Saturday, April 02, 2005

Play Ball!

The baseball season is upon us! I, for one, am crazy excited. The crack of the bat, the smell of the hot dogs and freshly cut grass. Summertime is here! Unfortunately for me, however, the bastards at Time Warner are forbidding us to view the Mets on cable TV. Or, perhaps it's Cablevision who is keeping it from us. I don't really know, and I don't really care. They're both evil, but on the evil meter, I'm thinking TW comes out a touch ahead, so let's blame them.

Let's back it up a step. As an expatriate of Detroit, I am first and foremost a Tigers fan, (Bless You Boys!). But when you move to a new town, it's fun to take up a local team so you have more baseball to watch on TV. After moving to New York, I had a choice to make. Do I like the Yankees or the Mets? For me, it was the easiest decision I've ever made. It was 1999, so the Yankees were in the throws of their unstoppable domination, and besides, it's the YANKEES! I've never understood these people who move here and decide to cheer for the Evil Empire, or as I like to call them - Everything That's Wrong With Baseball. Basically, there are three types of Yankee fans in New York:

  • People who grew up in the Bronx, (or I'll even give you the greater tri-state area). These people are absolved. Their parents probably liked the Yankees, so they grew up under a regime of propaganda and had no choice. Plus, they were probably following the Yankees either before the Steinbrenner era, who turned the Yankees into the money-grubbing, player-stealing, steroid-encouraging empire they are today, or during the bad years, when they actually didn't win a championship for 10, 15 years or so.

  • People who moved here and hop on the bandwagon of any team with great success. You will recognize these people by their Lakers hats, and more recently Tom Brady jerseys.

  • Ditzy girls who know little about baseball, but like to go to bars where lots of men are and get drunk and slut themselves out at the end of the night. These girls can be identified by their pink Yankees caps, Derek Jeter t-shirts that don't cover their navels and tight jeans that don't hide their thongs. They are probably laughing a little too hard at some meathead's joke, and loudly asking him stupid questions about how many innings there are in a game.
  • I do not fit into any of these categories, and therefore I follow the Mets. But this year, the powers-that-be want to build a stadium in Manhattan for the New York Jets. I'm not completely up to date on all the ins and outs of this issue, but I know that Cablevision, Time Warner's main cable delivery rival in the City, is trying hard to stop the stadium from being built. For the record - I agree with them 100%, but for completely different reasons. Publicly financed stadiums are one of the hugest government scams perpetuated on the American people. Why on fucking earth should my tax dollars go into the pocket of a billionaire? Studies have shown that publicly financed stadiums give nothing back to the community that was robbed. So essentially, they are taking money away from our schools and fire departments so they can make themselves richer. It's outrageous. Cablevision owns Madison Square Garden, and they simply don't want another stadium and convention center cutting into their profits. But that's not the end of it.

    I guess Time Warner is either investing in the West Side Stadium, or they just want to stick it to the competition, but they want the stadium to be built. So Cablevision is kicking the pissing contest up a notch by removing the Mets' cable channel (the MSG channel) from Time Warner cable subscribers. Or TW is taking it off the air out of spite. But either way, the two of them are bitchslapping each other for their own personal amusement, to the detriment of Time Warner cable subscribers like myself who have to go without the Mets on opening day. It's completely unacceptable. The fans are caught in the crossfire between two corporate giants and their babyfight. Shouldn't the local baseball team be something that's part of the public trust? There should be no option to remove something like that from everybody's television sets. Like how teachers or air traffic controllers aren't actually allowed to go on strike, even thought they both have a union.

    Cablevision/Time Warner! I demand that you grow up and do something for the greater good for once in your lives. Bring the Mets back to cable TV.

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