow the exploits of a serial philanderer who couldn’t make it in the pro ranks….but enough about our suspended third baseman. No, instead, I’d like to turn your attention to Rick Pitino and his inability to understand the nuances of social media.

I’ll fully admit that one time or another, Randy L. was not the hippest guy in the Bronx. If you’d asked for my Grindr profile, I’d have slapped your face and sternly explained that in this part of the country, we call them submarine sandwiches.

But a few late nights in the company of Jason Giambi were a real eye-opener, and I’ve developed a new appreciation for the many wonderful tools a smart phone places at one’s disposal these days. If there’s a great song playing in the lobby of your proctologist that you can’t quite identify, just hit SHAZAM and hey, it’s another winner from The National. Have a bad experience with a merchant or service provider and need to take them down a peg or several? That’s why Yelp was invented.

I realize for a middle-aged guy like Rick Pitino, the allure of things like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and this site must seem elusive, but for today’s young people, such platforms are almost as useful sources of information as the New York Yankees Team Yearbook, Media Guide or game day program. Certainly, I’ve found them to be invaluable when the club has to perform due diligence on a prospective or current employee. You can learn a lot about someone’s character from the sort of social media footprint they leave, and I am pretty sure I said those exact words out loud the last time we were in contract negotiations with John Sterling.

How might Rick Pitino’s life and career been positively impacted had he embraced social media a few years ago? For starters, he could’ve done a little research about a certain paramour prior to breaking his marriage vows, embarrassing his employer, his family and the entire state of Kentucky by engaging in sexual intercourse in the booth of a Louisville Italian restaurant.

I know, it’s laughable. Perhaps there really are decent Italian restaurants in that part of the country —- I’ll have to consult Yelp to find out! — but do you really want to eat off a dinner table that’s been marked by Rick Pitino’s DNA? Larry Bird and Robert Parish might not be walking thru that door, but patrons of the region’s spaghetti warehouses would surely settle for someone carrying a gigantic vat of Clorox.

Still, it’s not too late for Pitino to see the error of his ways and learn from past mistakes. If nothing else, a cursory glance at the Adult Friend Finder profile of user “ohmygoodnessgracious” should be enough to disable his husband-equipment for an indefinite period.

see you in Tampa,
Randy L.

01.02.14

From The Desk of Randy L : Reading Between The Lines (Of My Stolen E-Mail)

Posted in Baseball at 6:54 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive / consumer advocate Randy L. of the Bronx shares his views on the events of the day with lucky CSTB readers. Upon learning that New York Magazine had published excerpts from several years of correspondence between the Yankee front office and Alex Rodriguez, Randy offered, well, more like demanded to have his say – GC)


Greetings and happy new year from the HQ of the most successful professional sports franchise of all-time. Though I’ve tried to foster a trusting, cooperative environment here at the New Stadium, from time to time, I’ve had to invade the privacy of others for the good of the Yankee Universe. Whether that’s meant installing malware on Brian Cashman’s laptop, putting a GPS device on John Sterling’s Buick Skylark or maintaining video surveillance on an employee who might otherwise disgrace the Yankee uniform, I’ve been a firm believer in doing whatever it takes to take care of business.

Today, however, I think I know what Edward Snowden was talking about when he recently said our personal freedoms were under attack. Or maybe it was Edward Norton — I’ll confess, I’m not a big reader of entertainment blogs (this one, especially). But either way, I was stunned that any reputable publication (or in this case, New York Magazine) would publish private electronic messages between two law abiding citizens. Or even one law abiding citizen and Alex Rodriquez.

Persons reading these messages out of context might have gotten the impression the working relationship between myself and our estranged third baseball was a little too chummy for comfort on occasions.  BFF’s, almost.  I’m sure, however, you’re all familiar with the expression, “keep your friends close, keep your frienemies closer, but keep the guys with needles in their ass who you’d just as soon push down a flight of stairs closest of all.”

I’ll be the first to admit, I was not being entirely sincere in my attempts to assuage A-Rod’s fragile ego. But with the help of our proprietary stay-out-of-litigation translation software (you probably had no idea Boone Logan had serious developer chops), I was able to fully express myself while not provoking further tantrums. or legal entanglements.  For instance :

May 21, 2012
The Yanks are shut out by the Royals.

The Randy L : If there’s a Hall Of Fame for preening, supercilious punks, you’re going in on the first ballot.

TRANSLATION :

My friend, I have always believed that in difficult times there r two ways to go. The easy way, which is to make excuses, be defensive, or blame others and shut it down. The better way is to take the challenge, get mad, get determined, and shut everyone up and perform to greater levels. I believe in u. I believe u will hit those levels. It has been a tough year in injuries, tough losses, underperformance, but we need a leader, that is you. Take the lead, get these guys going, put a chip on your shoulder. When u succeed it will be Yankees lore. There is nothing more powerful than that. I am here to support u. Tell us what u need.

May 23, 2012
Rodriguez homers twice against the Royals in an 8-3 Yankees victory, Rodriguez’s first home runs in 52 at-bats.

The Randy L : Way to actually earn your obscene paycheck, precious. And classy move, leaving bleacher seats for Wendi Richter. Ever heard of respecting your elders?

TRANSLATION :

Breakout game. Nice going. Chip on shoulder attitude. Get us on a roll.

July 3, 2013

The Randy L : You know what’s the most fun part of fantasizing about having you killed? When I realize how many people out there would be willing to do the job for free.

Just kidding. You hope.

TRANSLATION :

Hey Al, glad ur on ur way back. Quick question: some lawyer named James McCaroll [one of Rodriguez’s lawyers] keeps calling Hal [Steinbrenner, co-chair and managing general partner of the Yankees], says he is your lawyer, wants to talk about your investments. I called him. He is not taking my calls. Is he your guy? If so, have him call me. If not, you should have someone shut him down.

August 3, 2013

Rodriguez: Can u please stop!! I want to play baseball and I could make a big difference to the game. Steinbrenner would roll in his grave IF he knew what was happening! Stop, Randy, this isn’t going to be good for any of us!! You are a businessman and what you are doing is ruining the business of baseball. If u want to meet in person to discuss it, let’s do it!

August 5, 2013

The Randy L : It’s always sucked to be you but now it SUPER SUCKS TO BE YOU.

TRANSLATION

I received your email, the contents of which are a complete shock to me. As I have repeatedly told you, this is an MLB investigation. We had no role in initiating the investigation or assisting in the direction of the investigation. Despite your continued false accusations (which you know are false) we have acted consistently. My focus and direction, as well as that of the entire Yankees organization, has been, and continues to be, to treat you in the same manner as we do all of our players, to have you healthy and ready to play as soon as possible. Good luck.

12.17.13

From The Desk Of Randy L : Farewell To The Sanctity Of The Clubhouse (And The Wellness Clinic)

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 9:16 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive / consumer rights advocate Randy L. of the Bronx provides CSTB readers with his observations on the events of the day, sporting and otherwise. Upon reading in today’s Page 6 that “a number of publishers” are offering Alex Rodriguez $5 million or more for the rights to a sensational, tell-all autobiography, Randy offered, no, he fucking demanded to have his say – GC)

So it’s come to this. Bad enough the Yankee uniform has been tarnished by such pseudo authors as Jim Bouton, Joe Pepitone and Jim Leyritz, but now we have to suffer news accounts of the fraud-of-the-century, Alex Rodriguez, having his ego stroked by the auteur behind something called “Cocaine Cowboys”. If Mr. Steinbrenner were alive today, I’m pretty certain he’d beg me to put a pillow over his face. Actually, he really did beg me to put a pillow over his face, but that was after Waldman popped out of the cake at his 78th birthday party.

