Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cadman Plaza Park, Mayor William Gaynor Memorial

Month Fifteen of 2009 Season

Opening Day Optimism..?

Jose Reyes will not play Opening Day.
Carlos Beltran will not play Opening Day.
Today I learned Daniel Murphy sprained his ankle and is out 2 to 6 weeks.
That's a hell of a spread.
He will not play Opening Day.

My starting pitchers are starting to give me heartburn.  Jon Niese was named the number three starter, which in April doesn't really mean much.  But what does that say about Ollie and Maine?  I could say some things off the top of my head.

An anonymous player expressed some displeasure with the club because he thought Jose Reyes was being babied.  An anonymous player huh?  Hmm.  Really.

Ownership tried addressing the lack of Mets' history at Citi Field.  In the front of you enter the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the Fan bricks are incorporated into the ground work/pavement (Yes, I have one).
It is here where the Mets attempted to place markers of Mets history this year.  One of the displays is of the 1986 WS game 7.  The piece credits Sid Fernandez with the win. 

Folks, Roger McDowell was credited with the win in Game 7. 
How do you get this wrong?  How?
How do you not know your own team's history?  Why do the Wilpons consistently get this wrong?  Why does Met History make Met ownership break out in a rash? 
You can not mess this up!!
That's like putting number 22 on Babe Ruth's monument!
What ails these people?!

Opening Day Optimism?
Yea...maybe I can get Jerry Manuel to tell me a joke.
Welcome to day 455 of the year 2009 Met fans.


I'm back everyone.  My schedule has been hell lately.  Plan on making the rounds and see what you good people have bee up to.  The next Trolley Ride is all set!  We ride this weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

METropolitan Avenue

I had one of those days as I said in my last post, I looked around Met Camp and was happy to see a healthy number of Kids in the mix.  Then yesterday at  roughly 4:37 p.m., "IT" hit me.  Yes, IT.  Let the Baseball Season begin!  Every year is different.  I never know when IT will hit me.  Sometimes the New York Rangers have a say as to when IT hits me.  The Smurfs-on-Ice won't be a factor for me this April (although I will be going to MSG tomorrow night for NYR vs. NY Islanders).  Some years IT hits early; some years later.  There is nothing I use as an alarm clock.  I don't circle the start of Spring Training or anything like that.  And it has nothing to do with being a negative Met Fan for the moment...It's nothing nefarious like that.  It's just the feeling.  IT "Nuke"s me by announcing IT'S presence with authority.  IT, hit me yesterday afternoon on the way home when I opened my sun roof for the first time in 2010.  The sun beamed in and I suddenly found myself on "METropolitan Ave". 

I didn't plan IT that way.  That's the way it happened this year.  I remember clearly, last year IT hit me as I ate a morning bagel reading the Sunday Paper.   ...(a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and jelly...Mmmm!! OR my home made FIGS spread from the fig tree I grow in my yard - WHAT!?  fugheddaboudit!!...and an espresso?  Now you're livin!  I digress).

So today I am the recipient of good news regarding my New York Metropolitans.  Jose Reyes seems to have his thyroid issue corrected and he's clear to play.  It's good news and I will ride the wave.  Yea I know, I still have no Pitching.  I have Johan and I have K-Rod; a starter and a closer.  Yep; There it is...the Mets pitching staff.  Ladies and Gentlemen I bring you the New York Mayonnaise Sandwich.  From Johan (top slice of said sandwich bread) we smear a dollop of mayo and join to said bottom piece of sandwich bread (i.e. K-Rod) and what you have is the NY Pitching Mayo Sandwich.

No, instead of going....There..., I am determined to have three good days in a row as a Metropolitan Baseball fan.  Sometimes that's not as easy as it sounds.  But hearing Reyes is cleared to re-start activities again vs. the 8 weeks he could have possibly missed, who am I to be a Negative Nancy.  Like I said, I'm just going to ride the wave today and
celebrate my New York Metropolitan Baseball Club..


