Friday, June 27, 2014

Westchester Square News: Pick Pocket

Westchester Square News: Pick Pocket: Sticky Fingers Shops Along #Fordham Road Cops Release Pic of Pick Pocket By Dan Gesslein BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Call her ...

Pick Pocket

Sticky Fingers Shops Along #Fordham Road
Cops Release Pic of Pick Pocket
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 27- Call her Fordham’s most wanted. Cops are looking for a serial pickpocket who ripped off shoppers along Fordham Road over a six-month period.
Police released a photo of a sticky-fingered suspect, they say, struck at a Marshalls store seven times. The thief also struck other businesses in the Fordham shopping district including a Children’s Place, a cell phone store and a Burlington Coat Factory.
In incidents dating back to January, cops say the suspect repeatedly robbed shoppers at the Marshalls store, located at 2501 Grand Concourse, and made off with cash and credit cards. In those cases, the suspect took either victim’s wallet or purse and made off with cash ranging from $200 to $5. 
As spring arrived, the crook upped her game. On April 17, the thief struck at a T-Mobile store on Fordham Road. The suspect made off with a 63 year-old’s bag which contained a laptop, two cellphones and chargers.  
On May 3rd, the thief made off with a 70-year-old woman’s paycheck worth $1,044. The victim had put her property containing her paycheck on the counter of a supermarket when the thief helped herself.
The suspect is described as a 40-year-old black woman who is 5 foot 5 and weighs 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing a turquoise shirt and a beige hat.
Anyone with information is urged to 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 by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Westchester Square News: Chase Whitley

Westchester Square News: Chase Whitley: Chasing Success for #Yank Pitcher Whitley get another quality start and timely hits in win over first place Jays By Rich Mancuso ...

Chase Whitley

Chasing Success for #Yank Pitcher
Whitley get another quality start and timely hits in win over first place Jays

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 19- Chase Whitley has become valuable to the New York Yankees pitching rotation and there is no telling how more valuable he will become. Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, in his seventh start, Whitley gave manager Joe Girardi another five good innings. A revived Yankees offense got the early lead and tacked on runs.

All is going good again in the Bronx, even the bullpen did their job in a 7-3 win over the first place Toronto Blue Jays.

For the second straight night the Yankees handed the first place Blue Jays a loss, the 25th straight home win over Toronto dating back to September 19, of 2012. But the important point for the Yankees was another win with good pitching, and the timely hit. All of a sudden first place is getting close and that seemed to be slipping away as of a week ago when they lost two of three games out in Oakland.

If they sweep the three-game series Thursday night, well first place will be a game-and-a half away. The Yankees would also be even in the loss column with Toronto.

There are two aspects to consider with the Yankees during this current string of games with opponents from the AL East. One is how the first place Jays suddenly, are not as invincible as they were a week ago. The other is, the Yankees are 6-2 in their last eight games and are doing things that have not been evident much.

And, the unexpected quality starts are contributing to a revival in the Bronx. Whitley allowed two earned runs and improved to 3-0 after starting his season with four straight no decisions.

“Did not know what to expect when he came up,” Girardi said. “We have never seen him as a starter. So our expectations have changed a lot.

The right-hander threw 95 pitches and has been a pleasant addition to the rotation. Whitley made his Major League debut against the cross-town Mets on May 15th after being summoned from Triple-A Scranton. The Yankees needed a starter in the rotation due to their rash of injuries.

He could be here longer, because, Girardi and the Yankees now know what to expect. Whitley has made a claim to stay in the Bronx. Eventually he will increase his length of time on the mound, and he could be a part of a rotation when the inflamed right knee of CC Sabathia heels and that may require more time.

Though he has not been in the Bronx that long, Whitley has adjusted and was talking like a veteran. He said, the command was not his best. He also gave credit to his catcher, Brian McCann who tied a career high with five runs batted in. The big hit was McCann’s two-run homer in the fourth inning that put New York ahead, 3-2.

There is also a difference in the Yankees clubhouse, and winning will do that.

“We’re relaxed and having fun,” Whitley commented. “It comes with winning, that’s contagious.”

He has learned quickly what it takes to be a winning pitcher, and of course the big hit and night from McCann helped the cause.

"It was about time I chipped it in, and tonight was a good night to do that," McCann said. "It was just nice to contribute… on the offensive side for a change." He also had a bases loaded triple, and this is the type of offense the Yankees have been expecting from their catcher who has been struggling to get the big hit at home.

McCann was hitting .174 in June. It was the type of game he needed and it came off the Jays’ best starter, Mark Buehrie, (10-4) who remained winless in his last 13 starts against the Yankees.

Girardi said, “We really believe in him as an offensive force and he showed it tonight. A couple tough lefties he's facing and he drives in five. He's done a great job behind home plate. He's never taken it behind home plate."

He added, “This is the team we are chasing. These games are extremely important playing teams within your own division.”

Two straight wins over Toronto. These are the games the Yankees need to win and they may be doing it at the right time with more than half a season of games left to play. There is no telling where this new feel of winning will take them. For now though, the Yankees are enjoying it and look for the sweep Thursday night.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Westchester Square News: Turnstile Jumpers Turn Arrest into NYPD Melee

Westchester Square News: Turnstile Jumpers Turn Arrest into NYPD Melee: Turnstile Jumpers Turn Arrest into NYPD Melee Photo by Andre Rivera By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 18- A small army ...

Turnstile Jumpers Turn Arrest into NYPD Melee

Turnstile Jumpers Turn Arrest into NYPD Melee
Photo by Andre Rivera
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 18- A small army of NYPD patrolmen responded after witnesses say an of out-of-control suspect had to be subdued.
Sources say a male and female were arrested for jumping the turnstile of the Number 2 train at the Prospect Avenue station at 2:15 p.m. on June 12.
The male suspect began kicking the window of the patrol car, when additional officers were called to remove and eventually restrain him.
One unconfirmed report stated that one of the 200 bystanders was also arrested for filming the incident, but that could not immediately be confirmed with the NYPD.   

Westchester Square News: Tanaka Terminates Toronto

Westchester Square News: Tanaka Terminates Toronto: Tanaka Terminates Toronto Raises Mark to 11-1 as Yanks Top Blue Jays (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW Y...

Tanaka Terminates Toronto

Tanaka Terminates Toronto
Raises Mark to 11-1 as Yanks Top Blue Jays
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 18- Masahiro Tanaka continued his sensational pitching as he earned his 11th win of the year. 
The 3-2 win of the Yanks over the Toronto Blue Jays was the 14th consecutive victory of the Yanks over their Canadian rivals in games played in the Bronx. The victory cut the deficit for the second place Yankees to 3.5 games behind the American League East leading Blue Jays. 
Yankees skipper Joe Girardi commented, “You want to close as much ground as you can.”
As has happened in each of Tanaka’s 14 games this season, the major story of the game is his performance on the mound. The 25 year-old has thrown a “quality start” in each of his 14 appearances in the majors. He is only the second pitcher to pitch at least six innings and give up three runs or less in each of his first 14 major league starts in more than a century. Steve Rogers of the Montreal Expos achieved that feat in 1973.
Former Met shortstop Jose Reyes hit the first pitch of the game into the stands in right for a home run. After the game Tanaka, recalled, “I think it was the first time in my career that I gave up a first pitch home run. It threw me off my rhythm.” After two batters were retired, two Blue Jays batters hit singles in the inning. 
Girardi described the first pitch in the following manner, “He [Tanaka] just threw a pitch right down the middle and Reyes knows this park very well.”
Although Tanaka expressed disappointment with his performance after the game, he only yielded two additional hits in the five other innings he pitched. He walked two, yielded five hits and fanned 10, double figures for the fifth time this year. His 113 strikeouts in his first 14 starts in the big leagues is third in history. His season ERA dropped after the contest to a minuscule 1.99.
Most importantly for the Yankees, the Japanese native did not yield a run after his first pitch. He was removed after six because of his pitch count of 104. 
Girardi was profuse in his praise of Tanaka throughout the season, “His stuff is pretty good and he knows how to use it and make adjustments. It’s hard not to say that his start is as good as anyone I know. I don’t think it’s fair to expect that from anyone. It’s just remarkable.”
Another experienced eye, that of the Yankees veteran captain, Derek Jeter, saw very similar to what the Yankee manager did in watching Tanaka, “He’s pretty much done that every time out. His ability to make adjustments from hitter to hitter is probably the most impressive thing. He makes adjustments throughout the game.” 
The self-critical rookie disagreed with the assessments of Jeter and Girardi, “I don’t feel I was making adjustments tonight. I was just trying to keep the ball down.” 
However he performed as he has done this season, it should be noted that Tanaka leads the American League in wins, winning percentage and ERA. 
The Yankee relievers, Dellin Betances in two innings and David Robertson in the ninth, did not give up a run.
Rookie Chase Whitley and veteran Mark Buehrle will be the starting pitchers in the second game of the three game set on Wednesday night.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Westchester Square News: Perv Teacher

Westchester Square News: Perv Teacher: Perv Teacher Faces 14 Years in Attack on 10 Year Old Student (Photo by David Greene) By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 16-...

