Breaking: celebrities get special treatment by police

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We often ridicule celebrities who pull the “don’t you know who I am?” card whenever they have run-ins with the police, but you can’t fault them for trying. Because, at least in New York, the police knowing who you are can be really, really helpful!

Star-struck cops have fixed tickets for big-time celebs, including Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and former team owner George Steinbrenner, sources told the Daily News. Cops also made tickets disappear for three current City Council members, sources told The News. Two of the elected officials are from the Bronx and the third is from Manhattan. Cops even showed Brooklyn love, letting rap superstar Jay-Z’s driver off the hook for a speeding ticket, sources said.

When asked for comment about his traffic stop, Jay-Z said the incident occurred seventeen years ago and it was really a matter of him being young, being black and having his hat real low. At least he assumed so, because he is not a mind-reader.

As for A-Rod and Steinbrenner, I have this feeling that nixing their tickets was less about being star struck and more about avoiding the hassle involved with basically everything that has to do with A-Rod and Steinbrenner. I mean, the earful the officer on the scene took from Steinbrenner was probably bad enough that pursuing the $97 fine was totally not worth it.

Two great Mariano Rivera stories

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In addition to getting unanimous support from Hall of Fame voters, Mariano Rivera’s election is getting universal praise from fans and the baseball community. I mean, at least it seems so. If you see someone out there in the wild really mad that Rivera was elected, please, let me know. But don’t approach such people. They’re probably dangerously imbalanced and might cause harm to you.

From what we’ve seen, anyway, there is no one who doesn’t love Rivera and his election. That love has come out in the form of anecdotes people are sharing this morning. I’ve seen two that made me particularly happy. One “ha ha” happy, the other “aww” happy.

The “ha ha” comes from Michael Young, who shared the ballot with Rivera this year and whose Rangers actually beat Rivera’s Yankees in the 2010 ALCS. Not that they had much success against Mo:

Now the “aww.” It comes from Danny Burawa, who had a few major league cups of coffee after coming up in the Yankees system. From his Instagram last night:

In 2012, in the middle of my first big league spring training, I tore my oblique during a game (I wound up missing the whole season). First cuts hadn’t been made and the Yankees let me stick around to rehab with the big leaguers for a few days. The next day, after finishing my rehab, I returned to the locker room which was totally empty. I’m sitting at my locker getting ready to go home when in walks Mariano Rivera. Considering I was a nobody A-baller, I kept my eyes down on my feet and minded my own business. Next thing I know, he’s in the chair next to me, telling me his story, about failing as a starter, about an injury he had when he was younger, about how the setbacks we think are fatal usually end up as speed bumps on a longer, grander road. This is the greatest of all time, taking the time to cheer up a nobody, for no other reason than he thought it was the right thing to do. Great pitcher, greater human, congratulations Mo!

People use that “great player, better person” construction a lot. I often roll my eyes when I hear it because it’s pretty subjective and, I suspect, the “better person” part can’t be vouched for outside the subject’s friend or peer group. Doesn’t sound that way with Rivera, though. He simply sounds like a prince of a guy.