Monday, September 29, 2008

leaders to laggards to life boats

easy credit, housing boom
good times, grand times
everything is cool
adjustable rates or interest only
zero down heck double down
we have got you covered
mortgage applications, a mere formality
no credit checks or shake my hand credit checks
we can make the deal.

on the up and up
business is as usual
Enron, dot-com, dot-bomb
Long Term Capital
no one will remember

executive pay, executive comp
merge this hedge that swap me some of these
we've got golden parachutes
mortgage backs, derivatives
short this strip that I think I might go long
deregulation at its best

Wall Street, Main Street, Dow Jones
where to invest today?
price swings dollar dips check with the SEC
fiscal haze, credit crunch
getting harder to make money in manipulation

benchmarks, earmarks
bridges proposed to nowhere
and now a need for fiscal conservancy
downgraded, foreclosed, some short sold real estate
and a road actually built to nowhere
getting harder to provide this lip service

McCain, Obama, Palin
has anyone seen Joe Biden?
Paulson, Bernanke, Pelosi
where in the world is Dick Cheney?
Republicans, Democrats, Aristocrats
somebody hurt some feelings
burn the midnight oil
burn the midnight plan

time out, oh hell just bailout, when will the buy back window open?
lending crisis, recession, depression, meltdown
here comes the FBI
fear, greed, blood in the streets
scared yet? of whom you say?
George Bush, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae?
where is the next diversion?
brush up on--Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Shea no more

September 28, 2008 is a day I will always remember as bittersweet. I enjoyed seeing so many former NY Mets players attend the ceremonies for the final goodbye to Shea Stadium. It was moving for me to see Seaver, Kranepool, Jones, Piazza, Strawberry, Gooden and many more for the final tribute. It was very difficult though to watch this 2008 Met team once again come up short of a playoff spot on the last day of the season. While I know it is just a game I also know it is more than a game. For me, it's a exhibition of human potential. And the bar for that potential should be high at the Major League level. Johan Santana achieved that bar in game 161 of the season to keep the Mets hope alive. But overall and collectively the Mets fell short of the mark. There were many blown saves throughout the year and many squandered offensive opportunities that could be examined. But the fact that this team allowed a division lead to slip away again in the final weeks of the season points to mind-set.

I was in fifth grade when the NY Mets won the World Series in '69. Tommie Agee was my favorite Met. He had great speed, enormous power and an outstanding throwing arm. Two remarkable catches he made in center field in game 3 of the '69 series, along with Swoboda's famous sliding catch in game 4 helped the Mets secure a World Series victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Besides the talent of Agee, I loved his spirit. He played hard and never seemed to give up. Perhaps because of my young age I saw him as bigger than life from the outset. But his grit and determination in tracking down fly balls or throwing out base runners from deep in the ball park was real.

Purpose and resolve was also within Jesse Orosco in the 16th inning of game 6 as he helped the Mets defeat the Houston Astro's in their ball park, and propel the Mets into the memorable '86 World Series against Boston.

Steadfast willpower is how I remember Mike Piazza's persona at the plate. He hit more memorable homers than I could list. The one I best remember was his September 21, 2001 homer. It was ten stressful days removed from 9/11. FDNY and NYPD hats could be seen all over the stadium. Piazza hit a prodigious shot over the center field wall that put the Mets over the Braves and seemed to give New York a reason to feel good again. It was a home run that actually made me cry.

Without tenacity talented teams and players sometimes let victors prevail untested and they short change themselves and their fans in the process. I hope that the NY Mets fill their new field of dreams next year with players who have Major League attitude.