Monday, November 30, 2009

Who's Tim Keller?

There's an interesting phenomenon in American life that's as old as the republic itself: the mega-preacher. The Man of God as celebrity. The superstar of faith. The be-attitude with attitude. The light mocking the darkness. The Voice ...

From John Brown, Father Coughlin, and Billy Graham to the likes of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker to Rick Warren and Joel Osteen, our most famous preachers know how to move a crowd, whip up a religious fervor, and bring us closer to Him. There's always been a political element to these folks too, and lately most of these mega-preachers have become associated with what's called the Religious Right. But they're not just political. Most of these guys are self-help gurus, and people look to them for "answers." They try to help people navigate this harsh, mean world and make sense of the senseless.

And they build HUGE churches, stadiums really, where literally THOUSANDS of people flock each week like it's a football game. It's really mind-blowing.

Most New Yorkers assume this is a scene to be found in the South or the Sun Belt -- and that's mostly true. But what if you heard that such a scene exists right here in NYC? And perhaps most shockingly, it's to be found in the beating heart, the ground zero, the epicenter, the very headquarters of the liberal elite?

'Tis true.
Yes, you heard me right -- Sarah Palin has a friend on the Upper West Side.

Meet Tim Keller. For the last twenty years, he's been preaching his stern, conservative version of the Gospel at Redeemer Presbytarian Church. And he's got an enormous following of New Yorkers who come to hear him preach every week. He's so popular that he has to have multiple services every day to accommodate everybody. Forget Cardinal Dolan or Reverend Al or even Rabbi Shmuli or whatever his name is-- Tim Keller is the Voice of NYC.

You must read this fascinating article about him in this week's New York magazine. Who knew a guy like this existed or was so popular in this town?

What's amazing about Keller is that his "hook", the thing that gives him such a following is that he preaches less about social issues and more about what he sees as the sins of over-achievment -- mainly that people strive to be overachievers because they desperately want to fill up the emptiness of their souls. It's an interesting idea and, in these tough economic times, needless to say, many people are questioning the ethos of unbridled capitalism, of greed, or more more more ... stuff. It's an interesting article, and he's an interesting guy, so I suggest you read it and come to your own conclusions.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


For the last month the chattering classes have been clacking their collective teeth, wondering just how much money Mayor Bloomberg spent on his re-election.

Now we know. The numbers are in: $102 million. For a total of roughly 550,000 votes, that comes out to $174 per vote. In 2001 he spent $99 per vote and in 2001 he spent $112 per vote. So from 2001-2005,he increased his spending by $13 per vote but from 2005-2009 it went up $62 per vote.

62/13=4.77. The difference was almost five times greater in 2009 than 2005. Wow. And since Bloomberg won by only 5 percentage points and spent more than $100 mill to get it, that means he spent $20 million per point. Wow wow.

If Bloomberg had just given each voter $174, imagine what they could have done with it? I know what I would have done with it! For $174 I would:
  • Pay our monthly cable/internet bill
  • Pay our electric bill for two months
  • Pay my cell phone bill for three months (a quarter of a year!)
  • Get oysters on the half-shell and a porterhouse for two at a modest-priced steakhouse (without wine)
  • Buy my wife a beautiful broach or pin or a scarf from the Met store
  • Get some cheap Broadway tickets from Theatermania
  • Save it and earn a few pennies from the bank!
Giving each of us voters $174 instead of spending it on stupid attack ads would not only have benefited the economy but also made the lives of us ordinary New York a little more pleasant in these bleak times. But ours is a "political" economy, haha, and so it goes (or should I say, the money goes).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alice's Restaurant

As much a NYC Thanksgiving tradition as watching the Macy's parade on TV is listening to "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio. Every year at noon on Q104.3, you can hear the complete eighteen minutes of Arlo's Guthrie's classic song/story/anti-war treatise that seems as relevant today as ever. My favorite part of the song, which also coincidentally is what grounds it as a New York story, is the following part:

"They got a building down New York City, it's called Whitehall Street, where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. `Cause I wanted to look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York, and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all kinds o' mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave me a piece of paper, said, "Kid, see the psychiatrist, room 604."

