Politicians castigate CEO for their inefficiency and/or greed…shortly before cutting the checks. “We saw it with the mortgage companies and we saw it with the automakers,” muses Newsday’s Wallace Matthews. “So why should anyone have been surprised – much less outraged – to see it happen once again with the Yankees and Mets?”
For the latest chapter of this ongoing farce, Assemb. Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) assumed the role of political tough guy. Yankees president Randy Levine, who is typecast in his role as Filthy Rich Owner’s Henchman, played it to the hilt once again. Only Mayor Bloomberg, who has replaced Rudy Giuliani as Yankees Lapdog-in-Chief, played his role honestly and without affectation, which is that of business-friendly hypocrite who, to his credit, was against corporate bailouts for sports teams before he was in favor of them.
But he saw the error of his ways, especially when his ongoing bid to become Mayor-for-Life got the endorsement of George Steinbrenner himself, or at least Howard Rubenstein, the man behind The Boss’ curtain.
And at the end of the day, the Yankees – who last month alone spent nearly a half-billion dollars on three ballplayers – walked away with another sweetheart deal for another $370 million so their uniquely privileged class of fan will never have to scuff a Ferragamo on a concrete ramp or choke down a hot dog on the way to their $2,500 seats.
The Mets, typically piggybacking the Yankees in more modest but no less outrageous fashion, got another $82 million for their silk-stocking version of Ebbets Field.
And we get to watch it all and shake our heads in disbelief. Do any of them – Brodsky, Bloomberg, Levine and whoever was representing the Mets – really think we are that stupid? More importantly, are they right?
Friday night, Bloomberg himself had the chutzpah to ask ordinary New Yorkers to “endure” the tough times ahead. As part of his recovery effort, he said he plans to emulate his predecessor by cracking down on squeegee men and turnstile jumpers.
Meanwhile, our bridges are crumbling, our schools are underfunded, programs to benefit the needy and handicapped are being slashed, Manhattan retailers are shutting down in numbers not seen since the Depression and at least two Queens hospitals are in immediate danger of bankruptcy.
But the Yankees and Mets are getting their money. It’s good to see we’ve all got our priorities straight.
Presumably, Chris Cotter will not be amongst the squeege corps persecuted by the NYPD, as the former SNY mouthpiece has found gainful employment with Bloomberg competitors, Fox Business Channel.