Man City getting into bed with the New York Yankess to create a football team kindles memories for RICHARD LUTZ
Growing up in Brooklyn in the late fifties meant one thing: if you were a baseball fan, you followed the Dodgers. The Brooklyn Dodgers, better known as The Bums whether they fared well or ill.
The treacherous management betrayed Brooklyn one night in the late fifites by scurrying off to soft lotus- eating Los Angleses and that left young and old in Brooklyn bereft. Did you look toward the New York Giants (quickly to follow the Dodgers to the west coast) or the Yankees? The devil or the deep blue sea? Brooklyn was in mourning. Still are, some say.
And then along came baseball expansion and a new team, the New York Mets, a group of castoffs and has- beens that immediately became loveable clowns and were more or less Dem Bums Mark2, even down to buying back some old Dodger stars who were on the slide.
So, were you a Met or Yank fan? Schoolyard debates, arguments, fights, split everyone. The lordly rich Yankess were kings: The Bronx Bombers, the men in pinstripes, the home for sluggers like Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris. Or did you stumble along with the jokers of baseball who hit rock bottom running and stayed there.
I loved the hapless Mets. But I was a Yankee fan and proudly had my iron-on Yankess logo slapped on my winter jacket. My eye went straight to the Yankee box score on the sports pages each day rather than the Mets details. I rode the subway with pals to the Bronx to see Yankee day games and back- to- back double headers, always with a baseball glove in case a long ball came my way. I dreamed Yankee. I didn’t dream Mets.
I still am a Yankeee fan. And even up to the present…now..my sons chide me that I never sided with the underdog Mets in the cheap seats of baseball but with The Yanks. The Yanks who buy their way to superiority with hard New York cash, with New York swagger and sign big names with $100m contracts while the Mets crawl around signing no hopers and mediocre talent.
Even today with the Major League Baseball (MLB) app at the ready to watch any game I want, my finger goes for the latest Bomber game to see how the now elderly team, crippled with leg and arm injuries, grasp onto first place (and the best record in MLB right now) and always re invents itself.
The team is packed, much of it with that seemingly limitless dazzle of expertise stemming from Latino countries or, even more specifically, The Dominican Republic. The Yankee scouting system must be the best, most highly paid in the Major Leagues. No young hopeful can ignore a Yankee interest in nascent talent.
The Yanks are, in essence, the team to beat, the team to hate, the team to envy. My friend Ricky became the dad of twin daughters many years ago. And he tells the delightful story of watching over them when they were only days old and saying to the two newborns: ‘ Do anything you want in the world, girls, but remember, you’re Mets fans. Remember that. Never the Yanks.’
The Bombers create that in New Yorkers: either antipathy of relentless loyalty. It’s been that way since Babe Ruth (who my father saw play, by the way, back in the ’20’s) right through to today’s team of multi millionaires.
And it’s never a surpise, when the team travels to New England to take on the Red Sox, that Boston always transforms into a salivating bunch of inartiuclate carpet chewers with the propect of beating the detested, hated, vile Yankee steamroller.
Man City getting into bed with The Yanks? They’ve palled up with big time.