Perhaps some of you ghoulish types find some entertainment value in A-Rod betraying the confidence of his teammates, coaches, and nutritional consultants alike. Not me. I still believe in the baseball saying, “what happens in a nightclub primarily populated by hostesses who make Luna Vachon look like Kim Novak stays in a nightclub primarily populated by hostesses who make make Luna Vachon look like Kim Novak.” CALL ME OLD SCHOOL.

It’s occurred to me on more than one occasion that rather than attempt to titillate, perhaps today’s reader would rather be regaled by the exploits of a humanitarian, a brilliant executive, a friend to labradors and someone who at the end of the day enjoys the music of The National and the high-wire comedy of Daniel Tosh. But you’re not likely to read a book like that anytime soon, let alone see it adapted into a motion picture directed by Peter Berg, for two simple reasons. For starters, I’m way too modest. But I’ve also got far too much respect for the Yankee Universe to prostitute myself by selling my amazing life story for a mere $5 million dollars.

For $5 million and a $100 donation to this organization, however, I’m willing to consider it.

GET AT ME,

Randy L.

12.10.13

From The Desk Of Randy L. : Baseball’s Hall Of Fame Without George Steinbrenner Is Like Sizzler Without Joba

Posted in Baseball at 7:13 pm by

(Editor’s Note : from time to time, baseball executive, Labrador lover and consumer advocate Randy L. of the Bronx lends his innermost thoughts on the events of the day with CSTB’s vast readership.  Upon learning the Hall Of Fame’s veterans committee had chosen not to induct his former employer, the late Yankee principal owner George Steinbrenner, Randy offered, no, he insisted on having his say – GC)

While I hope it’s been a happy holiday season in your household, the afterglow of an otherwise joyous Hanukah was ruined in the Levine home yesterday.  We’d been celebrating The Greatest Sporting Franchise In The World’s acquisitions of proven winners like Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, while having a good laugh over our former 2nd baseman pricing himself right into a baseball Siberia I wouldn’t visit on a bet (though I understand the walking tour of Places Layne Staley Liked To Hang Out is “not to be missed”).  The good tidings came to crashing halt yesterday, however when I received a phone call informing me the cretins at the so-called Hall Of Fame had chosen to disregard the candidacy of my good friend and mentor, the late George Steinbrenner.

Mr. Steinbrenner’s name is synonymous with excellence, winning, class, and giving brilliant executives like myself the sort of platform we deserve. By contrast, his sons Hank and Hal are synonymous with undeserved good fortune and hogging headlines that were truly earned by someone older and far better looking.   It is true, to quote the late Billy Martin, that Mr. Steinbrenner was once “convicted”, but do his overzealous efforts on behalf of one of this nation’s greatest presidents deserve greater scorn than say, a recent HOF inductee who would’ve left a World Series ring imprint on his wife’s face, had he won more than one of ‘em?  Do Mr. Steinbrenner’s noble attempts to blow the lid off a poorly-run charity deserve eternal mockery compared to the inability of another new drunk HOF member to keep his eyes open while operating a motor vehicle?

As today’s sportswriters and poorly qualified “veterans committees” foster a culture of hypocrisy and double standards, I’m pleased to see there’s one other member of this organization willing to speak the truth.  When asked about Robinson Cano leaving the Bronx in favor of what could well be a lifetime of obscurity, our general manager, the zipper-challenged Brian Cashman was heard to say something along the lines of, “I’d have done the same thing.”  And that’s almost certainly the case ;  given his contempt for the institution of marriage, the way he thoroughly humiliated a woman foolish enough to become his bride, can anyone really be surprised that Brian Cashman boasts of being as ethically bereft as he is horny?

Have fun in Cooperstown next summer, assholes.  I’ll be here at the New Stadium, watching Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann and the new-look 2014 New York Yankees run away with the AL East.  If you’ve made too many poor life choices like Cashman and don’t have a great guy like me to bail you out, you’ll probably not be able to afford tickets, but the games will sound terrific on our new radio partner, WFAN.  I’m told they’ve not featured Major League Baseball on this station for many, many years, so this should be a great learning experience for all of us.

see you in Tampa,

The Randy L.

11.04.13

From The Desk Of Randy L. : The Yankee Universe Tolerates Everyone (Except Bullies)

Posted in Baseball, Gridiron at 9:59 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, renowned baseball executive / Arcade Fire superfan Randy L. of the Bronx takes to CSTB to address the more pressing issues of the day. In the light of the growing bullying scandal involving Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, Randy offered, nay, demanded to have his say – GC)

Before I tackle today’s big story, I’d be remiss in not offering my most sincere congratulations to the Boston Red Sox on their recent World Series triumph. Some of my colleagues in the corridors of the New Stadium have suggested that between whatever goo was resting in Jon Lester’s glove during Game One and David Ortiz’ most suspicious late-career revival, this 3rd Boston title in 9 years is every bit as legitimate as Konrad Kujau’s Hitler diaries ; it’s a rather unflattering analogy, sure, but no matter which side you’re on, there’s no denying that my staff are very well read.

But I digress  ; the reports coming out of Miami today should turn the stomach of every sophisticated sports fan. Since no one reading this blog fits that description, you might want to walk around your neighborhood for 10 or 15 minutes and see if you can’t find someone with a job, family, conscience, etc., not necessarily in that order.

OK, are we all set? I am addressing a normal human being who finds threatening, abusive, racially-charged voicemail and text messages completely unacceptable in the workplace?  Good  — tell the so-called editor to take his time buying organic dog food.   It’s good to be amongst likeminded, reasonable people for a change, though I doubt any of you would be surprised to learn the sort of actions Richie Incognito is accused of would buy him a one-way ticket out Yankee Universe if for instance, he was 100 pounds lighter and had any sort of athletic ability besides shoving smaller people out of the way at Golden Corral.

It’s a shameful, embarrassing situation for Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and owner Steve Ross, though to be perfectly fair, I should admit that we at one time contended with our own “hazing” rituals in the Bronx.  A number of years ago, the boys took a rather extreme dislike to a newly arrived free agent, who despite his gaudy statistics, managed to alienate the entire clubhouse with his preening mannerisms and Eddie Haskell-like behavior.

This individual, whom for legal reasons I can only refer to as “Alex”, was the guest of honor at a surprise July 2004 birthday party at the China Club, an event I was genuinely embarrassed to attend. Despite my personal feelings for this player —- a young man I found to be disingenuous, supercilious, and deeply pretentious (and those were his good qualities) —- I was deeply worried what his teammates had planned for him.  There was all sorts of whispering about a “big surprise” for our third baseman, and without even getting into the liability issues, I felt this was conduct thoroughly unbecoming the greatest professional sports franchise of all-time.

I arrived late to the party that fateful night, and imagine my abject horror when I entered the room and observed the birthday boy receiving a lewd lapdance from Nicole Bass.  Without hesitation, I ordered my good friend DJ Finesse to cut the music and hand me the microphone.   Employing public speaking skills that would put John Sterling to shame, I admonished the players in attendance for their culpability in a cruel, senseless prank.  “So what,” I intoned, “if this narcissistic, self-obsessed fop makes Kevin Brown seem like a fun guy to hang out with?”

