Palladino: A Sincere NYC Apology To Cubs Co-Owner Todd Ricketts
By Ernie Palladino
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Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts came down with a bad case of "Ted Cruz-itis" Saturday when he stood before the 31st annual Cubs Convention and labeled Mets fans as "really, really obnoxious."
It seems that the eminent Mr. Ricketts and the missus didn't appreciate some of the comments that flew around the stands as Terry Collins' boys swept his 97-win wildcard team into the playoff dustbin of 2015. Or maybe it was because, while Chicago did fall one series shy of visiting a place it hadn't been to since Nineteen Forty Freakin' Five, it never really, really deserved to come that close at all.
Well, to paraphrase the words of the great Steve Martin, "Excu-u-u-u-u-se Us!"
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We obviously owe Ricketts and his wife an apology. Why else would he have gone all Cruzy on us all if those nasty hooligans at Citi Field hadn't gotten rowdy? Oh, yeah, I forgot. You guys never had a chance in those first two games. The mighty Cubs managed to score all of three runs as Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard shoved your big, bad bats where the sun don't shine.
And, unless you were distracted by your wine and cheese in the VIP area, you might have noticed that your team never had a lead in those games. Of course they didn't. You have to score to get a lead!
Still, that's no reason for treating our guests poorly. So, on behalf of Mets fans everywhere, here is an apology.
We are sincerely sorry that we have the greatest city in the world. We kind of get emotional over that, especially in years when BOTH our teams make the playoffs. Yes, we have two teams, too, and neither one of them is named the White Sox. We've got a building that rises higher than your Willis Tower, which means our One World Trade Center is now the tallest building in the country. We've got double the theaters and just as many good steakhouses as your town.
You've got great jazz and blues on State Street. OK, we'll give you that.
We apologize that Mike Piazza -- just elected to the Hall of Fame, by the way -- authored one of baseball history's most famous homers when he rocked Steve Karsay's eighth-inning pitch out of Shea Stadium in the first game played after 9/11. Yeah, we kinda got a little out of hand on that one, too, not because it proved decisive in a comeback victory over the Braves, but because it lifted our pride as a city that always, always comes back. And if that's really, really obnoxious, well, then, sorry.
We apologize because you're still going to have to deal with Mr. Harvey, the guy who pitched into the eighth inning in the 4-2 loss that started your team's downfall. The Mets just re-upped him for 2016 at $4.325 million, which allowed the team to avoid arbitration and put off a long-term deal until next year.
That gives you one more year to enjoy the sight of Harvey stubbornly talking his way back into Game 7 of ANOTHER WORLD SERIES, and possibly blowing it. Or maybe he'll just Cruz, er, cruise through and clinch his team's third world title. Not that you don't have your own pair of championship trophies, too. It's just that we don't have to go back to 1908 to reminisce about our last one.
We're sorry that our team kept Ernie Banks out of the World Series in '69. We loved Ernie; his enthusiasm, his spirit, how he played the game. He deserved many World Series, not just one. We have enough room in our obnoxious hearts to appreciate the great ones.
We just don't like poseurs.
Finally, we apologize for being, well, us. We're New Yorkers. Loud? sure. A little rough around the edges? Absolutely. Sometimes we get a tad crude. But where we lack a lot of the grace you Midwesterners seem to be known for, you'll never have a better, more loyal friend than a New Yorker. We still haven't forgotten the aid you Chicagoans sent us, along with the rest of the country, as we cleared The Pile. We love your town because, in so many ways, it's just like ours -- busy and broad-shouldered despite our troubles.
If you ever need us, let us know. Just don't ask for money. But that's another story.
We hope that we can make it up to you in some manner. Perhaps you'll sit down with us for pizza on your next trip in. Not the rubbery, deep dish stuff you eat out there. A real, thin-crust, tomato-and-mozzarella deal from one of our genuine mom-and-pop pizzerias in Queens.
We'll sit and talk civilly. Use all the nice words you and the missus have grown accustomed to at your ancient ballpark.
And watch Harvey and the gang beat your brains in again!
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