There are a bunch of good Yankee-related articles in the Times today, starting with Richard Sandomir’s profile of Randy Levine, the Yankees’ own bad cop:
Levine’s headstrong style has been visible in telling the Boston Red Sox to tend to their own business; encouraging questions that put Joe Torre, then the Yankees’ manager, on the spot after games on the team’s YES Network; and in talks to secure the stadium deal and to create Legends Hospitality Management, a food-concession company with the Dallas Cowboys.
“It’s tough love with Randy,” said Gerry Cardinale, a friend and managing director at Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that is a partner in YES and Legends. “He is brutally honest, has a very high demand for performance and little tolerance for not getting his way. He respects me because I won’t back down.”
During labor negotiations with correction officers in the mid-’90s, the union’s president, Norman I. Seabrook, said recently, Levine’s closed-door demeanor was close to a blood sport that neither man took too seriously.
“He’ll smile, shake your hand and cut your heart out if you’re not prepared,” Seabrook said. “Don’t mistake that smile for anything but a knife.”
Finally, an essay by William Zinsser:
My Mets are moving into a park named for a bank that I’m helping the government to bail out. The Yankees’ new stadium comes wrapped in a vocabulary that has no connection to baseball: luxury boxes, bond issues, cost overruns. My fellow taxpayers and I are also footing that bill, though the announced prices will dissuade many of us from going there to enjoy the fruits of our charity.
I assume that the new stadiums will feature the newest advances in audio-visual assault. I stopped going to Mets games at Shea Stadium when my friend Dick Smolens and I could no longer hear each other talk between innings — such was the din of amplified music and blather from the giant screen in center field. But baseball is also a game of silences. After every half-inning, it invites its parishioners to meditate on what they have just seen and to recall other players they once saw performing similar feats. Memory is the glue that holds the game together.
Excellent job by the Times.