Sunday, May 16, 2010

Governor Says Mets .500 Team

I know comportment by public figures is not what it was, but I was still surprised when New York State Governor David A. Paterson was a special guest on a program hosted last night by Tony Paige (below) on WFAN, the New York sports talk radio station and broadcast home of the New York Mets. Paterson took office when Elliot "Client Number 9" Spitzer resigned and after a brief honeymoon, has struggled in the polls [until finally announcing he would not run for re-election]. It is generally assumed state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will challenge Paterson this November and the governor has been out in public, trying to shore up his popularity. Being a guest on sports radio late after a Mets game was ... something; I'm not exactly sure what. [The privledge of being a lame duck, perhaps, and] not something you hear every day in any case.

I worked for a couple minor elected officials and prepared numerous briefings for them. It sounded to me like Governor Paterson was speaking from personal knowledge, not notes. The segment, which spanned a commercial break, began with the Mets. Paterson declared the Mets a .500 team and yesterday's 5-7 loss to the Marlins dropped them below that number. His comments on the Mets, and other topics, were in-depth and went beyond the current season. The governor also spoke about the possibility of LeBron James playing in New York next year, changing state law to permit "ultimate fighting" and finally the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, which is weeks overdue. (Insert joke about Albany and cage fights.) Listen to the interview. (The interview has been removed from the station website.)

If you live in New York, you might want to listen to the end, where Paterson talks about the budget. It's no wonder he's unpopular; he's not willing to bullshit the public, even as the legislature cannot speak any other language. This time next year, Paterson may have his own timeslot on WFAN.

Update (June 11, 2010)
Four weeks after this report on Baseball Byways, the New York Times has a front page article on Governor Paterson's appearance on WFAN and other radio programs. (Paterson on "Imus in the Morning" in February above.) As to my speculation the governor might host a radio program in the future, "I would probably consider doing that," he told Times reporter Jeremy W. Peters.

Meanwhile, in Albany, two Democratic state senators from the Bronx, Rubén Díaz Sr. and (left) Pedro Espada Jr., declared they would not vote for any more emergency spending bills. The Democratic party majority in the New York State Senate is too narrow to pass a bill without their votes, potentially forcing a government shutdown. The state has been operating for over ten weeks without a budget.

The Mets, on the other hand, are four games over .500 and tied for second with the Phillies, 2.5 games behind the Braves. The Mets begin a three game series tonight against the hapless Orioles, while the Phillies and Braves face the more competitive Red Sox and Twins, respectively. The next series has New York at Cleveland, which is also struggling, while Atlanta and Philadelphia play the American League teams with the best records, Tampa Bay and New York. I hate interleague play but it presents an opportunity for the Mets.

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