“You’re a team, for fuck’s sake. Attempts to demoralize and humiliate your colleagues will not be tolerated — that’s my job.

It was quite a speech.  I’m pretty sure Waldman cried. And even though it was explained to me later on that Nicole Bass was actually Alex’s date for the night, I think I made my point, loud and clear.  The Yankee Universe has traditionally welcomed all sorts of colorful personalities ;  Joba Chamberlain, Luis Polonia, Jim Leyritz, Jason Giambi and Steve Howe just to name a few.  I kept that tradition firmly in mind when defending the player mentioned above, and that’s exactly the kind of leadership that’s sorely lacking in South Beach.  While my services are obviously beyond the means of Mr. Ross, i don’t think there would be any harm whatsoever in my taking a day off from my important work in the Bronx to deliver a pregame pep talk to the Dolphins when they visit Tampa next Monday night.  And when an inspired Miami squad runs the table and eventually wins Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands next February, I’m hardly gonna turn down a Super Bowl ring. I mean, that’s the least they can do for me, right?

Be a star,

Randy L.

10.04.13

From The Desk Of Randy L. : Preening, Fraudlent & Litigious Is No Way To Go Thru Life

Posted in Baseball at 6:14 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive Randy L. of the Bronx brings his expertise and insight to CSTB’s readership.  Upon learning earlier today that Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is mounting a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Bud Selig, Randy offered…no, he demanded, to have his say – GC)

October is a special time of year in the Levine household. Halloween preparations (we’ve already got John Sterling’s costume picked out), checking out the annual offerings from Dick Wolf’s production house, but most importantly, our favorite pursuit is gathering around the television to watch postseason baseball. Of course, this postseason isn’t nearly as special, what with the World’s Most Successful Professional Sporting Franchise of All-Time being a non-participant, but I’m sure it’s a magical moment for those who live in godforsaken places like Oakland, St. Louis, Detroit, Boston, etc.  And it seems a crying shame to me that fans in those cities aren’t being allowed to savor that moment without some sickening, self-obsessed ingrate interrupting TBS’ excellent postseason coverage so we could focus YET AGAIN on whatever crisis is happening in his pathetic life.

But enough about that punk, Matt Harvey. I’d wish the kid good luck with the surgery, but I’d be lying.  And the only thing lower than a liar is a liar who seems addicted to lying, as though the lying were some sort of superpower-inducing drug that you could inject into your hind quarters.  I’ve done my best to try and find a solution for Alex Rodriguez’ problems this year — heck, I even made him the lynchpin of a blockbuster trade offer — but we are well and truly past the point of no return.

One media outlet says of A-Rod’s latest stunt, “the suit accuses the league and Bud Selig of planting negative stories about Rodriguez in the news.”  Not so fast, THAT’S MY FUCKING JOB.  And I’ve got to tell you, very often, my efforts have been thoroughly unnecessary!  Did the league or the New York Yankees try to slap a baseball out of Bronson Arroyo’s mitt like Rue McClanahan trying to fend off the late Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy?  Did MLB or this universally respected franchise have anything to do with Alex Rodriguez kicking his lovely wife to the curb in favor of a succession of hulking paramours, some of whom made Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy look downright feminine by comparison?  Was it Bud Selig who installed the Centaur above A-Rod’s bed?   Did Rob Manfred talk Alex into wearing purple lipstick on a nationally televised interview, or advise him that “loosey-goosey” was the sort thing that would curry sympathy?

Alex’s inability to look himself in the mirror, his refusal to take stock and accept responsibility for wounds that are entirely self-inflicted, reminds me of no one else as much as former album radio fixture Billy Squier.  Squier once infamously sued the director of the above music video for ruining his career, as though a brilliant auteur like Kenny Ortega came up with the idea all by himself for Squier to writhe around like Jennifer Beals’ understudy (ask your parents).  The only person to blame for Billy Squier becoming a laughing stock was Billy Squier, much as 100% of the credit for making Alex Rodriguez look like an asshole is down to Alex Rodriguez.

OK, I’ll accept maybe 10% of the credit.

In conclusion, I deeply regret the way today’s talk of legal proceedings have overshadowed what oughta be some terrific playoff baseball between whatever secondary market, bullshit-tiny-town-teams that aren’t the New York Yankees.  I’ll do my best for the rest of this month to focus on what happens between the lines, but I am deeply saddened at the cheap, cynical way in which  Alex Rodriguez has tarnished the legacy of this great sporting institution.  It was my fervent hope a few years ago, that not only would A-Rod someday challenge for the all-time HR crown, but in terms of personal deportment, he would eventually be considered the latest in a long line of Yankee greats including but not limited to Mickey Rivers, Danny Tartabull, Steve Howe, Hideki Irabu and Chad Curtis.

As it turns out, he’s not fit to pack any of their lunches. And when you consider Howe is dead and Curtis is headed to a maximum security prison, I’m hardly talking about very heavy lunches that come in several Tupperware containers.

I LIVE FOR THIS,
Randy L.

09.22.13

From The Desk Of Randy L : When Metallica Met Mo

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 10:00 pm by

(From time to time, CSTB is privileged to feature the commentary of Bronx baseball executive / consumer advocate Randy L.   On the occasion of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera’s final home game — and the extensive ceremonies to mark this historic day —- Randy offered, nay, he insisted on sharing his thoughts – GC)

Greetings, citizens of Yankee Universe and the sad, inconsequential persons who only wish they could be a part of it. Though this weekend was undoubtedly special for the many admirers of Mariano Rivera and our own resident anti-masturbation advocate, Andy Pettitte, I would be remiss in not congratulating the publisher of this web site on Can’t Stop The (Mouth)-Breathing’s 10th Anniversary.  You’d think during all that time, they’d either have managed to maintain their earlier archives or at least come up with a design that says something besides PLEASE GO AWAY, but hey, we can’t all be Bustle.com, I am right?

Back to the matter at hand, however.  Sunday was a glorious day at the New Stadium, and this proud organization spared no expense in bringing in any number of fan favorites from Mariano Rivera’s 18 year tenure in pinstripes.  Paul O’Neil, David Cone, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Jim Leyritz, Hensley Meullens, heck, you couldn’t roll around on the floor of the Yankee clubhouse for 2 or 3 minutes without colliding with a sure-thing Hall of Famer. And that’s exactly what Joba Chamberlain and CC Sabathia did earlier today when they got into it over the last piece of lox on the pregame spread.

But even those two couldn’t spoil a beautiful moment, one that was made extra special by the appearance of James, Kirk, Lars, and Cliff Jason Robert, aka the Fab Four, aka Metallica. I don’t mind telling you it took some serious string-pulling to arrange their performance of “Enter Sandman”, and much as I’m loathe to take all the credit for such a coup….well, who else are you gonna thank?  Cashman’s musical tastes run more towards songs like “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”, “Torn Between Two Lovers” or “I’ve Never Been To Me”.

I know what you’re saying.  “What could a responsible, decorated business executive like Randy L. know about metal?”  A fuck of a lot more than most of you studio apartment-dwelling scumbags know about grooming or personal hygiene, as it turns out.  In fact, while you’ve probably read many stories about Mo’s ambivalence towards “Enter Sandman”, you might not be aware that for many years, I have personally lobbied him to replace it with Megadeth’s “Peace Sells (But Who’s Buying?)”.  For starters, I’m a great admirer of former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, a man who has combined a brand of consumer advocacy not unlike my own with a keen interest in current events. And it’s simply a much, much better song ; certainly it carries a lyrical message we can all relate to.

