Friday, June 28, 2013

Engel Beltre: Back to the Bronx

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 28-The three-day series between the Yankees and Texas Rangers was a special thrill to Rangers rookie Engel Beltre. The 23 year-old was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, yet travelling with his teammates to the Bronx was a trip to memories of his childhood.

Beltre made his major league debut as a pinch runner in the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s contest at Yankee Stadium. Interestingly, that game was not his first played at the iconic ballpark in the Bronx. Beltre was a member of the regularly high ranked James Monroe baseball team when the Governors faced Thomas Jefferson in the PSAL high school baseball championship in Beltre’s junior year.

On Thursday afternoon, Beltre received the honor of starting his first big league game as Texas’s centerfielder. The nerves he probably felt were not exhibited by his outstanding performance. He made the first Texas putout in the first frame on a fly ball by Jayson Nix and the final putout of the contest in the ninth on another fly ball by Nix.

The former Bronx resident singled to right in his first big league trip to the plate. He singled again in his final at bat in the contest in the eighth. He expressed what it meant to him after the game, “I’ve been working and preparing for this moment. I’m so happy to be here. The thing I always wanted [was] to play in Yankee Stadium. My family gets to see me. It’s a great moment for me.”

Beltre spent several childhood years in the Bronx. He lived in the borough from the age of 11 through 16. He was a devoted fan of the New York Yankees and on the baseball squads at DeWitt Clinton and James Monroe high schools. He gave great credit to the preparation he gained in the high schools in the Bronx, “I played a lot and I learned a lot that helped me when I started my pro career. Both schools helped me a lot. They will always be in my mind.”

Beltre signed a pro contract with the Boston Red Sox at the age of 16 as a non-drafted free agent. He was traded to Texas in the summer of 2007. In his several seasons in the minors, he never rose above AA.


Golf Course Murder Mystery

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 28- Police say the body of a male between 30 and 40-years of age was discovered by a jogger along a hiking trail in Van Cortlandt Park, on Thursday, June 27.

Police and paramedics were called to the park, just beyond the property line of the golf course, a short distance from where Mosholu Parkway intersects with the Henry Hudson Parkway, at just before 7:30 p.m.

Officials would only say the male victim was between 30 and 40 years of age and had been, "stabbed numerous times to the torso."

A man fishing in a lake a couple miles from where police were conducting their investigation, recalled, "First I saw three ambulances and then a ton of cop cars. I still don't know what's going on."

When told by a freelance video-journalist what had happened, he replied in disbelief, "Are you serious, someone murdered in here? The fisherman quickly packed up his gear and exited the desolate area.

An unusual location for a homicide, last nights was not the first at the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course.

On October 20, 2006 Norwood resident Aldrick Jarvis, 31, murdered his wife Jessica, 30, and their 4-year old son Jacob in the parking lot, before turning the gun on himself.

We will continue to provide updates as more details are made available.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Andy's not dandy

Bronx News Sports: Andy's not dandy: Pettitte Loses Third Straight for First Time Since 2008 By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Andy Pettitte fell short of his attem...

Bronx News ( Andy's not dandy

Bronx News ( Andy's not dandy: Pettitte Loses Third Straight for First Time Since 2008 By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Andy Pettitte fell short of his attem...

Andy's not dandy

Pettitte Loses Third Straight for First Time Since 2008

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Andy Pettitte fell short of his attempt to reach several pitching milestones on Wednesday night. The veteran lefthander lost his third straight, for the first time since 2008, and the fourth of his last five decisions.

Pettitte retired the side in order the three of the six innings he pitched. He kept the Rangers scoreless in all but one inning, but sufficient damage was done in the top of the fourth to earn him the loss.

Leonys Martin, who homered twice on the previous night, legged out an infield hit to begin the inning. The single by the Cuban native increased his consecutive game hitting streak to 11. Ian Kinsler followed by drawing a walk. An errant throw by third sacker Jayson Nix allowed Elvis Andrus to reach first and fill the sacks. The first two runs for Texas were scored on a double by Adrian Beltre. Veteran catcher A. J. Pierzynski drove in an additional two runs off Pettitte with a double to deep center.

Pettitte pitched effectively in five of his six frames. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi praised his performance, “He really was pretty good. He made two mistakes to Pierzynski and Beltre.”

Joba Chamberlain replaced Pettitte on the mound in the seventh. By the time two men were retired, Chamberlain had surrendered two runs and four hits. The two runs were driven in by Nelson Cruz’s 20th home run of the season. This is the fifth straight season during which the native of the Dominican Republic has hit at least 20 home runs.
Chamberlain was replaced by rookie Preston Claiborne who prevented any further damage. Chamberlain, who has allowed 9 earned runs in his last 6.1 IP, was jeered vociferously by the disappointed crowd of 38,264 during every step he took until he reached the dugout. Unlike the fans, Chamberlain’s manager has not given up on him, “Somehow we have to find a way to get him going. His stuff is too good.”

Rookie Justin Grimm, who had only five major league appearances in 2012, earned his seventh win of the year despite only hurling 5+innings. He gave up three runs, two scoring after he departed in the sixth , and six hits.

Lyle Overbay accounted for the first Yankees run with a solo homer in the second. Grimm left the game after the first two batters in the sixth, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, hit successfully. Both scored after the next two batters, Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner, singled off reliever Robbie Ross.

The final two runs for the Yanks came on a two-run homer by Suzuki in the seventh. The three hits by the hot hitting outfielder in his four at bats raised his batting average during the current homestand to .333 (11 for 33).

The Rangers scored twice in the ninth to go ahead by a score of 8-5. Veteran closer Joe Nathan earned his 26th save in 27 save opportunities this year.

