New York state of mind

Boston may be winning everything lately, but no city beats New York these days in terms of arrogance and self-importance.

Before I get written off as a West Coast whiner, I’ll cite a couple recent and infamous examples as evidence.

No American League team would be pleased about losing one of their best pitchers to a baserunning injury during an interleague game, as the Yankees experienced with Chien-Ming Wang.

Acting owner Hank Steinbrenner took sour grapes to a whole different stratosphere however, when he pouted and wished the National League would “join the 21st century” and install the designated hitter rule to protect poor, fragile hurlers who shouldn’t be expected to put one foot in front of the other for 360 whole feet (hey, that’s a tenth of a kilometer!).

Maybe baseball should go one step further and install Segways to transport pitchers from the dugout to the mound, or even from the dugout back to the showers after pitching changes. The Segways would be at the mound constantly, and the pitchers could use them to cover first base or back up home plate.

Maybe if we installed Segways Tim Lincecum would have been protected from a sliding David DeJesus on Sunday. If Timmy were standing on a heavy metal contraption, DeJesus probably would have slid around him, right?

Speaking of the name Timmy, doesn’t Hank remind you of another South Park character?

Hank’ already been compared by many to another bumbling son who was handed the reigns of a large company, Tommy Boy. But with his latest complaints, I see a whole lot of Cartman in George’s son.

Hank is like the kid in your neighborhood who always wanted you to come over and play, but always needed to make up the rules of whatever game was played (and would change the rules mid-game if he was losing).

Can’t you picture a young Hank wearing knickers and suspenders while on a play-date with one of his private school classmates, flipping the checkerboard over and screaming, “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”

This isn’t about whether or not the DH is a good idea. It’s about how Hank’s own sense of entitlement makes him think he can change things by throwing tantrums. Can you imagine A’s owner Lew Wolff making the same public complaints, or any other owner for that matter?
Speaking of New Yorkers popping off, Don Imus would be fired if he worked anywhere else. Hey, Larry Krueger was fired from KNBR a few years ago for saying much less.

I’m not disagreeing with Imus that what he said yesterday was sarcastic, but the premise of that sarcasm was certainly highly questionable, if not another example of a pattern of bigotry.

It seemed like the bit Imus was doing was a sort of an “I’m a black guy who always has excuses for any trouble I find myself in” type of thing. That he would even attempt a routine like this after his “nappy headed hos” comment about the Rutgers women’s basketball team got him fired from his last job speaks volumes.

His part of the dialogue about Pacman, er, I mean Adam Jones and his legal troubles was mean-spirited, it was dismissive, and it wouldn’t be accepted for ten seconds from anybody else besides a New York shock-radio icon. Pressure from outside forces (read: Al Sharpton) will probably lead to Imus getting banished to satellite radio eventually anyway, but the fact he woke up this morning still technically employed speaks to where he works as much as anything else.

I’m not saying New York is a racist town (any more than any other big city, anyway), but the power of being in this nation’s top city seems to make certain people inflate the importance of their own opinions lately.

Maybe it’s no coincidence that Shaq’s “freestyle” came at a club in NYC. At least all Shaq did was create talk show fodder during a slow sports week with one of the funniest lines of all time in hopes of reigniting a feud that has lasted about four years too long.

Hopefully New Yorkers will show the rest of us that Mini Steinbrenner and Imus don’t represent their city, and throw the bums out while telling them what Shaq said to Kobe. Imus we’re probably rid of, but something tells me we’re going to have to listen to the rantings of Hank Cartman for a long time.

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