Monday, August 6, 2012

Bravest Beat Finest in Tennis Tourney

BRONX, NEW YORK, August 6- The burning ambition of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) carried them to victory over the New York City Police Department (NYPD) — defending champions of the last six year’s EmblemHealth Bronx Open. All eyes watched the much anticipated rematch at the seventh annual battle of the badges, which took place on the tennis courts of Crotona Park, the Bronx, on Saturday, August 4th.
The FDNY vs. NYPD tournament was free and served as the kick-off to the EmblemHealth Bronx Open, a USTA Pro Circuit event, which runs from August 5 - 12 at Crotona Park. This is the 20th year of the tournament operated by New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL), which provides after school and summer tennis and educational programs for more than 75,000 New York City youth.
In addition to being the finest and bravest on the New York City streets, the police and fire departments also boast a number of outstanding tennis players who look forward to this annual competition.
The tournament took place on Saturday morning prior to the start of the EmblemHealth Bronx Open qualifying event. EmblemHealth made a contribution of $2,500 to both the FDNY and NYPD education scholarship funds, and the winning team was awarded a trophy.  Each player received a miniature trophy.
The NYPD Color Guard and the FDNY Bagpipers performed at the official opening ceremony of the tournament at 10 am.
The EmblemHealth Bronx Open features 32 of the top women players in the world. Players vie for the $50,000 in prize money in singles and doubles at the final USTA Pro Circuit Event prior to the US Open. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL).
"It’s great to help make professional tennis available to community residents, especially young people, while supporting an event that benefits the NYJTL,” commented Frank J. Branchini, President and Chief Operating Officer, EmblemHealth. “We’re also pleased to support education funds that assist the FDNY and NYPD and their families.”
The EmblemHealth Bronx Open is played on the same hard court surface as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open.
General admission is free Sunday, August 5 through Saturday, August 11. General Admission tickets for the Women’s Final on Sunday, August 12 are $10, and box seats are $25.  Admission is free daily for all children 12 and under. 
NYJTL provides FREE tennis lessons daily from 5 - 7 pm for children 6 to 18 years of age. Refreshments will be sold on-site, and there is free supervised parking.
For more information on the week-long tournament, visit
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Soccer Returns to Bronx

(Photos by NY Yankees)

Immediately after the conclusion of Sunday’s 6-2 Yankees win over the Mariners, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew began transforming the field for the soccer match taking place on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m between Real Madrid and A.C. Milan at Yankee Stadium.

A limited number of tickets for the match are still on sale at For information updates regarding soccer or other non-baseball events at Yankee Stadium, please follow @yankeesevents and @yankeespr on Twitter.

The match on Wednesday represents a meeting of the two most successful teams in European Cup history, as Real Madrid has won the cup on nine occasions (1956-60, ‘66, ’98, 2000, ’02) while A.C. Milan has been crowned champion of Europe seven times (1963, ’69, ’89, ‘90, ’94, 2003, ’07).

Earlier this summer on July 22, the 2012 European champion, Chelsea FC, and French Ligue 1 favorites Paris Saint-Germain played to a 1-1 tie in front of 38,202 fans in the first-ever soccer match at the current Yankee Stadium.

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Yanks Rub Out Mariners

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 6- The Yankees captured the rubber game of the weekend series over Seattle with a 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon. It was the eighth time in the last 10 occasions that the Yankees successfully rebounded from a shutout loss with a victory.
Unlike the previous day’s contest, the game on Sunday hardly featured a pitching masterpiece. Both starters pitched five innings. Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwamura gave up four runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batsman. The Yankees scored a single run in four of his five innings on the mound.
The run in the fifth was scored on a solo home run by Raúl Ibañez, the homer was his 14th of 2012 and the major league leading 168th for the Yanks. The team is currently on pace to shatter its single season mark of 244, set in 2009.
In the following frame, Ibañez came to bat with two out and the bases loaded. The veteran drove in two runners with a single.
In addition to Ibañez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Chris Stewart each twice hit successfully.
Jeter raised his career hit total to 3,228, 24 hits below Napoleon Lajoie. He scored his 1,830th run in the first, which tied him with Frank Robinson for 14th place.
Cano has hit safely in 33 of his last 27 games. He and Jeter began the game with identical team leading batting averages of 
Suzuki’s double in the seventh raised his consecutive game hitting streak to 12. He also tied Don Slaught for the longest hitting streak at the start of a Yankee career. It also is the longest Yankees hitting streak in which a player had exactly one hit in each game.
Freddy Garcia pitched the requisite five innings to qualify for the win. The victory ended his three-game losing streak. The 35-year-old hurler recorded his 150th career win, a high for pitchers born in Venezuela. Garcia ranks 12th in wins for all pitchers who were born in Latin America. 
Of the accomplishment, Joe Girardi remarked, “It just goes to show how consistent he’s been.”
Garcia gave up five hits and two runs I his five frames. Girardi was quite pleased, “Freddy’s going to give you everything he’s got every time he goes out. That’s just what Freddy does. He keeps us in every game.”
The bullpen easily carried the remaining four innings, allowing only one baserunner in four innings.
The Yanks now embark on a seven game road trip, four games in Detroit and then three in Toronto. Girardi looked forward with hope, “We won a series leaving. Hopefully, this will get us on a good streak.”

