Q&A: “Vito Spatafore” (Joseph R. Gannascoli)

Mack: Morning girls and boys… We’re talking baseball this morning with Joseph R. Gannascoli… but you may know him better as “Vito Spatafore” from The Sopranos. Come stai, Joseph?

Gannascoli: I’m great Mack, getting ready for Christmas looking forward to my daughter’s second one.

Mack: Joe, I’m constantly interviewing Mets players and fans, so I thought I’d hop the ‘A” train and get a Yankees fan’s perspective on what’s going on in the Mets front office. Do you think the Mets are finally going in the right direction?

Gannascoli: I do, they have hired some sound and respected baseball people, they have a bit of a mess to clean up, and some on the lazy play that’s some Mets have been playing, Reyes can control a game which is rare for baseball, like Ricky Henderson used to do, but only when he wanted to .

Mack: Speaking of shortstops… do you really think Derek Jeter is worth the kind of money his agent is asking for, or shouldn’t the Yankees use that money to get Cliff Lee?

Gannascoli: He is not worth it and they should use it for Cliff Lee. I think 3 yrs 48 – 50 million is more than fair and he should not carry on in the papers.

Mack: There’s a big debate going on here between myself and my fellow Mack’s Met writer, David Rubin, and that is whether signing all these big time free agents are they way to go. I mean, the Yankees have spent around a billion dollars over the last ten years on big dudes and what has that got them, one World Series?

Gannascoli: But, they are always in the hunt, and the fans know they are committed to trying to win, they built a brand that is worldwide, I don’t know if they make money, I’m assuming they do even with all the spending, but the sales of merchandising, TV network and such, seems to be a successful business model, although I hate seeing empty seats behind the plate. Hal and Hank may be a little more frugal than George, but still committed to putting the best players on the field possible, I also believe they developed blue chippers in the farm so they can trade and get a player so they can win now, unless it’s a 5 tool can’t miss or someone that is aging and that player has a shot to step in, i.e. Montero and Romine .

Mack: Oh, they make a ton of money… let’s move on to something dear to both of us… It sure has been a strange year for our Jints this year, hasn’t it? .

Gannascoli: Well, typical giants, I am the eternal optimist, especially with my teams and G-men. Fewell was the biggest addition, healthy Canty,Tuck, Cofied, Osi, Phillips, Rolle and Grant have been great. We had 3 great receivers, bummed about kiwi, jpp is a monster, dodge will be ok, running backs love each other and are pulling for one another they will do fine, Eli is clutch, always said Peyton better Eli will win more rings, we can beat Philly .

Mack: Joe, tell us what you’ve been doing lately in the entertainment world…

Gannascoli: Some indies and plenty of my book and cigars signings at restaurants and lounges .

Mack: Last question Joe… Not much chance for a sequel, now that you (Vito), Phil Leotardo, Gerry Torelano, and “Fat Don” Gamiello have been wacked… buy let’s say Vito, Paulie, and Tony were the three new Mets VPs… how would they handle this off-season? .

Gannascoli: Not to mention Christopher, Bacala and Silvio. Well, first off, Paulie would have them stealing all the time and not just bases, but their gloves, bats, cleats.Tony sure could stare down a lot of opposing pitchers and me, well I would just say if you guys don’t perform , you’re going to have to meet by the bat or else … .

Mack: Thank you, Joe, for your time and we’ll see you in the movies.

Gannascoli: This was fun.

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