Perv Teacher

Perv Teacher Faces 14 Years in Attack on 10 Year Old Student
(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 16- A former Bronx teacher charged in the unthinkable crime of a sex attack on a 10-year-old special education student, has pled guilty to the horrific crime.
The Bronx District Attorney announced that former 5th-grade teacher Anthony Criscuolo, 41, has pled guilty to first-degree felony rape and will be sentenced next month.
Police sources stated at the time that Criscuolo was a teacher at P.S. 386 in University Heights and had told the victim's family that she had won an award.
The unidentified 10 year old was attacked by her teacher inside his car on that spring afternoon in June, 2013.
Criscuolo had faced 25 years in prison, but the district attorney's office agreed to the deal in an effort to "not further traumatize this young victim" with the added ordeal of a public trial.
Criscuolo has also agreed to surrender his teaching license and be added to the sex offenders registry. Upon completing his sentence, Criscuolo will also be required to 18 years of post-release monitoring.   

Westchester Square News: Little Italy Feast

Westchester Square News: Little Italy Feast: Little Italy Feast Photos by Gary Quintal Italians and would-be Italians came out to celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony on Arth...

Little Italy Feast

Little Italy Feast
Photos by Gary Quintal
Italians and would-be Italians came out to celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony on Arthur Avenue. Music, rides and of course food were on hand to celebrate. A procession was held in which the statue of the saint was carried throughout the neighborhood.

Westchester Square News: Stone-faced Park Gunman gets 44 Years

Westchester Square News: Stone-faced Park Gunman gets 44 Years: Stone-faced Park Gunman gets 44 Years By Michael Brown Jr. and David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 16- A young man has been se...

Stone-faced Park Gunman gets 44 Years

Stone-faced Park Gunman gets 44 Years
By Michael Brown Jr. and David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 16- A young man has been sentenced to 44 years to life in prison for a triple shooting and double murder. The horror began with a dispute on the basketball courts in Devoe Park and ended in gunfire and death on the streets of University Heights.
After a five-week trial, Yenfri Ramirez, 20, was convicted by a jury in the shooting deaths of Edwin Liz, 17, and Allan Matos, 22, and the wounding of Efren Estrada, 39, that occurred in the early evening of April 7, 2011.
Ramirez, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, was found guilty in Bronx Supreme Court on the charges of murder in the second degree for shooting Liz, manslaughter in the second degree for shooting Matos, and assault in the second degree for wounding Estrada as well as criminal possession of a firearm in the second degree.
The altercation between the defendant and his victims stemmed from an earlier fight inside Devoe Park on University Avenue and West Fordham Road, when Ramirez had entered the fray after learning that the fight involved his brother.
The prosecutor claimed Ramirez lured his victims into chasing him to Fordham Road and West University Place, where he turned around and fired three shots from a .38-caliber revolver.
Edwin Liz was fatally shot in the back of the neck, while Allan Matos died from a gunshot wound to the back. Efren Estrada was shot in the leg and survived.
A police officer testified witnessing the shooting and responding officers discovered the murder weapon just steps away from where Ramirez was stopped.
At Ramirez' sentencing hearing held on May 29, Judge Barbara Newman stated she took into account Ramirez' age at the time of the shooting and also the fact that Ramirez had no previous convictions.
“This is a very sad day and difficult day however, circumstances have brought us here,” she said in her opening statement. It wasn't long after that the parents of the victims, read their "impact statements" to Ramirez who sat coldly indifferent to the whole ordeal.
Sentiments of families were often ones of revenge and justice for the cold-blooded murder of their siblings.
“I would like this man to be treated in the same way [as my son] by spending the rest of his life behind four walls,” said Reynaldo Liz, the father of Edwin Liz, via a translator.
“May God forgive you, because I never will,” said the mother of Allen Matos as she briefly looked to Ramirez who did not turn in her direction.
Ramirez, however, maintained his innocence until the end. “I ask forgiveness for what happened, but I didn't kill anyone.”
Ramirez was sentenced to 23 years for murder in the second degree, 21 years for manslaughter in the second degree, 3 years for assault in the second degree, and 5 years for criminal possession of a weapon all of which will be served consecutively except the assault and criminal possession which will be served concurrently.
Ramirez' defense attorney Maria Tobia had pointed to unknown DNA found by investigators on the trigger of the murder weapon, but that wasn't enough to sway the jury.
Tobia has vowed to appeal the conviction.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Westchester Square News: Bronx Science Loses PSAL Championship

Westchester Square News: Bronx Science Loses PSAL Championship: Bronx Science Loses PSAL Championship By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 13 - Two very unlikely public high school baseball te...

Bronx Science Loses PSAL Championship

Bronx Science Loses PSAL Championship
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 13- Two very unlikely public high school baseball teams met in the PSAL “B” Baseball Championship on Thursday afternoon. Bronx Science (17-4)  is one of this nation’s most prestigious academic high schools. It is far more known for winning scholastic awards than sports contests. 
Beach Channel (19-2) was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Its students and their families suffered in many ways by the devastating storm. Unbelievably, its baseball team carried a roster of only 12 players this season.
Despite expectations, each team won its conference and defeated each of its opponents in the playoffs to reach the championship encounter. Strangely, each team’s last loss occurred on May 17 and to a similarly named opponent. The Bronx Science Wolverines were defeated by American Studies, 3-2, and the Beach Channel Dolphins lost to the Academy of American Studies, 6-1.
Yankee Stadium, the venue for the championship, was extremely appropriate as it is the site that has flown the most World Series flags in MLB history. 
The game was interesting and competitive but was played somewhat sloppily. Although 12 runs were scored in the game, there were only 12 hits. More than three dozen batters ended their at bats without hitting the ball in fair territory, 23 batters struck out, 14 walked and one was hit by a pitch. There were also a number of errors, wild pitches and passed balls.
A run was not scored in the first three frames, and David Polanco, the right fielder of the Dolphins, had the only hit.
Both teams pushed runs across the plate in the fourth. Science hurler Glenn Price created his own problem by walking the first five batters of the inning. Catcher josph Colandra and centerfielder Antonio Moccia received RBIs for their bases loaded walks. The final two runs were driven in on a single by pitcher Kelly Aponte.
The Wolverines cut the lead in half with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Consecutive single by Benjamin Kravitz, Daniel Bomfiglia and Glenn Price aided by two Beach Channel errors led to the runs.
Each team scored a single run in the sixth to keep the Dolphins advantage at two, 5-3.
In the seventh, three Science hits and two walks tied the score and filled the bases with one out. A fly to Moccia in center was caught and Moccia’s throw nailed Kravitz at the plate for an inning ending double play. The coach of the Dolphins, John Mangieri, described the play as “a big league play and a big league throw.” 
Moccia tried to deflect the praise to Colandra, the catcher by saying, “You couldn’t ask for a better catcher.”
A diverse but effective ninth inning for the Dolphins, error, hit batsman, walk and two singles produced two runs and a 7-5 victory and a first city championship for Beach Channel.
Mangieri saluted his entire team, “I’m proud of my boys and what we’ve overcome. They’ve been fearless from the beginning. I used everyone [all 12 players]. I tried to do the right thing. They were excited [to be at Yankee Stadium] but pretty relaxed during the game.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Westchester Square News: Joel Osteen

Westchester Square News: Joel Osteen: Popular Pastor Wins Over Bronx with Message of Hope By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 12- Joel and Victoria Osteen hosted t...

Joel Osteen

Popular Pastor Wins Over Bronx with Message of Hope
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 12- Joel and Victoria Osteen hosted their second “America’s Night of Hope” at Yankee Stadium. The iconic venue in the Bronx was filled to capacity to see and hear the very popular televangelist and his wife, their son and daughter and Joel’s mother share uplifting and encouraging words as well as listen to upbeat and modern musical selections from guest vocalists and musicians. 
The rally at the historic stadium was only the centerpiece of a concerted effort to bring help to people in need in New York City. Hundreds of volunteers, many from Houston where their Lakewood Church is located, joined the Osteens in New York to provide assistance to those with specific needs. 
Last Monday, Osteen explained the mission of the Generation Hope Project, “We don’t just come in word. Young people [who will be coming to provide assistance] have a heart to help. They will be here for most of the week, with a concentration of efforts for several days. We know we can’t do everything. It will be symbolic that we leave something with the community.”
The couple told of this year’s theme of assistance, which will be mentoring of young people. They want those not blessed to have family members that encourage and uplift them as children to be given hope for their lives in the future. 
The pastor said, “We all have a responsibility to the next generation.” 
His wife focused in words of how much those who help another gain by that effort, “The people who are serving are being blessed.” 
Saturday’s rally was the sixth annual major event held at a huge athletic facility. It is neither accidental nor coincidental that the Osteens returned to the site of their first event of this magnitude that took place on April 25, 2009 and was the first non-baseball event in the new Yankee Stadium. 
Osteen explained, “New Yorkers are great people. They respond to hope. We didn’t know if they would accept a message from the South.”
The large crowd that attended the pioneer event signified the acceptance they received from residents of “The Big Apple.” Looking back on that day led Osteen to recently proclaim, “Victoria and I love the people of New York. We’re excited to be at Yankee Stadium again, and we believe people will be uplifted and filled with an expectation that their best days are yet to come.”
The Osteens, unlike many representatives of religions, do not have a sectarian outlook or appeal. They have an outlook and manner that transcends barriers of age, politics, socioeconomic class and race. Their universal appeal has much to do with their positive message, “Our message is about empowering and up lifting. We have much in common. It is about a relationship with God. It’s not formal or religious. People come who may not attend church regularly.”
In addition to the Saturday rally at Yankee Stadium, the Osteens were at the stadium on Friday afternoon to meet with clergy from all sections of the nation. At that meeting, Ray Negron, a Yankee executive, has been invited to testify regarding how the late owner of the Yankees, George M. Steinbrenner, changed his life. The extremely articulate Negron will be able to impact his listeners with an example the Osteens are trying to impart in all people. 

