Friday, May 30, 2014
Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Croton Water Filtration Plant: More Questions on Filter Plant Construction Riverdale Report By Robert Press BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 30- It seems like the Department of E...
Posted by Bronx News at 8:18 AM
More Questions on Filter Plant Construction
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 30- It seems like the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is up to its old trick of saying one thing and doing another. Some people like former Croton Water Filtration Monitoring Committee (CFMC) Chairman Bob Fanuzzi may believe the double talk DEP tells him as is evident by his tenure as CFMC chair for the past year 2013.
It seems that the DEP did not want to answer the tough questions it was getting from many people such as myself, so the DEP told CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi that it no longer needed monthly meetings since the Water Filtration Plant was almost complete, and went to quarterly meetings. Mr. Fanuzzi complained at first, but went along with the DEP. It seems that Mr. Fanuzzi's replacement and new chair of the CFMC in 2014, Father Richard Gorman, has told the DEP that he will be having monthly meetings and has scheduled his second monthly meeting in a row for Tuesday March 27th. I will have a recap of the meeting in next week’s column.
The matter of the cutting down of over 150 trees by the reservoir came to be during CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi's tenure. As a component of the water filtration plant the DEP said that the earthen berm of the Jerome Park Reservoir was being compromised by the tree roots in it, and the DEP said the trees had to be removed. I have to give Mr. Fanuzzi some credit for his admiral discourse in questioning the DEP on the matter of the tree replacement before they were cut down. CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi however never got anything in writing, and the DEP and Parks Department are now squabbling as to just who has to replace the trees since it was a Parks Department contractor that cut the trees down for the DEP who now says it is a Parks Department's problem. The cost estimate to replace the trees is $850,000 by the Parks Department, if the trees are to be replaced at all.
At the September 2013 CFMC meeting, I asked about an evacuation plan for the plant in the event of an explosion or other emergency, this after there was a horrific explosion had occurred in another state a few weeks before. DEP said that there was no need for an evacuation plan since the plant was not using chlorine gas on the site, and that was fine with CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi.
Then there is the matter that I brought out at the December 2013 CFMC meeting of the plant having no fire alarm. I also questioned the DEP on letters that I received from a former supervisor (Mr. Robert Solomon) of the water filtration plant construction from the company that was fined for not having the proper master electrician at the plant site during critical electrical work, this after Mr. Solomon the supervisor was let go. The claims included that unlicensed workers had replaced the licensed workers, faulty under code wiring was being installed, mold problems at the plant, no fire alarm at the plant, and that the plant would not be in operation until after 2015 if the plant could be operational at all. By the way Mr. Solomon called me after September meeting of the CFMC to inform me that CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi was given this information in July of 2013, and he said that CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi had done nothing.
The DEP came to the Community Board 8 Environmental and Sanitation meeting this past week on Wednesday May 21st to inform the board of construction at gate houses # 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 at the Jerome Park Reservoir since the reservoir is entirely in CB 8. This was the first E & S meeting in a year, and second in two years that former CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi had attended. Mr. Shane Ojar when questioned by myself and another person said that the DEP was at the meeting to hear community concerns only about this project, and that our questions concerned the water filtration plant which should be addressed at the next CFMC meeting. I questioned the staging areas of the construction among other items of concern to the community around the reservoir that has suffered too much already from the DEP that wanted support for this project. Mr. Ojar could only say we don't know yet, much like the answers he gave CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi when it came to cutting down the trees at the reservoir. As a long standing member of the E & S Committee of CB 8 going back to the original Croton Water Filtration Plant that was proposed for the Jerome Park Reservoir in the late 1990's I wanted to know all the facts about this construction project, and I wanted it in writing. DEP said that the gate houses had to be repaired as they were in very poor shape. I then said that the entire reservoir is in need of repairs, and it should then be shut down since it is in such bad shape and of no need to the water system of New York. DEP then agreed to send the hard copy of the presentation to the community board office. When DEP will send it I do not know, but I will look at it and I will not say yes to anything that will be regretted later.
Those poor perfectly good healthy trees on the reservoir berm that were cut down, shame on you former CFMC chair Bob Fanuzzi for letting them be cut down without anything in writing from the DEP. Didn't you know better?
If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at email@example.com or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Baby Giraffe Makes his Zoo Debut
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 29- A male Baringo giraffe calf is one of the newest animals at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.
The young giraffe was born during the winter and lives in the zoo’s African Plains exhibit.
The giraffe’s mother is Margaret Sukari, and the father is James Michael. The Bronx Zoo names all of its giraffes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for whom the Carter Giraffe Building is named.
Newborn giraffes are approximately six feet tall at birth and can weigh more than 100 pounds. As adults, they can be more than 17 feet tall and weigh more than 3,000 pounds. Giraffes are the tallest animal in the world and have an 18-inch-long tongue that they use to grasp branches and pull leaves from trees.
The gestation period for a giraffe is 14 to 14.5 months. The newborn calf stands and starts walking within the first couple of hours of birth. The calf will nurse for approximately one year, but will begin eating some solid food at three months old. Eventually it will transition to a diet of leaves, alfalfa, hay, kale, pelleted grain, and other produce.
Giraffes are native to grasslands, savannas, and open woodlands in central, east, and southern Africa. The Baringo giraffe (aka Rothschild’s giraffe) is found in western Kenya and eastern Uganda. While some populations are still robust, the overall population is declining. The Wildlife Conservation Society works across the globe and throughout the giraffe’s African range to save wildlife and wild places. WCS is working to protect giraffes in key African landscapes like Zakouma, Chad, Murchison Falls, Uganda, and in the Sahel of South Sudan.
To plan your trip, visit bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.
Puerto Rican Day Parade Set for Sunday
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 29- Forget about Fleet week. The real kickoff to summer in the Boogie Down is the sound of salsa wafting through the Grand Concourse during the annual Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade
This year some 110 groups from throughout the country and South America will march on the Grand Concourse in a celebration of the Bronx’s rich Puerto Rican heritage. The opening ceremony takes place in front of Poe Park at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 1st. The parade will kick off 1 p.m. at 192nd Street and the Grand Concourse.
“The Bronx Puerto Rican Parade is no longer a local activity. Now we have international organizations participating,” said Francisco Gonzalez, chairman of the parade.
Citing the bands and cultural groups from South America and the Caribbean who will be on hand, Gonzalez said, “We embrace everybody.”
Marriacchi bands, Jamaican steel drum bands, car groups, salsa dancers, school bands, West Indian, salsa, Hip Hop and Ragaeton musicians, bicycle clubs, culture groups etc. from various cultures will all participate in the annual event.
The parade will honor the work of non-profit groups who have been struggling to make their communities a better place and promoting culture despite having a hard time getting funding in this tough economic time.
Elected officials of all stripes are expected to march in the parade during this heated election year.
In addition to the fun and music, the parade serves a more noble purpose. The event funds the scholarships for the parade prince and princess. The message is one that children from the Bronx can go on to achieve great things.
“If people like (Supreme Court Justice) Sonia Sottomayor can come from humble beginnings so can you,” Gonzalez said.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
We Need Cops!
We Need Cops!
Too Many Shootings,
Too Few Cops!
NEWS N’ VIEWS
Father Richard F. Gorman
Community Board #12 (The Bronx)
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 22- Our newly arrived Commanding Officer at the Forty-seventh Precinct, Deputy Inspector Raul R. Stephenson, is certainly receiving his “baptism by fire.” The number of shootings as of late has placed our Precinct in the top tier of shootings in our beloved Borough of The Bronx and the entire City of New York.
I trust that the good Deputy Inspector has not, and will not, become disheartened. I suspect not. Something tells me that he is fired up to make our numbers in this category go down and stay down. I can tell you that my colleagues and I on Community Board #12 (The Bronx) stand ready to support our Commanding Officer in any way that we can. I can tell you that one course of action for which the Community Board will be advocating will remain sizably increasing the number of Police
Officers in our Forty-seventh Precinct.
Traditionally, our local Precinct has been routinely short-changed when it comes to the assignment of new and/or additional Police Officers. In terms of territory required to be policed, the “4 – 7” ranks right near the top in our Borough. I hasten to add that the confines of the Precinct are by no means contiguous and compact. The Woodlawn Heights neighborhood juts out on the northwestern margins of Bronx Community District #12 and the Pelham community that includes that portion of The Bronx that bears a Pelham Manor / Westchester County Zip Code and that one must traverse through Westchester in order to access correspondingly hangs out like an appendage along the District’s northeastern boundaries. This geographical idiosyncrasy, with its nonconforming peculiarity, does not make for easy patrolling.
Add to this the fact that the population of Community Board #12 (The Bronx), thanks to the haphazard, pro-development-despite-the-detriment policies of the prior Municipal Administrations of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has substantially shifted upward and you have, in my humble estimation, a cogent and reasonable argument that more cops are called for in the “4 – 7,” and sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, One Police Plaza, “1 – P – P,” as it is affectionately called, the Headquarters of the New York City Police Department (N.Y.P.D.), stubbornly clings to the outdated and specious argument that the Precinct is adequately staffed by a sufficient number of cops. Maddeningly, the powers-that-be at Police Headquarters cite alleged scientific and statistical support for this rather unscientific determination that totally and obviously ignores the aforesaid significant facts. They routinely allude to the rather mysterious and not-ever-to-be-faulted “RAND FORMULA” that supposed provides a systematic, precise and infallible methodology for assessing how many Police Officers are needed and justified in any given command.
“RAND FORMULA” be damned! Whatever it is, it does not suffice for our Forty-seventh Precinct. We genuinely and straight away need more Police Officers and we should not continue to be short-changed. A new Administration sits tall in the saddle at City Hall. It has promised to be more attentive to the needs and concerns of our neighborhoods.
Let it hear this concern of Community Board #12 (The Bronx) and be attentive to this need. Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised and signaled that he is neither enamored nor bound to the priorities and approach of Administrations past. This issue of ours would be an excellent opportunity and venue to so demonstrate.