Yea right!  Did ya really think...?
Not those New York Mets

I meant these guys:

Here's the history lesson with out the details.
This team started playing in 1880.  They and the New York Gothams were the first teams to play in the new and first professional baseball park in Manhattan; the Polo Grounds.  The guy who owned this team was being courted by the National League as well as the new American Association to play in their circuits to represent NYC in their leagues.  The Metropolitans started out as an independent.  So what the owner did was buy up the Troy Haymakers and the Worcester Brown Stockings and used those players to stock the roster of the Metropolitans for play in the AA and the other players were joined together to form the said New York Gothams and placed them in the National League.  In 1884 the New York Metropolitans won the American Association pennant.  In the World Series between the National League's Providence Grays and the AA's Metropolitans, NY went winless loosing to Providence three games to none.  By 1886 the team moved to the Staten Island Borough of NYC.  Shortly after that the team folded and was bought up by the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Dodgers bought them to gain territorial rights and retained the contracts of the better players.

1884 Champions  Providence Grays

The short version of all this is ultimately all remnants from those four teams were homogenized together and the New York Giants were born and remained in the Polo Grounds till the team moved to S.F. after the 1957 season.  Four years later a new National League team would fill the void left behind when the Giants and Dodgers left.  This new National League team would take the name of
the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club and would also play at the Polo Grounds. 
Other names were considered for the the team I currently root for such as,
Continentals, Rebels, Skyliners and Meadowlarks.
Today they play at Citi Field, and we call em the Amazin' Mets now.

The New York Giants? 
The Polo Grounds? 
You didn't really think I'd ignore them did you?

C'mon.  All that stuff is for another day folks.  One thing at a time.

Let's Go Mets!!

*team pictures from wikipedia

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tryin to Dig up Dirt on the Farm

I am the one who accused the Mets farm system of being dry, spent, and being a system that has come to an abrupt halt for the first time since the mid-60's since Joe McDonald was over-see'er of operations.  I've said that more than once I suppose.  The last two impact players this system has developed were Jose Reyes and David Wright (and Scott Kazmir).  Those players were inherited by Omar Minaya when he assumed GM duties towards the tail end of the 2004 season.  There has not been a farm development of impact since.  That is the gist of what I've felt for some time now.

But even I can't ignore what is transpiring in Met Camp this spring.  The Mets' minor leaguers are holding their own in camp and some are even impressing.  The player/prospects in camp this year, last year and to a very lesser degree 3 years ago are not just prospects to speak of, they are here in a bunch.  And interestingly this is all after the Johan Santana trade.

Fernando Martinez, Josh Thole, Mike Pelfrey, Fernando Nieve, Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz and Bobby Parnell we already know and are familiar with.  This spring it's hard to ignore what Henrry Mejia, Ike Davis and Miguel Tejada are doing.  I'll be nice and toss in Daniel Murphy and even say there is hope yet for Nick Evans.  My point is, even I have to look around and admit that these guys are here in a bunch.  Where did they all come from?  I, many fans, critics and analysts all agreed the Mets farm system was barren of talent.
I guess they had more than we realized.

This forces my to rethink my whole position.  I'll stick to this century.  As I mentioned Reyes and Wright (and Kazmir) were the last impact players the system produced.  They were drafted under the Steve Phillips/Duquette days.

For ten years I've watched the NYM Class A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones stay in contention within their league.  They've won division titles, appeared in a couple of championship series and even won one.  These are low level prospects and signings from the June draft.  But for ten years I've watched most of them fizzle out at AA Binghamton.  I understand the minor leagues is a weeding out process.  But our prospects were getting outright deleted at Binghamton.  Under Steve Phillips, the Mets hired a Howie Freiling as manager of AA for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.  In 2003 John Stearns was given the job followed by Ken Oberkfell in 2004.

When Omar Minaya took over as GM of the Mets, he hired Tony Bernazard to be his Special Asst. to the GM.  In December of 2004 Tony Bernazard was made Vice President of Development.

The Binghamton Mets made the Eastern League playoffs in 2000 and 2004 and got bounced in the first round both times.  The AA Mets have not made the Eastern League playoffs since.

Upon his promotion, Bernazard purged AA operations and hired Jack Lind to manage Binghamton in 2005.  The next year he hired Juan Samuel to manage.  The team came in 3rd place in 2006.  The following year Bernazard hired Mako Oliveras and he lasted three years finishing 6th, 3rd, and 6th again.  As I mentioned and as you can see, no playoffs and quite poor finishes.

Now I'm stuck trying to make sense of all the possibilities swirling around my skull matter.  I need someone to blame for making me arrive at my original conclusions before I'm ready to admit I fell victim to my own propaganda.

