Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Rams Victorious in Fordham Holiday Classic

Bronx News Sports: Rams Victorious in Fordham Holiday Classic: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- Aficionados of college women’s basketball in the Bronx had an opportunity to attend ...

Rams Victorious in Fordham Holiday Classic

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- Aficionados of college women’s basketball in the Bronx had an opportunity to attend two doubleheaders shortly before the close of 2013 as the 7th annual Fordham Holiday Classic was held on the afternoons of December 29 and December 30 at the Rose Hill Gym. As in the previous six years, the invitees included teams from a wide area of the nation and from several conferences. 

In the opening contest on Sunday afternoon, the Fordham Rams easily triumphed over the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Spartans, 79-48. The Rams began aggressively by scoring the first eight points. At 11:35, Fordham reached its first double digit lead of the contest, 15-5. They increased their lead at the half to 39-20. 

Mid-way through the second half, Fordham increased its advantage to an insurmountable 67-34. Fordham’s experienced and classy coach, Stephanie Gaitley, gave all the reserves on its bench an opportunity to see action and to ensure that the visiting team from the South was not treated to an even more embarrassing defeat.

Erin Rooney paced the Rams, nearly achieving a triple double with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in only 27 minutes on court. 

The closing game of day #1 was the first meeting between the Harvard Crimson and the Tulsa Hurricanes. The two teams battled competitively on a court foreign to both. Control of the boards, 44 rebounds to 32, and six additional points from the charity stripe gave the 61-57 victory to Harvard.

The consolation contest between Tulsa and UNCG opened the second day of the tourney. The game was hard fought and evenly played by two teams that never previously faced one another. Tulsa led throughout most of the first half, but the Spartans took a 27-26 lead with four minutes left in the half. The Hurricanes followed with 10 unanswered points, and led at the half, 36-32.

After knotting the score at 38 early in the second half, the Spartans remained behind for the remainder of the game. They cut the Tulsa advantage to a single point on four occasions, but could not again equal the Tulsa point total. The Hurricanes won, 76-71.

The title contest of the two-day tourney was between Fordham and Harvard. Interestingly, the two men’s teams of the same universities met in the same Bronx venue two nights earlier. The Rams’ ability from beyond the arc furnished them an advantage during the opening half. Five of Fordham’s first six baskets were from downtown and allowed the Rams to lead, 20-12 at 7:47. A basket and a free throw by Emily Tapio brought Fordham its first double figure advantage of the game, 25-14, at 5:56. 

Fordham never lost the double figure advantage again during the contest. During the final two minutes of the game, Fordham, in the person of Abigail Corning, outscored the Crimson, 6-1, to raise its final score lead to a game high 20 points, 64-44. The win was the 10th straight for the Rams, equaling a mark last accomplished in the 1978-79 season. They are undefeated at home, 7-0.

Corning had an impressive game for the Rams, grabbing 12 boards, scoring 9 and dishing 6 assists. Rooney led all scorers in the contest with 19.

Corning and Rooney were named to the All-Tournament team along with JanaĆ© Stevenson of UNCG, Mariah Turner of Tulsa and Temi Fagbenle of Harvard. 

The women of Fordham next see action on the evening of January 2 in the Bronx versus Saint Louis. It will be Fordham’s first Atlantic-10 conference game of the season. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Pinstripe Bowl is Final College Game for Notre Dam...

Bronx News Sports: Pinstripe Bowl is Final College Game for Notre Dam...: By Howard Goldin The final phase of the 2013 college football season has begun, which is the playing of the annual Bowl games. For the stude...

Bronx News Sports: A Notre Dame return to the Bronx with vivid memori...

Bronx News Sports: A Notre Dame return to the Bronx with vivid memori...: By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 29- This was not the game that was titled, “The College Football Game of the Century” of November ...

Bronx News Sports: Notre Dame Defeats Rutgers, 29-16, in 2013 Pinstri...

Bronx News Sports: Notre Dame Defeats Rutgers, 29-16, in 2013 Pinstri...: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 29- The fourth annual Pinstripe Bowl can certainly be termed a success. A capacity crowd of 47,12...

Notre Dame Defeats Rutgers, 29-16, in 2013 Pinstripe Bowl at Sold-out Yankee Stadium

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 29- The fourth annual Pinstripe Bowl can certainly be termed a success. A capacity crowd of 47,122 filled the seats of Yankee Stadium to witness Notre Dame, currently nationally ranked #25, but an iconic football program for a century, face Rutgers University, a neighbor from New Jersey. To add to the luster of seeing the “Fighting Irish”, most of their players on the field on Saturday were part of the team that competed in the most recent national championship contest in January.

