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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Yankees To NY State Legislator: These Aren't The Droids You're Looking For

Or something like that:
The New York Yankees urged a state judge Tuesday to quash the subpoena from two Assembly committees investigating the use of public funds to help build the team's new stadium, saying the issue already has been fully aired publicly.

Attorneys for the baseball team said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat, is exceeding his authority and harassing the Yankees with legal action. The new stadium in the Bronx was the subject of 21 local, state and federal approvals and 22 public hearings, they said.

"It's one of the most exhaustively reviewed and approved public projects in the state and in the country involving a sports team," attorney Jonathan Schiller said after Tuesday's court hearing. He estimated it would cost the Yankees between $600,000 and $1.2 million to comply with Brodsky's subpoena for private information from the past nine years.

Attorney George Carpinello argued in court the subpoena also was "grossly overbroad" and would require culling the electronic and paper documents of more than 100 people. Carpinello added that the relevant information is held by the New York City Industrial Development Agency and said the Yankees already have provided the committees chaired by Brodsky and Assemblyman James Brennan with thousands of pages of documents plus testimony.

One gets the impression, based strictly on the cozy relationship between the Yankees and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, that the deal was basically rammed through regardless of consequences or little details like what the people who actually lived in the neighborhood thought of it (for instance, the delayed construction of parks in what was supposed to be a parkland-for-stadium swap, one that "neighborhood residents and park advocates maintain ... was never a fair exchange"). I expect that Yankees' political pull has given them a free pass, and so when something unexpected like actual inspection of their record might come up, they're all hot against it. Here's to Broadsky, no matter how quixotic his quest may be.

Update: I forgot to mention this earlier in the week, but apparently Yankee Stadium hosted a rainout that wasn't a rainout. Ticket holders were understandably furious.

The ugly scene occurred after patrons were reportedly told by Yankee employees who walked the concourse holding pinstriped "How may I help you?" signs, that the game had been rained out. When the game started at 9:20pm, fans tried to get back into the stadium, hundreds of them at Gate 6. That’s when security denied access. A Daily News photographer shooting pictures of the confusion was threatened to have his credentials revoked.



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