Play ball! City gov't heads to the diamond
Sep 17, 2014 | 13583 views | 0 0 comments | 349 349 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Well, it looks like the feel-good, hand-holding Kumbaya atmosphere down at City Hall since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and his comrade-in-arms Melissa Mark-Viverito was voted in as speaker of the City Council is officially over.

The de Blasio camp lobbed – or should we say “slow-pitched” – a shot over the bow aimed at the City Council, officially challenging whoever of the 51 members should dare rise to the occasion to face off with members of the mayor's staff in a not-so-friendly softball game. You can see how the war unfolded 140 characters at a time on Twitter to the right.

The game was set to take place on Wednesday – the day after we go to press – at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, MCU Park in Coney Island.

And just like baseball has its game within a game; its unwritten rules, gestures and rhythms that only seasoned fans pick up on, so too will this game have its unspoken stories within the competition.

In his last tweet, de Blasio said that he had been practicing his pitching with the pros, so surely his command will be excellent. So why that first pitch high and inside to Councilman Rafael Espinal and then the second one that plunked him square in the back? Could it be in retaliation for Espinal's public opposition of the mayor's pet project to ban carriage horses?

And what to make of that hard slide into second by Gary Rodney, de Blasio's pick to head the Housing Development Corporation, as shortstop Councilman Steve Levin tried to make a simple 4-6 force to end the third inning? Could it be payback for Levin grilling the developers of the Domino Sugar factory and their last-minute deal during a City Council hearing in what was seen as the first real test of the de Blasio administration's plan to develop massive amounts of affordable housing?

Make no mistake about it, this game is fraught with underlying stories and political motives. We expect nothing less than a Chambers-clearing brawl before the fifth inning.
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