Our men and women in the Laconia Avenue stationhouse do an outstanding job protecting us day in and day out. It is about time that they got more help to do so. They deserve it . . . . . . and so do we! What do you say, Your Honor? May we have more cops . . . . . . PLEASE?!?!?
Until next time, that is it for this time!
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Did Security Ignore Shooting Warnings?
Co-op City residents claim management is ignoring drug dealing, violence
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 21- A man was shot in the head on a public basketball court in Co-op City and one resident claims the Department of Public Safety was warned of the impending violence.
The FDNY reports EMS was dispatched at 9:17 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, to the basketball courts across the street from 100 Bellamy Loop for an arrest-- but discovered a male victim in his 30's had been shot in the head.
The victim was rushed to Jacobi Hospital in critical, but stable condition.
Shortly after the gunfire, police were looking for the suspect or suspects, who reportedly fled in a silver Toyota Corolla.
One resident who declined to be identified, said he heard the shots less than two hours after residents had called the Co-op City Department of Public Safety, who patrols the massive complex, that violence was about to breakout.
The source continued, "There was a group of about five or six people and they had two pit bull dogs, so we called public safety and told them it looked like something was about to go down."
The resident could not say if officers responded, but explained how the River Bay Corporation, the management office for the complex, has been slow in responding to complaints about the escalating drug sales in front of the building.
"We've been asking for more security," the resident continued, "They would come out for about a week," before the patrols would stop and the drug dealers would return.
The resident also claims that River Bay objected to residents holding a prayer vigil outside the building last summer.
The source fumed, "The drug dealers could come and go as they please, but we couldn't gather and pray outside our building."
Under the watchful eye of Councilman Andy King, residents held their prayer vigil on the sidewalk. Days later River Bay installed one surveillance camera in the back of the building.
The resident concluded, "The summer's coming back and it's starting up again and now their selling the drugs in plain sight. They’re not even hiding it anymore."
A second resident of the building was unaware when she said, "I never heard of a problem here, that's why I'm a little shocked when I heard Bellamy Loop." She believed that most of the problems in the area was centered on Benchley Place around the corner.
Police have no motives or suspects at this time, but continue to investigate.
An inquiry with the Co-op City Department of Public Safety was referred to the River Bay Corporation management office.
A secretary at River Bay said that Vernon Cooper, the Riverbay Executive General Manager would return the call for comment, but hadn't respond before the publication of this article.
Co-op City is the largest co-operative housing complex in the United States, if not the world and consists of 35 high-rise buildings that house about 50,000 residents. Co-op City opened in 1968.
Posted by Bronx News at 6:42 AM
Monday, May 19, 2014
Yanks-Pirates Split Doubleheader
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 19- For the first time in a decade, a single-admission doubleheader was played in the Bronx. The last time Yankee fans in the Bronx could see two games in one day for the price of one was on September 29, 2004. A very large crowd of 46,858 took advantage of the fine weather to flock to Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Yanks continued their domination over the Pirates in the Bronx with a 4-3 win in game one of the twin-bill. The victory raised the Yankee mark to 8-0 in their inter league games played in the Bronx.
A first inning solo homer by Pirate second sacker Neil Walker was answered by three Yankee runs in the bottom of the inning. The first five Yankee batters reached base successfully. Brett Gardner walked. Derek Jeter followed with a single. Jacoby Ellsbury was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Mark Teixeira drove in two runs with a single, which increased his hitting streak to eight straight games. The third run was knocked in by Brian McCann who singled.
In the second, a single by Kelly Johnson, augmented by a stolen base and a throwing error by the Pirate catcher brought him to third. He was driven across the plate by Gardner’s double.
After the contest, Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda explained the benefit of the early scoring of his teammates, “They gave me an early lead in the game [and] I was more aggressive.”
Fortunately for the Yanks, the four runs were sufficient for the win as the team’s sole offense after the second inning was a single by Zoilo Almonte in the fourth. He was the only one of the last 20 Yankee batters to reach base and he was picked off first.
Kuroda earned his first winning decision since April 14. He yielded three runs, five hits and two walks in his six innings on the mound.
Yankee relievers, Matt Daley, Matt Thornton, Adam Warren and David Robertson blanked Pittsburgh in the final three innings. Robertson earned his eighth save of the year by retiring the last four Pirate batters, three by strikeout.
The two day, three-game visit to the Bronx was a home coming for Pedro Alvarez, the Pirate third baseman. Alvarez, a native of the Dominican Republic, lived in the area as a teenager and attended an academically prestigious school in the Bronx, Horace Mann, before enrolling at Vanderbilt University. In the stands supporting the Pirate clean-up batter in his first MLB games at Yankee Stadium were his parents, sister and other relatives and friends.
Alvarez’s single in the fourth gave him a hit in 18 of his last 20 interleague games.
Thirty minutes after the first game concluded, the second began.
The rare opportunity to be in a ballpark for seven hours may be more difficult for some than they would have realized. The length of time affected both the crowd in the stands and the players on the field.
The vast majority of the crowd left the park early. The starting lineup for each team in each game was quite different. The sloppiness was more apparent than usual. Each team committed two errors in the second inning, which allowed runners to score. Two base runners were thrown out trying to stretch and a runner was picked off base.
Each starter, Vidal Nuno for the Yankees and Garrit Cole for the Pirates, pitched effectively for six innings. Interestingly, Cole was originally drafted by the Yankees, but did not sign so he could attend college.
In the seventh, Yankee reliever Alfredo Aceves gave up a home run to Josh Harrison, the first batter he faced. The homer broke a 3-3 tie to give Pittsburgh the lead and eventually the win. The Pirates scored an additional run, but the Yankees did not.
The 5-3 win by the Pirates ended the Yankee Stadium winning streak over Pittsburgh in the Bronx.
Posted by Bronx News at 10:18 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Five Yankee Home Runs Produce a 7-1 Victory over the Pirates
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 18- Not since October 10, 1960, in the fifth game of that ill-fated World Series for New York have the Pittsburgh Pirates won a game at Yankee Stadium. The two teams have not again met in the World Series, but have competed against one another in interleague play.
The Yanks won all three games in the Bronx in 2005. The Pirates lost all three meetings at Yankee Stadium again in 2007. The Pirates returned to the Bronx this weekend and played at the new Stadium for the first time on Saturday afternoon. The 7-1 win by the Yankees was the seventh loss in a row by the Pirates in the Bronx.
The difference was the home run ball. All seven Yankee runs were scored via the home run and the Pirates only run also came by a four bagger. It was the first game in more than one year, April 29, 2013, that five different Yankee players hit home runs in the same game.
The Yankee offense began in the first frame as Derek Jeter singled to center with one out. The base hit was #3,350 for the Yankee captain. He now needs only 70 to pass Carl Yastrzemski for 7th place in MLB career rankings. The next batter, Mark Teixeira knocked in the first two runs of the game with his ninth homer of the season. It was the eighth in the last 17 games for the hot hitter. After the game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi happily remarked, “It’s great having him back.”
Two innings later, Zoilo Almonte became the first of three Yankee batters to lead-off an inning with a home run. In his second game and second at bat of the year, the native of the Dominican Republic hit the first pitch he saw into the stands in right.
Brett Gardner began the Yankee sixth with his third homer of 2014. Alfonso Soriano led-off the seventh with a home run on a 1-1 pitch.
In the final go-around at the plate for the Yankees in the eighth, catcher Brian McCann hit a two-out homer with Gardner on base by a walk.
After the game, Teixeira, who started the home run attack, commented, “It’s good to see us break out today."
Girardi explained a baseball truism to reporters, so they could better understand the success of the team at home, “Our team is built for this park. You know you’re going to play 81 games here.”
The lead-off home run by Sterling Marte off reliever Dellin Betances in the sixth is the only run given up by Yankee pitchers in the last 27 innings.
With three of the Yankees five starting pitchers on the disabled list, Nova, Pineda and Sabathia, David Phelps was assigned his third start of the season, all in May. Phelps had a strange start but earned the win. In the first three innings, he didn’t surrender a hit, but walked three and hit a batsman. He gave up three hits in the fourth and two in the fifth, but no one crossed the plate.
The righty spoke about his performance. “It’s a really weird game when you throw 100 pitches in five innings and don’t give up a run. Mac [catcher Brian McCann] did a great job today keeping me in his glove.”
Girardi spoke more positively of the starter, “He made pitches when he had to. Our defense played pretty well behind him. We got him up to 100 pitches [his longest outing of the season]. We know he’ll continue to improve.”
The Yankees and Pirates will play a doubleheader on Sunday, starting at 1 pm. It is the first single admission doubleheader to be played at Yankee Stadium since September 29, 2004.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Hero or Vigilante?
Man Charged with Gunning Down Carjackers
Man Charged with Gunning Down Carjackers
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 16- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced that a Grand Jury has indicted defendant Jeffrey Pierre in the shooting deaths of two men May 9th, 2014 at 4:35 AM, on Rombouts Avenue in the Bronx.
Pierre, age 33, is alleged to have shot to death Kaiison Lewis, 23 and Jermaine Johnson, 28.
It is alleged that Pierre was in his 1998 Mercedes-Benz outside 3805 Dyre Avenue, waiting to get food, when Lewis and Johnson got into the car as well. The men then exited Pierre’s vehicle, running a block-and-a-half and getting in to Johnson’s car, a 2002 Acura, which was parked in front of 3730 Rombouts Avenue.
Pierre is accused of following them to that location, where he allegedly opened fire, killing both men. Thirteen shots were fired from a 40-caliber semi-automatic weapon at the two victims. Police say Pierre fled the scene and was apprehended a few minutes later on Dyre Avenue after throwing the gun on the ground. That 40-caliber firearm was recovered. During the investigation, a 9-mm semi-automatic weapon was also recovered on the ground lying next to Johnson’s vehicle.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Assistant District Attorney Paul Rosenfeld.
Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Another Violent Week Across the Borough: Another Violent Week Across the Borough By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 16- The mild temperatures have continued with the string of ...
Another Violent Week Across the Borough
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 16- The mild temperatures have continued with the string of violent incidents this past week that have left at least five people dead and 11 wounded, after nearly a half dozen incidents across the borough.
At 11 p.m. on May 8, the body of a man was discovered by police on the roof of the Gun Hill Houses at 711 Magenta Street. Police say he had been shot in the head and back.
Detectives would later release photos of several tattoos on the man's arms and hand in hopes that someone would recognize the still-unidentified victim. described as a white male between 20 and 30 years-old.
Police were called to reports of shots fired at 4:42 a.m., on May 9, when they discovered two men who were shot and mortally wounded on Rombouts Avenue in the Eastchester section.
In what was being described as a carjacking gone wrong, police discovered Mount Vernon residents Jermaine Johnson, 28, and Kaiison Lewis, 23, both been shot multiple times. Johnson died at the scene and Lewis died a short time later at Jacobi Hospital.
Police have charged Jeffrey Pierre, 33, in the crime.
On May 11, officers in the 43rd Precinct were called at 4:45 a.m. to the intersection of Castle Hill Avenue and Gleason Avenue in the Parkchester section.
The 22-year old male victim was shot in the head and chest and died at Jacobi Hospital. A second victim was also shot, but was expected to survive.
Police in the 47th Precinct were called to 768 East 215 Street in Williamsbridge at 9:30 p.m. on May 11 and discovered Quashawn Thomas, 19, had been shot in the head.
Thomas was rushed to Montefiore Hospital North where he died a short time later. Police reported they continue to hunt for this assailant.
Rookie Shutout Mets for Second Straight Night
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 16- The final game of 2014 Subway Series was the first game in the majors for each of the starting pitchers. It is a rare game in which both starters are debuting in MLB. The most recent time it happened was on September 7, 2010 when Dillon Gee, who was scheduled to start Thursday for the Mets, faced Yunesky Maya of the Washington Nationals.
Chase Whitley, an Alabama native, 24 years of age, was given the ball for the Yankees. Whitley was drafted by the Yanks in the 15th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft while he was a student at Troy University.
Until this season his time was primarily spent in the bullpen. He started only eight of his first 144 minor league games. In 2014, the righty started in six of his seven appearances with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He compiled a record of 3-2 with an ERA of 2.39.
Jacob deGrom, 25, the starter for the Mets, was drafted by them in the 9th round of the same draft as Whitley. The Floridian was attending Stetson University when drafted. Unlike his counterpart on the Yanks, deGrom started each of his minor league games. His record with Triple A Las Vegas was 4-0 with a 2.58 ERA.
Of his rise to the majors, deGrom commented, “I was surprised when they called me. I was thinking it would be a little later, but I’m really glad it happened now.”
Both starters pitched as if they were experienced, veteran players in front of a small crowd rather than major league neophytes pitching in front of a crowd in excess of 40,000 during the Subway Series.
Whitley pitched 4.2 innings, yielding only two hits and two walks while blanking the Mets. Girardi explained he was lifted because, “We felt he started to tire.”
Other than that, both managers were extremely impressed, Girardi enthused, “His performance was spectacular. He was able to control his emotions. He continued to throw strikes.”
The opinion of Mets skipper Terry Collins was quite similar, “He executed his pitches. He was very impressive.”
Although deGrom suffered the loss his outstanding performance on the mound did not earn it for him. He hurled seven innings, giving up only four hits and two walks but also the only run of the game.
The run came in his final inning as Mark Teixeira drew a walk and scored on a double by Alfonso Soriano.”
DeGrom also earned the praise of both managers. Collins remarked, “Tremendous command of his stuff. As the game went on, he got better. [He] kept us right there.” Girardi was in agreement, “I thought his change-up was excellent. He seemed to relax a little bit. He did the little things i.e. batting, fielding, that helped.”
Interestingly, both starters got base hits. The hit by deGrom was the first for a Mets pitcher this season.
After the contest, deGrom explained his feelings, “In the first, I was nervous. It was awesome facing those guys. I watched Jeter when I was growing up. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to face. It’s a feeling I’ll never have again.”
A native New Yorker, Dellin Betances, did the most impressive pitching in the contest. In 2.1 innings of relief, Betances gave up no hits and fanned six of the seven batters he faced. Girardi opined, “He continues to grow in front of us.”
The 2014 Subway Series has now concluded.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Bronx Veterans Honored
The Monroe college Student Veterans Association (SVA) participated in the official breakfast honoring Bronx veterans. Along with Allen "Chief" Hansen, CPO/ EOD, USN (Ret), who is the Director of Monroe's Veteran's Services and a member of the Borough President's Veterans Advisory Council, 10 Monroe students who have served in the military attended.