Phil Hughes (3-6) and Derek Holland (5-4) will be the starters in the rubber game of the three game set on Thursday afternoon.

A-Rod's Making Yanks Sick

Injuries, A-Rod Drama Hurting Bombers

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Social media can be a problem and New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman admitted that Wednesday afternoon. And it was established that Alex Rodriguez would rather use Twitter to announce his return to the Bronx.

That is an issue that had to be addressed by the Yankees GM because social media tends to put high profiled ballplayers in a dilemma. This time, A-Rod was not the center of a steroid issue. He may be needed in the Bronx, but is he?

Cashman apologized for throwing the “F” bomb word to a reporter that was directed to his highly paid third baseman. Rodriguez precipitated the situation by using social media as a message pertaining to his condition of when he would be returning to the lineup.

He says, the doctor said he is ready to return. Cashman says, that is not the determination of Rodriguez who may never be the player he once was. Performance enhancing drugs may have contributed to a contract that the Yankees wish they could take back.

But they can’t do that, or get a return on a contract that is still one of the top three in sports. And the questions always surround Rodriguez, and how effective he can be when returning from his latest hip procedure.

And there in turn is the problem, one the Yankees do not need as they continue dealing with adversity of the injured, whether it be physical or through a war of words.

Medical updates on the injured have been a common occurrence at Yankee Stadium. The manager Joe Girardi can only respond to reports he receives from the doctors and as he says, “I let our medical staff handle that.”

In essence, Girardi can only worry about who he has on the roster, “The guys in the room,” he says. And that is the only thing Girardi needs to be concerned with, as truth be told the manager has excelled under the circumstances of a revolving door seeing 13 players on the disabled list, 16 different times in 2013.

And the defining truth is, Rodriguez, as much as he becomes the story, and as much as the Yankees and Girardi feel he is needed, has become a real dilemma. There is no guarantee that he becomes the way, as Girardi says to, getting it done.

The mission is to win ballgames, something the Yankees need if they are to stay in this tight race that exists in the AL east. You can see the concern etched on the face of Girardi. He is tired of answering the questions about the progress of Rodriguez.

“I know he is anxious to get back to playing,” he says. Truth is, Girardi has done well under the circumstances. The post game meetings with the media are brief, as it was again Wednesday night after an 8-5 loss to Texas. The night before, Girardi saw his team hit four solo home runs.

“If we hit four homers like we did last night every night will be okay,” he said. The subject was about Rodriguez, but as the manager said, he expects him back. He is worried about the guys in the room and is aware they know what has to be done.

The unfortunate news that Mark Teixeira will need a season-ending surgery on his right wrist did not make matters better. It is a headache for Girardi, an added one for Cashman, but to their credit Lyle Overbay is still around and hit another home run Wednesday night.

The inexperience of the left side of the Yankees defense due to the injuries has Yankee fans looking for the return of Rodriguez. Jayson Nix at third, and Alberto Gonzalez at short Wednesday night let a foul pop fall. Eduardo Nunez is not close to returning and what about Derek Jeter?

Cashman, surely would love to see Jeter back on the field tomorrow. He could return after the all-star break. However, Jeter is not a user of social media and the captain is unavailable for comment as he continues his recovery down in Tampa.

Yes, A-Rod did his talking this week. So did Cashman who said it has been reality TV at its best and this is not the way he conducts himself. In the end, winning will end all the controversy as well as a healthy compliment of players that Girardi can place in his lineup.

Oh, and we don’t need social media to tell us when the injured will return to the Bronx healthy and wise.

Cpmment Rich Mancuso:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bronx News ( 10 Prison Guards Charged with Beating Inmate, Cove...

Bronx News ( 10 Prison Guards Charged with Beating Inmate, Cove...: BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 26- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn ...

10 Prison Guards Charged with Beating Inmate, Coverup

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 26- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn announced the arrest and indictment of 10 Department of Correction employees in connection with a gang assault of an inmate and subsequent attempt to cover-up the attack at the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island.

A 53-count indictment unsealed in Bronx State Supreme Court was the result of an 11-month long joint investigation by the Office of the Bronx District Attorney and the New York City Department of Investigation.

Seven of the 10 defendants, including the former DOC Assistant Chief for Security, two Correction Captains, and four Correction Officers were charged with several counts of assault including a top count of attempted gang assault in the first degree, a Class C felony offense punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment upon conviction. Those seven defendants and three other Correction Officers have also been charged with various offenses related to the attempted cover-up including tampering with physical evidence, falsifying business records in the first degree, and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. All are Class E felony offenses punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 4 years imprisonment.

The crimes alleged in the indictment occurred between July 11, 2012 and July 23, 2012 beginning with the beating of inmate Jamal Lightfoot. It is alleged that former Assistant Chief for Security Eliseo Perez Jr., 46, and Captain Gerald Vaughn, 46, while overseeing an institutional search of the jail, ordered members of the Emergency Services Unit to assault Lightfoot in the intake area at the George R. Vierno Center. Captain Michael Pollard, 40, and Correction Officers Alfred Rivera, 44, Tobias Parker, 43, Jose Parra, 44, and David Rodriguez, 38, allegedly carried out the order in a small search cell causing Lightfoot to suffer fractures to both of his eye sockets, a broken nose and facial injuries causing his eyes to be swollen shut as well as other injuries.