Westchester Square News: Criminal Element ‘Hijacking’ Community

Westchester Square News: Criminal Element ‘Hijacking’ Community: Criminal Element ‘Hijacking’ Community- Activist Says By Michael Horowitz BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 12-  A criminal element is “hijacki...

Criminal Element ‘Hijacking’ Community

Criminal Element ‘Hijacking’ Community- Activist Says

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 12- A criminal element is “hijacking” Co-op City and its shareholders, destroying the quality of life that shareholders are entitled to, civic activist Junius Williams charged this week.

The civic activist said that his goal is to assure that Co-op City does not become the nation’s largest urban ghetto.

Williams, the parliamentarian of the Building 21 Association and an unsuccessful candidate in last month’s Riverbay board election, said, “I’m not happy with just heat and hot water. I want the whole enchilada when it comes to quality of life in the community where I live.”

Williams has blamed Co-op City’s Department of Public Safety for the recent shooting of a young man at the basketball courts at Bellamy Loop.

The civic activist noted that the young men, who had been harassing him and his neighbors for close to one year, stopped hanging out at the Bellamy Loop basketball courts after last month’s shooting.

A Co-op City shareholder, who wished to remain unidentified, told the News, this week, that the criminal element, who had been hanging out at the Bellamy Loop basketball courts, are now hanging out in the  vicinity of Building 24.

The unidentified shareholder said that those hanging out there routinely smoke marijuana, and Public Safety officers, despite being called, have done little to stop this infringement on his quality of life.

Williams, for his part, stressed, “I want to make sure that they don’t come back here to destroy my quality of life and the quality of life that my neighbors have a right to enjoy.”

The civic activist said that if Public Safety officers had been proactive in removing the young men who were hanging out at the Bellamy Loop basketball courts on the night of the shooting, the crime would never have occurred.

“I blame the people in charge of management for what my neighbors I have had to live through,” Williams stressed. “I don’t blame my neighbors because I know that they have been proactive in reporting infringements on their quality of life to the people in the Public Safety Department,” Williams stressed.

The civic activist added, “The people in the Public Safety Department seem to think that we have to accept things because we have a large minority community. This kind of thing didn’t happen in Co-op City when people from other races and ethnicities were dominant in this community.”

Williams stressed that it is incumbent upon Co-op City’s shareholders to demand that they have the same quality of life that people on Manhattan’s Eastside and in Riverdale enjoy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Westchester Square News: Bay Plaza

Westchester Square News: Bay Plaza: New Mall Under Way On June 6, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. toured the forthcoming "Mall at Bay Plaza" near Co-o...

Bay Plaza

New Mall Under Way
On June 6, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. toured the forthcoming "Mall at Bay Plaza" near Co-op City. Diaz looks out at the construction from the mall's second deck.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Westchester Square News: Flying Manhole Cover Kills Driver

Westchester Square News: Flying Manhole Cover Kills Driver: Flying Manhole Cover Kills Driver (Photo by David Greene) By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 5- Police and fire officials ...

Flying Manhole Cover Kills Driver

Flying Manhole Cover Kills Driver
(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 5- Police and fire officials were on the scene for most of morning Wednesday, after the driver of a semi-trailer was struck and killed by a flying manhole cover. 
This incident took place on the westbound Cross Bronx Expressway, just passed the Jerome Avenue exit at 5:25 a.m.  on June 4. Cops say the cover, that weighs about 300 pounds was knocked lose and sailed through the windshield striking and briefly pinning Jose Duran, 35, of Springfield, MA. 
Duran was rushed to Lincoln Hospital where he later died. Last week in Queens a car burst into flames killing a passenger when a sewer cap popped-up and struck the undercarriage of the vehicle.   

