Monday, April 10, 2006

"The Score hears...Bouton brushes back Boss" in the Daily News, 4/9/6

The Score hears...Bouton brushes back Boss

By Michael O'Keeffe

Does Jim Bouton hope to get himself banned from the new Yankee Stadium?

The prodigal Yankee was not welcome at the current House that Ruth Built for almost 30 years, thanks to "Ball Four," his 1970 tell-all masterpiece that portrayed his teammates as drunken, womanizing pill-poppers. Bouton was eventually invited back to the Stadium for the 1998 Old Timers' Day.

But he may find himself on George Steinbrenner's blacklist again for his comments on the proposed new Yankee Stadium, which was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council.

Bouton says the pols should be ashamed of themselves for approving a deal that would take valuable parkland from a poor neighborhood, snarl traffic and increase pollution.

"I think former Yankees should not allow Steinbrenner to trash history," Bouton tells The Score. "They should lie down in front of the bulldozers. I'd join them myself, except I'm not sure the bulldozers would stop in my case."

Bouton's last book, "Foul Ball," was a diary of his failed efforts to save Wahconah Park, a wooden-walled stadium built in 1892 in Pittsfield, Mass., that led to years of ill will between Bouton and the city's movers and shakers. The book was recently released in an expanded paperback edition by Lyons Press.

Bouton says team owners who look for public handouts are little more than corporate welfare queens. Supporters of the Yankee Stadium deal say it makes sense because Steinbrenner will pay for the $800 million stadium himself. Opponents point out that the city's Industrial Development Agency will issue $866 million in tax-exempt bonds; the Yankees will pay off construction costs with money normally paid to the city in real estate taxes; and because the Yankees will own the new stadium, the $5 million annual rent the team currently pays to city coffers will dry up.

"How can any businessman ask for a dime in a city where kids are taking classes in stairwells?" Bouton asks. "How can you ask for money from a city that is closing firehouses?"


At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right: George Steinbrenner, Welfare Queen!!!


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