"This is a great event for our students to see that the Borough President and the people of the Bronx appreciate their service," Chief Hansen said. "Also, it's educational because they meet people who fought in earlier wars and get a greater understanding of who they are in the long line of American servicemen and women. It's definitely something they learn and benefit from."
Pitcher Shuts Down Mets,
Gives Yankees Hope
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 15- Masahiro Tanaka is now the stopper for the New York Yankees. The Mets were first hand observers and will not say anything different after the right-hander shutthem out at Citi Field Wednesday evening. And there should be no doubt about the stopper role because that is what the Yankees needed to end a four-game losing streak.
He was also what the Yankees needed to stop a six-game losing streak against the Mets dating back to last season. And with CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda, three quarters of the Yankees’ starting rotation on the disabled list this is what manager Joe Girardi was looking for.
“We needed a win,” Girardi said. “After losing a couple of tough games at home he got better as the night went on. He’s been special. The young kid throws good… he has a lot of weapons and knows how to handle the baseball.”
Though Girardi did admit, Tanaka will be managed differently because of the injuries. In other words, despite getting the first complete game shutout of his Major League career, Tanaka who threw 114 pitches, will be protected from going the route. Girardi knows he does not need his best to also go down with an injury.
But, Tanaka was purchased by the Yankees to pitch like every other starter. Go deep into games and get the win, providing there was enough run support. The Mets showed a resurgence of power and run production, in two games at Yankee Stadium this week, but they came home to Citi Field and again their bats went quiet.
And it was attributed to Tanaka who became the first Yankees rookie pitcher to begin the season at 6-0. At this rate, and there is every expectation he will continue to be dominant, Tanaka is a cinch to win the AL Rookie of the year or AL CY Young Award.
However, there is a long way to go before Tanaka is considered for those prestigious post season awards. The Yankees are more inclined for Tanaka to keep pitching well, and to be the one who can keep the ship afloat as their ailing pitching staff gets back to health.
Here is how dominating Tanaka was: He threw 28 splitters where the Mets hit into eight outs and managed only one base runner. Eric Young Jr. hit a double in the sixth inning, one of their four hits and that was the only other time they had a runner reach second.
He had the Mets swinging and missing. He had them confused at the plate, just as he has done in seven previous starts against American League opponents. So, by now, not even teams in the National League can figure a way to hit that splitter.
"I knew what was coming, but I couldn't hit it," the Mets’ Daniel Murphy said. "He's commanding all his pitches to all zones. The splitter is the equalizer. You don't see it that much, someone using it in any count like that.”
Tanaka said, through his Japanese translator, "I just go up there and basically try to win every single game.” At this rate, and the way the Yankees have been scoring runs, they would love to see Tanaka on the mound every game.
The spotlight of pitching in this inter-league Subway Series game, and opposing the debut of Mets rookie pitcher Rafael Montero, did not cause a distraction. He gets on the mound and gets the job done, as has been the situation since his debut on the mound at Yankee Stadium last month.
He became another storyline in what has become an interesting three games between the Yankees and Mets….
As for the Mets, who will debut rookie Jacob deGrom in the series finale Thursday night, manager Terry Collins praised Tanaka. deGrom is one of those young promising arms getting an early season look, like Montero early in the season, and needed with Dillon Gee on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right lar.
Collins also saw the difference again of long balls that went for outs at Citi Field. Six home runs hit by the Mets in two games at Yankee Stadium will make a manager see things differently.
He said, "You asked me about the home run barrage? We hit three of them tonight. They were just in the wrong park.”
The night belonged to Tanaka and the Yankees. And the Mets may have come to a decision and anointed Jennry Mejia as their closer when Kyle Farnsworth was outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas. Though Farnsworth has a right to refuse the assignment and could be with another team.
To that, a frustrated and disappointed Farnsworth had his say in the matter. He said there was anger and disappointment in the decision to let him go. And for the Mets, who appeared to have Farnsworth in the closer role, it was another way to get the bullpen up to par. Farnsworth was not the answer, neither is Jose Valverde who could also be out the door.
But the Yankees have a different situation. They have a stopper in Masahiro Tanaka.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Little Italy Celebrates Cinco de Mayo
(Photos by David Greene)
Several thousand Bronxites turned out for the 10th Annual Cinco De Mayo Festival in Belmont, held this year on Saturday, May 3 along Crescent Avenue. Children enjoyed a free air-ride, games, contests and face painting. Dozens of vendors sold all kinds of Mexican delicacies. A live Marina chi band performed and X 96.3 FM aired the event live. The event is a collaboration between the office of the Bronx Borough President's office and the Mexican-American community. The event was founded in 2005 by El Grupo Unidos.
Jenny Wants Kids to Walk Around the Block
JLo Fights Obesity in the Bronx
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 14- Montefiore Medical Center announced a new partnership with the Lopez Family Foundation and the establishment of the Center for a Healthy Childhood.
Designed to promote healthy living through community health programming and messages and a healthy environment, the new initiative builds upon Montefiore’s activities throughout its health system and the community-at-large and Jennifer Lopez’s long-standing commitment to improving the health and well-being of women and children.
“My roots are in the Bronx. It was natural to join forces with Montefiore, an organization that has cared for and served the Bronx for more than 100 years,” said Jennifer Lopez. “Our foundation has done amazing work improving the health and well-being of children around the world and now we’re looking forward to expanding the efforts underway in the borough where I grew up.”
The need in the Bronx is real. Of 62 counties in New York State, the Bronx is ranked last in overall health outcomes. The Bronx also continues to be the epicenter of high rates of obesity, diabetes, asthma and teen pregnancy.
“We are so pleased to work with Jennifer and her Foundation to impact real change for people living in the Bronx and the surrounding region,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO, Montefiore. “Our partnership is unique and our goals are large, but we are committed to expanding our efforts and continuing to reach patients and their families, children and young adults in school and community members in an impactful way.”
The Lopez Family Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children. The organization advocates and invests in policies and programs that make a positive, measurable impact on communities. It strives to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of families around the world.
“We consider it a great honor to bring our efforts to the community in which we grew up and continue to love,” said Lynda Lopez. “Through this partnership, we know we can make a big difference to improve the health and well-being of families in the Bronx – and that brings us great joy.”
For more information about Montefiore and its commitment to the community, visit www.montefiore.org/community.
Mets once again made Yankee Stadium their home
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 14- The Mets bid a farewell to Yankee Stadium this season. And perhaps they would want to play in the Bronx more after another two-game series sweep over the Yankees. That’s four straight wins in the Bronx dating back to last season and now six straight over their cross-town rivals.
In all probability, the two teams won’t meet again in October, but for some reason, Yankee Stadium has a way of making a hitter look better. What looked like a dismal offense the past two weeks has become a distant memory and after their 12-7 win Tuesday night, you wonder if Manager Terry Collins would prefer the next two games to be played in the Bronx and not at Citi Field.
“A lot has to do with the ballpark,” commented Collins. “Guys get a descent pitch they know they can drive. For sure we have swung the bats better here.” His team scored a season high 12-runs Tuesday night and in the two games hit six home runs.
They don’t get that type of offense at Citi Field where the dimensions are different. Curtis Granderson knows. He spent enough time at Yankee Stadium, and hit 64 home runs when he wore pinstripes at the new Yankee Stadium. Add two more with long balls in the first two games of this home-and-home series.
But, Citi Field is different. Granderson can’t hit the home run to right, or over the fence in any of the other power alleys. Though the more viable explanation about Granderson is, he is not the same hitter that once was.
And 21- runs in two games for the Mets, well that was a rarity until they came to the Bronx. A lot may be attributed to the decimated Yankees pitching rotation that has manager Joe Girardi doing some patch work with three front line starters on the disabled list.
“We have to stay in rotation,” said Girardi. “These are the people we have.” Vidal Nuno got roughed up in 3 1/3 innings and it was not pretty. The night before, Hideki Kuroda allowed four runs in six innings. When the series shifts to Citi Field Wednesday night, the 5-0, Masahiro Tanaka gives some hope for the Yankees to get a win.
Oh, then there is the Thursday night series finale. The Yankees will have Chase Whitley on the mound making his major league debut.
There are concerns for the Yankees, but the Mets want to take this momentum to Citi Field. The Mets believe this is psychological and the same production coming in the Bronx can continue in their home ballpark.
“When you play here you know you can score,” said Granderson who hit his fifth home run with two on that put the Mets in front 4-0 in the first inning. “Now we have to take that to our place.”
But, Granderson and the Mets have been trying to figure it out for the first six weeks of this season. They have been trying to figure a solution to the power outage at the plate since their new ballpark opened five years ago and they know Citi Field is not Yankee Stadium.
One media member in the Mets clubhouse commented, “The architects got it wrong” when it came to the construction of Citi Field. Of course they did, because Citi Field is not a hitter’s park, though opposing hitters have never seemed to complain when they bang out hits and the home runs, again maybe attributed to a psychological issue with the Mets over the years.
Whatever it is, this Mets team comes home Wednesday evening with a psychological advantage over the Yankees. Quickly, the mighty Yankees are not as invincible as they once were.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Bronx News (Bxnews.net): Grandy Man Breaks Yank Fans Hearts: Grandy Man Breaks Yank Fans Hearts Mets Score First Blood in Subway Series By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 13- Last time we saw thes...
Grandy Man Breaks Yank Fans Hearts
Mets Score First Blood in Subway Series
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 13- Last time we saw these two teams playing each other, the Yankees lost a heart breaker to the Mets at Citi Field. It was mid-May, Mariano Rivera blew the save and the Mets swept the four-game home-and-home series with a walk-off win. It is the Subway Series and that is enough said.
With one-out and a runner on, in the ninth inning of a 9-7 game, Monday night at Yankee Stadium, Brian McCann ended the game with a double play. Lucas Duda got the sharp ball at first base and made the diving stop. The ensuing over-shift got the Ball to David Wright near the left side.