We know Bernazard needed to be fired for his behavior and conduct unbecoming a Team Executive.  He ripped off his shirt and challenged team members of AA to fight in the locker-room.  We know all about that.
My question is, was Tony Bernazard addressing a very real concern and malignant attitudes within the AA team and just went about addressing it in an entirely inappropriate way?  I'm still convinced this farm system was suffering an aneurysm at the AA level.  Again, I have been watching the A-level Brooklyn Cyclones play and move on to A-Long Season and AA only to get caught in the prospect Black Hole.

We (Mets) are still looking for that one prospect we can call Omar's.  There is yet that player we can point to and say, "Yea, that's Omar's guy".  And by Omar we have to include Bernazard.  The quantity (and I am in no way discussing the quality of these prospects here, no.  I merely want to push forward the notion that we have a bunch, and they are working their way into the conversation) of farm hands we are discussing today is very different from the discussion being held just 3 years ago.

Tony Bernazard was fired for his actions in December of 2009.  Tim Teufel will be managing AA this season.  Teuful managed the Cyclones several years ago.

There is no doubt that all the prospects listed in this post are attributable to Omar's regime and in part to Bernazards work.  The two have been over-see'ers of the minor league operation since 2004 (with no AA playoff appearances).  Are we now starting to see the fruits of drafting over the last 4 years? 

Some of the better drafting teams around the league are Milwaukee, Oakland, Boston, L.A., Phila, L.A.A,  etc. - but that's a short list with obvious omissions.  Was Tony Bernazard and Omar Minaya doing a better job than anyone realized and keeping it on the down-low?  That remains to be seen.  These are still prospects and nothing is ever certain with them.  What I am certain of however, is there are more of them to talk about than there have been in the last 6 years.

My position has been that during Phillips as GM the farm system was still operating but in dire need of rejuvenation.  Under Omar Minaya, 2004 through 2007 were meager harvests from the farm; an exhausted soil was producing no more I thought/think.  But then again those year's players would have been some of the previous regime's drafts.  But the trickle which started in 2007 seems to have graduated to a stream it appears.  There is a very healthy amount of young players in camp making a case for themselves why they should be breaking camp with the Mother Ship.

Now again I ask you to judge, did I sell myself on self-hyped, self inflicted propaganda?
Did I jump the gun too early on Omar and Bernazard's effectiveness building the system back up, and we are only now beginning to see the benefits of a couple of years of revamping operations?
Am I wrong to think that in Phillips' last days everything was going to pot and the minor league operations with it?

It's hard to ignore all the prospects and options (if you want to stretch things further) currently in camp being supplied by the farm.  This is Omar and Bernazard's work.  As such Bernazard should be given credit if in fact many of these prospects pan out.  But Damn It!!!  He was a social misfit, quite unprofessional to say the least, and completely out of line with his behavior and absolutely needed to be fired.  But if in fact we are starting to realize the fruits of his unorthodox ways, the only thing I can really say is "Only in Met's Ville".

Maybe that aneurysm I thought the farm suffered from at the AA Level was what Bernazard was looking to correct and he just took the wrong course of action.  Maybe the system's screeching halt I accused the Mets' higher ups of causing was merely the adjustment period from one regime to the other.  I accused Omar of not living up to his reputation as being a talent evaluator.  I accused the system of breathing it's last breaths.

If this is the beginning of a flow of prospects we'll get to see in years to come, then Omar and even Bernazard deserve more credit than I ever gave them regarding this.  Perhaps that aneurysm I thought existed was really the Phillips regimes last gasp of  breath and we're finally seeing the sytem's resuscitation.

Getting a good read on players in spring training is not an exact science.  Minor league player development is.  There's no doubt Tony Bernazard acted like a punk many times, not only during the incident that got him fired.  But if in fact he is the one who fixed the pot hole at AA, all I can say is - What a Shame.  If in fact Omar is equally responsible for a re-invigorated farm, then let's trust him to find another Seargent-at-Arms.
That's if he (and Jerry Manuel) last the season.  These kids just might save both of their jobs.  Only time will tell at this point.

Now if I've over-reacted over the last few years I'll admit being too hard on management.  If I'm wrong, I'll be wrong.  It wouldn't be the first and it won't be the last time.  I just want to wait a little longer and see what happens.  I still feel I'm right about some things, I'm willing to bend on the others.  But we shall see.

The early feel of the 2010 season is tasting eerily similar to last years BeatLoaf so far.  Yep!  These kids could save some jobs, make a lot of fans happy and prove a lot of baseball pundits wrong.  Yep.

This is a work in progress.  There will be no conclusion for this post tonight.  I'm trying to be open when it's easier to just abuse them.  I also had to think about Tony Bernazard in a way no one has really taken the time to consider.  Him being, and acting out like a street punk and the fans not seeing anything coming up the pipe may have eclipsed what good he may have actually affected.  Time will definitely tell.

But today, I post as a pleasantly surprised Met fan, who over the last 2 to 4 days took notice of  the collective group of prospects and said to myself, this looks healthy.  When you deal in quantity you can pick out the quality.  The thing is the numbers.  There's strength in numbers.  Old adage; Same truth.

Friday, March 19, 2010

NYM should sign JOBU to a Long Term Deal

The on-going crime scene investigation better known as Met's Spring Training continues to baffle...(obligatory cheap shot of the day).

METrospection has been in therapy working on his avoidance, displacement and denial issues regarding his Flushing Frustrations.  Going on and on about how miserably bad the Mets organization and operations are being run is an exercise in insanity.  That is why it appears, for a Mets blog, I seem to post infrequently about the Metropolitans.  There is no new dynamic to work with.  I just can not waist my time on a daily basis, nor will I waist your time with incessant Met rants.  Sometimes it's fun.  Sometimes it's not.  Whenever I do entertain my Met thoughts, be sure about this folks, I'm usually right.  I don't take myself too seriously in this blog, but as it regards the Mets I laugh and joke, but I don't play.

Back in December 2009, this young Blog posted a warning to the Mets and Met fans regarding Fernando Martinez.  He became a forgotten prospect and I warned Met fans not to forget about him.
Since that posting, Fernando Martinez went on to have a very good Winter League season and crowned it with a Caribbean Series MVP award.  This spring he is batting over .500 and is still only 21 years old.  Of course I know not to read too much into that stat.  But if the kid is winning the day, give the kid a shot.  Of course I know because of his Winter League he's ahead of pitchers this spring.  I get all that.  While it may be true he appeared overwhelmed at times last year, I warned Met fans none-the-less not to forget him.  If you read the linked post, you see I pretty much expected to loose Beltran to injury and my concerns about what type of outfielder is needed to roam the spacious CitiField outfield.  Yea, I'm tooting my own horn but trust me, it's not an enviable postion to be in.  He's no Jim Edmonds in the outfield but the upside is there.

As it relates to today, - Gary Matthews Jr.?  Stop it or save it.  I'm not listening to that.  Pagan or Martinez; let them battle for the job in Beltran's absence.  I believe in prospects and am usually patient with them.  Playing time = improvement.  Make sure Fernando Martinez in the mix come Opening Day and he'll be OK and make the Mets look smart.  Lord knows they need it right now.

Beltran? (See referenced therapy)  He and the Mets are staring at an ugly divorce when he gets healthy and it will be instigated by Carlos himself; the same player who asked the Yankees to sign him for less money than the Mets offered him.
I like Beltran, so don't get the wrong impression.  I just think it is what it is.  I'd entertain a trade involving Beltran for the right package this season.  I'm not lobbying for it though.  He is one of the few free agent signings, as they go, who had his better seasons and career year after signing his pact.  That's just to let you know where I stand.

And now Oliver Perez.
Pictures tell a thousand words (or however that saying goes).  The NY Daily News had some pics that show exactly what Ollie is doing wrong.  I know it's a little audacious of me to question why Rick Peterson, Dan Warthen or even Sandy Koufax, who spent time in Met Camp did/do not correct this very simple and obvious flaw with Perez' delivery.  I'm not trying to over simplify this considering
Sandy Koufax offered some advice.

If you know anything about pitching you know your landing foot has to be perpendicular to your catcher.  Oliver Perez' landing foot is like lightning in that it doesn't strike the same ground twice.  But you can be sure his foot will land in a closed angle and not opened up to the catcher and home plate.  When you land that way be prepared to have a miserable outing Ollie.  Why can't anyone see this?  It's not overstating the problem.  It's bad mechanics, no one will correct it and I have no clue why?  That's not in depth analysis on my part.  That's Pitching 101.