And I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin' up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and he started jumpin' up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

Bloomberg III

Speculation is rampant about who may or may not populate Mayor Bloomberg's third and final administration. After eight years of a remarkably stable team, with few departures, it looks like the top echelons of city government are due for a big shake-up.

City Hall News has an ongoing feature about this called Gaming Out The Bloomberg III Cabinet. It has all the rumors and reports of rumors about who might be in, out, or left twisting in the wind.

My big question is this: assuming that most of the people in the administration who have served these last eight years want to stay, why would Bloomberg then get rid of any of them?

After all, wasn't the overturning of term limits and Bloomberg's expensively-acquired third term all about keeping him and the people around him in power -- because they've done such a great job? If he fires a lot of these people, are we really sure he can attract people of similar talent? They'll only have four years on the job, not really enough time to make the kind of big changes that those people in Bloomberg's first two terms had the chance to do. Why would anyone want to be second best? Term-limited from the time they take office? Stepping into such big shoes -- who wants to be in that situation?

Don't be surprised if Bloomberg's new administration is a profile in mediocrity.

We shall see. I hope to be wrong. But I wouldn't be surprised if Bloomberg III is a lot like Godfather III -- a miserable follow-up to two previous triumphs. I've said that overturning term limits was a bad idea precisely because it would lead to all sorts of unintended consequences -- and less than stellar cabinet might be one of them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Howard Stern - 2009-10-05 - David Letterman Extortion Attempt (Part 1)

I know I'm way behind the ball in posting this but you MUST listen to Howard Stern talk about the David Letterman extortion situation. He makes some very smart remarks about it and I found it all together educational. There are four more clips of this segment so you should check them out on YouTube.

It's sad to see such a New York icon as David Letterman get himself into such a nasty situation where he's being shaken down by the ex-boyfriend of a woman Dave had an extra-marital affair with. You can't imagine Ed Sullivan getting into such a mess. But Howard makes the great point that it's just never a good idea to screw around on the job. Work and nooky don't mix! Still, men are men and when they see some hot young stuff, well ... figure it out. Money, sex, and power is a lethal combo.

Only in New York (and Hollywood ... and Washington, DC).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Art of the Samurai

If you've ever been intrigued by the ancient Japanese culture of samurai warriors (or even if you just enjoyed the Kill Bill movies or the old "Samurai Night Fever" sketches on SNL), you should check out Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156–1868 at the Met.

Very cool exhibit. They have dozen and dozens (and dozens) of old samurai swords that look menacing even enclosed in glass. There's a short film that shows the painstaking work that goes into the making of these swords. Even though they look very simply, the samurai sword is a coveted thing for a reason: they are made out of special metals that are smelted and formed to be very dense and super, super, super sharp. It is a complex, time-consuming process to create these swords but they are amazing instruments of war.

Additionally they show lots of samurai armor which is mostly a complex web of colored lacquer and metal. What's really interesting about this armor is it makes you realize how small most of the samurai warriors really were. I don't think anyone more than five feet could fit in this stuff!

This exhibit runs through early January so check it out now!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jeanne-Claude RIP

In February 2005 Central Park became the site of one of the most memorable public art exhibitions in New York City history: The Gates. Conceived of by the artists Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, it consisted of hundreds (thousands?) of saffron-colored nylon panels (resembling "gates") lined up along the paths from 59th all the way up to 110th street. It was a complete, beautiful transformation of our most beloved park and, even though the exhibit only lasted two weeks, it has become a cherished event in our city's collective memory.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were famous long before "The Gates" with other outlandish although effemeral environmental exhibits like the draping of Berlin's Reischstag and the flooding Biscayne Bay in Florida with pink fabric. Kooky -- but cool -- they dared to be creativily audacious and helped enrich the culture.

