Friday, May 2, 2014

Westchester Square News: Yanks Shut Down

Westchester Square News: Yanks Shut Down: Yanks Shut Down Rookie pitcher from Cuba leads Mariners to sweep over Yankees By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 2-  Roenis E...

Yanks Shut Down

Yanks Shut Down

Rookie pitcher from Cuba leads Mariners to sweep over Yankees

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 2- Roenis Elias was not supposed to get the start for the Seattle Mariners in their three-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx. Felix Hernandez was supposed to close the three-game series the night before, but rain forced a postponement. The 25-year old left-hander got his opportunity Thursday night.

Perhaps, the Yankees would have preferred Hernandez because Elias, a defector from Cuba, in his sixth professional start gave the Yankees more than they were looking for as the Mariners swept the abbreviated two-game series, 4-2. After giving up a first inning home run to Jacoby Ellsbury, the first for the Yankees center fielder, he used a curve and fastball that were impressive.

He tossed seven-innings, struck out a career-high 10, allowing two runs and six hits. And only one run was earned due to a Mariners error in the third inning. Elias was impressive and the spotlight of pitching at Yankee Stadium added no added pressure. Of the 110 pitches he threw, 73 went for strikes.

The Mariners won their fourth straight at Yankee Stadium going back to last season. But the story was Elias who made an impression on Yankees manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees could not deal with the fastball and curve. After the sixth inning, they did not get a hit until pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki got a two-out single in the ninth off closer Fernando Rodney.

"He was hitting his spots. He was getting ahead. He pitched a good game. He's got a good arm,” said the Yankees Derek Jeter about the rookie pitcher. "Sometimes pitchers are going to be better than you. He threw really well. He's not a typical lefty who tries to trick you. He gets it up there pretty good.”

Said Girardi: “He used his fastball and curve effectively…pretty good stuff.” After the Ellsbury home run, Elias, who spent last year pitching for Double- A Jackson with 14 of 22 quality starts, limited the Yankees to five hits.

“The adrenaline comes from the spotlight," Elias said through a translator. "I've never been to the stadium so it was good to come here and beat the Yankees. I've seen it on TV but never been here." Elias became the third rookie pitcher at Yankee Stadium to strike out 10 or more batters at Yankee Stadium.

The manager, Lloyd McClendon had Elias slated to pitch this weekend. The rain-out moved Hernandez to another day and Elias got his chance. He got the call Wednesday night from pitching Coach Rick Waits Wednesday night that he would get the ball.

“The young man threw a tremendous game,” commented McClendon. “We thought he'd be OK in this environment. The young man is tough."

Facing Derek Jeter and the Yankees, especially for the first time is a challenge. The fastball was clocked over 90 and the curve had the Yankees hitters fooled. Throw in the fact that the Yankees are having issues getting the timely hit and again they had to come from behind. Elias made sure to keep his composure.

All of the first 28 batters he faced saw strikes.

“You have to get ready mentally,” said Elias who uses the fastball as his number one pitch. “After a couple of innings I felt more comfortable and took control.

Girardi did not seem concerned that his offense went cold. “It’s early in the season,” he said. “Obviously consistency is important. It will come.” He has to be more concerned about the state of his starting pitching. Hiroki Kuroda (2-3) gave up four runs, three earned on seven hits in six innings. In his previous start, Friday night against the Angels, he gave up a career- high eight runs in 4.21 innings, in a Yankees 13-1 loss.

"I think it's a step in the right direction," Girardi said. "A lot of nights that's going to be good enough to win.”

But it was not good enough for the Yankees who welcome division rival Tampa Bay to the Bronx for the next three games. The rotation is struggling also with Ivan Nova disabled for the season and Michael Pineda serving a suspension and headed to the disabled list.

As for Robinson Cano, his return to the Bronx was met with boos from the Yankee Stadium crowd. And in two games, he went 2-for-9 with three runs batted in. His double and two RBI were the difference Thursday night.

“Both days felt good because both days we won, so it has to feel good," Cano said. "There weren't any expectations from the crowd today. I just wanted to go out and take care of business. You have to understand the fans, but it is not going to be a distraction for me."

But Cano and the Yankees were not the story this night. A kid from Cuba, named Elias, may have turned himself into a pitching sensation at Yankee Stadium.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wrestling Returns to Bx.

