Those Were The Days: Growing Up In NYC In The Ed Koch Era

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The Good Old Days

To say Ed Koch was the quintessential New Yorker would be a huge understatement. Everything about Koch was New York, his accent, his brashness and his combative style all New York. Sadly those of us of certain age see that kind of New Yorker fading away.

The New York of the Koch era was one of the most exciting times the city ever witnessed, good and bad. I was 20 years old when Koch took office, working for Salomon Brothers a pretty big financial institution at the time, headed by a flashy trader named Mike Bloomberg, in fact I worked in the computer room at 1 NY Plaza. On some weekends I’d come in to do an overtime shift where I’d stay out all night, mostly in the East Village at Max’s Kansas City, and head to work and grab a two hour nap on some big executives leather couch until one of my shift mates would wake me up, but I digress. The Koch Era was the last of the gritty, nasty days of New York. I’m just glad I grew up then.

I laugh when I see folks get on the subway and anoint themselves with loads of hand sanitizer, I think of the days of subway trains decked out in graffiti and who knows what else. With all the uproar over gun control and curbing of violence, how about growing up in an age where 2,000 murders were the norm and riding the subway after 10PM meant you had better be armed with some sort of weapon to survive the trip. I get a real kick out of going to Time Square with my kids to go to the theater and look around at the Disney-facation of the area. It’s kind of hard to articulate this without sounding like a complete asshole, but I do miss a lot of the nastiness and out right debauchery of the old 40 Duce.

 

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I guess it’s because there were no big wave of tourists coming to see the sites and the neighborhoods were still full of neighborhood people. I grew up on a block in Brooklyn where everyone on the block knew everyone. During the summer you could hear the TV’s blasting Mets games and Highlander games on to the streets with the familiar cry of “Yo Whad’s da Score??? “ . The moms and grandmas would take their folding chairs outside to sit in front of the house or under a tree after the chores of the day were done. Kids played in the street all day and night. That was New York. That was the New York that Ed Koch governed and governed so well because he was one of us. Koch would tell a heckler to “shut the hell up” and it was fine because hey that’s what we do, when Bloomberg does it, we say, “look at this little pampered prick, who does he think he is”? It’s not just the fact that Bloomy is out of touch with his constituents because he’s a rich guy, it’s also because he’s not one of us, he wasn’t born here didn’t grow up here and that makes all the difference.

I think about all the hot dogs and orangeades I devoured as kid at the stand at the 42 St Subway station while transferring  from the Sea Beach line (N train) to the IRT Flushing Line (7 train) to  get to Wiilets Pt/Shea Stadium. I doubt that stand would have gotten an “A” rating back then. Same with Dave’s Luncheonette that was on Canal and Broadway where you could get a hot dog in a natural casing (great crunch) a knish and a chocolate egg cream at 3 in the morning. That’s all gone and sadly a whole generation has missed out on what gives New Yorkers such a hard shell.

Sorry for the old guy trip down memory lane but with Ed Koch passing away yesterday it just conjured up so many memories of the era where this city was unruly and imaginative, filthy and cutting edge, menacing and remarkable. Just like Ed Koch I am and always will be a proud New Yorker.

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I’m Still Mad R.A. Dickey Is Not Starting The All Star Game And I’m Not To Affraid To Say It

I got myself in a bit of a Twitter pissing match today over the news that R.A. Dickey was not picked by Tony LaRussa to start the All Star Game tomorrow night. I, like the majority of Mets fans, are totally piss off that Dickey is not starting the game. I made it known on Twitter how pissed I am and how wrong it is that Dickley will not be on the bump for the bottom of the first inning tomorrow night.

I’m not a fan of Tony LaRussa who I’ve always felt is a self-important prick and his decision to start Matt Cain over Dickey just solidified that opinion of the so called genius. I have many reasons why I feel so strongly about Dickey starting the game tomorrow night, he’s earned it with a tremendous first half, his story is one of the most compelling in sports and is a lesson in perseverance and verifying that hard work pays off and he plays for the NY Mets.

Part of the nastiness of my Twit fit was being called out for getting too emotional about Dickey not getting the start and then I was hit with the always clever “who gives a shit who starts the game” I do. I care for the reasons I mention and the fact that he is a NY Met, the baseball team I live and die with. I don’t give a rats ass about any other player who was snubed by not being named to the team or the fact that Matt Cain has pitched well this season, all I care about is a guy writing one of the best rags to riches story is not in the spotlight because of a retired manager who had to have his final “look at me moment” didn’t do the right thing by giving the All Star Game,  a game most baseball fans have grown tired of, a reason to tune in to see the best that the American League has to offer try to hit that mysterious of pitches, the knuckleball and not just any knuckleball but an Angry Knuckleball.

The same folks who took me to task about my “emotional outburst” over Dickey not getting the start are folks I’ve had a bit of trouble understanding most recently.   I’ve tried to explain that the word fan comes from fanatic and when it comes to the teams I root for especially the NY Mets I am proud to say I’m a fanatic, and when I feel the Mets or a Mets player is unjustly treated I react and I’ll never apologize for that.

What’s makes the, I don’t want to say attack as that’s a bit strong but the nasty tone of the tweets is one of the tweeters who claims to be a big NY Rangers fan but felt it would be a shame if Martin Broduer left the NJ Devils. I tweeted back” fuck Marty Broduer, the Devils and Newark NJ”. I mean if you are a true Blue Rangers fan why would you give a rat’s ass if Broduer left Newark for say Toronto or Montreal? Fuck ‘em. Henrik Lundqvist is better any way.

This would be like saying it would be a shame if Jimmy Rollins went to an American League team, are you fucking kidding?

R.A. Dickey is too classy to rip the Genius for not starting him and he doesn’t have to , as R.A. has enough Mets fanatics to handle this injustice for him.

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“COME HEAR UNCLE SAUL’S BAND, PLAYING TO THE TIDE”

So now that our weekend of fun (no Highlanders or Phuck Phaces in the World Series) and we await what I think will be a terrific World Series, it’s time to look at what is taking so long for the Skill Sets to figure out who will be the next leader of the baseball operations.

On Mets Minor League Blog, they feel it’s up to Uncle Saul as to who will get the GM job. Freddy Skill Sets is in the pro-Alderson camp, while Jeffey is leaning towards Josh Byrnes due to both of them being similar age. It’s this kind of bullshit that brings out the nastiness in me when it comes to Jeffey, he’s done this with players (Al Leiter, John Franco and Tom Glavine) he did it with Omar and with John Ricco as well. Doesn’t this little shit have friends of his own? But then again who would want to be friends with this dolt? So the third and final vote comes down to Uncle Saul Katz. Whoever Uncle Saul picks most likely will be the next American Idol Mets GM. Why do I have the feeling the Skill Sets will fuck this up?

If Jeffey Skill Sets sent me e-mails like Metstadaums has on his site, I would be waiting with heighten anticipation to receive them.  

Metszilla has a link to a 2008 interview that Sandy Alderson did with the site Ducksnorts when he was in charge of the Padres. It is a fascinating read.

Sometimes I just can’t figure out our fan base. Daniel Murphy is back playing after a devastating knee injury. He’s playing 2nd bas in the Dominican League and from some of the stuff I read on Twitter you’d think that Murphy is solely responsible for the suckitude of the franchise. Am I saying that Murph is the answer at 2nd base ? No. But I see no reason why he and Nick Evans can’t be viable bench pieces next season. What I can’t understand is, Murphy is the kind of player most Mets fans feel the team needs. He shows up to spring training with the pitchers and catcher. He will play any place the manager asks him. He plays that balls to wall hustle that it seems the majority of the fan base is clamoring for, so tell me all you Murphy haters out there, what is it that bothers you about him? I know he’s a player without a position but as a sub or spot starter, I feel Murphy would make a solid contribution to this team. The comments section is now open for all of you to let me know how much of an asshole I am over this.

Tomorrow night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO my guest will be Ed Marcus a/k/a Rusty Jr of The Real Dirty Mets blog. Ed and I will discuss the hunt of a new Mets GM and all things Mets. That’s tomorrow Tuesday October 26th at 10PM ET on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN.   

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SO, WHO IS THE FIRST OF THE GANG TO DIE ?

…where Hector was the first of the gang

with a gun in his hand

and the first to do time

the first of the gang to die. Oh my.

Hector was the first of the gang

with a gun in his hand

and the first to do time

the first of the gang to die. Oh my.


So, what now? I’ll say this, making a managerial move at this moment would just be window dressing. I’d like to see and new face in the mgr’s office sure,  but right now there is not a baseball manager alive (or dead) that could get this team to play better. The decay of the Mets starts at the top with Jeffey Skill Sets and I’ve beat this horse to death, resurrected it and beat it’s ass again. I’m not going to waste your time and mine going over my distain for management. But the masses are looking for a scalp. Talk radio, the message boards any place Mets can voice their wrath, are looking for a trophy. It’s like The Passion of The Mets, where we all stand in front of $iti Field screaming “ CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM” .