The mild weather for a winter day in New York City was also a favorable attraction for selling tickets and for providing comfort for those in the stands for the three hours and 28 minutes of the game.

The attraction was also a boon to the economy of New York City. At a pre-game press conference, New York Yankees president Randy Levine estimated that the game will add $25 million to the city’s economy.

The on the field action was far more competitive and, thus, interesting than most observers predicted. The score was knotted three times during the first half, and Notre Dame maintained only a three point advantage with 3:39 remaining on the clock.

Notre Dame remains undefeated in the five games between the two schools. The rivalry began in 1921. Their most recent game was in 2002.

Although the game being played was American football, 27 of the 45 points on the scoreboard came as a result of strong legs accurately kicking the football. Can anyone say soccer?

The five field goals kicked by Kyle Brindza of Notre Dame tied the school’s single game mark. The two extra points he kicked raised his season point total to 98, high for this year’s team. The other Kyle (Federico) of Rutgers kicked three field goals and an extra point to keep the Scarlett Knights close. It should come as no surprise to those cognizant of the two sports, both kickers were members of their high schools’ soccer teams.

Only three touchdowns were scored. The first was an eight yard run by Notre Dame wide receiver TJ Jones. He later suffered a second degree shoulder strain that curtailed his effectiveness.  A three yard run by Tarean Folston with 3:38 remaining was the other touchdown for the Irish.

The only Rutgers touchdown was scored by Brandon Coleman on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Chas Dodd.

Offensive tackle Zack Martin was named the game’s MVP. His coach, Brian Kelly, was effusive in his praise, “He’s an outstanding and unique player, the best offensive linesman I have ever coached.”

Kelly, the Notre Dame coach summed up his feelings regarding his team’s season, “[it was] a good year but not a great year. It’s [nine wins] not enough for us. We want more.”

A Notre Dame return to the Bronx with vivid memories in their Pinstripe Bowl win

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 29- This was not the game that was titled, “The College Football Game of the Century” of November 9, 1946 at the old Yankee Stadium. Army and Notre Dame then came into that game undefeated and the result was a 0-0 tie. The Irish of Notre Dame have had a previous and illustrious history playing football in the Bronx.  

That history continued Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl with a Notre Dame 29-16 win over Rutgers. There was limited drama in this one with the exception of Tommy Rees, passing for 319 yards in his final college game for the Irish and five field goals kicked by Brian Brindza.

Notre Dame came into this game ranked 25th in the nation. Then it was not a Bowl game, but two undefeated college football teams playing for supremacy in the Bronx, a game that was played yearly in the Bronx before 70,000 or more in the old stadium.

“Army featured two Heisman Trophy winners in that game, Doc Blanchard and Glen Davis,” notes Bronx football historian Prof. Victor Mastrovincenzo. He lectured this past week at various libraries in the borough about the historic games played in the Bronx.  Of course, this Pinstripe Bowl will now be a part of the history.

This time the Notre Dame seniors with 21 wins over the past two years, for the last time sang their fight song.

“We needed to run the ball in today and we did,” commented Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly. “A good season that could have been a great season,” he said about their 9-4 campaign.  Notre Dame may have a better chance at a national championship run soon when the new college football playoff system begins to determine who is really number one.

The Irish improved to 17-6-3 at games in the old and new Yankee Stadium.  And there were references to Notre Dame changing spikes because of the hard stadium turf which was so reminiscent of the famous “Sneaker Game" played at the old Polo Grounds across from the stadium. That was the NFL championship game on December 9, 1934 when the New York Giants got rid of their spikes at halftime and wore sneakers, borrowed from Manhattan College. The Giants would go on and defeat the Chicago Bears 30-13.  

The Notre Dame Coach at the time in that Game Of the Century was Frank Leahy who had Fordham University and Irish roots, part of the famed horseman of the offensive and defensive line.

Kelly may have had a little of both Saturday afternoon, though the field goals were not reminiscent of that great game in the Bronx years ago. This was a game that could have gone to Rutgers but Rees was the obvious difference maker. He had no problems with the turf and playing in the spotlight of New York City.

“I am a Tommy Rees fan for life,” said Kelly.

