Now that the Mets seem to have a lock on New York’s most coveted hamburger business, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop: What will be the Yankee response? Clearly, it won’t do for the Bronx Bombers to let their National League rival upstage them like this. We fully expect the Yankees to open the vault in hopes of attracting a major free-agent restaurateur. But who?
1. Tim Love, Texas. Though currently ensconced in the criticism-free safety of his hometown, the competitive fire in this rising star might allow the Yanks to talk him into redeeming his failed Lonesome Dove restaurant with another NYC run. But will Yankee fans really want quail empanadas during the seventh-inning stretch?
2. Jeffrey Chodorow, Pennsylvania/New York. This wily vet is coming off a disappointing season, but he’s a lock for the Hall of the Fame and might be able to contribute a stabilizing influence to the clubhouse (or at least the commissary). On the other hand, he might take out a full-page ad in Sports Illustrated if fans knock his Kobe hot dogs. A coin flip.
3. Nancy Silverton, Los Angeles. The star of the pizza leagues right now, thanks to her work launching Bar Mozza, Silverton seems natural for the pinstripes. The average Yankee fan lives on pizza, so an upgrade in that department would seem a good way to take the air out of the Mets’ trophy acquisition. But then again, the average Yankee fan, as mean Bill Simmons once observed, is a guy who wears sweatpants to bars and has a mustache like Baba Booey. So upscale pizza might encounter some resistance.
Whoever the Yankees get, we can picture their whole arc: The sky-high expectations, glut of calls to Mike and the Mad Dog, and then the inevitable backlash when the 17,000th portion of food served that day comes out lukewarm, and the once-lauded chef is Photoshopped onto the body of Ziggy in the Post. No wonder the Mets got the Shake Shack!