Sadly Jeanne-Claude passed away this week at the age of 74. And as someone who loved The Gates, I wish Christo and her family all the best. Thanks for helping to give us a unique New York memory.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New York City at Night

There's no more beautiful sight in the world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Memo from NYC

Paterson Calls Obama Wrong on 9/11 Trial

Why has this thing become such a big deal? One of the masterminds of 9/11 is going to be tried in NYC. The main crime occurred in NYC. Therefore ... shouldn't he be tried here? Makes sense to me.

All these critics say he should be tried in a military tribunal. Why? Don't these critics believe in the American judicial system? I do. Isn't the American judicial system something we're fighting to protect? Don't we help protect the American system by practicing what we preach? In my opinion, putting this guy who wants to destroy America through the wringer of our legal system and showing him why we're better than him is exactly what we should be doing.

It's called the power of our example.

Call me naive, but it looks like a lot of people who say they believe in America don't really trust it. I've even heard some of these critics say that he should be tried quietly in a tribunal, that trying him here will flick the scabs off the wounds of 9/11.

Are we, the American people, really that weak and insecure that putting this nutjob on trial here will overwhelm us? I think we the people are better than that.

I would think that trying this "evildoer" and passing judgment on him would help bring some kind of closure to the trauma of that day. Sure, he'll get a platform to spout his nonsense -- and we'll get a platform to condemn him before the world.

To me, all of this carping is ginned up political nonsense generated by opponents of the Obama administration. These people (mostly Republicans but not all) are politicizing 9/11 (again) to create a wedge between the president and the American people. As usual, these people don't care about justice or America or the constitution -- they just care about hurting Obama so that they can get back into power. This is not about justice or the victims of 9/11 -- this is pure politics at the deepest, most cynical and disgusting level.

A Trip to the High Line

This weekend I finally -- FINALLY! -- made it to the High Line. Located in the West Village between 14th and 20th streets, it's an old abandoned train track turned into New York City's park in the sky.

Park isn't actually the right word for it: the High Line is more like a promenade. It is a long, unbroken stretch of pavement. You go up the stairs (or the elevator) and find yourself about two stories above Manhattan. The surrounding buildings loom over you and Hudson River is just off to your right. As you trek down the promenade, besides the people, there are patches of greenery and brush and various interesting flora. There are also lots and lots of benches -- some small, some large -- that were built so they look as if they're growing out of the cement floor. There are also large wooden chaise lounges where lots of people, in beautiful weather, like to sun themselves.

People like to walk, sit, and chill on this most unique of promenade parks.

Best of all are the little surprises I found on the High Line. There was actually choir from a local church performing on the day I went there. Also, at certain points, the promenade cleaves off into different levels so you can actually walk back and forth and have a totally different experience. At the northern end of the High Line, near 18th street, is perhaps its strangest but, if you think about it, the most logical feature: a gigantic window overlooking the street. In front if it are several levels of wooden benches where you can sit, read the book or the newspaper, and people/traffic watch to your hearts contents.

Strange. But uniquely New Yorkish.

So I liked the High Line. I can't wait to see the whole thing when they open more of it next year. What I'd really like to do at some point is go back at night, with the lights of the city in the background.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Colossus

If you go to the Statue of Liberty, you will find the following poem on a plaque at the pedestal of the mighty lady. Entitled "The New Colossus", it was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 but the plaque containing the poem was not actually mounted onto the statue until 1903 -- twenty years after it was written and seventeen years after Emma Lazarus died in 1887. It's hard to imagine that this amazing poem that so perfectly captures the spirit of American and this great city was originally given such short shrift. However, reading it today, you realize that it's message has not only not faded but has only grown more powerful over the years:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

A few interesting things about this poem and its writer:

1. Upon reading it, I was surprised to realize that it's "breath free" and not "be free." I always thought it was the latter, and you can see why it's easy to think that, but just for the record: it's breath, not be.

2. The part "harbor that twin cities frame" refers to the fact that, in 1883 when this was written, New York harbor served two cities: New York and Brooklyn. Brooklyn did not become part of NYC until 1898.

3. Emma Lazarus, in you case you didn't realize it from her last name, was Jewish. Specifically, she was a Sephardic Jew, her family having come over from Spain during colonial times. Not only that, but she was related to Associate Justice Benjamin Cardozo and was also a strong Zionist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Medical Leave

Apologies yet again for the lack of blogging lately. This past week I had to have a small operation and posting on here took a backseat to my medical issues. However, I'm recuperating nicely and hope to be blogging full time in the next couple of weeks.

Many thanks to the people at the Hospital for Special Surgery for fixing me up so well. Routinely ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country, this is an amazing, beautiful place located on 70th between York Avenue and the FDR Drive. Truly, I felt unworthy to be operated on in such elegant surroundings. Not only that, but the doctors, nurses, assistants, etc. were not only highly courteous and caring but they were also all really good looking! It was like Grey's Anatomy come to life.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Maybe Greed Isn't So Good

Bonuses Uncertain for Bloomberg Election Aides

I love this. Karma is a bitch. In the mayoral election just passed, a whole lot of Democratic political consultants betrayed their party to help Mike Bloomberg win re-election. Why'd they do it? Because Hizzoner the Billionaire promised to pay them vastly more money than they could earn working on Democratic campaigns. They were so friggin' greedy, so consumed with doing well rather than doing good, that they showed their true beliefs, their true colors, their true motivation, their true attitude towards the public good, by abandoning their party and helping a Republican win a third term. After all, who cares about the dying middle class in this city when Bloomberg can help these consultants rise above the middle class?

Uh-oh. Something happened on the way to the bank. Something nobody expected. Bloomberg won his third term -- by a humiliating 51%! He was supposed to win in a landslide but barely squeaked by a broke, unknown opponent. For the first time in his eight years in power, Bloomberg looked foolish.

Bloomberg is pissed. He didn't spend all of this money for that. Now these greedy consultants might not get their big bonuses. They might get the shaft! They pissed off their party because their greed got the better of them -- and now they might not get all that money after all!

Serves them right. Bastards. I hope they not only not get their bonuses (or get severely reduced bonuses) but that they become unemployable. I hope they never work again. Why would any Democrat hire these pricks ever again? Why would Republicans hire them either -- after all, they screwed up! So it looks like they might be joining that withering middle class after all. And if we're lucky, they'll fall out of that as well.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Interview: Arianne Cohen of The Tall Book and New York magazine Sex Diaries

Arianne Cohen must have one of the more interesting job descriptions around: when she's not writing and talking about life as a very tall woman, she's in charge of editing New York's favorite voyeuristic pastime: the New York magazine Sex Diaries. It takes a lot of imagination to come up with that as a career! Arianne was kind enough to talk to Mr NYC about "Tall World," editing the erotic adventures of others, and her thoughts on this crazy city.

So you stand 6 foot 3 inches and have written a whole book about your height and other tall people called The Tall Book. Briefly, what is Tall World?

Tall World is where life is lived up high! It's a unique perspective. For example, it's very dirty--people rarely clean above six foot, so the tops of things tend to be quite dirty. And more to the point, like any group that's somehow different, you gain a great vantage point on society.

Based on your research, as well as your own experience, are there big differences between being a tall woman and a tall man?

It's mostly the same--the biggest challenge is living a very public life, which is akin to always having a spotlight on you. And that's genderless. The biggest differences are romantic. Tall men are the most successful dating and mating group in the world, bar none: they're more successful than rich men or powerful men. Tall women, on the other hand, have low birth rates--they have half the birth rates of average women, and it's because they insist on dating men taller than they are, and thus don't find partners. Which leads me to my big recommendation: ladies, consider dating down. At least an inch or two. It'll triple the size of your dating pool.

And talking about mating (sorry for the bad pun), you are also the editor of New York magazine's Sex Diaries that chronicle a week in the sex life of various New Yorkers. Like most readers I wonder: are these people real and where do you find them?

They're quite real! Most come from online ads, though these days many are referrals from previous writers--they'll tell their friend, "oh you have to do this."

How do people get their sex diaries published? What makes a good "diary"? What goes on "behind the scenes" at the Sex Diaries?

A good diary tells not just what happened, but what the diarist was thinking. It's a journal of thoughts. Roughly 1 of every 3 commissions runs--many writers have a hard time with delving into their own personal lives honestly, so a lot are too shallow to run. And of course there are those who try to make them up. After reading 400 of them, it's pretty obvious what's what.

What is the best and what is the worst diary you've edited?

There have been many great ones--recently, I was a fan of the 68 year-old tantra student, a man who was getting over his wife's death by throwing himself into tantra and nudism. I just learned so much because he has so much perspective. The worst? It did not run, because among other issues, it involved body bags. I'm forever mentally scarred.

Finally, you live in both NYC and Portland, Oregon. What do you like/dislike about both places?

New York is where I work, and Portland is where I live. Portland is like Brooklyn, but 1/3rd the price, and everyone bikes everywhere. Same type of people. It's heavenly. In New York I fill my schedule morning to night seeing people and going to museums and lunching and dining out 14 times in a week and going to back-to-back theater, which I love to do a week every month. The cultures are quite different though. My New Yorker friend visited me in Portland, and was helping me put out the trash and recycling. Portland trashcans are quite small, half the size of recycling cans. And she goes, "So where do you put your garbage?"

Thanks Arianne!


My previous post about the Yankees winning the World Series included a video of the blessed event that has since been removed courtesy of MLB. Sorry.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Congratulations to our very own New York Yankees for scoring their 27th World Series Championship title!

Great way to close out the first season in the new stadium.

On behalf of a grateful city, Mr NYC says thank you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Election Aftermath

It's really hard to know where to begin in analyzing yesterday's election. There was some good news but mostly it was bad. And trying to make sense of it all will be difficult. But I shall try.

First, the bad news: it was a bummer to see Mayor Bloomberg win a third term that, if the real will of the voters had been respected, he wouldn't have been able to run for. And it was also unsettling that a couple of Republicans out in Queens won City Council races using vile tactics.

Bloomberg proved that lots of money and negative ads work. He so distorted and corrupted the playing field that it was impossible to have an honest debate on the issues. Also, Republicans Dan
Halloran and Peter Koo won city council seats by a) in Halloran's case, whipping up anti-Asian sentiment and having his campaign thugs go around intimidating voters, and b) in Koo's case, spreading lies and rumors among Jewish voters that his Democratic opponent Yen Chou was an anti-Semite. These races were close but, still, the typical divisive, dishonest, nasty modus operandi of the Republican party was on full display this campaign season. It's depressing that it worked its evil magic once again. Nauseating. But ultimately the Democrats ran poor campaigns so they have only themselves to blame. Bullies and bad people will be get away with it if the good guys let them.

Second, the good news. John Liu was elected City Comptroller and is now the first Asian American citywide elected official. He won more votes than any other candidate, even Bloomberg. I supported him from the start so I'm glad to see that he won. But the REALLY good news is that Bloomberg margin of victory was an embarrassing five percent. FIVE PERCENT! He spent nearly $100 million on this race against a broke, unknown opponent and that's all he came up with! He spent almost $200 per vote. Wow.

Here's my analysis: a win is a win. Can't spin that. But usually incumbents are re-elected in landslides. In 2005, Bloomberg won with 59% of the vote -- so he suffered an eight percent swing against him this year. That does not bode well for his new term. It's not like he's going to be a new mayor who can win over the people who voted against him (which he did during his first term, after he had won with only 50% of the vote in 2001). The people of NYC today know what kind of Mayor Bloomberg is; that 49% is hardened against him, pissed that he won. Barring another 9/11-like event or something that calls upon him to use his superior skills, that 49% is gone. They won't forgive him for any mistakes he might make in his third, dubiously acquired term. And that 51% that voted for him is vulnerable to getting pissed off he does make any mistakes. They might end up regretting their vote. Then he he'll have no support left.

