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Good Riddance, Overrated Rudy
January 4, 2002
by Scott Koziara

Breaking news. Rudy Giuliani has hubris. Giuliani's handling of the September 11th crisis has given him overwhelming praise and unlike George W. Bush he doesn't need his aides or the media to build him up. Initially the events of September brought out Giuliani's best, but as time passed on his massive ego, as usual, got in the way.

As September turned into October he seemed to be enjoying his new-found heroic status a little too much. He never saw a camera he didn't like and for the past three months he's been gallivanting around New York smirking like a 16-year-old kid who has just lost his virginity to Pamela Anderson.

At the height of Giuliani's ever increasing arrogance Hizzoner hosted a farce of a news conference three days before his departure, unveiling a lucicrous proposal to finance two new baseball stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner and Mets owner Fred Wilpon are two multi-millionaires who have the audacity to seek public money in a city that desperately needs funds for, among other things, new school construction, serious infrastructure improvements, and lest we forget, economic revitalization for Lower Manhattan.

Giuliani's callous and irresponsible stadium proposal features some fancy accounting schemes, but there's absolutely no way to justify $800 million in corporate welfare to guys like George Steinbrenner. New York City does not, should not, and damn it better not have a dime to fatten the already overflowing pockets of greedy George Steinbrenner and his envious competitor across the East River in Queens. (Keep in mind Yankee President Randy Levine is a former Deputy Mayor of New York City.)

Steinbrenner desperately wants to leave Yankee Stadium because America's most famous sports edifice has only 8 full-service luxury suites. The House That Rudy Built is proposed to have lots and lots of cozy and lucrative luxury suites, and a 47,000 seating capacity. Yankee Stadium currently seats 57,000. Hmmmm...10,000 less seats for the new stadium?

This means ten-thousand less suburbanites schlepping into the city on sold-out summer Sunday afternoon and October playoff games. This means less people paying the tolls on the George Washington and Triborough Bridges, less people riding the rails, and less people patronizing the local businesses in the area around the stadium.

Fred Wilpon on the other hand needs a new stadium. Shea Stadium is a dilapidated relic of the hideous National League ballparks of the mid 1960s and early 1970s. However, Queens, among other things needs money for increased homeland security at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports a helluva lot more than it needs a new baseball stadium.

Mayor Bloomberg is a native New Englander who doesn't care about the Yankees or the Mets. He owes Giuliani big-time, because without Giuliani's help he never would've been able to buy the election. But, if Bloomberg has an ounce of integrity, which is highly debatable, he'll ignore Giuliani's proposal and and tell George Steinbrenner that New York City isn't his personal piggy bank.

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