Westchester Square News: Yankees SOS!

Westchester Square News: Yankees SOS!: Yankees SOS! Ellsbury Can’t Save Yanks Yankees Home Woes Continue; Lose Fourth Straight By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE...

Yankees SOS!

Yankees SOS!
Ellsbury Can’t Save Yanks
Yankees Home Woes Continue; Lose Fourth Straight
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 5- The Yankees continue to falter at their home ballpark. The 7-4 loss to Oakland on Wednesday night was their fourth straight defeat at home. They have lost 12 of their last 16 games in the Bronx. The combination of poor hitting, especially in the clutch, and lack of dependability from the relief corps has resulted in many recent defeats.
A base on balls to Ichiro Suzuki and three consecutive hits, a single by Brett Gardner, an infield single by Derek Jeter, and a three-run homer by Jacoby Ellsbury provided the Yanks with a four-run inning and a 4-0 lead at the end of three innings.
Unfortunately for the home team, the third was the only inning in which the Yankees scored. During their final five frames, the Yankees only managed two singles. To make matters worse for them, the Athletics scored seven unanswered runs to achieve a victory.
The versatility of Oakland is shown by the variety of ways their runs on Wednesday were driven in. Three were scored on solo home runs. Cuban native Yoenis Cespedes blasted his 11th of the season in the fourth and his 12th two innings later. Third sacker Josh Donaldson lifted his 16th into the stands in the seventh. 
Three other runs did not need base hits to move an Oakland runner across the plate. Sacrifice flies by Jed Lowrie in the third, Alberto Callaspo in the sixth and Kyle Blanks in the ninth were as meaningful as the four baggers. 
Another strange manner of scoring occurred in the ninth as Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch of Wade LeBlanc in his first game as a Yankee. 
Yankee starter Vidal Nuño gave up two runs in 4.2 innings, but the relievers gave up five in 4.1. Matt Daley gave up two, Leblanc surrendered two, and in his major league debut, Jose Ramirez yielded a home run to Donaldson in the seventh, which earned him the loss. 
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said, “It’s a product of not having your bullpen set up the way you want it.” 
The passing of Don Zimmer was of far more importance than the loss of a single ballgame. The feisty, colorful, knowledgeable and fun loving individual was a fixture in MLB for 66 years. He was remembered with much emotion by those who knew him well for his time as a Yankee coach. 
After the game, Girardi recalled, “I was with him in 10 of my first 11 years. Wherever he went, I went. He was a close friend. I’m going to miss him. Our relationship was always close. He gave me my first opportunity. It’s going to be really strange not to see him.”
Another scene of the evening at Yankee Stadium that had greater meaning than the final score was the thoughtful treatment received by 12-year-old Matthew Miller of Queens and his family by CC Sabathia. Miller was severely injured and his 7 year-old brother Chris killed in a house fire at the start of 2014. Sabathia tried to provide some happy memories for the family who came as his guests for on-the-field activities.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Westchester Square News: Dancing in the Street

Westchester Square News: Dancing in the Street: Bronxites Celebrate at # PuertoRicanDayParade Did we catch you at the parade Click here to find out

Dancing in the Street

Bronxites Celebrate at
Did we catch you at the parade

Westchester Square News: Yankee Bullpen Loses

Westchester Square News: Yankee Bullpen Loses: We Miss Mo! Bullpen Continues to Cost Yanks a Win as Pitchers Sputter from Loss of Mariano Rivera By Rich Mancuso BRONX,...