It is also alleged that in an effort to justify their use of force, the defendants falsified their use of force reports and use of force witness reports, claiming that the inmate, Lightfoot, had attacked Rivera before force was used to restrain Lightfoot. Rivera later claimed that Lightfoot had slashed him with a sharpened piece of metal. Pollard was charged with tampering with physical evidence for allegedly producing what Correction Officer’s attempted to portray as Lightfoot’s weapon only after the extent of the inmate’s injuries became known. Also charged solely in connection with the alleged cover-up were Correction Officers Harmon Frierson, 38, Dwayne Maynard, 42, and Jeffrey Richard, 28.

The charges in the indictment unsealed today are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Bronx News ( Football Has a Home in Bronx for Next Decade

Bronx News ( Football Has a Home in Bronx for Next Decade: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 26- The relatively short, 3 year, but respected history of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl wil...

Football Has a Home in Bronx for Next Decade

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 26- The relatively short, 3 year, but respected history of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will become even more renowned next year when teams from the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will participate in the annual late December bowl game.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl (NEPB) began its existence in 2010, nearly a half-century after the last bowl game (Gotham Bowl) was played in the Bronx in 1962. Syracuse, under the direction of its Bronx- born coach, Doug Marrone, was victorious in the 2010 and 2012 editions of the game. Another local favorite, Rutgers, defeated Iowa State in 2011.
The final NEPB battle between representatives of the Big East and the Big 12 will take place on December 28 and be viewed throughout the nation on ESPN. A large crowd is expected to attend as the attendance has increased in number each year.

Recent increases in number, strength and area coverage of the major college athletic conferences will create new rivalries within and between the new groupings. During the month of June the ACC and Big 10 have joined the NEPB which will begin a new college football tradition at the current Yankee Stadium.

At the press conference at Yankee Stadium, Yankees President Randy Levine remarked about the future match-ups, “It worked out incredibly. The ACC versus the Big 10 is second to none except the BCS.”

On June 3, it was announced that the Big 10 would be represented at the Pinstripe Bowl beginning in 2014 for a period of, at least, eight years. Three weeks and one day later, the rumored addition of the ACC to the bowl game for a minimum of six years was officially announced at a press conference at Yankee Stadium.

The reasoning behind the desire of both conferences to play at the NEPB was similar, New York City is the media capital of the world, Yankee Stadium is a legendary sports venue, the holiday season in New York is a wonderful experience and both collegiate conferences wish to make themselves a presence in New York.

Another factor attracting the college conferences to Yankee Stadium was the influence of George Steinbrenner. The late Yankees owner was involved in football in the Big 10. On Tuesday, ACC Commissioner John  Swofford reminisced of the time when he was Assistant Athletic Director at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Steinbrenner arranged for the Yankees to play at Chapel Hill during three of the four years Steinbrenner’s daughter, Jennifer, was a Morehouse Scholar at the university.

Levine spoke of his expectations that Yankee Stadium will host a BCS semi-final or even a BCS championship contest in the near future. He promised, “After several years, you can be sure we’ll be contacting them.’

Suzuki Strikes

Walk- Off Homer Gives Yankees 4-3 Win

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 26- The starting pitching matchup was not the story Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Instead six solo home runs combined by the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers was the headline. And the final solo was a walk-off game winner in the ninth from Ichiro Suzuki that paved the way for a 4-3 New York Yankees win.

The second career walk-off by Suzuki, his ninth home run of the season came off a 1-2 pitch off Texas reliever Tanner Scheppers, (5-1) with two outs.

“It’s a great win for us coming off an off day,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "Anyone can contribute, that’s the good thing about this game,” he said about the home run balls hit also by Travis Hafner, Brett Gardner, and Jayson Nix.

The home run ball has not been a part of the Yankees offense this first half of the season with injuries depleting their lineup. But, they were able to connect off Texas starter Yu Darvish who lasted 5.1 innings, giving up seven hits, striking out six.

“They beat us,” commented Texas manager Ron Washington who saw his team end a five-game winning streak. “They (Yankees) swung the bat and they beat us. You hate to lose a ballgame and getting walked off is no different than having a guy single to win it. They beat us with four swings of the bat, four solo home runs.”

New York is in a stretch of 20- consecutive games leading up to the all-star break. The team combined to hit four home runs over their previous 15 games. The solo home runs came from Hafner, Gardner, and Nix in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

The Yankees long ball effort over shadowed a matchup on the mound that had two pitchers from Japan facing each other for the 11th time in major league baseball history.

Right hander Hiroki Kuroda, in his 16th start of the season, and coming off a win over the Dodgers last week, allowed three runs (two earned) in 6.21 innings. He allowed five hits, walked one. Two of the runs were solo home runs off the bat of Leonys Martin.

Martin, 2-for-3, had his first career multi-home run game. The first came off a 2-2 pitch from Kuroda in the third inning that gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. His fifth home run, also a solo off Kuroda, was another 2-2 pitch leading off the fifth inning that went into the right field stands.

“It was a sinker,” he said about the first home run ball to Martin. Kuroda also commented that there wasn’t any special buzz in Japan about the two Japanese pitchers opposing each other again, though he said, “The people are very happy.”

This was the second time Kuroda and the right handed Darvish opposed each other. The first was April 24 of last year and Darvish got the win.

The Yankees were also aided by catcher Chris Stewart who caught two Texas base runners attempting to steal second base. Ian Kinsler was nailed with a runner on in the third inning and Elvis Andrus in the eighth.

Mariano Rivera (1-1) got the win facing four hitters in the ninth and giving up a single.

Left hander Andy Pettitte (5-5) gets the start for New York Wednesday evening opposing (6-5) Justin Grimm.

Comment Rich Mancuso:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bronx News ( Teacher Arrested in Attack on 10-Year Old

Bronx News ( Teacher Arrested in Attack on 10-Year Old: Were There Other Victims? Diaz Wants Complete Investigation (Teacher Anthony Criscuolo is walked from the Bronx Special Victims squad on...

