Welcome everyone to a monster blog here on DOINOW.com. I am not really concerned about daily web traffic, so I’m throwing a bunch of topics in this mish-mash of a blog. Feel free to read some and come back later during your week or do what the majority of my readers do – read this on the bowl!
With the dust settling on the NHL off-season, and the only major NY Rangers issue being when will they sign Derek Stepan and for how much, I want to dive into a bunch of different things today. Today we’ll talk Yankee Stadium, Biking in Manhattan, Rangers Mount Rushmore, a few book reviews, Caitlyn Jenner, the Erosion of NYC and much more.
Also want to remind everyone, that if you’re a Facebook person and want to talk sports, you can visit the DOINOW.com FB page. We haven’t really been active or promoting it much, but maybe we can spark some hype. Link is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1564026407193056/
Let’s talk Yankee baseball, or more specifically, where the Yankees call home.
When the Yankees knocked down the old Yankee Stadium, at the conclusion of the 2008 season, a part of NY history went along with it. Sure, the new Stadium is right next to where the old cathedral used to be, but you can’t compare the two buildings.
Every generation will always talk about how their generation is the best. The music is better. The social scene was better. The sports were better. The times and just the way of life were better. In 2015, I don’t think this generation is any better off than our predecessors. Sure, we live in a time where information about anything can be procured within seconds, we are never without communication and extreme convenience is aplenty (Especially if you have the funds), but when it comes to Yankee Stadium, I miss the old place every time I step into “The House that George Built.”
I’m not here to dump on the new Yankee Stadium. I get why it had to be built. Baseball is not America’s past time anymore, it’s big business. You can’t leave millions of dollars on the table, for the sake of tradition. This is the stadium a new generation will always call home and will soon fondly remember. This new stadium is just a sign of the times – high priced, sushi, luxury boxes, and the family of four being shown the door. You can’t blame the Yankees, everyone is doing it.
If you have the money, the new Yankee Stadium is a great museum to visit. In fact, they have a Yankee museum on premises, in addition to Monument Park, a Wall of Fame and tons of rare merchandise sold in the Yankee Team Store. The only thing you won’t find in the team store, despite racks of clothing devoted to the old guard, such as Mantle, Dimaggio, Berra, etc, is any Billy Martin merchandise. I always found that odd. You could argue that Billy Martin was one of the top 5 managers in baseball history, in addition to his player resume, which includes the 1953 World Series MVP on it. Just don’t get how you never see Billy Martin merchandise anywhere.
I decided to trek out to the Bronx from Long Island on Saturday, July 18th. It is a hassle for me. As someone who like Billy Martin, enjoys his Miller Lite, I always take public trans to the game. That entails a 45 minute LIRR ride and a 45 minute subway ride, as opposed to a 30-40 minute drive. Eh, it’s better than a $20,000 DWI or risking killing someone. Maybe one day, they will run an LIRR train from Jamaica to the Bronx.
The new Yankee Stadium is an awesome experience if you have money, like most major homes of professional teams. If you don’t have a Trump bank account, like many other buildings, you’re forced to deal with obstructed views, bad sight lines, crowded bathroom lines and tiny seats. If you have the loot, you get padded chairs, in-seat service, a great view and anything you want at the reach of your fingertips. In America, the caste system certainly exists, when it comes to stadiums and arenas.
What I appreciate about the new Yankee Stadium and the Steinbrenner family in particular, is how much they respect Yankee history. The Yankees, under the Steinbrenner regime, are also are dedicated to fielding a winner every year and will spend money at no cost. In addition, what also makes me proud to be a Yankee fan is the Steinbrenner’s dedication to our troops, NYPD and FDNY. You know our real heroes, not a tranny with a reality show.
If you don’t know, you owe it to yourself to read up, google or whatever, and look at the Yankees history of philanthropic efforts. From paying college tuition of the children of fallen NYPD officers to building hospitals to raising money & honoring our troops, the Yankees put their profits to good use. It does make me proud to be a fan of the greatest franchise in all of sports.
The new Yankee Stadium does a great job promoting winning and the legends that wore the uniform. Yankee Stadium also sets the bar for amenities. You can get any kind of beer, spirit or food item in the world there. You may have to wait an inning or two to get it, but it’s there.
To me, what’s missing from the new Yankee Stadium is some of the passion and spirit from the old building. A lot of that has to do with the cost of everything, akin to MSG, which is why you barely see families at a Rangers game anymore. Sure, Yankee tickets are more affordable, since there are more seats, more games, bad weather and shitty obstructed view seats priced to be cheap, but say goodbye to the days of tipping an usher and moving down. Tanaka says sayonora to the days of kids greeting their favorite players during batting practice at the dugout. No, those “Legend Seats” are reserved exclusively for the rich, who may miss an inning or the entire game, as they eat sushi and drink scotch in the Legends Suites. It’s just what sports has turned into.
