Last night, Gerard at Can't Stop the Bleeding posted a Bob Raissman story alleging that some faceless suit in Metsland strongarmed Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog into pulling down a video of Joe Smith getting into it with some fans in Chicago. Is it true? Well, no one knows for sure I guess since Cerrone hasn't said anything about it, but the video is gone and there's no explanatory post, so take from that what you will.
Not that I mean to pile on Matt, who does excellent work, but one of his links today, Develop Willet's Point, raises my ire just a bit. I'm not ready to call the man behind it a flack for City Hall, but C. McShane (if that is his real name, says the guy named Pulp) is pretty jazzed about Mayor Mike's vision for our fair pit.
But this isn't about McShane and the ugly eminent domain battle that's slowly developing, it's about the things Matt will say as the development moves along. I'm of the opinion that if you link to something without much comment, you endorse the person's thinking on the subject. I know MetsBlog used to be the go to sports blog for Fred Thompson ads and I believe it was part of the Pajamas Media consortium for a time (I will take back this slur if it turns out to be wrong), so for all I know, Matt Cerrone is a pro-business Republican who supports using eminent domain for the greater good and all that. But maybe he isn't. But I do think it's important we know what Matt thinks of the Willet's Point redevelopment plan because it's another test of that independence he promised his readers he would have after the merger with SNY.
Is he going to stick to Wilpon and Co.'s party line that the place is a hopeless garbage pit and has to be razed to the ground? Is he aware of any of the area's history, the city's neglect of it whenever they aren't trying to push its businesses out? Is it telling that he hasn't ever linked to No Land Grab, the anti-Atlantic Yards blog, despite the fact that they've followed the Willet's Point story for longer than Develop Willet's Point, which has been around for all of five days?
As baseball fans, we don't want to deal with these issues, we just want a good bar to go to after the game, and I understand that. But there are people who work at Willet's Point who will more than likely be forgotten by the city, no matter what promises our Billionaire King makes. There's also the matter of affordable housing, the enormous clean up costs involved with the area and the question of whether the whole development will turn into a sweetheart deal with a connected developer that changes the entire neighborhood of Flushing. The people in Willet's Point deserve better than being pushed out just so we can better enjoy a baseball game.
So my apologies Matt, if you aren't playing corporate shill and you really believe that eminent domain is the best way to deal with Willet's Point. I'm sure you understood though that once you signed on that dotted line with SNY, people (read: snarky jerks) would look at your every move and interpret it as the Mets pulling your strings.