Yankee Bullpen Loses

We Miss Mo!
Bullpen Continues to Cost Yanks a Win
as Pitchers Sputter from Loss of Mariano Rivera
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 4- Close games are costing the New York Yankees this season and no longer having the reliable Mariano Rivera could be a reason. The Yankees were prepared for the inevitable day when closing a game would not be routine when Rivera retired. In two of the last three games they realized more how much Rivera meant.
The bullpen implosion led to the Yankees third straight loss, 5-2, on a long Tuesday night in the Bronx in a game that was delayed over an hour by rain. And there are two more games with Oakland to close the home stand before another long road trip.
It was the Twins on Sunday when the Yankees pen imploded. Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, in the Oakland Athletics 10th inning, there was another implosion. Oakland scored three-runs off Adam Warren, and what was left of the 41,677 in attendance realized again the Yankees without Rivera are very beatable.
The Yankees are no longer a power threat and lacking a run producing lineup, so much different when Rivera was closing another win. Close games in the late innings are not a guaranteed win, evident by the extra inning loss and the second home run of the night by Brandon Moss, in the 10th off Warren that broke a 2-2 tie.
To say there is panic or that the Yankees are in deep trouble, it is still early with a third of the season complete. However, if close games are continually lost by the bullpen implosion, as has been the case as of late, then there is reason to panic.
“They are not going to be perfect they have been a big part of wins this year and not going to always be perfect,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi commented. The reference was to the reliable Dellin Betances who has been unstoppable, but finally had an implosion
The closer, David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth but gave away the lead Sunday. Betances had not walked a batter in his previous 10 appearances but, with two outs in the eighth inning Albert Callaspo got one. Pinch hitter Stephen Vogt followed and on a full count hit a tying double into the right center field gap.  
And, as good as Betances has been, you can’t pitch like that to the A’s who happen to have the best run producing offense in baseball.
"I felt good,” Betances explained in a quiet Yankees clubhouse. “I just think the two-out walk hurt. I had him in my head and I just did not put him away I think from there  I just fell behind on Vogt and just threw him a good pitch to hit. I think Callaspo, that at-bat was more frustrating."
Frustrating is the word Girardi used as his Yankees at 29-28, are in danger of falling to the .500 mark if they lose the second game of the three-game series tonight. It is not only the pen, but an anemic offense that showed some hope with a solo home run from Mark Teixeira in the sixth, his team leading 10th that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead off A’s starter Scott Kazmir.
Teixeira got clearance to start after missing the last two games with a sore right wrist. He has driven in 21 runs in his last 25 games, but when the wrist that is still heeling from surgery becomes bothersome, Teixeira, who appears to be the lone home run threat in this lineup, will have to sit down.
But it is the bullpen implosion that has the Yankees concerned. And without that late Hall of Fame closer no longer around, the Yankees have realized how different the late innings have become.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Monday, June 2, 2014

Westchester Square News: Jennifer Lopez

Westchester Square News: Jennifer Lopez: JLo Launches Family Health Center at Monte BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 2- Jennifer and Lynda Lopez, co-founders of the Lopez Family Fou...

Jennifer Lopez

JLo Launches Family Health Center at Monte
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 2- Jennifer and Lynda Lopez, co-founders of the Lopez Family Foundation, and Montefiore Health System launched the Center for a Healthy Childhood at Montefiore’s Community Health Fair. 
The new initiative between the Lopez Family Foundation and Montefiore aims to promote healthy living through community health programming, positive messages to raise children's self-image and a healthy environment so every woman, child and family can achieve their full potential. During the surprise visit, the Lopez Family Foundation made a $250,000 donation to Montefiore. The fair, a concept brought to Montefiore by Jennifer and Lynda, was held on Montefiore’s Moses Campus.
“We are proud to partner with Jennifer, Lynda and the entire Lopez Family Foundation to make a positive impact on the lives and futures of families in the Bronx,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO, Montefiore. “Montefiore’s work with the Lopez Family Foundation will begin by improving vital education, understanding and access to healthy eating and exercise. It is only through partnerships like this that we can ensure every child has a healthy and nurturing childhood to achieve their full potential. ”
Jennifer, Lynda and many of their friends and family attended the Community Health Fair to participate in activities, including a Zumba class featuring participants in B’N Fit, a program affiliated with the Center for a Healthy Childhood that helps teenagers maintain or lose weight. They also assisted in a healthy cooking demonstration, making smoothies for those at the fair.
“We can do so much to make the Bronx, our hometown, a healthier place. We can exercise together and we can eat well together. The Center for a Healthy Childhood will help make our vision a reality on every block,” said Jennifer Lopez. “It feels good to come home and talk to moms and kids about making healthy lifestyle decisions – they can make changes now that will set them on a path for a long, happy life.”
The Center builds upon Montefiore’s comprehensive community health programs and the long-standing commitment of Jennifer and Lynda to improving the health and well-being of women and children.
“We love having the opportunity to offer resources that mothers, children and families in the Bronx need for better access to healthcare, health information and health education,” said Lynda Lopez. “The Lopez Family Foundation is passionate about the health and well-being of mothers and children, and we're excited the Center for a Healthy Childhood will go deep into the community to provide needed support – whether it’s to educate about childhood nutrition, physical activity, emotional and intellectual engagement on health, or healthy pregnancies and motherhood."  
The Center will serve Montefiore patients and their families, as well as the tens of thousands of children and families in the Bronx and beyond reached through partnerships with the New York City Department of Education, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other health and social service providers.
For more information about the Center and its affiliated programs, visit

Westchester Square News: Carlos Beltrán

Westchester Square News: Carlos Beltrán: Latino Sports Honors Carlos Beltrán (Photo courtesy of NY Yankees) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 2- A festive lunche...

