Do you remember back a ways when the Mets were ordained the Kings of New York by our friends in the media?
Well, that's now exposed for the big con job it was. On day two of what promises to be a long stretch of New York Post exploitation of the Lo Duca affair which is engineered to take use the image of a beautiful woman and use it to sell newspapers (because let's face it...if Sonia Lo Duca looked like an average everyday housewife, would her divorce be a story? See: Brinkley, Christie), the very same newspaper thought this Mets related "story" worthy of their front page, did not believe that Mike Piazza returning to Shea Stadium, a real Mets related story, worthy of the most prominent part of their back page.
There truly is a sucker born every minute...and when Pedro Martinez wore a crown on his head as the Mets "took over the city", the sucker born that minute must have been me...Because I should have known something like this would creep up, and that when push came to shove an ordinary Yankee game would upstage Piazza's return to New York.
Here's the tragedy of all this: The people that worked on breaking this story that's really nobody's business are, for the most part not the same people that are on the Mets beat day in and day out writing the stories that real baseball fans read...yet in the short term, and maybe the long term, it's those beat reporters and those stories that suffer because players will shun anybody remotely associated with that newspaper, fairly or not. In turn, it's the real baseball fans that suffer...But since when did news departments care about their sports departments and their audience anyway?
But the other tabloid in New York is no better. In Tuesday's Daily News, Mike Lupica wrote one of his "win me a Pulitzer" columns with his flowery language and his dogged determination to get to the facts, even when the facts he was hoping to uncover weren't what everyone had hoped for. After needlessly shifting the focus from Lo Duca's divorce to his legal horse racing gambling habits as if he was the only one, Lupica writes this:
"We are cynical and with good reason. Twenty years ago, the last time the Mets had a team this good, we didn't know that two of the bright young stars of the sport, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, were already on a slippery slope because of drugs. Two weeks ago, Floyd Landis is the heartwarming winner of the Tour de France and now he is a drug cheat on a pathetic PR campaign. For all we think we know, there is so much we don't know."Good reason?
A ballplayer gets a divorce...a divorce...and we're cynical? We're comparing something that befalls half of American couples to drugs and cheating? What? This is why we're searching for skeletons in this poor guy's closet?
You want to know why Mike Lupica is cynical?
Because their paper got scooped on the story.
The only thing more pathetic than exploiting a story to sell newspapers, is exploiting someone else's story to catch up.
I'm not sure that the presence of Ricky Ledee on the Mets...the same Ricky Ledee that was overrated as a Yankee to the point where he (along with minor leaguer Jake Westbrook) brought back David Justice in a deal that helped the Yankees win their third straight title in 2000 in front of a packed house at Shea which included me (but I'm not bitter)...is good karma. But tonight, we usher in the Ricky Ledee era nonetheless (proof I'm not consulted on anything).
And Ruben Sierra? Is there an excess of Geritol at the post game spread?