I’m a mook? What’s a mook?
Via the inimitable Pat Kiernan, yesterday’s mass mob arrests in the New York area have unearthed some fantastic new mob nicknames. As a group, mafia types really excel at the nickname, perhaps even more than ballplayers; today I thought I’d try to merge the two genres. Herewith, actual mob nicknames from the Daily News, and their imaginary position on the baseball diamond:
Two good options here: the reliable ace who keeps putting zeros up on the scoreboard, or the hapless rookie still hitting .000 two weeks into his first stint in the majors.
Jack the Whack
Dumb-as-a-post platooned corner outfielder who plays unfortunate defense but, at the plate, runs into one every so often and hits it to the next county.
Elder-statesman DH beloved by teammates and groupies coast-to-coast.
Fat Larry’s younger brother, a perenially disappointing 3B who would be more suited to DH but is just not a good enough hitter.
Popular hefty lefty starting pitcher.
This would work for like 40% of all Major League players, actually.
Middle reliever who’s nothing to write home about except for his one truly fantastic secondary pitch, probably a changeup.
Light-hitting shortstop who plays just good enough defense and smacks just enough seeing-eye singles to stay in the league basically forever.
Ancient first base coach famous for his heckling gifts with regards to opponents and umps.
I did not know Brian Wilson was a member of the Genovese crime family.
You know what? I’m not going to make fun of anyone nicknamed Nighthawk. Likely not someone you want to mess with.
Former Rookie of the Year 2B who never lives up to the hype.
Bullpen catcher and professional butt of jokes.
Grouchy veteran umpire.
Yesterday, general manager Brian Cashman strongly denied the organization has acted that way with its shortstop, captain and all-time hits leader.
“There is nothing baffling about our position,” Cashman said. “We have been very honest and direct with them, not through the press. We feel our offer is appropriate and fair. We appreciate the contributions Derek has made to our organization and we have made it clear to them. Our primary focus is his on-the-field performance the last couple of years in conjunction with his age, and we have some concerns in that area that need to be addressed in a multi-year deal going forward.
“I re-state Derek Jeter is the best shortstop for this franchise as we move forward. The difficulty is finding out what is fair between both sides.”
Also in the Post, Joel Sherman lowers the hammer on DJ:
Derek Jeter’s position when it comes to his contract negotiations appears to be this: I am Derek Jeter, pay me.
It doesn’t matter he has almost no leverage or he is coming off his worst season or the production of shortstops 37 and older in major league history is dismal.
Logic and facts are not supposed to matter. All that is supposed to matter is this: I am Derek Jeter, pay me.
The Yankees have offered Jeter $45 million over three years, which is being portrayed by the shortstop’s increasingly desperate camp as an insult. Except, of course, it is hard to find another organization ready to insult Jeter in similar fashion.
The summer before my senior year in high school I got a job as a messenger in a post-production house in Manhattan. Martin Scorsese was editing “The Last Temptation of Christ” in the building. The movie was scheduled to debut at the New York Film Festival in September but there was so much controversy surrounding it, the date was pushed up. So Scorsese and his team of editors worked around the clock to mix the sound. One Saturday, I came into work to sit next to the projector in the machine room and watch. After an hour, Scorsese invited me inside. I was supposed to go visit my grandfather who was recovering from surgery at Lennox Hill, but I stayed in the dark mixing studio all afternoon. I watched and listened.
Scorsese was approachable that summer. He complimented me on my t-shirt collection, talked to me about movies, and one day when I brought my friends in, trying to show off, Scorsese spotted me and said hello, a huge thrill.
The next summer, I’d graduated high school and Scorsese was shooting a gangster movie called “Wise Guy” (later changed to “Goodfellas). The Dailies–footage from the previous day’s shoot–were transfered to videotape for Robert DeNiro. Whenever I had down time between a run, I snuck into the transfer room and watched take after take of Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, DeNiro and the gang. I’d never been so anxious to see a movie in my life. A few months later, I was walking past a studio where they were mixing the sound and I heard “Monkey Man,” my favorite Stones song. I stopped dead in my tracks.
Are you kidding me? This is going to be the best movie ever.
I saw “Goodfellas” the day it opened, the first showing, high noon, over on the east side somewhere. Then, I saw it four more times in the theater.
That was 20 years ago. Check out the oral history of the movie featured over at GQ. It’s not great but it gives you some flavor behind the making of the movie that put Scorsese’s career back on the map and practically annoited him as the Dean of American Directors.
When I was a teenager, the film critic Pauline Kael was one of my idols. I loved her reviews. Even when I disagreed with her I learned something new. I felt sure that I could predict which movies she’d like and which ones she’d trash, but I was never that sure. She was always surprising. She was crazy for movies and wanted to be overwhelmed by them. She wrote sprawling reviews. They were always something to look forward to.
In the late ’80s, she fell ill, and I wrote her a note, saying, in effect that she could not die before she had the chance to review my first movie. Weeks later, I received a postcard with scrawled handwriting on one side–”It wasn’t the prospect of reviewing your first movie that laid me so low, although something sure as hell did. Good luck, Pauline Kael.” She retired from the New Yorker not long after that.
Her reviews were also condensed into blurbs in the front of the New Yorker. Here is a random selection, sure, as always, to raise an eyebrow, make someone furious, and perhaps turn your head too.
It’s a rainy day in New York. Enjoy: