Owner’s Manual


OCTOBER 26—A funny thing happened on the way to the World Series last night. There we were, stuck in the middle of traffic headed for the Shea Stadium parking lot, when we glanced into the rearview mirror and spied…George Steinbrenner?! Yes, there was King George, white turtleneck and all, sitting in the (could it be?) front passenger seat of his own limo. We were just beginning to ponder the sociopolitical import of the location of the principal owner’s keister when the head of the Shea parking crew yelled out, “Pull over—Mr. Steinbrenner coming through!” And so we did, marvelling at the “No window-rolldown necessary” efficiency of it all. The rich really are different, aren’t they?

Speaking of the rich and the different, Mets co-owner Nelson Doubleday made a rare but controversy-stirring public appearance on the field before last night’s Game 4—won by the Yankees 3-2 (although, as one Mets follower we know pointed out, with the New York Nationals’ offense sputtering so badly, it felt more like 10-2), putting Bobby Valentine’s team on the brink of Subway Series elimination. Something Doubleday apparently wouldn’t mind eliminating is his co-owner Fred Wilpon’s years-in-the-making plan for a new multi-use stadium to be built in the parking lot adjacent to Shea—a plan that just happens to be the pet project of Wilpon’s son, Jeff. Doubleday would prefer to go the refurbishing route, which he claimed, off the top of his head, would cost “maybe a third” of the Wilpon plan’s estimated trillion-dollar price tag. Besides, warned Doubleday, what if new construction damaged the old park by Flushing Bay? “What would we do then,” he scoffed Doubleday, “play water polo? Tell the Dodgers to bring their swim trunks?” As Wilpon elder noted a while back about his at-times not-so-silent partner, “Nelson chooses to do what he wants to do.” Right now, that obviously means being a pain in assorted Wilpon keisters.