By Robert Press
Wrestling Returns to Bx.
(Photos by Robert Press)
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 1- ECPW Wrestling returned to Morris Park last Saturday night, and there was no grudge political match between Senator Jeff “I Get it Done” Klein and his likely challenger Oliver “I Was Attorney General” Koppell. 
There were however many exciting wrestling matches that were enjoyed by the hundreds of people who attended the event at St. Francis Xavier School. Marty Jannetti, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Bushwaker Luke, and many other exciting wrestlers went after each other and at times replied to the calls from the crowd. The wrestlers came out when announced and many either walked around the ring to greet the crowd or went right into the ring to climb the ropes in the corners to show themselves off. Before the program began and during the intermission many of the wrestlers were available for autographs and photos.
The opening match was a tag team event which the good guys won of course. Next came two singles matches, one that involved Bushwacker Luke. When he came out Luke did his famous Bushwacker walk around the ring raising and lowering both his arms. Luke wound up the winner after a tough match, and you can read more and see photos at including the match between Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and ECPW champion Andrew Anderson. The last match had a special note to Marty Jannetti's partner The New Dynamite Kid. After Jannetti and the Kid won, The New Dynamite Kid announced that after 20 years in the ring that he would be retiring. He later told me that it was due to back and knee problems. On the blog among the many photos is one of Marty Jannetti, The New Dynamite Kid, and his mother who was in the audience to see her son's last wrestling match.
Last Saturday was also the renaming of the corner of Matilda Avenue and East 237th Street Mary V. Lauro Way in honor of Ms. Mary V. Lauro who was the President of the Wakefield Taxpayers & Civic League for 25 years until her death last June. Ms. Virginia Sanders the new president was in charge of the street renaming and introducing the many elected officials who came and spoke about what Mary Lauro meant to them. It seemed though that each one said that they listened to what Mary Lauro said to them, and they did what she wanted done. The one sign that many said was that Mary Lauro was still watching over the neighborhood was that when her niece was pulling the cover off the street sign the rope broke. Check my blog for the names of the elected officials and photos of the event.
Bronx Week will be among us soon, as the official announcement of all the activities will be made public on Monday May 5th. Bronx week runs from Thursday, May 8th through Sunday, May 18th ending with the Bronx Week Parade across Mosholu Parkway, and the Music and Food Festival after the parade.
Three Bronx City Council members are holding an Oversight Joint Committee Hearing on Operation Crew Cut and Crime Reduction Strategies at NYCHA. Council members Fernando Cabrera (chair of Juvenile Justice), Ritchie Torres (chair of Public Housing), and Vanessa Gibson (chair of Public Safety) will seek answers from the NYPD, Manhattan DA's office, and others as to why one third of all the shootings in 2011 were committed by youth members of gangs or what is now being called Youth Crews and what is being done to lower that number.
It was typical of the Bloomberg administration to change the names of things he did not want people to remember. This happened most often in city agencies where there were huge problems. Apparently this seems to be another case of that by changing the word gang to crew so people would not know the real problem such as the council members have found out.
Lastly, just why has Mayor Bill de Blasio been pushing the ban on horse drawn carriages in the city? Could it be the contribution to his campaign of $175,000 by NYCLASS a union reported to be tied to his cousin John Wilhelm? The FBI is probing into that, the NYCLASS involvement in the “Anybody But Quinn” campaign, and political consultant Scott Levenson and his consulting firm the Advance Group. Mayor de Blasio has said that he is unaware of any probe into the issue by the FBI. In a statement from the Advance Group Mr. Levenson said that he was proud of his firms role in the mayor’s race. Scott Levenson and Advance Group were the political consultants to Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj during his primary challenge and victory over former Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera.
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.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Westchester Square News: Deli Turned into Drive-Thru

Westchester Square News: Deli Turned into Drive-Thru: Deli Turned into Drive-Thru (Photo by David Greene) A driver lost control of his vehicle and slammed into the front door of a d...

Deli Turned into Drive-Thru

Deli Turned into Drive-Thru
(Photo by David Greene)
A driver lost control of his vehicle and slammed into the front door of a deli, but thankfully no serious injuries were reported. Police were called to 401 East Tremont Avenue at Webster Avenue at 1 a.m. on April 18. Luckily, the popular 24-hour store recently closed for renovations to the building and the vehicle was removed the late the following day.  

Westchester Square News: Deadly Week for Men, Women and Children of the Bro...

Westchester Square News: Deadly Week for Men, Women and Children of the Bro...: Deadly Week for Men, Women and Children of the Bronx By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 1-  Detectives across the borough are pie...

Deadly Week for Men, Women and Children of the Bronx

Deadly Week for Men, Women and Children of the Bronx

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 1- Detectives across the borough are piecing together three separate incidents that claimed the life of a man who was shot, a young woman stabbed and a young child who fell to death.

Rescue workers were called to the River Park Towers in the University Heights section at 5 p.m. on April 23, when police say Sidy Fofana, 9, fell from a still-undetermined height.

The child's body landed on top of a scaffold and he died instantly.

Police say the child had been visiting an uncle's apartment on the 43rd floor, but police were working on the theory that the 4th grader went up to the roof of 20 Richman Plaza.

On April 26, police and paramedics were called to 2600 Creston Avenue in the Fordham Heights section after a woman was reported to have been stabbed one time in the chest.

Authorities say Jasmine Canton, 19, was arguing with her assailant before he stabbed her at 9:30 a.m. inside the basement entrance of 2600 Creston Avenue at East 193 Street. She died prior to reaching St. Barnabas Hospital.

Police sources say Canton, a former student of Jane Adams Vocational High School, had several arrests for prostitution.

Investigators have released surveillance footage of the suspect who is described as a Hispanic man between 20 and 30 years of age, wearing black pants and a black North Face jacket.

The NYPD has posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator in Canton's death.

Police believe a possible road-rage incident may have resulted in the death of Jahbar Campbell, 22, who was found shot to death inside a U-haul truck in Eastchester.

Cops were called to Reeds Mill Lane at the New England Thruway at 9:30 p.m. on April 26. They discovered the van had been shot up before crashing.

Campbell had been shot multiple times and died at the scene.

Police were looking for the driver of the U-haul truck who fled the scene after the crash and the gunman, described as a male black wearing a gray hooded jacket. A police source stated he fled in a red Jeep Cherokee.

As of April 20, the NYPD reported 19 murders in the Bronx so far this year, compared with just 14 during the same time period last year.

Anyone with any information on any of the above incidents can call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls remain confidential.