The result? Mike Bloomberg risks leaving office in four years a despised mayor -- like his third term brethren LaGuardia, Wagner, and Koch did. By the end of their third terms, New Yorkers were totally sick of them. They had outstayed their welcome. Then the city voted for mayors (O'Dwyer, Lindsay, Dinkens) who were totally different from them. And based on the results of last night, that's the direction Bloomberg is going in. His successor could be 180 degrees different from him, elected out of disgust and exhaustion with him -- and that will be a stain on his legacy, a legacy that up until now seemed unassailable.

Now I could be wrong, but I don't think so. And if I'm right, just tell folks that you heard it here first.

So for Mr NYC, election 2009 ends with a sigh, a shrug, and fingers crossed for a better future for his city.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bloomberg Press Pass

The votes are currently being counted and Bloomberg is on track to win a third term. And as we know, his money is the reason.

But the other reason is the press in this town -- or the lack thereof. It's not so much that the press is biased towards Bloomberg (although it is) but that there really isn't that much press in existence today to cover the mayor to expose his failures.

Back in the day, there were four major dailies and the Times had an extensive Metro section. Also the Post and the News had lots of city reporters.

No more. Newspapers are shrinking and there aren't that many reporters on the beat covering city politics. The result? Bloomberg and others can get away with a lot crap. This great article from the Village Voice explains it all.

And don't expect it to get any better over the next four years.

Election Day

The polls close tonight at 9 PM. Late tonight, certainly by tomorrow, we should know all the winners.

I'll have a full analysis of the depressing situation tomorrow.

World Series 2009 Game 5


Yanks lost. The only source of consolation is this: they played really well, racking up 6 points. Only problem: the Phillies played even better, scoring 8 points.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: this really is a battle of titans.

The series heads back to the Bronx tomorrow night. Now the Yankees have only two more shots at winning it all.

But here's one more small bit of consolation: this was a low-rated game, so fewer people saw this humiliation than might have otherwise.

Monday, November 2, 2009

USS New York Arrives in New York City

This morning the USS New York arrived in our harbor for a visit. It will be officially commissioned into the Navy fleet on Saturday.

This new battleship contains more than seven tons of steel rescued from the debris of the World Trade Centers so this ship has a literal connection to its namesake. Obviously today was a very emotional day for everyone who survived 9/11.

I can't think of a better name for a newest member of the naval fleet. Let's hope she serves America well.

Election Eve in NYC

As you may or may not know, tomorrow is election day here in NYC.

Voter turnout is expected to be low, which is exactly what the entrenched political establishment in this city wants. The fewer the voters, the greater the apathy the better for the powers that be -- this is exactly what keeps them in power.

So let your voice be heard. If you're registered, go out and VOTE tomorrow. Vote for whoever you want, just VOTE!

And if you need any help, go to the Board of Elections in the City of New York website for more info.

World Series 2009 Game 4

The Yankees now lead the series 3-1.

Message to the Bronx Bombers: let's win this thing in 5.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

World Series 2009 Game 3

We won again!

Yanks triumphed for the second time in a row, shutting down Philly 8-5.

This game was not without some controversy, however. Naturally it involved A-Rod. In the fourth inning, the Yanks were losing when A-Rod hit a two run homer -- the big landed on a TV camera. This required an instant replay and then the umps escorted him around the bases. The Yanks took the lead, the Philles had the wind knocked out of them, and the rest is now baseball history.

So now the Yankees have two victories under their belt. They only need two more. But that's not going to be easy. Hate to say it but the Phillies are an amazing team. They won the series last year, got in again this year, and they won the first game. They've been making the Yankees work really, really hard for every base hit, every run scored, every game won. This is really a battle of titans, professionals at the peak of their craft and careers.

That's why it's good to have A-Rod. He was at the top of his game last night. The guy really is one of the best baseball players of his generation. It's nights like last night that make him worth all the money and agita he generates. Let's hope he keeps it up, at least for two more games.