The anger and nastiness from the Mets fan right now is not out of hate but the biggest show of love you could ever see or hear. There is a thin line between love and hate for sure. That’s passion, something that the owners of this team sorely lack. Jeff Wilpon and David Howard do not posses a baseball soul, that’s why they can’t understand us. The improvements at $iti Field while pleasing to Mets fans, we must remember these rich fat ass’s had to be embarrassed in order to make it right.

The new message that ownership needs to hear is that while the passion of rabid Mets fan still burns white hot, that flame could go out very soon. Hate is still passion, but when the fan base turns apathetic, that’s failure and the Wilpon’s, Saul Katz and David Howard are on the express lane with an EZ-Pass  to failure.

Ok we fire Manuel and who takes over, Bob Melvin? Tim Tuefel? Joe Frazier ? Does it matter? The best  move the club could make today is assign Jenry Mejia to Bingo, bring up Ike Davis to play first base everyday, release Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis. Then send John Maine to Dr. James Andrews for a full physical evaluation. If every thing checks out a-okay, then give him a copy of this book, if that fails then time to release him. Show your fan base you’re not broke or cheap by releasing Luis Castillo. Put Ollie Perez on waivers and when he clears assign him to Buffalo (I don’t know if they can do this but I’m so fucking mad, spittle is flying out of my mouth just typing this post) in essence my message to Mets management is do something, show me you actually give a fuck about this franchise and in turn give us Mets fans a reason to buy a ticket and go to $iti Field. Last night the Orioles had just under 14,000 fans at Camden Yards. Monday they had less than 10,000 the reason they had 4,000 more fans last night was two fold, rookie stud pitcher Brian Matsuz was on the mound and the team was giving away t shirts. Someone in the Mets front office has to have a scintilla of common sense to see the Mets and $iti Field are headed in that direction.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you Skill Sets. Pretty soon every day will be like Sunday.

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IT’S TIME FOR MIKE FRANCESA TO LEAVE WFAN

 

 

I guess it’s tough for Mike Francesa to come to the realization that he is no longer relevant in this town when it comes to sports talk radio. Sure his ratings are as solid as they were when he was teamed with Chris Russo (it’s hard to fault a guy for taking more cash and the freedom to do his own show but Chris Russo right now is a non-entity in the sports talkie world) as that is more out of habit than getting anything newsworthy from the show as the man is so out of touch with the modern media world and what we have seen since the Mike and the Mad Dog breakup is Russo while off the mark many times, is 1,000 times for entertaining than Mike. Francesa’ ego will not allow him to have another co-host and the ones who were brought in all had to bow to the altar of the Sports Pope. Worship is not what’s needed from 1-6 Monday to Friday they need someone to tweak the Tank and have some real sports talk debate.

 

The problem is, Francesa is so set in his way he would never allow that. Mike can not comprehend that his listeners are as informed of not more informed than he is and his slip is showing. Last week he had some political hack on discussing President Obama’ address to Congress. Are you kidding me? Where was Mark Chernoff with the white towel?  I know what you’re saying “why listen to the show then”? And you’re right. I was a die hard Mike and the Mad Dog fan as my desk radio would be on the whole 5 hours but now I usually tune in and out while listening to music most of the day. I bring all this up because Francesa has been very underhanded in his treatment of David Wright and Ryan Church. By not concededing that Wright is one of the top 10 players in the game today, just showed Francesa’ ignorance and his nastiness. Make no mistake Mike Francesa is one nasty fuck and both Wright and Church gave him their ass to kiss and rightly so. Francesa can not get the big name NY athlete to do his show because of his piss poor personality, I mean for David Wright not to agree to come on his show, that’s all you need to know that Francesa either needs to get a personality transplant –a la Tom Coughlin-or he needs to pack it in as no one is tuning in to here his political views or reviews of movies made 60 years ago.  Check out Mike Silva’s NYBD as he posts about Francesa talking about he and Wright meeting in St Lonesome.

I tuned in more than usual to the show this week because Mike was in St Lonesome. It would have helped if Francesa did a little homework before he did his interviews. His one on one with Fernando Martinez was embarrassing as he really had no clue on the kids accomplishments, his age or what he has accomplished as a 20 year old playing in the Double A while most kids his age are Juniors in college and eligible to be drafted to a big league team come June. No all Francesa could talk about was the injury factor, not taking into account that maybe the young man was still transforming from a kid to a man. The best interview was with Oliver Perez who blew Francesa off after two questions. Of course there is the Wright/ Church matter that both players who made it known to Jay Horowitz that no way in hell were they going on with Francesa. So WFAN wasted all that money to send Mike down there just to wear those hideous sunglasses andto model his collection of black shirts.

 

Hey Mark Chernoff it’s TIME FOR A CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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