The throw went back to Duda. And the Mets got the first draw in this Subway Series of 2014, the first of two in the Bronx, and two more Wednesday and Thursday night at Citi Field in Flushing. For Mets fans, they feel dominant because their team has won the last five games dating back to that rare blunder by Rivera
But, there is no more Mariano to save the Yankees. And this is the last time Derek Jeter will be a part of this inter-league series, that is, unless these two teams meet in October. And with the Mets still rebuilding and with many holes to fill, and the Yankees, at a mediocre stage, chances are after Thursday night, Jeter plays his last game against the Mets.
There are those who say, this cross-town series has lost something and it is questioned about four-games on the schedule at a juncture in the season when the Yankees and Mets are still trying to find themselves. The series once the headline is now lost to playoff basketball and hockey that are part of the New York City landscape this May.
But, 46,517 fans at Yankee Stadium will tell you: This series is still meaningful and for baseball supremacy in the Big Apple.
“It was good to come back and get the victory,” said Curtis Granderson. “It’s cool not too many get to do this from the other side,” he said.
The struggling Granderson, with a .194 average, loved to hit the home run at Yankee Stadium when he played in pinstripes. He became one of five more players this season who have played on both parts of town.
Granderson used Yankee Stadium to his advantage again driving the ball to right off Hiroki Kuroada in the sixth inning. The two-run shot was the first Granderson has hit in his career off a 3-0 count and tied the game 4-4. Just like Brett Gardner who hit a grand slam home run in the second inning that gave the Yankees an early 4-1 advantage.
The Mets would hit four home runs, so Yankee Stadium is definitely a place to get the home run ball going again. Travis d’Arnaud had a solo shot off Kuroda in the third, Eric Young Jr. got the Mets closer in the seventh with a home run to right, his first, and Chris Young also hit a two-run blast to left in the eighth that ended the scoring.
That power displayed by his team prompted manager Terry Collins to say about the different dimensions of Citi Field to Yankee Stadium “Part of being here. The Chris Young ball is not high enough to get out of our place, I don’t think. This atmosphere creates intensity and it creates focus.”
As things always go in this series, the Granderson return to the Bronx drew some attention. Of course, a contingent of Mets fans from the group “The 7-Line” in a left field second deck gave their loud approval after his home run. It started a buzz again for this Sunway Series in the Bronx.
“Weird coming out the other side…. Especially for this series,” commented Granderson who got his share of boos from the Yankees fans. Recall, Granderson, when signed by the Mets in December said, “True New Yorkers are Mets fans.”
Truth is, the Yankees have owned New York. Mets fans know that and this was just another of the many storylines in this first game. The Mets probably won’t have the town back until they win another championship and the Yankees show a decline.
Ruben Tejada has been trying to prove he is the player at shortstop for the Mets. His play at shortstop in the third inning, on a ball hit to his right sent him to the dirt. His throw was strong and good enough to Get Alfonso Soriano. “Got the ball to the right, it was a long throw to first,” said Tejada who has played in these games that are intense.
“Part of the game the play, not the series,” he said emphasizing more that he wants that job at shortstop. Collins could insert Tejada back in the spot Tuesday night. The rookie, Wilmer Flores is feeling better but after a play like that, Tejada may be more experienced to handle the Yankees in the Bronx.
So what else happened Monday night in the Bronx? Both bullpens could not hold the lead, though the Mets unveiled their potential new closer. Jenrry Mejia spoke to Collins earlier in the day and went with the plan. He came out of the pen and recorded 1.1 scoreless innings, his first relief outing since September of 2012 against the Pirates.
“In this ballpark the game is never over,” said David Wright who made good contact and almost added to the Mets home run parade. “There’s no lead that is safe here.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows that he and his team is battling another injury hex. Three starters in the pitching rotation are injured, as are some position players. Mark Teixeira needed a night off and Soriano got banged up a bit Sunday in Milwaukee. Carlos Beltran left the game in what was described as an injured elbow that was sustained taking some swings in a cage in between bats, and ichiro Suzuki has a bad back.
That goes along with not knowing who will start Thursday night in the series finale at Citi Field because Girardi used Alfredo Aceves in relief. His pen is also taxed and Giardi said, “I was going to use Robertson (David) for a four-out save.”
But it never came down to Robertson, who now inherits the closer role from Mariano Rivera in this Subway Series. Collins and the Mets may have the advantage because relief is on the way. The young arms, so highly touted, begin to arrive. Rafael Montero will get the start Wednesday night at Citi Field against the 5-0 Masahiro Tanaka.
And, with Mejia as the probable new closer, though Collins would not commit, the other young arm coming from Las Vegas, Jacob deGrom arrives Tuesday night that changes the complexion of a Mets bullpen that has been less than efficient. The days may be over for Kyle Farnsworth who survived because of that game ending double-play and for Jose Valverde.
Just a part of the spotlight and intensity of a Subway series that is still interesting no matter when it is played. And as always, Jeter did his part with a three-hit game against the Mets.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso www.newyorksportsexaminer.com
Photos by Ken Carozza