Teacher Arrested in Attack on 10-Year Old

Were There Other Victims?
Diaz Wants Complete Investigation

(Teacher Anthony Criscuolo is walked from the Bronx Special Victims squad on Simpson Avenue after his arrest.--Photo by David Greene)

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 24- A New York City teacher has been charged in the sexual attack of a 10-year-old special education student from Fordham Heights.

Police sources say the investigation began shortly after the parents of the unidentified child found, "incriminating e-mails," the teacher sent the student-- and immediately called police.

The sources maintain that the teacher, Anthony Criscuolo, 40, a fifth-grade, special education teacher at P.S 386, located on E. 181 Street, gave the parents an official-looking letter about an awards ceremony held on June 17.

Investigators believe Criscuolo made up the story about the awards ceremony, so he could be alone with the young girl. The attack reportedly took place in the teacher's 2010 Dodge Charger outside of P.S. 195 on Ward Avenue during school hours.

Detectives arrested Criscuolo at his Van Nest home the following Wednesday and impounded his vehicle.

Criscuolo was charged with first degree rape, predatory sexual assault of a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

The Department of Education (DOE) quickly reassigned Criscuolo to a non-teaching position, while taking steps to begin the process to fire the tenured teacher. Criscuolo has been with the DOE since 2002 and currently makes $72,990 annually.

Standing with a relative of the child outside Bronx Supreme Court on June 24, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., stated, "I am calling for justice and for a thorough investigation of any other complaint against Anthony Criscuolo to be sure that no other children who trusted him as their teacher has also been harmed."

Criscuolo, who has also taught at P.S 498 in Van Nest and P.S. 178 in Baychester, remains jailed, unable to come up with the $750,000 bond to secure his release.

The NYPD reports Criscuolo has no prior criminal history and the DOE reports the teacher had no blemishes in his DOE file.   

Bronx News ( Old Timer's Day

Bronx News ( Old Timer's Day: Meaningful Memories at Yankee Stadium- 67th Annual Old Timers’ Day By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 24- Yankee pla...

Old Timer's Day

Meaningful Memories at Yankee Stadium-
67th Annual Old Timers’ Day

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 24- Yankee players of the last eight decades were on the field at Yankee Stadium on Sunday celebrating their experiences while wearing the pinstripes. A large crowd of 46,054, the third largest of 2013, was in the stands to cheer their favorites of years gone by. The festive day was the 67th annual celebration of the glorious history of the baseball franchise in the Bronx.

As annually takes place on this special day, a wide array of former stars representing each of the decades was invited back to the Bronx by New York Yankees Vice President of Marketing Debbie Tymon. The extremely capable and caring Yankees executive and her staff spend months of thought and effort to create an unforgettable day for the former Yankees and the fans who look forward to attending the every year.

As many fans do return regularly, there is always an attempt to invite former players who have never previously appeared at an Old Timers’ Day. This year’s first timers included Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, Brian Dorsett, John Flaherty, Todd Greene, Scott Kamieniecki and Andy Phillips. Of the six, the biggest reception was given to Hernandez. When “El Duque” went to the mound during the Old Timers’ game, he looked comfortable and threw with ease. Some in the crowd wondered whether he could be more effective than several on the current Yankees roster.

As the Steinbrenner family regularly exhibits its support for those who serve in the U.S. armed forces, five of the elderly Yankee heroes were also honored for their service in the military as well as their performances on the playing field. The octogenarians who circled the field in motorized golf carts were: Don Larsen, Dr. Bobby Brown, Jerry Coleman, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.

Larsen, the only pitcher who hurled a perfect game in the World Series, served in the Korean War. Brown and Berra began their major league careers in the same game on September 22, 1946. Each was also present at Yankee Stadium on September 28, 1947, when Babe Ruth was honored, the day recognized as the first official Old Timers’ Day.

Berra’s illustrious career in baseball is familiar to fans of all ages. Berra, 69 years ago, was in a U.S. rocket boat as a participant in the D-Day invasion of Nazi occupied territory in Europe.

The events of Brown’s life are as interesting as those of any returning Yankee. During his years with the Yankees, he was attending medical school during the winters. After graduation, he had an eminent career as a cardiologist. Later in life, he returned to baseball as President of the American League for a decade.

A schoolmate of Brown’s in California and the elder statesman of the returning Yankees, Jerry Coleman, is the only major leaguer to have served in active combat during World War II and Korea. Coleman, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster in 2005, still works games on radio for the Padres. Whitey Ford, after going 9-1 in his first year as a Yankee in 1950, was drafted into the service. Upon his return, he continued his HOF career as one of the greatest lefthanders in history.

The biggest hands were reserved for the younger players who played on Joe Torre’s championship clubs, Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill. Williams commented, “It’s great to be remembered. I definitely don’t take it for granted.”

Roy White, whose 15 years (1965-79) in the majors were with the Yankees, had a perspective that was representative of many who returned on Sunday. He remembered his first day in the majors, “It was very special to walk into the Yankees clubhouse and see Mickey Mantle there. I never thought I would play with a guy I watched when I was in Little League.

White had very high expectations for the team when he was a rookie, “I thought we would be in the World Series every year, but we didn’t get there until 1976.” The former Yankee explained that playing for the Yankees was not stress free, “You’re measured by higher standards because of who they’ve [fans] seen in the past.” As a player, White was happy on Old Timers’ Day, “I like baseball history. I always looked forward to see Joe DiMaggio and to see Tommy Henrich and “King Kong” Keller by my locker and being able to talk to them.”

The fabulous history of the Yankees is, obviously, one in which the organization and its fans can be proud. The annual recognition and respect for the players of he past is very well deserved and should serve as an example for other sport’s franchise to emulate.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bronx News ( LGBT Awards

Bronx News ( LGBT Awards: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presented the second annual John F. Wade Memorial Award to Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Reta...

LGBT Awards

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presented the second annual John F. Wade Memorial Award to Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU), at the third annual Bronx LGBTQ & Allies Award Ceremony.

The award is given in memory of John F. Wade, a former staff member for Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, well-respected New York City political activist and leader in the LGBT community who passed away in 2011. The award honors an individual who exemplifies the spirit, commitment and dedication that Mr. Wade brought to his advocacy, to politics and government, and to the City of New York.

Borough President Diaz and Mr. Appelbaum are pictured here with Appolonia Cruz (far left) and Tyra Allure Ross (far right), both of whom served as Mistresses of Ceremonies at the event.

Pettitte and Yankees gets a loss against Tampa Bay in series opener

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 21- Andy Pettitte over the years has had success against the Tampa Bay Rays but Thursday night the New York Yankees left handed veteran struggled and admitted it was a disappointing outing. Tampa used the long ball and a quality start from Matt Moore and took advantage of an ineffective Pettitte.

Tampa Bay banged out 14-hits and got three home runs, two from Evan Longoria taking the first of a four-game series from the Yankees, 8-3.

“I felt good but the evaluation of it obviously is another disappointing outing,” he said, as the Yankees lost their second straight game and went 3-4 against the Rays this season.

He struggled with his command and with the fastball

“When you can’t get the first couple of hitters top of the lineup obviously the guys down there have power,” said Pettitte about the Rays heart of their batting order. Seven of their hits went for extra bases including a solo home run from Longoria off Pettitte in the sixth inning that cleared the right center field fence.

Later in the game, Longoria did further damage to the Yankees when his second home run of the night, a solo, opened up a 6-3 Tampa Bay lead in a three-run eighth inning.

The second home run by Longoria gave him a team leading 16th, his third multi-home run career game against the Yankees. Longoria, 2-for-3, recorded his 500th career RBI with a third inning sacrifice fly off Pettitte.

“He’s a wonderful young player and he keeps getting better assuming the leadership role within the group,” said Rays manage Joe Maddon about the 27-year- old Longoria.

Longoria was more elated about getting to Pettitte and the Rays getting the first win of the series. He is the lone player in their lineup who has started every game this season and took over the team lead also in runs batted in.

“Kind of good to put the woes of Andy Pettitte behind me,” commented Longoria.

Pettitte (5-5) would last 6/2-3 innings, on five runs and nine hits. He struck out six, walked one, threw a wild pitch and gave up a lead -off home run to Longoria in the sixth that gave Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead. His ERA is at 4.20 and he lost his second straight start.

New York once again struggled at the plate and played small ball in a three-run, sixth inning. Reid Brignac led off the inning with a single, Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix walked With a struggling Robinson Cano at the plate the Yankees got their first run of the night when Tampa Bay starterMatt Moore threw a wild pitch that scored Brignac .

Cano then hit a long sacrifice fly to center that scored Gardner for the first run of the inning.

“Inning could have got out of hand,” said Moore. “Fortunate the way it turned out.” Moore (9-3) snapped his three-game losing streak and held the Yankees to three-runs, four hits in 6.1 innings. He has held the Yankees to three runs or less in five of his seven starts against them.

The Rays got a run back in the seventh. After Pettitte got the first two outs in the inning, Desmond Jennings doubled to left and Sean Rodriguez drove him home with another double to deep left center.

Pettitte was finished for the night. Joba Chamberlain relieved him and got Longoria to end the ending swinging for a third strike.

Right now the Yankees are struggling and have been out-hit 36-17 over the first three games of the homestand against the Dodgers and Rays. Girardi is hoping for better results when right hander David Phelps (4-4) gets the ball for game two of the series Friday night.

“These are the guys who got us 12-games over,” commented Girardi about a Yankee team that is now 39-33. “Right now we are struggling and we need to get on a roll.”

Comment Rich Mancuso:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bronx News ( Taste of Little Italy

Bronx News ( Taste of Little Italy: (Angelo Tuccincardi of Teitel Brothers Grocery showcases a tempting array of Italian antipasti delicacies for James Beard Foundation memb...

Taste of Little Italy

(Angelo Tuccincardi of Teitel Brothers Grocery showcases a tempting array of Italian antipasti delicacies for James Beard Foundation members at a tasting table hosted by the “Real Little Italy in the Bronx” at a JBF Greens event in Manhattan.)

Photo by: Katherine Lauricella

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 20- The chef and co-owner of GERBASI RISTORANTE, Maurizio Gerbasi, and the Sales Director of TEITEL BROTHERS GROCERY, Angelo Tuccinardi, representing two of Arthur Avenue’s favorite businesses, brought a taste of Bronx Little Italy to a reception in Manhattan on June 12, as part of the JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION’s event entitled A MOVEABLE FEAST. The event targeted the James Beard Foundation Greens, a group of under-40 members of the venerable culinary institution.

The sold-out event featured The Real Little Italy in the Bronx menu along with four others and was held in a brand new luxury high-rise building in the fashionable Chelsea area of Manhattan.  Teitel Brothers Grocery, the oldest purveyor in the Bronx Little Italy Belmont neighborhood, presented a mouth-watering array of antipasti including imported salumi and cheeses. Chef Gerbasi served two traditional Italian favorites, stuffed shells and eggplant rolatine, with fresh homemade cheeses and marina sauce.

The goal of the night was to educate the group about the food scene in the neighborhood, position the Real Little Italy in the Bronx as an important culinary destination, and encourage visitors to make a day of it in the Bronx combining a visit to other nearby attractions -- Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and Yankee Stadium -- along with a trip to world-famous Arthur Avenue.

The authentic Italian culture found in the vibrant community of the Real Little Italy in the Bronx and Arthur Avenue sustains a thriving business district that includes world-class restaurants and high-quality shops and specialty stores carrying superb handmade local and imported items.  For more information go to or

Bronx News ( Donnie and the Dodgers Return to Bronx

Bronx News ( Donnie and the Dodgers Return to Bronx: Yanks Split Doubleheader By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 20- Prior to 1958, the rivalry between the three teams in MLB that repres...

Donnie and the Dodgers Return to Bronx

Yanks Split Doubleheader

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 20- Prior to 1958, the rivalry between the three teams in MLB that represented New York City, the Dodgers of Brooklyn, Giants of Manhattan and Yankees of the Bronx, was extremely intense, far more than the current one between the Yankees and Mets.
In the 1950’s, the major argument between the partisans of each club centered on the question of which of the three teams had the best centerfielder in baseball, Mickey Mantle of the Yanks, Willie Mays of the Giants or Duke Snider of the Dodgers. Not surprisingly, each of the three was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after his career concluded.
To the disgust and anger of the fans of the other 13 teams then in the majors, in one 1- year period, 1949-1958, at least one of the three NYC teams reached the World Series each of those years. Between 1947 and 1956, the Yankees and the Dodgers competed for the World Series title six times, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956. The two teams met a record 11 times in World Series competition.
The level of interest in the rivalry was such that on May 7, 1959, the largest crowd in MLB history, 93,103, attended an exhibition between them in Los Angeles to honor Roy Campanella.
Much has changed over those many years. There is currently a distance of 3,000 miles between the home ballparks of the two teams. The last World Series during which the two competed against one another took place in 1981. Both teams are now struggling in their respective division races.
The long awaited first visit of the Dodgers to Yankee Stadium for a regular season contest was postponed for one day as Tuesday’s scheduled game was cancelled by rain.
The first of the two games on Wednesday began shortly after 1 p.m. Dodger skipper Don Mattingly, an icon during his 14 fabulous seasons in Yankee pinstripes, received a very warm reception each time his likeness was shown on the giant screen in the outfield or he walked out of the dugout. The familiar chant of “Donnie Baseball” was heard during both games. In a post-game press conference, Mattingly expressed his feelings, “It was kind of cool. I like the roll call. They never had it when I played.”
Several players from Asia made, not surprisingly, extremely impressive performances. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda from Japan pitched 6.2 innings while yielding only two runs, both scored in Kuroda’s final inning on the mound. The three runs scored by the Yanks before he departed were the most since his last win on May 17.
Hyun-Jin Ryu from Korea, an MLB rookie, who was signed by the Dodgers on December 12, 2012, only surrendered five hits and two walks in six frames, but the three runs he gave up earned his third loss in 2013.
The first Yankees runs were scored in the third. Thomas Neal and Ichiro Suzuki singled and were driven in on a double by Lyle Overbay. The winning run was produced on a lead-off homer by Ichiro in the sixth. Ichiro’s third base hit was a single in the seventh that accounted for the final two runs in a 6-4 victory. 
Ichiro’s fourth multi-hit game in the last six led Yankee manager Joe Girardi to exclaim, “He’s been playing extraordinary.”
Note on the young and the old- Dodger phenom Yasiel Puig, a major leaguer for two weeks and two days, showed the potential for future greatness and the folly of youthful exuberance. The 22 year old Cuban singled in his first at bat, but was thrown out at second trying to stretch. In the seventh, Puig doubled. His two hits in five at bats dropped his batting average to an astounding .472. Mariano Rivera, Puig’s senior by 21 years, recorded his 25th save of the campaign by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth. 
The final out was a strikeout of Puig, who that evening said, “I feel so happy to play against the best. He [Rivera] beat me.”
Chris Capuano, removed earlier in the day from the disabled list, started the night game for the visitors. Although the 34 year-old’s last MLB start was three weeks earlier, he gave up only three singles, two in the infield. He did not walk a batter but fanned four to earn the win. 
Mattingly remarked, “[I’m] not surprised that he pitched good but how long.”
Phil Hughes also pitched six, but his outing was far different than his Dodger counterpart. Five of the first six batters in the game singled. Hughes gave up two runs in the first, one in the third and two in the fifth.
Puig, the Cuban sensation, showed his energy and ability in game two of the day. He beat out a bunt in the first; was hit by a pitch and then stole second in the fifth. He hit an opposite field homer off reliever Adam Warren in the seventh. The youngster scored all three times he reached base. His experienced manager commented, “He has a kind of unique set of tools.”
The Tampa Rays begin a four game set on Thursday in the Bronx. Veteran Andy Pettitte (5-4) will face Matt Moore (8-3) of the Rays.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bronx News ( D-O-T Can’t S-P-E-L-L

Bronx News ( D-O-T Can’t S-P-E-L-L: DOT's Spelling Flub a Sign of The Times;  How Would You Spell Mosholu? By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 19- Workers with the New...

D-O-T Can’t S-P-E-L-L

DOT's Spelling Flub a Sign of The Times; 
How Would You Spell Mosholu?

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 19- Workers with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) apparently reversed the last three letters of, "Mosholu," when they installed at least one new street sign in October, 2010-- and one eagle-eyed Norwood resident finally caught it.

During the Recent Bronx Day Parade, the annual culmination of Bronx Week along Mosholu Parkway, Linda Tino claimed, "The sign is wrong, it's spelled M-o-s-h-o-l-u and they have it spelled M-o-s-h-u-l-o and that's not the way you spell it."

Tino explained how she saw the incorrect sign a day earlier as she was riding in a taxi. "That's ridiculous," Tino fumed, "Somebody couldn't get it right? And nobody else saw it? Unless someone saw it and they just never changed it."

Sending out a challenge to find the incorrect street sign, Tino added, "Check it out, I swear to God."

Sure enough Tino was right as the now slightly dented road sign at the northeast corner of Southern Boulevard at E. Mosholu Parkway, just outside the of New York Botanical Gardens, has the error, a half dozen other signs in the immediate area do not.

After being forwarded a photo of the misspelled sign, a spokeswoman with DOT simply stated, "The agency has not received notice of this, however, we will inspect the location and take steps to address the sign as necessary.

The last street-sign snafu reported, also took place in October, 2010, when DOT unveiled the new $612 million Willis Avenue Bridge, when a sign was quickly and easily observed telling drivers they were driving on I-278, but the roadway was actually I-287.

Under federal mandate, the DOT began replacing the city's 250,900 street signs, switching from all capital letters to lowercase. The project is expected to be completed by 2018 at a cost of $26 million.

Mosholu Parkway is a 3.3 mile stretch of roadway that runs from Southern Boulevard to W. Gun Hill Road and was constructed between 1935 and 1937 and is also called New York State Route 908F.

Sounding more like a type of virus, according to Wikipedia, "Mosholu" is an Algonquin Indian word meaning, smooth stones. The Algonquin Indians were early settlers along the Atlantic coast, but migrated to Canada.

Bronx News ( Don Mattingly Returns to Yankee Stadium

Bronx News ( Don Mattingly Returns to Yankee Stadium: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 19- Former Yankee icon Don Mattingly returned to Yankee Stadium on June 18, as skipper of the L.A...

Don Mattingly Returns to Yankee Stadium

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 19- Former Yankee icon Don Mattingly returned to Yankee Stadium on June 18, as skipper of the L.A. Dodgers. Although the Yankees and Dodgers had met for a MLB record 11 times in World Series play Tuesday’s scheduled game was the first time the two teams were to meet in a regular season contest at the legendary ballpark in the Bronx.
The beleaguered manager, whose club is in last place in the National League West, spoke of his current situation, “It’s not fun. It’s not something you want to go through.”
The manager, subject of many rumors that he will soon be fired, talked of his desire to continue in his present position, “I want to do a great job for this organization. I like where I’m at.” He also expressed his desire to keep managing regardless of what the future holds, “Honestly, I feel I can manage anywhere. I like the challenge.”
On a more upbeat note, Mattingly discussed his great, young players, Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershw, “That’s like looking into the future.”
The Dodger field chieftain remarked upon his 2008 opportunity to manage the team in the Bronx that he had played on for 14 seasons and coached for an additional four years, “I felt like it [not obtaining the managerial position] was a blessing. It would have been really hard to do the job [with the family problems]. It brought me to L.A. [as a coach with Joe Torre]. The experience was really great to me.”
In his lengthy talk with reporters, Mattingly reminisced about his debut at Yankee Stadium, “My fondest memory was the first day I was called up.”
His relationship began several years before that day in 1982. Mattingly was drafted in the 19th round of the 1979 MLB First Year Player Draft. After nearly three years in the minors, he was called up in late 1982. The first sacker played outstandingly for 14 seasons in pinstripes until he retired because of back problems after the 1995 season.
During his career, the small-town, soft spoken man with a laid back personality became a special fan favorite. That circumstance is still something Mattingly doesn’t fully grasp, “I don’t quite understand the relationship. I only just played and they [the fans] seemed to appreciate it,”
Mattingly and the fans were disappointed that the long-awaited contest was postponed by rain. The two games will be played in a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bronx News ( Faithful Flock to Feast

Bronx News ( Faithful Flock to Feast: Photos by Gary Quintal The faithful came out on Father’s Day to celebrate the procession during the Feast of St. Anthony. Believers walked ...

Faithful Flock to Feast

Photos by Gary Quintal
The faithful came out on Father’s Day to celebrate the procession during the Feast of St. Anthony. Believers walked the parade route of Arthur Avenue.

Bronx News ( Slow Down Near Schools

Bronx News ( Slow Down Near Schools: Pol Sets up Speed Cameras BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 17- Senator Jeff Klein joined New York City Department of Transportation Commissio...

Slow Down Near Schools

Pol Sets up Speed Cameras

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 17- Senator Jeff Klein joined New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and PS 81 parents to release new statistics demonstrating a pattern of dangerous speeding near PS 81, an elementary school in Riverdale. 

To combat the danger posed by this consistent speeding, Senator Klein has introduced legislation in the Senate that would authorize the use of speed cameras in New York City school zones where dangerous speeding is most prevalent. The legislation, S.4459A/A.4327A, is being considered in both the Assembly and the Senate in the final weeks of this year’s legislative session.

Senate Majority Coalition Leader Jeff Klein said, "The results are clear: speeding on Riverdale Avenue is a real threat to the safety of students, teachers and members of the Riverdale community. But that doesn’t need to continue. Research shows that when people know they might be caught, they slow down. That’s critically important in school zones, where even five miles per hour can make the difference between life and death for a child. I’m pleased to stand here with Commissioner Sadik-Khan today so that we can encourage my legislative colleagues to approve the use of these speed cameras right away.”

“There is no passing grade for people speeding near our schools and putting our children’s lives in danger,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “We need to bring the rampant speeding that occurs near our schools every day to a screeching halt, and I join Senator Klein and call on his colleagues in Albany to move full speed ahead on this life-saving legislation."

New York City’s Department of Transportation released a traffic safety report in March, detailing speeding rates in school zones across New York City. Results indicated that PS 81 in Riverdale experienced the most speeding in the Bronx with 96 percent of vehicles driving above the speed limit. With this information, Senator Klein commissioned follow-up testing at PS 81.

PS 81 PA Co-President, Amy Moore, said, “I am thankful to Senator Klein for bringing attention to speeding around our school – an issue of deep concern to many of the parents here. The statistics are shocking. On any given day, more than 50 percent of vehicles passing our school are moving at very dangerous speeds. Anything that we can do to reduce car speeds around our schools – where children are frequently coming and going – must be considered, and I applaud Senator Klein for bringing this concern to our community and to Albany."

Bronx News ( Breaking Ground on New Mall

Bronx News ( Breaking Ground on New Mall: BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 17- New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced...

Breaking Ground on New Mall

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 17- New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced the groundbreaking of the 133,000 square foot retail development at Broadway Plaza in the Bronx, which will activate an approximately 80,000 square foot site located along the Broadway retail corridor.  The developer, Equity One, plans to invest approximately $54 million to construct the two-story, multi-tenant retail development and approximately 130 covered parking spaces that will make up the site, which is located on 230th Street between Broadway and the Major Deegan Expressway.  The project is expected to create over 250 new full and part-time jobs and approximately 500 construction jobs.

“Broadway Plaza will add hundreds of jobs to the Riverdale/Kingsbridge community and provide this neighborhood with newer and even more retail options,” said NYCEDC COO Zachary Smith. “This development will help ensure that the Broadway corridor here in the Bronx will continue to thrive into the future.”

"This project will serve as a major new hub of activity for the entire Kingsbridge community, bringing new traffic -- and new customers -- to this important commercial district," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "I am pleased that, after so many years of inactivity, this site is well on its way to fulfilling its promise as a generator of commerce and customers for the northwest Bronx."

“We are thrilled to be under construction on our Broadway Plaza project,” said Equity One CEO Jeffrey Olson.  “When it is completed, it will be a wonderful addition to this community both as a generator for economic development and as a shopping destination and amenity for the residents.  We are so appreciative of the efforts of all of the elected officials and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, who helped to make this project a reality.”

Equity One is currently in the process of leasing the development and is in negotiations with several prominent national retailers. The developer purchased the site from the City in June 2012 and expects the center to open in the fall of 2014.  Equity One was selected to redevelop the site based on its response to a Request for Proposals issued in August 2011.  The development intends to be LEED certified.

“This development is further proof that the Bronx, and especially the Northwest Bronx, is back and better than ever," said Congressman Eliot Engel. "The construction will bring immediate jobs, and when completed, the stores will bring more jobs and an economic blooming. We are lighting up the neighborhood and now everyone will see that the Northwest Bronx has more to offer.”

"This groundbreaking is the culmination of years of hard work by many people," said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. "I first started advocating for the construction of a shopping mall at this site back in 2001 and have worked since then to make this dream a reality. Broadway Plaza will not only bring hundreds of new jobs to our community, it will also be a key component of the continuing revitalization of the Broadway corridor running from West 225th Street to West 238th Street. This revitalization not only benefits the Kingsbridge and Marble Hill communities, but all of the surrounding neighborhoods and the entire Bronx. I prefer shopping in the Bronx instead of going to Westchester or Manhattan. The new stores at Broadway Plaza will keep more shoppers right here in the Bronx. It's a great day for the Bronx."

“The Broadway Plaza will give a major boost to the 231st Street shopping area," said Council Member Oliver Koppell.  "I have been working for over 10 years to see this development realized. Today is a great day for Kingsbridge.”

"Community Board 8 is proud to have played a role in making this exciting retail complex a reality,” said Robert Fanuzzi, Chair of Community Board 8. “Equity One is already a part of our community, and we look forward to working with them to bring great stores and local jobs to our area."

In addition to creating hundreds of new permanent construction jobs, as part of its development, Equity One has committed to use New York City Economic Development Corporation’s HireNYC program to create a targeted local hiring plan to fill the jobs generated by the project. HireNYC is a free City program that connects the City's workforce development services to economic development projects.

Equity One is making significant efforts to ensure that both minority and women owned firms, as well as Bronx-based firms, are part of the construction team. They also plan to work with tenants to facilitate the hiring of Bronx residents for the permanent jobs that the project will create, ensuring that the development will provide the area with an economic boost that will assist residents and attract visitors.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Knife-Wielding Robber Caught on Tape

Bronx News ( Knife-Wielding Robber Caught on Tape

Bronx News ( Knife-Wielding Robber Caught on Tape: By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 14- Police are looking for help in catching a knife-wielding robber who stuck up a Mount Eden ce...

Knife-Wielding Robber Caught on Tape

By Dan Gesslein

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 14- Police are looking for help in catching a knife-wielding robber who stuck up a Mount Eden cell phone store. The store’s video surveillance captured the attack.

At around 11:25 a.m. on May 25, the suspect walked into the cell phone store at 22 Mount Eden Avenue and pulled out a knife. The robber grabbed an employee and demanded cash. On the tape the attacker is seen roughing up the employee and pushing him to the back of the store. Cops say the robber struck the employee several times and fled with an unknown amount of cash.

The suspect is described as a either a white or Hispanic male. He is 5 foot 8 with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a windbreaker jacket with “Yankees” written across the front. He was wearing a blue NY Yankee baseball hat and blue jogging pants. 

Anyone with information should call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are confidential.