Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mets To Ignore Their Roots On New Turf

In 1962, the New York Metropolitans (Mets) came into being as a baseball franchise. They were a consolation gift to National League fans still broken-hearted over the departure of their beloved, California dreaming Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants 5 years before. From their original logo and team colors (Blue-Dodgers, Orange-Giants) to their opening day ceremonies, the Mets were to be an amalgam of two teams with long histories in New York. However, it seems as though half of the team’s origin has been lost in the construction and celebration of their new Citi Field. Ebbet’s Field and the Dodgers are openly lauded while the Polo Grounds and Giants are nearly ignored. Though the Giants were always the third most popular team in town behind the Yankees and the Dodgers, they, their fans and those who cherish the history of baseball deserve much better representation at Citi Field.

In 2009, the Mets replace their Shea Stadium digs with the new Citi Field ballpark. The Yankees move as well from Yankee Stadium across the street to Yankee Stadium. No name change for them. No need. There’s something to be said for knowing one’s history and honoring tradition. Unfortunately for Mets’ fans, their team’s ownership isn't the best one to discuss history and honor.

P.S. Giants fans everywhere should demand that their team not be forgotten in Met's history like perhaps ... the Brooklyn Superbas.

Beagle Is Numero UNO At The Garden

Congratulations are heartily given to Uno and his handler, Aaron Wilkerson. Uno was the first beagle in the 132 year history of Westminster to claim first prize. From all accounts, he performed magnificently throughout the event. His championship title was justly deserved. Hopefully my New York Rangers or your New York Knicks will each win their next championship in fewer years than that. Bet on the Rangers doing it. Bet on a beagle winning again before the Knicks do.

Naked Cowboy Sues Chocolate Coated Cowpoke

Robert Burck, Time Square’s Naked Cowboy, thinks the Mars Candy Corporation has stolen his image to create their Singing Cowboy M and M. Burck, 37, is known to mosey around Times Square, singing songs while entertaining all who see and interact with him. Wearing his white hat, white boots and skimpy white underwear (with a guitar strategically hung in front), he’s been a unique sight in a unique city. That is, until this Melodious M and M rode in on a video billboard at the Mars store on 42nd Street. Honest Injun, the resemblance, right down to their white boots is obvious. Now there’s two troubadours in town. Now, it’s "The Cowboy vs. The Marsians" in a $6 million legal battle over trademark rights and other claims. I wish New York's Naked Cowboy the best of luck with his lawsuit. Originality and those who dare to walk the streets of Manhattan in their underwear need to be protected.

Nation’s Kids Prefer Big Apple Sheepskin

Applications are arriving at record rates from high school seniors around the country who wish to attend New York City’s colleges and universities. That’s not surprising. How are you going to keep them down on the farm, after they’ve seen New York on cable TV?

Yankees & Mets Tickets Spike For 2008 At Record Levels

I applaud Major League Baseball for making an attempt to clean up the game by bringing the HGH and steroid problem to light with the Mitchell Report. It’s long overdue. Recommendations to enforce tougher testing procedures and suggestions to increase penalties for abuse need to be applied quickly. In truth though, I think the Mitchell Report only scratched the surface of the problem. MLB needs to do much, much more to get drugs out of baseball. I hope they do because it’s a great game. On a somewhat similar note, whoever can get steroids out of 2008’s bulked up ticket prices may be doing an even greater service for New York City baseball fans!

Local Baseball History For Sale … In The Future

The end of the 2008 major league baseball season brings a close to our two cherished baseball parks; Yankee Stadium and Shea … unless of course the teams make it to the Playoffs! Whether the dreams of Yankee or Mets fans end in September or October, new baseball dreams will begin soon after.

The Department of Parks and Recreation owns both facilities. Soon after the last out is made, you can own something from each MLB ball field too. The city plans to sell everything it possibly can to interested fans, collectors and investors who want to own a piece of nostalgia. Best of luck to all fans that plan to buy something. “Everything” is being sold so your chances of getting “something” are good. What’s not for sale are all of the great memories. No matter anyway. Real fans know they’re truly priceless and guaranteed to increase in value in the years to come.

Westminster Dog Show Vs. Knicks Dog Show

Madison Square Garden welcomed a new set of dogs this week. However, this group of championship hounds performed at a level that far exceeded any we’ve seen in recent years by our Knicks. Kind of makes one dream of Rin Tin Tin, Lassie and Old Yeller up front with Eddie (Frasier) and Benji in the backcourt. We should only be so lucky.

Jacob Javits Convention Center Can’t Compete Without Change

New York City surely doesn’t have the same lure it once had for business expositions and conventioneers. Other cities have responded far better than the Big Apple. They’ve dropped us way down on the list of places for successful meetings and commerce. As a result, the city and local businesses have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and taxes.

Roughly 21 years after it first opened, the Javits Center, seemingly still sits apart from the rest of Manhattan. Worse still, it’s now in dire need of major structural repairs. From the entire roof which must be replaced, to the black glass panels which will be swapped for clear ones, much renovation is required. Foolishly perhaps, plans for major expansion of this facility and to create significant commercial development for the West side have all but been killed by Governor Spitzer in Albany. To become America’s Convention Center once again, NYC needs a great building to house promoters and a surrounding neighborhood that complements and properly supports a convention center. We’ll also need a visionary leader to step forward and make things happen. We can’t wait another 21 years.