While you can get a bite anywhere and really get anything in Yankee Stadium, there is only place where any true Yankee fan goes to pregame – the Bodega on 846 Gerard Street!
One of my favorite haunts near Yankee Stadium is the bodega. I don’t know what the official name of this place is called, but to me, it’s always been known as the “bodega”. I’ve been going there now for 12-15 years. While you have your Stan’s, Billy’s, Yankee Tavern, etc, a real man goes to the bodega to pregame and for 1/10th of the price!
What I loved about the bodega is that it attracted everyone from all walks of life. Whites, Blacks, Latinos, the blue collar, the white collar, everyone was welcome, unless you were wearing Boston or Mets attire. The hops and barley nectars went down smooth, in the thick cigarette & cigar filled air, as the faint scent of piss, staleness and sweat tickled your nostrils. I love it.
As time went on, even the bodega has changed. It has blown up. It’s packed back there now. What used to be the hardcore of hardcores, has turned into yuppie central. You got these thick framed glasses & bearded people dominating the middle of the courtyard, while the Latinos downing their paper bag Corona’s are tossed to the side. I wish the Latinos would cut one of these hippie yuppie fucks!
I wouldn’t advertise my little hideaway, the bodega, on this blog that will surely get 18383848384384388483848384383488 hits, but the secret is out. Everyone knows the bodega is the best place before a game. Why pay through the fucking nose and have your wallet ass rammed for $9 warm tap beer in a plastic cup at a Yankee bar, when you can pound cold & refreshing tall boys (Relax you priests & Jared from Subway, I’m talking 24 oz beers) for $2?
If you aren’t feeling frisky to venture out before a Yankee Game, the Hard Rock cafe, located inside of Yankee Stadium is always good, albeit pricey. They really do a nice job in there, if you like the bougiasness of it all. It’s definitely worth walking into, and looking at all the old school pictures. Of course, at the same time, I appreciate the random graffiti around Yankee Stadium, honoring the greatest moments and players in Yankees history.
As far as the game I went to, of course leave it to me to go to the game where Robinson Cano decides to wake up this season, and belts two 2-run shots. Can’t really get upset about a loss here, with a 3.5 lead in the AL East.
I’ve been a diehard Yankee fan my whole life, but admittedly, I much rather watch a Rangers game live or a Giants game on TV. However, my passion for all three teams is at a disgustingly high level. What is tough about this team for me this year, is that for the first time in my life, there is no heart and soul of this team, there is no face of the franchise. I grew up with Don Mattingly, had Bernie Williams and watched Jeter lead. I mean even before Donnie Baseball, you had Munson, Mantle, Dimaggio, Gehrig and Ruth.
Who is the face of the Yankees right now? A-Rod? Yuck! I’m one of the Yankee fans who can’t stand him, and I’ve said why in a previous blog. (Check the archives on the right hand of the site.) I really wish George Steinbrenner was around when all this PED and A-Roid shit was going down. I wonder if A-Rod would complain about race like that little bitch Reggie Jackson always does?
For the first time, in as long as I can remember, I’m rooting for the front of the uniform harder than ever before. It’s tough seeing the Core 4 (and Bernie) era officially over. Alas time moves on, and there will be a new Yankees hero (The word hero can apply to athletes that don’t publicize their gender through reality TV & hold up TV shows for awards), as the Yankees eventually raise their 28th World Series Banner.
Let’s Go Yankees!
I already discussed this on twitter with about a thousand people, as one of my tweets popped up in several columns, so I won’t rehash too much, but this Caitlyn Jenner shit has to stop.
For starters, the whole award was a publicity stunt. Caitlyn demanded the award, in exchange for giving an interview to Diane Sawyer. Both Caitlyn and the ABC company traded plugs with each other. A bunch of news sites are reporting about the sham award, and here’s just one of many links you can find on the web with the report:
The tweet I made here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC/status/621484797664358400, started a lot of debate. This is what I wrote:
Let me make it clear, I’m not “transphobic”. I can’t believe that’s even a word now. I don’t care what you do, what you bang, what you chop off, what you push in, what goes in your holes or anything. All I’m saying is this was a publicity stunt and Bruce Jenner is not a hero. If he’s a hero, how come the straight, happy-with-their-gender, taxpayer isn’t a hero too?
Calling Bruce Jenner a hero devalues the word hero. The whole ESPY stunt was nothing but that, a stunt that generated ratings, buzz and money. I don’t care that Bruce wants to play dress-up right now, I hate him for being associated with the Kardashians & all that reality TV garbage that plagues America.