OK, so it turns out Mo’s a pacifist. That tiny shortcoming aside, he remains the classiest person I’ve ever encountered when not staring directly into a mirror.  And that’s why it pains me so much to see our crosstown rivals falling over themselves to commemorate a manufactured piece of history.  The Mets are really going to induct Mike Piazza into their pseudo-Hall Of Fame?  I guess they might as well, that’s the only one he’s getting into without a ticket.  But if the Wilpons  want to have a special day for a guy who loudly/publicly announced his heterosexuality, that’s no skin off my nose, just so long as they understand Jason Giambi’s gonna want a day and a parade when he finds out about this (assuming he has any friends willing to read this entry aloud).

All of that said, I’m not without empathy for our Flushing neighbors.  I understand Mr. Piazza is something of an avowed “metal head”, and with that in mind, if the Mets would like to hire Sebastian Bach to serenade him on Sept. 29, I will gladly lend them the $250 needed to make it happen.  You know I love competition, but when there’s a chance to bring a smile to the face of New York baseball fans, regardless of whatever dubious choices they’ve made in their lives, I’ll do whatever I can to make it happen.

thanks for the memories, Mo!

Randy L.

09.16.13

From The Desk Of Randy L. : Displaying Mo’s Blown Saves Is The Lowest Form Of Humor

Posted in Baseball at 6:29 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive/consumer advocate Randy L. of the Bronx weighs in at CSTB on the events of the day. In the wake of the Red Sox honoring Mariano Rivera last night at Fenway Park —- in a ceremony some found uncomfortably self-congratulatory on the part of the hosts — Randy offered, nay, demanded to have his say – GC).

Not for the first time, Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner and John Henry have shown that no organization in sports is quite so capable of putting the “ass” in “class”.  Sunday evening’s ceremonies in a vermin-infested temple of alcoholism provided some cheap laughs and yet another opportunity for our alleged rivals to pat themselves on the back for actually having achieved anything of note TWICE IN A HUNDRED FUCKING YEARS.

Just for the sake of argument, however, suppose for a moment I buy into the idea that a little nudge-nudge, yuck-yuck at the expense of the universally beloved Mariano Rivera on what could be his final game in that cesspool was somehow an appropriate gesture. How might the World’s Greatest Sporting Franchise return the favor?  What sort of highlights could we show on the New Stadium jumbotron during Manny Ramirez’ final game…no, wait, sorry, too late for that.  Maybe we can find a clip of Nomar Garciaparra glued to the bench on his own volition while Derek Jeter makes a heroic leap into the stands in time for the former’s last game at….whoops, a little late on that one, too.  How about some hidden camera video of Manny Alexander giving his car keys to the batboy?  Josh Beckett loading up a baseball w/ KFC grease?   Oh, sorry, those guys aren’t wearing Boston uniforms…or anyone else’s for that matter.

That’s because when it comes to dominating for generations rather than an isolated, aberrational year or two, there’s only one New York Yankees and there’s only one Mariano Rivera.  Our pathetic, desperate neighbors to the north know this better than anyone. If you think I’m overreacting to the least witty exhibition to come out of Boston since the last time Sully Erna opened his mouth, rest assured, I know my way around a blooper reel, too. And in the not-so-unlikely event we face these Red Sox in the 2013 postseason, I’ve already begun production on a special video montage the Fenway A/V dept. can showcase in what should could be Alex Rodriguez’ final game in Boston.  Until then, I’m tempted to say of the Red Sox, “you’re better than this,” but we all know that simply isn’t true.

yours in sustained excellence,
Randy L.

08.26.13

From The Desk Of Randy L : Sympathy For A Financially Destitute, Terminally Fucked Baseball Franchise

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 4:11 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, noted baseball executive / consumer rights advocate Randy L. of the Bronx brings his guest editorial chops to CSTB. In the wake of Monday’s terrible news concerning Mets starter Matt Harvey, Randy offered, sorry, demanded an opportunity to address traumatized Mets fans).

OK, for starters, let me be very clear that I am rescinding my earlier trade offer. But if you’re the sort of person who thinks I’d relish an opponent’s misfortune, you don’t know the real Randy L. Sure, I’m a little competitive. Whether I’m gunning for trophies with my world-class Labradors, sending gift-baskets to persons who’ve written unsolicited, favorable Yelp reviews for NYY Steak (HINT, HINT) or playing the office game, “See Who Can Look Thru Cashman’s Browser History The Longest Without Vomiting” (I’m up to ten minutes — and it isn’t easy), I don’t like to lose. But on a terrible day like today, we’re no longer a city of Yankee fans and Mets fans. We’re a city of New York baseball fans, bonded in our concern for a tremendous young talent.

Admittedly, I’ve disparaged Fred and Jeff Wilpon in the past, but I am certain they’re tearing themselves up over what’s happened to Matt Harvey. They’re probably asking themselves, should they have continued to parade Harvey in front of sparse crowds during meaningless games in the hopes of making payroll? Should the Mets have employed a medical staff with some proper credentials, rather than diplomas from institutions like the one portrayed in this classic film? And should the Mets have simply accepted my all-too generous trade offer when it was still on the table?

Fred and Jeff, take it from me. Nobody ever won in the game of life by playing the “shoulda” game. For starters, they’re two entirely different games. That would be like winning the Westminster Kennel Club Best Labrador Trophy while competing in a spelling bee. It’s just not gonna happen.

Instead, I think the Wilpons and their nearly-invisible fan base are best advised to concentrate on the future. With time and effort, Matt Harvey might somehow recover from this ghastly injury, much the way our own Joba Chamberlain showed genuine courage in returning to the lineup. With luck, Harvey might someday scale the heights that saw him start this past Summer’s All-Star Game. You know, the one where he committed felonious assault against Robinson Cano.

CAN YOU MOTHERFUCKERS SAY “KARMIC PAYBACK”?

Denied the services of this murderous thug, the stench of the Mets’ extended 2013 garbage time ought to be overwhelming, but let’s think about what’s really important here.  At least Flushing is a little bit safer, and isn’t that really a bigger deal than a contraction-candidate’s desperate attempts to stay solvent?  Who amongst us would put the battle for 4th place in the NL East ahead of the health and safety of our fellow New Yorkers?

PEACE,
Randy L.

08.19.13

From The Desk Of Randy L : Shouldn’t Curt Schilling Be Bankrupting Another State (Preferably One In New England)?

Posted in Baseball at 3:38 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive and consumer advocate Randy L. of The Bronx takes to CSTB  to weigh in on the events of the day. After last night’s Yankees/Red Sox telecast in which ESPN’s Curt Schilling castigated the Yankees for their failure to support the embattled Alex Rodriguez, Randy offered, nay, demanded equal time – GC)

Greetings, ambulance-chasers, self-styled legal experts and fully accredited sleaze merchants lawyers alike.  I’m sure you’ve been holding your breath waiting for my latest missive concerning a certain ethically challenged third baseman, and while I sorely wish many of you would CONTINUE DOING SO, I’m afraid to say I’ve been baited to the point where I cannot simply turn the other cheek.

