Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happy anniversary to Subway Squawkers! We've been yakking for 10 years! Read our very first blog entry ever!

I love "The Flinstones," while Jon thinks
they are a cheap "Honeymooners" ripoff.
And they said it wouldn't last. Today marks the 10th anniversary of Subway Squawkers. That means we -- and especially me! -- have been annoying people for 10 long years. (Actually, I've been annoying people for my whole life, but it's been 10 years with this blog!)

Back then, Alex Rodriguez was coming off an MVP season, but was still not considered to be a so-called "true Yankee." This year, A-Rod is coming off a very good season, and is now the de facto team leader and most popular player.

Many other things have changed in the Yankee Universe and in Metsland since then. The only Yankee from back then who is still on the team is A-Rod. The only Met from 2006 who is still on their team is David Wright. And Carlos Beltran, of course, was on the Mets back then, and the Yankees now.

Our format has changed since 2006. We started on the New York Daily News' website as one very long article on the web site each month. Then we went over to the blog format. We have been on Blogger now since November 2008.

And, of course, both of us have undergone personal changes since 2006 -- me more dramatically. In 2006, I was a couch potato who was starting to pack on the pounds after quitting smoking. In 2016, I have lost almost 70 pounds since my heaviest, and run regularly for exercise, albeit being a very slow runner.

But some things have stayed the same. I still bring the sass, and Jon still tries to put me in my place (although he rarely succeeds!)

Here is our origin story, for those of you who may not know: Jon and I worked at the New York Daily News together in the web department. (Jon actually hired me in 2000!) We talked a lot of trash back and forth about our respective teams. Back then, I used to spend a lot of time posting fan on various team message boards. (This was in the days before social media.) And Jon thought I should be doing something more with my writing talents than yakking on NYYfans.com and other sites.

Plus, in 2006, both the Yankees and Mets looked like they were going to be good teams at the same time since 2000. So Jon suggested to me that we do some sort of column on the website together. He also came up with the Subway Squawkers name, a moniker that has been misspelled ever since!

He sold our boss Kevin Hayes on the idea, and the rest is history.

Having this platform has been good for both of us. Especially me. I love having this outlet. I know it's made me a better writer. And it's been a lot of fun, too. We've met some great people because of this blog, which is awesome.

Anyhow, since this is our 10th anniversary, we are going to highlight great posts from our archives throughout the year. Here, below The Flintstones, is our very first Squawk!




March 1, 2006

Jon -- Met fan

When The Daily News Online Edition launched in 1996, New York was far from the Yankee town it unfortunately is today. The Bombers had not won a World Series in eighteen long years. Their new manager was derided by this very paper as “Clueless Joe.” The Mets’ phenom rookie shortstop was mentioned in the same breath as the Yankees’ phenom rookie shortstop. But the Yankees went on to win four championships in five years, while our phenom turned out to be Rey Ordonez.

Once the Yankees beat the Mets in the World Series, much of the media forgot that New York has usually been a two-team town (and before that, a three-team town).  Now, thanks to Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon’s checkbook, the Mets are back on the map.

But it’s hard for me to get too excited – I’ve been burned too many times before. What if Pedro’s toe doesn’t heal? What if Beltran never adjusts to New York?  What if the Carnegie Deli names a sandwich after Carlos Delgado? (Remember how well the last high-priced Met first baseman with his own sandwich worked out.)


Unlike the Yankees, who can absorb high-priced disappointments (Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright and so on), a single costly Met failure could sink the whole team. If Kaz Matsui were on the Yankees, he’d be long gone by now. Instead, he’s penciled in as the starting second baseman (at least I hope it’s in pencil).


I’m tired of the Yankees monopolizing the front page. Sure, the Mets made the cover now and again last year, but now Anna’s in Baltimore.  (Hey, George, since you like signing ex-Mets so much – Seaver, Gooden, Strawberry, Cone, Leiter, to name a few – how about bringing Mrs. Benson in? You can put her on YES and give her the planted questions to ask Torre.)


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Championship team. I’ve already got my ’86 pack – tickets to six games with promotions commemorating the boys of 20 summers ago. On Friday, June 16, if I’m one of the first 25,000 fans, I’ll get a commemorative coin courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts.  Something tells me I’d rather get a donut, but I am looking forward to the ’86 reunion on August 19. Hope there’s no need for video feeds from various prisons.


Lisa – Yankee fan

Before we get into discussing the state of the Yankees today, let's have a moment of silence to mourn the retirement of Kevin Brown. Remember how the Yankees gave Roger Clemens a burnt-orange Hummer when he "retired"? I hear the Yanks came up with a perfect parting gift for Mr. Friendly – a framed piece of the wall he fought.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of characters left in Yankeeland this spring.   Here are a few of them:

George Steinbrenner – Is he on the "I'm Not a Senile Old Coot" world tour or something? After years of a Garboesque silence (that is, if Greta had had a press agent to whip up missives for her), The Boss is back in rare form. What's next, a tearful appearance on Oprah?

Alex Rodriguez – I just don't understand the incessant A-Rod bashing. Yeah, he wants to be liked by everyone. And that is a bad thing, why, exactly? You know what happens when an athlete really doesn't care what anybody thinks of him?   Bode Miller.

Carl Pavano – The Yankees should have known that he wasn't worth pursuing  when they took him out for a night on the town, and he chose "Mamma Mia" as the evening's entertainment. Then there's his health, or lack thereof -- is there any illness this guy hasn't contracted?   What's next?  Rickets? Scurvy?

Randy Johnson – I think he's going to have a great year.   Why?  Because he's got the glare back – you know, the look that Italian ice dancer gave her partner after he dropped her.

Jorge Posada – You think he might be a little scared of Randy, particularly after the Big Unit threw inside to his buddy Derek Jeter?

Derek Jeter – Could he not speak in a monotone all the time?   He makes Shaquille O'Neal sound like he has vocal range.

Chien-Ming Wang – Randy Johnson constantly chats him up in the dugout.   What's that all about?

Mike Mussina – Did you see his quote in our paper about how the Yankees really do"have plenty of fun"?  Then he asked, "Look, what's more important: Lighting someone's shoes on fire or winning the division?" But where do crossword puzzles rank?

Johnny Damon –Why is it that every player who comes over to the Yankees, even if they're a straight-shooter like Johnny Damon, says the same mantra about pinstripes, greatness, tradition, the Yankee way, blah blah blah.   Is the Boss implanting them with a "pinstripe pride" microchip or something?

Speaking of characters, I think Mr. Met has had some work done.  Look at this 1963 image --http://www.kcmets.com/ScorecardImages/63Scorecard.jpg.  Plastic surgery – it's not just for Hollywood anymore!

One other thing -- I was going to trash-talk you about how the Yankees don't need to have a mascot, because they have pinstripes, greatness, tradition, and the Yankee way.   But then I remembered that they actually did have one, named Dandy, in the early 80s. Looks like I'm not the only one who wanted to forget about Dandy – I couldn't find a single online image of him.


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