Friday, July 20, 2007

Next Time

You can’t win every game, but kids always have hope.

“I thought A-Rod was going to hit a home run to tie,” Raymond said. “When he got the base hit I thought Matsui would win it. And then I thought it would be Melky or Robbie.”

Baseball is a hard game. Being 12 years old in the Bronx can be even harder.

“I don’t know if I’ll get to come again this year,” Raymond said. “I wanted to see A-Rod hit one out. I listen to the games on the radio and sometimes you can hear it. Thwack! I want to hear that for myself next time.”

There needs to be more next times for kids like Raymond. More summer days and more baseball games. The Yankees do their share. They provide great access to weekday afternoon games. They have kept the prices of Tier and Bleacher seats manageable for working people and they have always done right by longtime, season-ticket holders.

Doing right by people isn’t something New York City politicians seem too concerned with these days. They continue to let housing prices spin out of control and they allow utility companies to rack up record profits while our infrastructure crumbles and blows up.

Landlords and Consolidated Edison executives settle into the box seats behind the dugout while kids like Raymond hope for one more chance at a game from the Tier. One more chance to see A-Rod and hear a ball jump off his bat.

“My mom says we might be able to get tickets in August,” Raymond says. “I hope so.”

Raymond’s mom has other things to worry about, too. They’ve broken the rent controls on their apartment and the Con Ed bill comes whether the lights turn on or not.

It’s time for this city’s leaders to start thinking about the needs of the people before there are no more next times for any of us.

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