I suppose it’s not a total surprise that during a news cycle in which every word that falls out of my gorgeous mouth makes headlines, someone in the baseball media would seek to steal an idea from me, lock, stock and two smoking barrels (great movie, by the way, but I seriously recommend the closed captioning).   Of last night’s scenes at Fenway Park, Joe Sheehan writes, “I’m going to remember more than 30,000 people standing and cheering a man repeatedly throwing a small, hard object at another man. I’ll remember how the crowd…a mob, really…egged on Dempster, rewarded his failed efforts with applause, encouraging his violence and imploring him to take another shot at hurting another man.”

Sound familiar, folks?  It ought to.  Joe’s done little more than express the same sort of outrage I mustered last month after that gutless punk Matt Harvey attempted grievous bodily harm to our own Robinson Cano. The big differences being, of course, that not only does Sheehan lack my way with words, but there’s a slight double standard in holding the paying customers in Boston to a measure of civility that you’d not expect from the uncultured, unwashed, knuckle-dragging savages that populate The World’s Biggest (& Often Emptiest) Amway Conference Room in Flushing, NY.  Face it, Joe, you’re no match for my creative mind, and there’s little point bemoaning the collapse of our society. Not when there’s serious money to made from it, anyway.  Still, I think you’ve got promise, and if you can manage to write a few more provocative pieces without blatantly aping Randy L’s Greatest Hits, you might someday have a chance to interview Dale Berra for our Old Timers’ Day program.

All of that said, when it comes to members of the media who shoot off their gigantic mouths first and think of the consequences later on, Sheehan’s got nothing on Curt Schilling. Did this bloated sack of shit seriously claim that future free agents would think twice about signing with The World’s Greatest Sporting Franchise?  That any normal professional athlete (ie. one who can go 5 entire minutes without either lying or sticking a needle in his ass) would have reason to expect anything besides first class treatment from our managers, coaches, training staff and security force (who would never dream of tapping their phones, intercepting their email or hiring Nicole Bass to see what’s in their medicine cabinet)?  I hate to use this kind of language on a website with so many readers who have the maturity level of 12 year olds, but Curt, please go fuck yourself.  Preferably with one of these — that is, if they haven’t all been repossessed.

I find it patently offensive that ESPN — one of our most trusted media partners — continues to employ a self-serving, pompous, on-air-coronary-waiting-to-happen, whose sole claims to fame are 3 flukey World Championships and dipping a sock in ketchup. You’d never get away with that kind of thing in a Yankee clubhouse, Curt, and that’s not simply because Sabathia would eat the sock.  We’re all about class and accountability in the Bronx, the sort of things even a Red Sox starter who looks like the kind of guys who used to wash windshields in front of the old Yankee Stadium seems to understand.

I guess this is just my long-winded way of saying that if Ryan Dempster ever finds himself eating out of a dumpster (not an unlikely scenario — you wouldn’t believe some of the shitholes we’ve had to drag Joe Pepitone out of), I’ll make sure he’s got a roof over his head, maybe even a gig as greeter at NYY Steak.  And as for the pretentious, smug, sickening Curt Schilling and his nauseating allegations leveled at the New York Yankees….I’d still trade Waldman for him, straight up.

WE’LL GET THRU THIS TOGETHER,
Randy L.

08.05.13

From The Desk Of Randy L. : The Commissioner Of Baseball Is Much Smarter Than He Looks

Posted in Baseball at 11:49 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive / consumer rights advocate Randy L. of the Bronx visits CSTB to offer his observations on the events of the day. In the wake of today’s Biogenesis-related MLB suspensions Randy offered, no, he insisted, on dropping some wisdom – GC)

To The Yankee Universe and Baseball Fans Everywhere,

I dearly wish I was writing to you under more pleasant circumstances. Say for instance, one of my Labradors winning a prize at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. An unveiling of F.C. New York‘s new home and away jerseys. Perhaps a grand ceremony at that baseball temple otherwise known as The New Yankee Stadium to celebrate Marino Rivera’s final appearance. Or, maybe a certain radio broadcaster with the initials “J.S.” announcing he’d be taking an sabbatical while contending with an unsavory “sexting” scandal.

Alas, none of those things have happened today. Instead, it is a grim occasion for the game we all love so much, and we’re forced to confront the stark reality that a young man we’ve watched grow up before our eyes, a player who showed so much promise, has betrayed his teammates, his young fans, and most importantly, the team president who signs his checks.

But enough about Francisco Cervelli. Instead, I’d like to talk to you about the controversy surrounding our 38-year-old third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. As you’ve probably heard elsewhere, Rodriguez is facing a 211 game suspension for offenses that must be pretty serious considering all the shit Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds got away with while not missing a paycheck. You’ll note I’m not specifying what A-Rod’s guilty of because I’ve had nothing to do with the investigation. I know Alex is very emotional under so much scrutiny, and naturally, he’s going to lash out at enemies real or imagined. But I cannot stress strongly enough, neither I nor the New York Yankees have brought any pressure to bear on MLB nor have we paid money to acquire photographs or video that might prove incriminating to Mr. Rodriguez.

Some have implied that we’d like to avoid our contractual obligations to A-Rod by any means necessary. To these self-styled experts and internet tough guys, I say, do you have any idea how pathetic you look, questioning the integrity of professional sports’ most successful franchise? Did we shirk from our responsibilities towards Kei Igawa? Do you remember the Yankees conspiring to force Kevin Brown into retirement? Did this team employ one of the saddest sacks of all-time to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield?

OK, we did actually pay one of the saddest sacks of all-time to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield. But that was a very long time ago. And in the modern era, we’re 100% confident in the abilities of our Commissioner Bud Selig, a man whose judgement is in no way influenced by the fact he’s being paid $22 million a year by ourselves and 29 other ballclubs. He’s presided over this A-Rod mess like a modern day Henry Kissinger or King Solomon. I’m not just saying that because he proposed having Rodriguez bombed or cut in half.

I’m kidding of course. People who know me understand that I like to ease the tension with a little joke. I believe it was that great entertainer Artie Lange, who once said, “to be more like Babe Ruth, before the playoffs last year, A-Rod went to a hospital and promised a dying kid that he would ground out to second for him.” Poignant stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree, and while there are dying kids who might not get to see Rodriguez choke in future postseasons, at least they’ll be able to relive his most memorable career moments on a future episode of “Yankeography” or via a multi-disc DVD set we hope to produce in time for the holidays. All of A-Rod’s greatest hits will be included ; slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove, the opting-out, the Katie Couric interview, the Peter Gammons interview, the making-of-the-Peter-Gammons-interview, etc.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to solemnly reflect on this dark day in Yankee history (in a jacuzzi filled with Cristal Brut 1990 Methuselah).

In Bud We Trust,

Randy L.

07.23.13

Guest Editorial : Randy L’s Words Of Advice For Huma Abedin

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, politics at 6:58 pm by

(EDITOR’s NOTE :  from time to time, decorated sports executive / consumer rights advocate Randy L of the Bronx checks in at CSTB to weigh in on the important issues of the day.  Upon learning of the most recent sexting revelations surrounding former Rep. Anthony Weiner, Randy offered, nay, demanded we publish the following).

Greetings, fellow lovers of democracy and free expression.  I realize we’re living in troubled times and many of you are unsettled when a public figure you’ve invested so much faith in can so casually, so routinely  violate your trust.  But enough about our disabled third baseman. Instead, I’d like to discuss the controversy swirling around NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his lovely wife, Humidor Huma.

I don’t wanna get all puritanical or quasi-religious about this (who do you think I am, Chad Curtis?) but Anthony seems to have made a number of questionable decisions, the likes of which have embarrassed his constituents, his family, his political party, and most importantly, the people who were considering making a sizable financial contribution to his campaign.  OK, I’ll get over it, but I’m not sure Weiner will rebound so quickly.  Lucky for him, I have all sorts of experience dealing with situations almost as awkward as his, and as such, I’m uniquely qualified to offer guidance.  So listen up, Weiner!  It’s like you’re getting a free pep talk from Dick Morris, without any of the liabilities!

A successful political campaign is not altogether different from running the world’s most successful professional sports franchise.  Both attract their share of obsequious hangers-on, but whether you’re trying to extract yourself from an embarrassing series of correspondence with a woman less than half your age, or you’re simply telling Rudy Guiliani he cannot wear a full Yankee uniform in the dugout, it’s very important to maintain boundaries. When our general manager disgraced the Yankee brand by thinking with his cock rather than his brain, we didn’t allow him to face the cameras in a smug manner, nor was he allowed to parade his long suffering spouse in front of a media gauntlet as a means of seeking sympathy.

Nope, instead with the help of the same Yankee medical staff that so successfully curbed the after-hours self-destructive behaviors of such arrested adolescents as Jason Giambi and David Wells, we prescribed Brian Cashman a powerful daily dose of Depo-Provera.  And since he’s been on what I like to call a “PDD” (Performance Destroying Drug), not only has he stopped patrolling the region’s libraries looking for new sex partners, but he’s made some savvy moves to acquire Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay, both of whom I expected to accomplish as much in 2013 as Joba Chamberlain at a Spelling Bee.

(there was also our commissioning a hypnotist who compelled Cashman to imagine Waldman in a catsuit each time he visited the “Casual Encounters” section of a popular website, but I’ll be honest — our legal dept. considers that to be some borderline Manchurian Candidate shit and we might have to just settle for the drugs going forward).

I’m trying to remain positive about this.  There’s no reason why Anthony Weiner’s zipper problems need be the end of his time in the public eye, he simply needs to get it under control. David Cone eventually got his shit together, and I’ll bet Weiner can, too. Huma, if you’d like to join me for dinner at NYY Steak, I’m sure we can work out the proper course of medical action for your horny hubby.  And what do I want in return?  Absolutely nothing, other than knowing I’ve saved yet another relationship, and done what I can to repair a once glittering political career.

I LOVE NY,

Randy L.

07.17.13

An Open Letter To Matt Harvey & The New York Mets

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 7:32 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE :  From time to time, legendary baseball executive Randy L. takes to CSTB to weigh in on the important issues of the day. In the wake of the Yankees’ Robinson Cano being plunked by the Mets’ Matt Harvey during the first inning of last night’s All-Star Game — and Randy’s rather impassioned tweets on the subject — our most esteemed guest editorialist offered, nay insisted on elaborating a day later -GC ).

Perhaps you’re familiar with the old saying, “it takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong”. If you agree with that statement, I think it’s safe to say that I am many times bigger than any of my cowardly, uneducated internet critics. I would like to formally apologize to Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, Fred & Jeff Wilpon, the entire Mets organization and their long-suffering fans for my ill-tempered and ill-advised Twitter remarks last night. Having heard Harvey’s profuse apology to Robinson Cano, I am willing to accept this unfortunate incident might’ve been an accident, much the way Roger Clemens once retrieved a portion of Mike Piazza’s broken bat and inadvertently flung it in the avowed heterosexual’s direction. Who are any of us to judge the intentions of these modern day gladiators?


I’ll admit that I reacted poorly. The World’s Greatest Sporting Franchise counts on me for cool, level-headed decision making, not the sort of knee-jerk reactions better suited for the sort of mouthbreathing, anti-intellectuals who populate sports radio and garish baseball stadiums in the borough of Queens. So with that in mind, at the risk of undermining my oversexed general manager, I’d like to remind the Mets and Sandy Alderson that if they’re interested in swapping a sure thing Hall Of Famer for the relatively untested Mr. Harvey, the offer’s still on the table.

I realize that Harvey disgraced himself in myriad ways this month ; posing naked in a pornographic magazine. Bailing on his teammates when they needed him most. Participating in a tiresome, “viral” video skit. And most shameful of all, nearly injuring a second baseman who has brought joy to the hearts of so many New Yorkers. But I’m in a conciliatory mood. Perhaps with the right sort of grooming, Matt Harvey could someday be worthy of wearing the uniform that revived the careers of Dwight Gooden and David Cone before him.

That said, I’m not merely here to talk business. Citi Field turned out to be an adequate host venue for last night’s dull exhibition Midsummer Classic, and were I wearing a hat, I’d take it off to our crosstown rivals. Despite my earlier fears, Con Edison never turned off the power. There were no reports of food poisoning from any of the Mets’ overpriced concessionaires (though granted, it’s still early and I will continue to monitor the newspapers). And most importantly, the reception afforded last night’s MVP, the ever classy Mariano Rivera, could not have been more gracious and heartfelt had I personally scripted the outcome (except for the part about some non-entity earning the save — how’s the early dementia working out for you, Leyland?).

Though there are many things that divide the Yankees and Mets —- championships, sophistication, solvency — last night demonstrated that when we all come together as New York baseball fans, everyone wins. The Yankee Universe got to see a wonderful moment in Mariano Rivera’s storied career. And Mets fans will someday be able to tell their grandchidren that at least one interesting thing occurred in the financial albatross that is Citi Field besides an Amway orientation meeting.

So with that mind, Fred and Jeff, let’s continue to explore ways we can help each other out. A-Rod for Harvey. Waldman for Cohen. Marakovits for Burkhardt. Clearly, I don’t know the meaning of the word, “untouchable” — though I would be very happy if someone would teach it to Cashman.

I LOVE NY,
Randy L.

07.01.13

My Advice To The Youth Of America : Stop Playing On The Computer (And Start Buying Yankee Tickets)

Posted in Baseball at 11:33 pm by

Since the editor of these alleged news-gathering blogotorium is indisposed today, it’s up to me to weigh in on this “National Pray For A-Rod Day” garbage.  For starters, no amount of prayer can erase a monumental act of fraud — or several of them. Secondly, has it ever occurred to  you numbskulls this sort of public mockery is no way to motivate a narcissist..

Leave that shit to me. Seriously.

06.21.13

The Censors At Yelp.com Are No Match For The Internet Archive

Posted in Free Expression, The Marketplace at 6:19 pm by

Toss some of my finest works into the trash? GO RIGHT AHEAD YELP, did you really think the President of the planet’s premier professional sports enterprise wouldn’t have some sort of pull with the NSA?

