Being old enough to remember when New York Newsday was the best tab in town (and what a shame it was when finances forced it to retreat, along with Murray Kempton and Jimmy Breslin, back to its traditional Long Island purview), we never think of that paper without a little pang.
But today Newsday‘s little in-town freebie, amNewYork, snapped us out of it with the sort of story that the Post or the News, with their ever-growing respect for the wealthy and powerful, would never dare print.
“Be it on the field, page one of the tabloids or a jail cell,” writes amNewYork‘s Pete Catapano, “New York has had a long line of baseball stars who can’t seem to stay out of trouble or the headlines.”
Catapano goes on to mention A-Rod, as what New York sports story doesn’t these days, but then includes Billy Martin (“fisticuffs”), Daryl Strawberry (“drug use”), Dwight Gooden, Roger Clemens, et alia. To our delight, the theme turns out to be: what makes New York ballplayers such assholes?
What a way to celebrate this week’s festival of All-Star overkill, with its copious crocodile tears over the final season of Steinbrenner’s Mausoleum! It’s not much of a story, alas — the author establishes authority via quotes from two Experts and three Ordinary Citizens, none of whom are interesting — but with the sports scribes at the Post (“PLAYING FOR LEAGUE PRIDE“) and the News (“Hey Mickey, Bobby’s here — tell Joe D“) elevating jock-sniffing to jock-snorting, you have to at least admire the gratuitously shitty attitude.
With both New York teams recently tainted by steroids (which have none of the glamour of Doc’s cocaine nor the down-home appeal of Billy’s boilermakers), and both New York teams preparing to flip off their lower-class fans with new, heavily-skyboxed stadiums, it’s a shame that we have to outsource our tabloid Bronx cheers to Melville, LI. But we’ll take them any way we can get them.