Forget the headline, look at his landing foot.
This is the genesis of a bad pitch.

In other Met Matters:

Ike Davis, 1B, son of Ron Davis, Yankee pitcher from back in the day, continues to have an impressive spring.  Righty Henrry Mejia is sparkling and catching everyone's eye.  And that concludes the good news.

 John Maine said "he just wasn't into it" when he described his last outing.
Really?  That's a pretty non-chalant attitude for someone who has a lot to prove.

Kelvim Escobar can't lift his arm to pick his nose.

Reyes' thyroid?  See Therapy Sessions.

I'm placing the over/under on K-Rod's Dead Arm at August 15th.  I just think The Classic, followed by the 2009 season, then Winter League and no discernable break between them will come back to haunt him and the Mets.

I've been on record saying you could have saved me Barajas at catcher. 
I would have given the job to Thole outright.

What ever happened to Nick Evans?

My starting pitching still looks like:
Pray for Rain instead of Maine
and Who? (not the first baseman)

If the Mets are stumblin and bumblin their way into June, Omar Minaya & Jerry Manuel are toast.

Basically, not a lot has changed in Metropolis that screams for my attention.
There is a lot of Bad Karma over at CitiField; Business as usual.
Can you see my dilemma? 
To talk about the Mets is a strainingly garulous conversation even for the sublime.
If only Buster Olney could invent an absurd rumor for my team.

Every Met could use a JOBU in their locker this year.
Anyone have Pedro Cerrano's cellie?
to see the clip on you tube

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Let it be known throughout the land, BROOKLYN is a professional sports city AGAIN!  On March 11th, 2010 the NBA Nets, currently owned by the Borough's own Bruce Ratner, broke ground in downtown to begin construction in earnest, on the Atlantic Yards project and Barclays Center where the Brooklyn Nets will call home.  Yes Brooklyn! - We're going Pro....Again!

Brooklyn has not been home to a major professional sports team since the last out was recorded on that fateful day in September 1957 when the Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field.  Walter O'Malley crushed the hearts of Brooklynites taking the team west.  The Borough was never the same again.  On the very site Mr. O'Malley lobbied the city to acquire in order to build a new home for the Bums stands a stark and rather insulting reminder to the narrow minded, shortsighted, aristocratic aloofness that was Robert Moses and this city administration's impotence in the face of Moses' centralized power.  There is a shopping mall at that particular sight today.  It is not my intention to minimize or mock the complex itself.  No, rather, the mall is a welcome and necessary addition to the neighborhood.  I have no issues with what exists there today in the absence of a Dodger park and the Bums playing in it.  My only matter of discontent is the subtle exterior design of the mall which hints and suggests baseball type architecture and design.  For those who suffer from "awareness",  it is a little insulting.  Maybe that's just me.

But hear me now!  While all is NOT forgiven for loosing the Dodgers to the Left Coast,  bringing the NBA's New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn is perhaps the single most best way to correct that horrible mistake born of arrogance 52 years ago, outside of bringing an MLB team back here to play.  Across the street from the parcel the Dodgers desperately wanted, the mistake is corrected more than five decades later. 

The birth of the Brooklyn Cyclones was a very special day to me and that team is now inter-woven into the fabric of my life.  However minor those boys may be, they will always be treated like family.  I believe, from one Brooklynite to another, we'll agree the Cyclones have enriched our lives.  Not just by giving us all a common rooting interest again, but by bringing us all together as Brooklynites, family, friends, neighbors and lovers of our Borough in a manner not experienced around here since the Dodgers left.  Indeed, the Cyclones have not only brought baseball back to Brooklyn, they gave us all a little pride back too.

Now Brooklyn, we get out Respect back.  We're in the National mix.  We are part of the conversation.  We may officially begin counting down days till OUR CLOUT makes it's way over the Bayonne Bridge into Staten Island, over the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn, and parks in front of Barclays Center at Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush.  Yes Brooklyn, we are PRO, again!  Say it again and again.
WE DO'D IT BOYZ!!  Fugheddaboudit!!