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bronx News ( Supreme Yankee Fan

Bronx News ( Supreme Yankee Fan: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Roots for her Favorite Team at Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, August 5- A very ...

Supreme Yankee Fan

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Roots for her Favorite Team at Yankee Stadium
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 5- A very large mid-week matinee crowd of 44,593 were at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday and saw a one-sided 11-3 Yankee victory over the Baltimore Orioles. One of the dedicated Yankees aficionados in the ballpark was Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
The distinguished jurist returned to her place of birth to witness an event she loves, a Yankees game. The Bronx native of Puerto Rican ancestry has been a baseball, specifically New York Yankees, fan since her childhood. Her father, Juan, hails from Santurce and her mother, Celina, is from Lajas, in Southeast Puerto Rico. The youngster lived in the Bronxdale Houses in Soundview and later in Co-op City as a youngster. She attended Cardinal Spellman High School in the borough and later graduated with honors from Princeton University, the NYU School of Law and Columbia University Law School.
Interestingly, in a time of bitter partisanship between the major political parties in the United States, Sotomayor’s credentials led to her being appointed to the bench by presidents from both parties. She was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by George H. W. Bush in 1991. Six years later, Bill Clinton selected her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She reached the height of her profession in 2009 when Barack Obama nominated her to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Her visit on Wednesday was neither her first time in the current Yankee Stadium nor her first time at a Yankees game. Sotomayor threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Yankees game on September 26, 2009 and she spoke humbly and emotionally as the graduation speaker at the NYU Commencement in May of 2012. On Wednesday, her presence was not political nor to gain attention. She wanted to watch and root for her favorite sports team.
In an informal meeting with reporters during the game, she stated, “Having sat in the old stadium bleachers anonymously, there is quite a chord that gets touched when you come back on a day like today and people are screaming out ‘Justice’ or ‘Sonia’ and it brings a little bit of a tear to my eye.”
Of her feeling at being in Yankee Stadium, she emotionally stated, “The spirit of the Yankees is still in the house. It’s very moving to me and important to me that the comfort they gave me most of my life-watching [them] win-continues.”
Before the game began, she joined the “bleacher creatures” in the roll call of the Yankees starters. Of the group of fans she sat with, she remarked, “I pay homage to the bleacher creatures; they are the greatest fans…To sit in sweltering heat when the sun is blazing, to sit out there in the rain, to sit out there on days when we’re losing and not to take it out on the players takes heart…I felt proud to be out there with them”
When asked why she came to the game, she replied, “I went to watch the Yankees play the [Washington] Nationals in Washington, DC and they won and [Media Relations Director] Jason [Zilo] asked me to come and sit in the bleachers.”
She spoke of her greatest Yankee memory, “The Bucky Dent home run against Boston. I was in law school and made a bet with my best friends.”
Asked if she was the only Yankees fan on the Supreme Court, she responded, “Justice [Anton] Scalia is fond of reminding me that he was the first Yankees fan on the Court…I keep telling him the only difference is that I was born in the Bronx and he wasn’t.’” Although the two justices are divided on judicial principles and philosophy, the two are united in support of the Yankees.
Her tribute to the fans of her favorite club is as follows, “We have the best fans in the world; they are so knowledgeable.” 
In 1995, a Sotomayor ruling had a very important impact upon the sport of baseball. The baseball strike of 232 days ended after she issued an injunction that prohibited MLB from unilaterally implementing a new collective bargaining agreement using replacement players.
She still remains loyal to the sport of baseball, to her favorite team, the Yankees, and to her birthplace, the Bronx.
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King of New York

King Felix Conquers Yanks; Seattle Wins, 1-0
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 5- Yankee Stadium---Each of Saturday afternoon’s two starting pitchers, Hiroki Kuroda and Felix Hernandez, began the game as winners of his last five decisions. Thus, many of the 47,067 in attendance expected to see a competitive pitching duel.
Those who wanted to see outstanding pitching were not disappointed. The four Yankees hurlers and Hernandez for the Mariners lived up to billing. Kuroda gave up only a single run in 6.1 innings on the mound. John Jaso led off the third with a double to right. With two men out, Jaso scored the only run of the game on a single by Mike Carp. 
Seattle skipper Eric Wedge commented, “That was a quality at bat.”
The three relievers, Boone Logan, David Robertson and Clay Rapada, of the Yankees kept the game close by blanking the Mariners on one hit in 2.2 innings.
The one run was sufficient to claim the victory as Hernandez, the starter for Seattle pitched a masterpiece. The native of Venezuela lived up to his moniker ‘King” by his complete mastery over Yankees batters.
The 26-year old earned his 10th win of the year by pitching his third complete game while giving up only two hits. The game on Saturday was the fifth this season in which he left the contest without yielding a run. Of that accomplishment, he stated, “It’s always special as a pitcher when you throw a shutout.”
The first of the two hits off Hernandez was a two-out double by Robinson Cano in the first. The game was the 32nd in the last 35 during which Cano hit successfully. Cano’s next home run, his 25th, will rank him as one of four second basemen who have reached the mark of 30 doubles and 25 homers in four straight seasons.
Since Cano was the only Yankee to reach second base, Joe Girardi remarked, “We had only one chance today; that’s how good he [Hernandez] was.”
The second Yankee hit was a hard grounder by Ichiro Suzuki that first baseman Mike Carp could not handle. The single increased Suzuki’s hitting streak to 11 games. He established a Yankees record of the longest hitting streak in which a batter has only one hit per game (11). He trails Don Slaught by only one game for the longest hitting streak to begin a career with the Yankees.
Hernandez walked two batters during the game. Each walk came with two out. After the game, Hernandez groused, “I hate two out walks.”
In six of the nine frames, Hernandez faced only the requisite three batters. Both managers were astounded by Hernandez.
Girardi said, “Our pitching was great, unfortunately, Felix was a little better. He was great today. He was never in a bad count.”
Wedge had even greater superlatives for his starter, “What you saw today, it doesn’t get any better. That was probably the most impressive start I’ve ever seen as a manager. It can’t be any better than that.”
Hernandez is truly a king in the current Yankee Stadium. In five starts, he is 4-1 with a miniscule ERA of 1.25.
Interestingly, for the second straight day, a native of Venezuela, Freddy Garcia (4-5) will face a native of Japan, Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2). The rubber game of the three game set with begin shortly after 1 p.m.
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Helping The Small Business Community

Riverdale Report

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, August 5- This past Thursday City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (a candidate for mayor in 2013) held a luncheon at a local North Riverdale restaurant to hear from the local small business owners about how New York City and the Council are doing to help small businesses operate and grow. 
Councilman Koppell opened the luncheon by saying that the City Council is not anti business. Current Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (a possible candidate in 2013 for Koppell's term limited seat) was on hand, and said, “It seems that this is an area where new business wants to be,” and added, “you can see that in the two new shopping centers that are being built here.” Speaker Quinn thanked both elected officials, the roomful of business owners in attendance, and Mr. Andrew Sandler of Councilman Koppell's staff for arraigning the luncheon.
The Speaker was brief in her statement, and then opened the floor up to questions from the business owners. There were many questions asked that Speaker Quinn, Councilman Koppell, or Assemblyman Dinowitz tried to answer. Questions ranged from double parking, having a centralized database, the local repaving job done by the DOT, street vendors, break ins, and the local cityscape to name a few.
In answering the questions Speaker Quinn (looking very comfortable) said that she was not going to B.S. the audience. She agreed that the city needs to centralize its database which she is trying to do, but that it can not be done in all areas due to certain laws and regulations. Councilman Koppell said that the DOT has done a miserable job in its local repaving. Quinn in answering the street vendor question said that there was a task force that was created for Manhattan street vendors which may need to come to the area. Quinn said that the DOT can come to a location to survey on how to improve the local cityscape. The final question was about credit card companies charging fees on purchases, and also charging those fees on the taxes that are being collected. There was a little confusion on just who regulates that with Speaker Quinn saying that it was a matter for the federal government which regulates the credit card companies, and that she would check further into it. You can go to my blog at for more and to see photos of the luncheon.
On the subject of the local street milling and repaving you can go to my blog to see how one street was left as the repaving was done, or should we say pushed back a day or more. It took one month from milling to the finishing of the repaving with less than 24 hour notice at times to move cars. We give the DOT a failing grade on this project as while the repaving is very good in most areas there are still places that will have to be redone. However, the way the city is going it is only a reflection of the entire Bloomberg administration slow and uncaring, something different we saw from Speaker Quinn (or was it just good campaigning).
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 or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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