In other words, you want to be a woman now. Fine, but why should everyone in the world have to hear about it? Maybe Conor McGregor can come out at the next ESPY’s and get an award for saying he’s comfortable being a straight white man and happy to be that. How heroic and what guts that would take.
Once in a while, when things are slow and in the rare case an NFL player isn’t in the headlines for committing a felony, people like to talk their “Mount Rushmore” of an industry. Even American historians like to talk about Mount Rushmore. Should Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt or Lincoln be replaced? Who would you add if you had to choose a fifth president? FDR? Polk? Obama? (Just said that to get people mad!)
Sport fans are no different. Recently, Major League Baseball did their Mount Rushmore for every MLB franchise. The Yankees Mount Rushmore may be the hardest to decide in sports. For the record, MLB listed Mantle, Ruth, DiMaggio and Gehrig. It’s tough. I wasn’t around to see those guys play every day. Today’s fans, of course, want Jeter and Rivera up there. It’s just tough to knock out 3, 4, 5 & 7. It’s still fun to debate. I mean after all, Ruth played in Boston, and he’s there above Jeter?
No one is ever wrong in any of these debates, it’s all about opinion.
Larry Brooks, of the NY Post, decided to do his NY Rangers Mount Rushmore. You can read the column here: http://snyrangersblog.com/rangers/the-players-who-would-be-on-the-rangers-mt-rushmore/
Brooks went with Messier, Leetch, Richter & Bathgate. It’s like the NY Rangers were created in 1994 and nothing before that happened. I was shocked to see Brooks include Bathgate over Graves.
While people debate about Lundqvist (I agree with Brooks, Hank can’t go in over Richter until he wins a Cup), Graves, Howell, Giacomin, Gilbert etc, the one name that doesn’t pop up is Frank Boucher.
Check my Frank Boucher article out here: http://doisports.blogspot.com/2014/10/dont-let-history-be-forgotten-time-for.html
2 Stanley Cups won as a player, one more as a Coach and several other Stanley Cup appearances. That’s not good enough? I mean, the world did exist before 1994 you know.
Even so, that 1994 was probably the best team in Rangers history. It’s tough to compare eras. The older teams didn’t have the luxury of travel, it was a harder league to play in & as there were less teams, etc. In addition, the Ranger franchise of old, didn’t have the rights to top players, as most players came from Canada. They got the second pick of the litter.
The league has evolved, like anything else, so really, it’s tough to say who would be great in what era and maybe the 1994 Cup was harder to win than the other Cups. You can argue either way.
For the record, my NY Rangers Mount Rushmore is:
Frank Boucher (I will have my petition up soon, asking for his number to be retired and in the rafters)
Mark Messier (Killing the 54 year Cupless streak and being the Captain on one of the most iconic Ranger teams in history)
Mike Richter (Best goalie in NYR history, but could be bumped if King Nothing can be bothered to stop counting his money and win one)
Brian Leetch (I know, I know, I just said hockey occurred before 1994, but that was the best Ranger team statistically & you could argue that Leetch was the greatest Ranger ever.)
Honorary fifth: Cam Talbot!
As we go along this magic carpet ride of a blog, I figured I would share some quick thoughts on some books I’ve read. I’m an avid reader, that tends to read a lot of different books on the same subject. So yea, there is a common theme here.
“Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” is written by NY Daily News reporter, Bill Madden. It’s the best book, in my opinion, on Steinbrenner. The book covers the life of The Boss, through all the craziness to the kind gestures, and from winning to losing. Madden having access to Steinbrenner during Steinbrenner’s hey-day brings many stories, previously unknown, to the forefront. I took in alot from this book. Like anyone over 40 will tell you, George wasn’t always that grandfatherly guy openly weeping on TV. He could be a tyrant too. Any Yankee fan should put this on their must read list.
“Strangers in the Bronx” by Andrew O’Toole was a complete waste of time. In other books and video you hear countless stories about how DiMaggio didn’t like Mantle, since Mantle was taking Joe’s spot in centerfield. Going into this book, I was hoping to learn about the relationship they had and what happened between them as time went on. Instead, the book basically takes newspaper clippings and rewrites them in the authors own words. There’s nothing you will learn in this book that a Wikipedia or Google search wouldn’t tell you.
“Billy Martin” by NY Times reporter Bill Pennington is my new favorite sports book ever. It helps that Billy Martin was such a character with many flaws and many strengths. The life of Martin is covered in complete detail with comments from all types of people that knew Martin at different points in Martin’s life. The book, which is 500 pages in a small font, can be difficult for a novice reader, but if you stick with it, the pages will fly by. I have always found Martin intriguing and never understood why he never gets as much credit as he deserved and you don’t see people wearing Billy Martin jerseys. You will wonder the same after this book.
Jorge Posada’s new autobiography is a great story, but at times, the book seems to go forever about his father. The first 100 pages are about Jorge’s childhood and his relationship with his dad. I get it, it was a tough life. Posada was a warrior, dedicated to winning. I felt that he could’ve dove in more about the Yankee talk, talk more about his relationship with Girardi, talk more about PED’s in baseball, but I will give him credit for calling & punking out Pedro Martinez. Fans will also enjoy Posada talking about the best-man at his wedding, Derek Jeter & the rest of the Core 4, Joe Torre & Bernie Williams.
NYC is going down the toilet. Literally. I mean just check out this recent article out by the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/16/nyregion/public-urination-in-new-york-becomes-test-case-for-policing.html?_r=0
As NY sports fans, most of you, like me, live in NY or nearby. To visit our arenas and stadiums, we have to travel in NY. If you’re like me, you may also work in NYC, and deal with people hawking AM magazine, pedestrians staring at their phones and the smell of swamp ass.
There are two things that drive me nuts about NYC right now, these fucking Citibikes and the homeless.
The Citibikes, designed for environmental reasons, has done anything but. Sure, maybe there are less cars on the road, but none of them are going anywhere. Try going crosstown at any given hour. You have these fucking bikes blocking lanes of traffic. Once these assholes actually get on the bike, they blow through every red light and don’t ride with traffic. Therefore, cars are forced to stop because they don’t know what these assholes will do.
I don’t have any facts, studies or anything, but trust me, Citibikes has increased traffic by 3087384893748378338974% in NYC. It’s fucking horrendous. Bloomberg, in his quest to ban soda and hybrid Taxis, has these Citibike things all over the place. With more cars on the road, due to Uber and Green Cabs, the bikes do a hell of a job to slow everyone up. Go to the park or at least deliver Chinese food, if you want to ride your fucking bike!
Another thing that grinds my gears these days are the homeless. I know, I know, how can I be so cruel? Every day I see the same fucking degenerates in Penn Station, begging for money. One day I felt bad and gave them a buck each. Now it never ends. It’s like that South Park “CHANGE” episode.
I finally snapped the other day. For starters, this guy tells me he’s a veteran. When I asked what branch or battalion, he had no clue what I was talking about. I told him that if he can be in the same place, every day, begging for money, he could also be at the same place, every day, earning money at a job. When I told him to go fuck himself, he didn’t seem pleased, but I hope I taught him a lesson!
The homeless have tons of programs and as someone whose paycheck goes to anywhere from 40%-50% to taxes, I’m paying for them. I’m not working all day to pay these shit stained losers of society. I believe in Darwinism, survival of the fittest. Let them die out during the next big freeze in NY, since they are too stupid to set up their cardboard box in a better climate, like say Miami.
Maybe this is heartless, but I’m sick of seeing the same people beg every day at the same time. Do something to improve yourself. And don’t get me started on these yuppie kids with their guitars looking for money. I want to shove those guitars straight up their ass!
As we hit the last subject of the day, what’s a DOINOW.com blog without a little Cam Talbot?
I was never into horse racing,or as Mike Francesa calls it, HAWSES, until my friend Double G got me into it. Being a fan of the degenerate arts, such as binge drinking, chain smoking, Broadway machines, Quickdraw, pool gambling, it’s really a wonder how I didn’t get into the HAWSES earlier in life.
The first time that I went to Belmont with Double G, I hit for nearly $500. Like most degenerate gamblers, I won on my first attempt. After that, we started frequenting OTB bars, with moderate success and minimal losses.
While breaking my balls at work and trying to avoid homeless people, I get a call from Double G, last Thursday, that a horse named TALBOT was running in the seventh race at Belmont. He had to let me know, since my friends in real life, who have a sense of humor, understand my Talbot love nonsense. On an aside, it’s amazing to me, how pure strangers, can get so riled up whenever I say Talbot is better for the Rangers, right now, at this point in time, than Lundqvist. What will happen if the Rangers can’t afford to keep Stepan because of King Nothing’s contract?
Anyway, before I go into my Lundqvist diatribe, I asked Double G if he could bet $20 for me. I really wanted to bet $50 or $100, but with no research and betting solely on the name of the HAWSE, I figured, what’s $20? It’s a funny story.
Imagine my glee, when an hour later, Talbot wins the race at 30:1 odds! That $20 turned into $600!
So Ranger fans, when’s the last time Henrik Lundqvist made you money?
IN CAM WE TRUST!
Enjoy the summer! I’ll be back sometime next week with the “DEATH OF MSG” article.
As always, feedback can go to:
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter