Showing posts with label Bronx. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bronx. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

From Hero to Zero

From Hero to Zero
Ca$h is King #Cano gets Bronx Cheer from Fan Faithful

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 30- Robinson Cano, one of the premier players in MLB, was the center of attention at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. For the first time he made his debut with the New York Yankees in 2005, Cano dressed in the visitor’s clubhouse and wore the uniform of the visiting club, the Seattle Mariners.

Several days earlier, Cano prophesied his feelings on the day of his return, “It’s going to be weird. It’s going to feel a lot different being on the other side.” 

Cano was on the Yankee side since he signed as a non-drafted free agent at the age of 17 on January 5, 2001. Interestingly, Cano’s father, Jose, was also drafted and signed by the Yankees. After several minor league seasons, he made his big league debut on May 3, 2005.

The native of the baseball hotbed of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic compiled outstanding statistics and received many honors during his nine seasons with the Yanks. 
The five-time American League All-Star, the last four as the starting second sacker, was a winner of the Silver Slugger five times and the Gold Glove twice. 

He has been especially effective in the last five years averaging 99 runs scored, 103 runs batted in, a batting average of .314, a slugging average of .530 and an on-base percentage of .369 per season. Cano was the winner of the 2012 Home Run Derby, and was named the MVP of the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), leading his nation, the Dominican Republic to the championship with a batting average of .469.

Not surprisingly, his recent performances increased the interest by teams other than the Yankees to obtain the services of Cano for the future. To the shock of many and the disappointment and anger of Yankee rooters, Cano signed a 10-year contract worth $240 million with the Mariners on December 12, 2013. 

In a pre-game press conference in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Cano refused to be trapped by questions in English or Spanish that attempted to get him to discuss his contract negotiations or to criticize the Yankees, “I just want to move on and not talk about the past. I’m just happy to be back and see those guts again that I played with.”

Prior to the game, the new Mariner expressed hope that the New York fans would remember his nine years and react well to him “Hopefully, I’ll be treated nice by the fans.” In spite of his high hopes, he did show understanding of the psyche of partisan sports fans, “I know I’m not a Yankee anymore. I have to understand the reaction of the fans.”

Loud boos were heard after the mention of his name in the pre-game introductions. Those jeers paled in comparison to the negative reception he received when he walked to the plate for his first at bat. The booing did not cease until Cano took a third strike which was cheered. 

The Seattle second baseman struck out again in the eighth, but drove in a run in the fifth with a ground ball out. He got an infield single, stole a base and scored in the seventh. 

The game is now behind him, so hopefully the fans can concentrate on rooting for the success of their team rather than for someone’s failure.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Great Day for a Swim?

Great Day for a Swim?

(Photos by David Greene)

BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 18- About two dozen members of the Bronx Polar Bears Club gathered at Orchard Beach for their annual Valentines swim in the frigid waters of the Long Island Sound. With an air temperature of 34-degrees and a water temperature of 28-degrees, members  took the plunge for a brief swim. The Bronx Trolley was provided by the Bronx Tourism Council and ferried participants from Grand Central Station.  Hot soup and coca was provided.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fireworks Explosion

Following Fireworks Shake and Wake in Park,
Pol Calls for Stiffer Sentences for Vandals 

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- In the wake of a major fireworks explosion Monday night in the Bronx, State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein announced he will introduce legislation that would dramatically increase penalties for vandals who set-off fireworks explosions causing more than $1,000 in property damage or public panic. Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx) will sponsor the legislation in the Assembly.

“New Year’s Eve should be a time for public celebration, not panic and fear. Last night’s explosion was terrifying and has no place in any community,” Senator Klein said. “If these types of vandals think they can get away with a slap on the wrist, they’re dead wrong. I will not risk letting our young people think that this type of life-threatening vandalism is ok here or anywhere else in New York.”

Assemblyman Benedetto said, "It is important that we send a message to all who think something like this is a 'fun prank'. It is anything but. Terrifying our residents in the middle of the night is anything but fun and they should be held responsible."

Currently, an individual who illegally explodes fireworks faces a maximum of 15 days in jail. But under Sen. Klein’s proposed legislation, an individual who illegally explodes fireworks and causes $1,000 or more in property damage or public panic would face a sentence of between 1- 4 years in prison. The legislation would elevate the offense from a violation  to a Class E felony.

Community Board 10 Chairman John Marano said, "It is scary knowing that the perpetrator of this explosion can just walk the streets and get away with harming others. I applaud Senator Klein for recognizing the need to hold those that cause public panic like this accountable. The common person should never have to live in fear."

Al Carena, President of Spencer Estates Civic Association said, "In this current climate we live in, incidences like this can cause public alarm and should be addressed. The New York State Legislature should take a look and consider this bill." 

Frank W. Diefenbach, Affected Homeowner on Middletown Road said, "The perpetrator of this explosion showed no regard for our property or for the safety of local residents and animals in the area who could have been hurt or injured. I think this legislation is a wonderful idea and it’s something that needs to be done to protect homeowners like me."

Monday night’s incident, which occurred inside Pelham Bay Park at approximately 11:00 p.m., is currently under investigation by the Arson and Explosion Squad and by the 45 Precinct Detective Squad. Damage to at least three homes has been reported as a result of the explosion.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hideki Matsui Retires as a Yankee in the Bronx

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 29- The two most prestigious position players to come from Japan to the major leagues are Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki. Interestingly but not surprisingly, the two superstars came to wear the Yankees pinstripes. Suzuki and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda are integral parts of the 2013 Yankees, but an icon of the recent past, Matsui, was at the center of attention at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Matsui began his professional baseball career in his native land by signing with the Yomiuri Giants after earning great prestige as a high school player. He received numerous honors in the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) in his 10 years with the Giants. Among his awards were: three-time MVP in the Central League, Japan Games MVP, All-Star in each of his last nine seasons and an MVP in three NPB All-Star Games.

Having achieved so much in his decade in the NPB, Matsui signed a contract with the New York Yankees on December 9, 2002 to play on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Of that day, he reflected in his pre-game press conference on Sunday, “That was probably the greatest moment in my career.”

Matsui lived up to the advance build-up in his first game as a Yankee. He singled in his first MLB at bat and blasted a grand slam homer later in the contest. He and current Yankee Ichiro Suzuki, by their professionalism and exceptional talent, raised the respect for the level of Japanese baseball in the eyes of American fans.

Matsui, as a Yankee, continued to play at the same level as he had in Japan. He was an American League All-Star in his first two years, 2003 and 2004. He left Japan holding a consecutive game streak of 1,250 and played in his first 518 games with the Yankees. Only a fractured left wrist suffered in the outfield ended his streak.
The Japanese superstar concluded his seventh and final season in New York much as he began his first. He drove in six runs in the concluding sixth game of the 2009 World Series and ended his Yankee tenure as the World Series MVP.

Matsui’s final three seasons in the majors were disappointing contrasted with his success as a Yankee. On December 27, 2012, he announced his retirement as a player. A large retirement ceremony was held at the Tokyo Dome on May 5, 2013.
Matsui’s parents and brother were present at the tasteful ceremony held at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. At a pre-game press conference, the former Yankee outfielder signed a minor league contract with the Yankees. On the field, he signed his voluntary retirement papers, so he could officially end his playing career with New York. Yankee captain Derek Jeter, on behalf of the organization, presented a matted, framed 2009 #55 jersey to Matsui. The two were then joined on the field by the members of the 2013 Yankees.

The Yankee icon spoke very strongly of his years as a Yankee. “I’ve always aspired to be a New York Yankee.” His most memorable moments in pinstripes were “winning the World Series in 2009 and the ALCS in 2003.” That response was not surprising to hear from a man who also said, “All I really focused on was trying to win the World Series here. If the fans took something from that it was an honor.” Of his retirement as a Yankee, he proclaimed, “I’m so humbled and honored to retire as a Yankee. There’s nothing more fulfilling than that. I think that moment I will never forget.”

P.S.-The good feeling in Yankee Stadium generated by the presence of Matsui continued during the game between the Yanks and Rays. Matsui’s countryman, Suzuki, brought great joy to the large percentage of Japanese fans in the park by hitting successfully four times in four trips to the plate. Derek Jeter, his teammate for all seven years with the Yankees, homered on the first pitch he saw. Yet, when asked about the homer, the classy captain responded, “This is Matsui’s day. The focus should be on him. I’m happy I was able to be here for his game,” The walk-off single that won the game for the Yankees was hit by Alfonso Soriano, a teammate of Matsui in 2003, in his third game back with the Yankees.