Carlos Beltrán

Latino Sports Honors Carlos Beltrán
(Photo courtesy of NY Yankees)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 2- A festive luncheon was held at Yankee Stadium last Friday afternoon, several hours before the first game of a seven-day home stand to welcome Carlos Beltrán to the Bronx and to the New York Yankees. 
Latino Sports has previously honored Beltrán with a Latino MVP Award as Rookie of the Year in the first year of the organization’s existence, 1989. After Beltrán’s final game with the Mets, several journalists approached the baseball great to shake hands and extend well wishes for his future. 
At that time, Julio Pabón, the founder and president of Latino Sports, told Beltrán that he would receive a proper greeting upon his return to New York. The baseball great returned to New York this season and the meaningful welcome was in place on Friday.
Pabón took the occasion to briefly explain the 25-year history of Latino Sports and the reason for its founding and the need for its continued existence. He also educated his audience on the history of the relationship of the New York Yankees and the residents of the surrounding community. 
He introduced two specials guests, NYY General Manager Brian Cashman and Senior Vice President Corporate/Community Relations Brian Smith. The two Brians spoke in agreement with Pabón’s thoughts that relations between the organization and the community have improved. 
Beltrán, a soft spoken and humble man with great talent as an athlete, graciously accepted the gifts he was presented with. His words exhibited his intelligence and maturity. His concern and gratitude to those present, especially the children, was also apparent by his manner and thoughtfulness.
Several of those in attendance, perhaps including Beltrán himself, were thinking this luncheon and Beltrán’s signing with the Yankees should have taken place a decade earlier.
At the age of 18, the native of Manatí, Puerto Rico was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft. In his first full season with the Royals, 1999, his fine performance led to his selection as American League Rookie of the Year.  
Although he drove in at least 100 runs in four of his five full seasons with Royals, the outfielder was traded to Houston in June of 2004. 
On January 11, 2005, he signed with the Mets as a free agent. It was that winter that he was also in contact with the Yankees, with whom he hoped to sign. At a press conference after his free agent signing in December of 2013, Beltrán spoke of that missed opportunity by the Yankees, “I grew up being a Yankee fan, a Bernie Williams fan. I used to look up to this organization. They always did what it takes to put good teams out there and in championships. Eight-nine years ago, hey couldn’t commit to the years I wanted. They were having problems with the salary cap. They got Randy Johnson and I signed with the Mets.” 
What the Yankees passed up by not signing Beltrán can be understood by his being chosen as a National League All-Star in five of his seven seasons with the Mets.
After two All-Star seasons with the Cardinals, the eight-time All-Star is finally a Yankee. His personal background makes him very comfortable and very pleased to be playing in the Bronx, “I’m proud that on this side of town we have a lot of Puerto Ricans. I have a double responsibility, representing the Yankees and representing my country.” His loyalty and pride in his homeland was also exhibited by his membership on Puerto Rico’s national team in all three sessions of the World Baseball Classic (WBC)-2006, 2009 and 2013.
Using different words than he spoke in December, the meaning of Beltrán’s words were the same, “I am proud to be a Latino. I like to walk in the barrio because that’s where I come from.”
He also spoke of his love and respect for his parents, “I come from a humble family. God gave me the ability to play baseball [but I am] more proud of my parents for giving me values.” 
Beltrán has not only conducted himself as a gentleman, but is a socially conscious individual. He has been involved in numerous positive endeavors during his career, especially those that are beneficial to children. He realizes his position as a renowned major league baseball star comes with responsibility, “My opportunity as a baseball player is to give back. I want to do something for the Latino community. Every day I live I try to impact other people’s lives. I believe we can change lives. We are going to work on a project to benefit the people.”
His efforts and accomplishments have been recognized with his being the recipient of the Thurman Munson Award in 2009, the Joan Payson Award in 2010 and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2013. 
Although Beltrán is currently on the disabled list with a bone spur on his right elbow, he is working hard to prevent the need for surgery and an absence of 10-12 weeks. 
His record on the field and his character off the field have merited him consideration of one day being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  If he successfully completes his contract with the Yankees, one day there may be a luncheon in Beltrán’s honor to celebrate his election to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. 
The ceremony brought good feelings to all present, regardless of age or personal background. The food was delicious and plentiful, and more importantly, the atmosphere was joyful and very positive. The guest of honor was very deserving of so meaningful a display of affection and respect.