06.10.13

From The Desk Of Randy L : A Bold Proposal For The Mets

Posted in Baseball at 7:40 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : despite being denied his First Amendment rights by the jerkfaces over at Yelp, consumer advocate / baseball executive Randy L. occasionally makes his presence felt at CSTB, using these pages to weigh in on the events of the day, sporting and otherwise.  When Randy learned of the recent troubles surrounding the New York Mets, he offered, nay, demanded, an opportunity to reach out – GC)

GREETINGS, chumps, lumps, and the chronically down-in-the-dumps.  What a difference a couple of weeks makes, am I right?  It was a fortnight ago that a few of you gutless wonders had the temerity to corner me in a Citi Field stairwell and spray mustard packets on a suit that costs more than your parents earn in 6 months.  Hardy-fucking-har.  But you’re talking to a man that’s been around the block a few times — I know all about flashes in the pan.   Shane Spencer.  The Strokes.  I could go on, but you get the idea. You Mets fans have had your fun, and now that your baseball season is effectively over, it’s time for the adults to have a reasonable conversation amongst themselves.

I of course am referring to a father and son duo who I have the greatest admiration and respect for ; Fred and Jeff Wilpon.   I realize the New York Mets have a titular “general manager”, but we all know he’s nothing more than window dressing for the financial Hindenburg that is our crosstown rivals, much the way the Yankees’ Brian Cashman is far too consumed with leaping out of airplanes and picking up librarians on Craigslist to worry about a contractual albatross that would choke the life out of a smaller commercial enterprise.  And while I’m told trades between the Mets and Yankees are a rare occurrence, I’m prepared to check my ego at the door in the hopes of finding solutions to both clubs’ problems.   That’s just the kind of person I am.  I’m not afraid to think OUT OF THE BOX, though please, for the love of God, make sure no one downstairs thinks I said “Jack In The Box” or Sabbathia’s gonna burst in and flip over desks looking for the Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt.

The way I see it, the Mets have more holes than one of those video emporiums we’re constantly dragging a certain radio broadcaster out of.  They’re lacking offensive production, a capable big league shortstop, and most of all, they’re lacking star power (please don’t get me started on David Wright.  I’m sure he’s a nice young man but he’s got about as much personality as Andrew Giuliani and he might be half as smart).  And that’s why I’m prepared to make a trade proposal that could forever change the fortunes of not one, but two New York baseball teams.

Alex Rodriguez for Matt Harvey.

What’s that?  You’ve fallen off your chair?  You’re stunned that the world’s premier sporting franchise would take a chance on an unproven commodity like Harvey? Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the expression, “nothing ventured, nothing gained?”  I mean, I’m willing to bet if you’re reading this blog, you’re super familiar with the “nothing gained” part.

I realize the youthful Mr. Harvey hasn’t won a decision since mid April.  I am fully aware his current physical condition is a question mark.  But that’s alright —- I see something of myself in the second-year pitcher, even if it’s just my reflection in the computer monitor. Mentored by proven winners like Joe Girardi, Larry Rothschild, Andy Pettitte, myself, etc., I have every confidence Matt Harvey has what it takes to resurrect his floundering career.

As for A-Rod, well, I cannot pretend it would be easy for us to part ways with this sure-thing, first ballot Hall of Famer.  Not only has he formed an incredible rapport with his teammates, but Yankee fans around the world simply worship the guy (you should hear the way they scream at him, it’s like Beatlemania),  just as I’m sure the 5 or 6 thousand remaining Mets fans will learn to once he brings his 647  career home runs (not to mention his personal strength trainer, entourage of Chyna-lookalikes and Kabbalah guru) to Flushing.

Does it pain me to imagine Alex breaking Barry Bonds’ all-time HR mark in a Mets uniform?   Am I saddened to think of all the plaudits the Mets’ decorated medical staff will undoubtedly receive when A-Rod terrorizes National League pitching later this summer?  Not really.  When you’ve been to the top of the mountain as many times as I have, you’d like to see someone else get a chance to experience a similar thrill. And I can say for certain there are no two people in all of baseball I’d rather see experience the  joy of employing Alex Rodriguez than the Wilpons.

So c’mon, Fred and Jeff.  Let’s do this.  A-Rod would bring instant credibility to your sinking ship family business, and if you’re prepared to act NOW, I will even throw in Michael Kay for the mere price of Gary Cohen. Again, that’s the kind of guy I am.

05.21.13

GUEST EDITORIAL : Finding Room For Soccer In A Yankee Universe

Posted in Baseball, Football, New York, New York at 6:48 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted baseball executive and consumer rights advocate Randy L. of the Bronx, NY takes to CSTB and addresses the most important matters of the day.  With Tuesday’s announcement that the New York Yankees will partner with Manchester City in creating the New York area’s 2nd Major League Soccer franchise , we are truly fortunate that Randy offered, nay, insisted on discussing these developments with us – GC).

I look pretty good up there, right? BIG, BIG day for Randy.  All sorts of international exposure.  And when the world’s media wanted to know what could the greatest sporting franchise of all time bring to the table when it comes to making soccer happen in NYC?  It’s pretty fucking simple, isn’t it?  Legitimacy.  Local expertise.  Sizzle.  But the most important element of them all is ME.

Let’s face it, these guys from Manchester City wouldn’t know their ass from their elbow when it comes to running  a top-flight sports organization, and I’m more than happy to show them how it’s done — for a healthy fee, of course.  But there’s no small irony in that Man City competes back home with a crosstown rival whose annual success has routinely overshadowed theirs.  Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?

And low and behold, guess which father-son entrepreneurial duo — currently leading the New York Mets on a straight path to contraction — find themselves on the outside looking in? FUNNY considering their own lust for a Major League Soccer franchise led them to waste time and money on lobbying to build an Indian casino in Queens.  Time, they’ve got plenty of.  Money….not so much.

I might not know my Lionel Messi from my Tony Meola (though for whatever it is worth, the latter cannot act for shit) but I know how to give a franchise a badly needed touch of class — and that’s something Fred & Jeff Wilpon have even less of than cash.  While I’m presiding over a year-long victory lap for one of the game’s most humble and beloved ambassadors, my counterparts in Flushing can’t even discipline one of their own properly — so they’re serving him up to the competition on a platter.

The study in contrasts couldn’t be more stark.  While the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees proudly celebrate our legacy  — check out the plaque dedicated to Kevin Maas the next time you’re in Monument Park — the Mets are merely a preparatory school that graduates players like Darryl Strawberry, David Cone and Doc Gooden to the big time.

(Did you dig my prep school analogy?  In an earlier draft, I suggested that maybe Luis Castillo went to CHOKE ACADEMY.  You know, Choate.  Choke….alright. I can see I’m wasting amazing material on a bunch of intellectual stiffs).

Manchester City have been second class citizens in their own city for a long time. And with my help, not only will some of the Yankee glamor rub off on them, but we’ll help ensure further financial struggles for New York’s second class baseball citizens. That my friends, is what teamwork is all about.  It’s kind of like the time me and the pocket-protector dweebs at MLB Advanced Media had to come together to get all those You Tube clips of John Sterling taken down.  Most of the time, I wouldn’t piss on one of those $300-a-week plebs if they were on fire, but in this case, we managed to protect the Yankee brand.  I’m told the whole strategy was stolen from a guy in Taylor, TX named Ginn.  Funny name, but it’s good to know something useful finally came out of that godforsaken state.

And I hope my CSTB followers — all two dozen of them — noticed that when it came time to consummate the marriage between the Yankees and a team no one in America gives two shits about another iconic global brand —- yours truly was front and center.  Not Hank Steinbrenner.   Not Hal Steinbrenner. But  ME.  While those two are sorting out Daddy issues and recovered memory syndrome nonsense with some $500-an-hour specialist (though not the kind in a leather mask that Sterling was caught with), I am once again, doing the heavy lifting.  Making the bold moves that make me every bit as much a paragon of Yankee excellence as Mantle, DiMaggio or Ruth.

