Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bronx News ( Season Slipping Away for #Yankees?

Bronx News ( Season Slipping Away for #Yankees?: Season Slipping Away for #Yankees? Yanks Drop Fifth Straight By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 3- Unless the fortunes of the New York Y...

Season Slipping Away for #Yankees?

Season Slipping Away for #Yankees?

Yanks Drop Fifth Straight

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 3- Unless the fortunes of the New York Yankees improve rapidly, the team’s brass will be under increasing pressure to make serious roster changes through the trade route prior to July 31.

The 6-3 loss to the Rays in Thursday’s matinee, the final game of the most recent homestand, was the team’s season-high fifth straight. The last such debacle occurred in June of 2013. It was also the fifth consecutive home defeat of the Yankees, a Bronx losing streak that last took place in May 2011. The 2014 record of the Yanks dropped to 41-42, their first time below .500 since April 11, when their record was 5-6.

The Rays came back from single run deficits three times to knot the score before scoring two in the top of the fifth to assume their first lead of the contest, which they maintained.

The winning blow, a two-run homer, was delivered by Sean Rodriguez in his first game at short since July 11, 2013. The awesome blast went more than 440 feet, Rays manager Joe Maddon commented, “How about Sean’s homer? That could have been out of the old stadium.” 

Rodriguez explained the home run was not his goal, “I was just trying to hit it hard. I just wanted to find a way to contribute to help us win.”

Although Rodriguez is only batting .215, 15 of his 26 hits have been for extra bases, a percentage second in the majors. He remarked with a degree of surprise, “It [power hitting] has become a bigger part of my game than people thought despite my record in the minors
Pitching was again part of the Tampa victory. Rookie Jake Odorizzi, the Tampa starter went 5.2 innings, yielding three runs, eight hits and one walk. Two of the hits were solo home runs, Brett Gardner in the first and Brian McCann in the third.

The winning pitcher fanned only four Yankees, but said, “I have the ability to throw strikes.” This was no understatement as Odorizzi’s mark for strikeouts per nine innings (10.56) is currently the fourth highest in major league history for a rookie pitcher.

The Tampa bullpen kept the Yankees scoreless with only two hits in 3.1 innings. After the game ther Tampa skipper stated, “They [relievers] all looked really good. [They’re] getting their confidence.”

The Rays, at the half-way point of the 2014 season, are moving in the opposite direction of the Yankees. Their win was a season-high fifth straight. The surging Rays have now won seven of their last eight games.

Manager Maddon explained, “We’re getting a different bus driver on a daily basis, that’s what we’re built for.” To continue winning in the future, he said, “We’ve been waiting for things to happen. We have to make things happen.”

The winning pitcher explained their recent success thusly, “Our pitching, our hitting, and our defense are all coming together at the same time.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bronx News ( Get Out of Jail Free Card for Sea Crook?

Bronx News ( Get Out of Jail Free Card for Sea Crook?: Get Out of Jail Free Card for Sea Crook? Disgraced Council #Seabrook may get out of Jail early By Michael Horowitz BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY ...

Get Out of Jail Free Card for Sea Crook?

Get Out of Jail Free Card for Sea Crook?
Disgraced Council #Seabrook may get out of Jail early

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 2- Former City Councilman Larry Seabrook, who is in the midst of serving a five-year jail sentence, could be a free man much sooner than most of his former constituents thought he would.

That’s because the U. S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has sent the former Councilman’s case back to Manhattan Federal Court over what many lay people would view as a legal technicality.

The appeals court, after a review of the facts in the case, has the power to order a third trial of the former Bronx lawmaker.

The judges in the Court of Appeals have sent the case back to the Manhattan Federal Court in response to the former lawmaker’s claim that he was denied his right to a public trial because three of his supporters were excluded from the courtroom during the jury selection.

The appeals court found that Seabrook’s appeal had merit based on the law. However, the court determined that it needed additional information on the exact circumstances relating to the jury selection before rendering a judgment on the former lawmaker’s appeal.

In his appeal of his July 2012 conviction on corruption charges, Seabrook charged that his brother, Oliver Seabrook; a friend, Carl Green, and a former constituent, Stuart Edwards, were instructed by the judge’s deputy to leave their seats to make them available for jurors.

Seabrook, in his appeal, also claimed that the media were excluded from the jury selection in his case.

"Excluding the public and the media was an error … and the integrity and public reputation of the proceedings were adversely affected by the `secret’ jury selection in this high-profile case,” Seabrook claimed, in his appeal of his July conviction on corruption charges.

Prosecutors, expressing another view, have said that the individuals who were told to give up their seats were not told to leave the courtroom.

The judge in the Seabrook case, Deborah Batts, was responsible for the vacating of a separate conviction in 2012 on grounds that are similar to those in the former lawmaker’s case.

In July 2012, a federal jury found Seabrook guilty of misdirecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for community projects to his girlfriend and relatives.

An earlier trial of Seabrook, in December 2011, resulted in a hung jury, when those on the panel couldn’t agree on whether or not the former Councilman was guilty or innocent.

Bronx News ( Fans Boo Flat #Yankees

Bronx News ( Fans Boo Flat #Yankees: Fans Boo Flat Yanks Yankees at the mediocre .500 mark By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 2- The night before, Tampa Bay pitcher Chris ...

Fans Boo Flat #Yankees

Fans Boo Flat Yanks

Yankees at the mediocre .500 mark

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 2- The night before, Tampa Bay pitcher Chris Archer put the New York Yankees a game closer to the mediocre .500 mark. David Price, rumored to be on the trade market, was on the mound Tuesday night in the Bronx for the Rays. He helped make it official, because the Yankees at the halfway point are 41-41 after a 2-1 loss, and second straight to the resurgent Rays.

The anemic hitting of the Yankees continued. Four hits and only one that went for an extra base says a lot, though Price was a primary reason why the Yankees failed once again to spark a rally. The left-hander, (7-7) through seven innings held the Yankees. He gave up one run and struck out nine.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi can’t find the answer, though he knows a veteran lineup has the capability to be more aggressive at the plate. “These guys have proven track records,”
he said without mentioning names. “These guys have to get it done. They have to grind it out. It’s not just a couple of guys going… it’s a number of guys.”

Struggling, that describes the Yankees who have matched a season high four-game losing streak and losing eight of their last 10 games.

Last year, it was the injuries that reduced the hits and run production. But a spending spree in the off-season and bringing in some power hitters supposedly was to be the answer. At the halfway point, more so in the month of June, the Yankees were near the bottom in the American League from an offensive standpoint.

That does not stand well with a fan base. They could be heard booing the Yankees in the ninth inning, their last at bat attempt to come from behind. Price was dominant, and the Ray’s bullpen finished the job with two scoreless innings and did not allow a hit.

“I don’t know,” Girardi said when asked again about the struggle to get hits and produce runs. “I don’t think you forget to hit in a year.” He was obviously referring to Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, two of the high priced players on a team with a $200 million payroll who had productive years in the National league last year with the Cardinals and Braves.

The only high priced acquisition that has been respectable, but not incredible, has been Jacoby Ellsbury.

Archer, who has success against the Yankees, was dominant Monday night. And Price, who is on the radar of many teams as the trading deadline looms, was just as dominant. Good pitching will stop good hitting, but the Yankees have not been able to come up with the big hit indicated by a team hitting .249 with runners in scoring position.

Price almost reached 10-strikeouts for a sixth straight start. Had he accomplished that, he would have joined Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan as an elite group to achieve that accomplishment, and he has been one of the reasons why Tampa Bay is 13-7 since June 11th.

“That would have been cool,” Price commented. It was his 23rd career start against the Yankees and he has never reached double digits against them. The Yankees could use another reliable starter but Price may not be going nowhere the way he has been pounding the strike zone.  

Pitching has not been the Yankees issue. They may get CC Sabathia back from the disabled list a few weeks after the all-star break. Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight good innings and he became the second pitcher to go eight or more this season, next to Masahiro Tanaka. James Loney hit his fifth home run in the sixth inning that was the decisive run.

The Yankees only highlight at the plate were the two hits from Derek Jeter, a leadoff double in the fourth inning, their first hit off Price. And for Jeter it was another milestone, his 534th career double tying him with Lou Gehrig for first place on the Yankees’ all-time doubles list.

“The guys we have- have to get it done. That’s the bottom line," Girardi said. And the Yankees better get it done soon, because at the halfway point it does not look promising for a happy summer ahead in the Bronx.    

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

#Yanks lose

Rays Have Their Way with Yankees
Archer did not get the decision but handled Yankees again

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 1- Again at Yankee Stadium Monday night Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays had his way with a team that can’t figure him out. The Yankees knew what they were up against when Archer got on the mound. His last start in the Bronx was July 27 of last season, a 2-0 shutout. Though he did not figure in the decision of the Rays 4-3 win 12-innings, a win for his team was more important.

Archer is a catalyst towards getting Tampa Bay back into contention. The first half is over, and the Rays are sitting last in the AL east with the second worst record in baseball. They need him, and David Price, if he is not traded, to get some wins for a second half run.

And when he is on the mound against the Yankees, Archer seems to almost make it appear it is a guarantee win. He was 4-0 coming into the game against New York, and left with a 3-2 lead but did not figure in the decision. Regardless a 1.51 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees is impressive.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said about pitching in the Bronx and the Yankees. Archer pitched seven innings and was that close to another win. But the Yankees’ Brian Roberts tied the game with one-out in the ninth inning.

Had he won, Archer would have been the first pitcher to go 5-0 starting a career against the Yankees. The last one to do that was Hall of Famer Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators, from 1907-08, when the Yankees were known as the Highlanders.
Archer smiled when he was told that he would have been in great company.

 “I just have success against this team and it’s cool because it’s a little different team from last year,” said Archer. “When I have good catcher and good defense behind me it lifts our spirits. We’ve been playing really well as of late.”

It was that type of game for the Yankees, again failing to get the runners home and capitalizing on that home run by Roberts to right field. They lost for the seventh time in nine games but only trail first place Toronto by 2-1/2 games in a mediocre division. 
Mediocre enough that if the Rays go on any type of winning streak they could make a run in the second half, as they have won eight of their last 12-games. 

 Archer knows that significance of not getting a win on his record. A win for the team is more important. The Rays are looking to narrow their 9-1/2 game deficit in the division.

 It may look impossible, but mediocrity and good pitching can make it interesting by September.

“He is still learning for a young pitcher and getting better,” Rays’ manager Joe Maddon commented about his starter. “My theory, to win a road game in extra innings is good for nay teams moral.”

Said Archer, “We can come out and win a game like that is special for us. Knowing we can accomplish that it’s special for us. We are not looking at the standings. We know what team we are.”

On the contrary, the Yankees may still be trying to find out who they are. Because two key off-season acquisitions, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, part of a $450 million spending spree, continue to disappoint and are not driving in runs. They went a combined 2-for-10, in the four hour and thirty-five minute marathon.  

"I think every team in this division probably feels that they are somewhat fortunate to be where they are with the records that have," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Being 41-40, you wouldn't necessarily think you would be right in the thick of it."

One thing is certain. The Yankees won’t face Archer again in this three-game series as they get David Price Tuesday night. 

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