Head up, back straight, eyes wide with smiles gleaming - Walk tall and be proud Brooklyn.
There's a way for us Bums to represent ourselves. 
From Canarsie to Cobble Hill; Bed-Stuy to Bensonhurst; Marine Park to Myrtle Avenue;
from Fulton to Flatlands or Bushwick to Bay Ridge...
Denizens of the Borough of Kings - WE are NETS!
Very soon there will be 5 players on a basketball court, be it here or on the road,  representing US, wearing jerseys with the name of our hometown, BROOKLYN, across the front, for ALL across TV's landscape and arenas across America to witness and recognize.

This is an event which, beyond the conventional and obvious good it will bring to the community, brings along with it, Gravitas, Sizzle, National Identity (not that a Brooklynite has ever suffered from lack of such a thing), Cachet....  Name It!

In spite of the team's current record, what I am about to say is not
an exercise in stupidity nor is it dealing in hyperbole;
The Brooklyn Nets Brand
could become the most recognizable, marketable and powerful brand in the NBA and challenge for such title in the Four Big Sports moving forward in this still young new century. 
I stress, in THIS century.  I know my history.  I'm no fool.
There isn't a guy from Brooklyn in every old war movie for nuthin!
Brooklyn is on the precipice of taking it's rightful place, again, as a capital of this Nation;
beckoning a day from a century ago.  It may not be a field of green but Brooklyn, we're getting our
Court of Dreams!

To my neighbors in New Jersey.  I'm not really sure what to say.  The Nets have ping-ponged between us before.  By "US" the truth would be to say Long Island, and all due respect to youz guyz out there.  But here we are none-the-less.  Long Island cheered Dr. J and some great ABA Championships!  You New Jersey, more home to them than anyone thus far, should remain proud despite the move.  As a matter of fact, I applaud the efforts of N.J..  I hope we continue to build upon your efforts. 

C'Mon!  Darryl Dawkins,  Otis Birdsong, Buck Williams, Drazen Petrovic, Kenyon Martin, J-Kidd,
Back-to-back NBA FINALS appearances, - everyone I didn't mention and too many great games against the New York Knicks...PFFF!   Long Island?  New Jersey?  Consider us the middle.  We aren't stealing anything our neighbors in Long Island started, nor anything you in New Jersey did caring for them while they grew up.  They will just be living here as adults.  My sentiment is, Commack, Teaneck, the Armory or the Meadowlands, they our still OURS; Brooklyn, Long Island and New Jersey.

I am a Knicks fan; - Have been since 1975.  I do not yet understand what the implications of being a Knicks fan and the Nets move to Brooklyn represents for me.  In the city of bridges, I'll cross that one when I get to it.  My personal conflict is a dilemma for another day.  March 11, 2010 represents so much more for me though.  Today is for my hometown of BROOKLYN and for anyone from here who wanted to root for a hometown team....again.

Ground-Breaking Day
Atlantic Yards and Barclays Center

Early morning views of the sight on Ground-Breaking Day
Ceremonies will take place in the white tent.

Beyonce recieved her usual camera time upon arrival.

We waited this long, so a few more moments didn't hurt.
 Things finally got underway and Bruce Ratner stood at the podium triumphantly
 after a six year Odyssey through..., well, what developers go through; Hell.

Nets' CEO Brett Yormark and part owner of the Nets, Jay-Z,
look on as developer and Nets majority owner Bruce Ratner thanks the list of people and efforts by them to make this day possible.
Then, it was time to shovel some dirt.

Here it is...the Big Photo Op!!
Bruce Ratner
Mayor Bloomberg
Gov. Paterson
B'klyn Borough President Markowitz
and Jay-Z

While this post is more of a celebration and less about details, I want to inform you the idea is to sell 80% of the team and arena to Mikhail Prokhorov (pending League approval).  In turn, Ratner can afford to build the Atlantic Yards Complex.  Jay-Z will retain his interest in the team.  The Nets get a passionate basketball minded billionare owner, Ratner gets his project and financing and Brooklyn gets it's team.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Back inside the Q & A was under way.
Bruce Ratner was the Man of the Hour today
But it was Jay-Z who was stealing the show.

As he pondered listening to this next question,
I think he was really looking to blow out of there.
Which is fine by me as long as this 60 year old hole in downtown Brooklyn

is transformed into a new home for our
Say it again Brooklyn.
...home of OUR BROOKLYN NETS!!
How Sweet It Is!!
(jersey: Junior's Cafe)
No!  Thank You!

(newspaper clips: NY Daily News, NY Post, NY Newsday)
(Prohkorov pic: AP)
(site pictures BTB)