Finally, I’ve got a little advice for New York City F.C.’s newest rivals, a team that seems to think there’s something Major League about Harrison, NJ.  Thank you for not mentioning us..  In fact, I’d like you to keep our name out of your stinking mouth for as long as possible. But as long as we’re defining our our respective roles, you might wanna consider changing your team colors to orange and blue.

BACK OF THE NET!
Randy L.

 

05.15.13

Cheer Up Samy & Amy – Randy L. Has Your Back

Posted in Baseball, Food, Free Expression, The Internet at 11:14 pm by

(Editor’s Note : from time to time, renowned baseball executive and consumer rights advocate Randy L. has used CSTB as a vehicle to address some of the more controversial issues of the day. In light of the recent firestorm surrounding Scottsdale eatery Amy’s Bakery, Randy offered, nay, DEMANDED to weigh in – GC)

I like to kid around with this blog’s dozen or so readers, but the real fact of the matter is that we’re pretty similar. Sure, I make a lot more money than any of you, and my position as brains of the operation for professional sports’ premier franchise is the sort of thing your average Jimmy John’s delivery schlub can only dream of. But I don’t spend my entire existence in some ivory tower looking down at the rest of humanity. I engage with the real world, just like you. I can’t wait to see what Shia LaBeouf does next on the big screen (perhaps a remake of “The Elephant Man”?). I’ve preordered The National’s new album. Podcasts? Not only do I listen to John Gambling‘s religiously, wait ’til you hear mine.

So as you can see, I’m a pretty modern guy. There’s probably no one in this organization more in touch with popular culture — certain not the self-obsessed John Sterling, who’d favor “West Side Story” over “Loiter Squad” (IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN). Naturally, I’ve been right on top of this whole Amy’s Bakery story since it first broke. And while I’m well aware there’s few things less fashionable or politically expedient these days than standing up for someone trying to run a successful business, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let Samy and Amy be torn to pieces by a high-tech lynch mob.

The parasites and cowards who insult this hard working couple make me ashamed to be an American. That Yelp provides a forum for the envious, the gutless and the anonymous to publicly smear the Bouzaglos is not without irony — this is the same company, after all, that went to great lengths to silence one of the only voices capable of articulating what separates a sleazy con game from a hard fought commitment to excellence.

So my heart goes out to Samy and Amy, a pair of proud entrepreneurs unwilling to let their dream be destroyed by the sort of internet punks who’d more than likely have their heads handed to them if ever ventured into the bleachers at the New Yankee Stadium. I mean, that’s not likely to happen given that most of these scumbags would require an advance payday loan to afford a ticket, but you get my point. The Bouzaglo family business reminds of the one I used to work for….at least before it was inherited by a pair of goofballs who seem to think a handsome salary makes my wiping their assess any less undignified or unfair.

I don’t make it out to Scottsdale very often — that’s where people go to die, right? —- but I would like Samy & Amy to know that if they are ever in the New York area (my friends at Fox’s “Red Eye” think Amy has serious potential). there’s a table waiting for them at NYY Steak. Perhaps we can cut loose and swap war stories about what it’s like try to feed and entertain a bunch of uncultured boobs. But what am I gonna do? Michael Kay’s entitled to an employee discount!

FIGHT THE POWER,
Randy L.

05.12.13

An Open Letter To Joba : Fat, Stupid & Disrespecting The Greatest Closer Of All Time Is No Way To Go Thru Life

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York at 3:16 am by

(Editor’s Note : Though the Thought Police over at Yelp.com have unfortunately shut down the account of our good friend, Randy L. of the Bronx, he’s graciously offered to weigh in a subject that’s bound to dominate the tabloids and talk radio tomorrow morning – GC)

Greetings, mouthbreathers, premature ejaculators and social networking enthusiasts — or am I being redundant?  Much as I’d love to talk about the splendid job Joe Girardi has done keeping the New York Yankees in contention despite the ineptitude of our oversexed GM and the routinely poor judgement shown by our disabled third baseman, once again, there’s a distraction to deal with.  Fear not, Yankee Universe, I’ll not allow this latest family spat to derail our attempts to capture a 28th World Championship.  But given that Hank Steinbrenner is unconscious at this hour (most hours, actually) and the aforementioned Brian Cashman is too busy updating his Christian Mingle profile, ONCE AGAIN, it comes down to yours truly to clean up the shit pile.

I’m sure I’ll get no arguments from even a cynical bunch of creeps like yourselves when I call Mariano Rivera the classiest individual who ever set foot on G-d’s earth.  The Anti-Michael Kay, if you will.   Mo has long exemplified what it means to be a great competitor and a wonderful, humble human being (though to be frank, it’s not hard to look like a relative saint when you’re sharing a locker room with the likes of Jason Giambi and Nick Swisher).   If I had a son, I’d want him to grow up exactly like Mo — though developing a second pitch wouldn’t hurt.  If I had a daughter, I’d also want her to grow up like Mo, though I will grant you he’d make a somewhat homely girl, and given all the terrible bullying problems we read about each day, maybe her path to becoming as successful as dear old dad would be a little less rough if she could resemble, say, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.   When you really think about it, having the values of Mariano Rivera and the good looks of Megyn Kelly would be quite the winning combination.  Hey, what d’ya say, scientists?

Standing in stark contrast to the grace and professionalism that Mariano Rivera has exhibited throughout his sure-thing Hall of Fame career, is reliever Joba Chamberlain.  Though I give the latter some credit for having made it to the big time despite a mother who makes Courtney Love look like June Cleaver by comparison, this organization’s patience with Joba is wearing thin.  We’re a little more than a year past this fat tub of goo’s ill-advised decision to jump around on a trampoline like he’s the second coming of Nadia Comaneci…WHICH HE ISN’T.  Bad enough we had to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, but that’s nothing compared to the shit this mental defect pulled yesterday in full view of media and spectators.  Thankfully,  it happened in some baseball backwater where most of the rubes and hicks in attendance are too slow-witted to grasp the enormity of what they just witnessed.

Let me make this perfectly clear for you, Mr. Chamberlain.   Your teammate, the great Mariano Rivera, is going to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum on the first ballot.  You, on the other hand, stand a very good chance of making the Arby’s Frequent Customer Hall Of Fame, that is, if you don’t choke to death on their grey “meat” products that you so gleefully shovel into the trash compactor you call a mouth.

I cannot help but notice that while all of this nonsense is going on, there’s an exciting young player in Flushing who seems to have fallen out of favor with his manager and teammates.  We’re badly in need of youth in the Bronx.  The Mets are desperately in need of bullpen assistance — so desperate, they might even take your contract if we’re willing to pick up all of it. Their tastes in relief specialists are sort of like Nick Swisher’s in escort services yours in trampoline emporiums, Joba ; super cheap and poorly maintained.

So let this be a warning the next time you even think of looking at The Great Mariano Rivera sideways.  It would be a pleasure to rid the New Stadium’s otherwise perfect clubhouse of your flatulence, and don’t think Cashman can save you this time.  I’m calling the fucking shots around here and the sooner you get that through your misshapen skull, the better.   You’re no Mariano Rivera.  You’re no Megyn Kelly.  And you’re sure as shit not Nadia Comaneci.

FML,

Randy L.