Kelly and the opposing Rutgers team said it was great to be in New York this past week. Though the 47, 121, in attendance Saturday does not compare to the 74,121, of that greatest game played it will do for the Pinstripe Bowl. The game has also become a successful and annual event for the New York Yankees organization.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Pinstripe Bowl is Final College Game for Notre Dame Wide Receiver TJ Jones

By Howard Goldin

The final phase of the 2013 college football season has begun, which is the playing of the annual Bowl games. For the student-athlete that is a senior, he will be appearing in his final college game. The story of each of these young men’s past, present and future is unique, yet each, like every college graduate, will be entering a new stage of life with its own opportunities and challenges.

This story is about TJ Jones, a Notre Dame senior who plays wide receiver on its renowned football team. Jones was born in Winnipeg, Canada, but moved with his family to Georgia as a young child. He was a highly regarded football player in high school, but chose to enroll at Notre Dame for very personal reasons, “My father [Andre] went here [1987-91]. My father met my mother here when she was in graduate school and he was an undergraduate. In my visit to the school, I saw the closeness of my father with the other students after 20 years.” An example of the closeness of the students is that Jones’ godfather, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, was a teammate of his father on the football team at Notre Dame.

TJ, like his father, has been a success on the football field. Both were contributors to highly successful teams that compiled winning records and competed in a Bowl game at the end of each of the four seasons they played. During the current season, Jones surpassed his previous seasons’ statistics with 65 receptions accounting for 1,042 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns one by rushing.

The last four years have not been all smooth or good times as Jones’ father died in 2011, his sophomore year. It affected him greatly, “I believe I grew into the man I am today at a young age after my father died.”

At this stage in his life, the articulate young man voiced his thoughts regarding his years at Notre Dame, “It’s been a roller coaster, a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Today was my last practice. Saturday will be my last game. It’s hard to believe; I feel like I just got here. I feel young.” It’s bittersweet; I’m sad to leave these guys but it’s exciting. The possibilities [for the future] are endless.”

He also expressed his hopes for future endeavors. Like his father, who was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1991, Jones hopes to play in the NFL. Of being invited to the NFL Combine, he admitted, “That’s the goal.”

Jones also has longer-term goals for the more distant future after his football days have ended. The Radio, Television and Theater major projected his desires, “As I get older, I’d like to get small acting roles. I’d also like to be able to work with killer whales at Sea World.”
Regardless of what his future holds, the memories of his college years will always remain with him, “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, being part of the tradition of Notre Dame and playing at Yankee Stadium [in 2010 and 2013].”

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bronx News ( Carlos Beltran Officially Introduced by New York Y...

Bronx News ( Carlos Beltran Officially Introduced by New York Y...: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 21- For the third time in the past three weeks, the New York Yankees officially introduced one of...

Bronx News Sports: Carlos Beltran Officially Introduced by New York Y...

Bronx News Sports: Carlos Beltran Officially Introduced by New York Y...: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 21- For the third time in the past three weeks, the New York Yankees officially introduced one of...

Bronx News Sports: Is Carlos Beltran a right fit for the Yankees?

Bronx News Sports: Is Carlos Beltran a right fit for the Yankees?: By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 21- Carlos Beltran was all smiles in the Bronx when he put on the Yankees pinstripes for the first...

Is Carlos Beltran a right fit for the Yankees?

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 21- Carlos Beltran was all smiles in the Bronx when he put on the Yankees pinstripes for the first time. The last time he wore a New York uniform, cross-town as a Met, it wasn’t smiles after taking an Adam Wainwright curveball at Shea Stadium in October of 2006 that ended the Mets season in the NLCS to the Cardinals.

The Mets may have never recovered from that pitch and that final at bat from Beltran. And Beltran never recovered as a Met, their fans still have not forgiven him for leaving them one game shy of advancing to the World Series. There would be more tumultuous moments with Mets management before being traded to the Giants for rookie pitcher Zach Wheeler.

There was Beltran at Yankee Stadium. He was not shy about talking of those years with the Mets. He felt the seven-year, $119 million contract resulted in good times, but the end became a disrespectful memory. In essence, the Yankees then were his first choice as a free agent after a memorable 2005 post season with the Houston Astros.

Beltran was always a Yankee fan. The Yankees at the time felt he was not their perfect fit. He is now, but is he? Beltran downplayed questions about two suspect knees, and there are questions of whether he will be inserted more as the DH in the lineup of manager Joe Girardi, or a part time position player in a crowded outfield.

Girardi is happy with his new addition that goes along with the signees the past two weeks of catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. And, Beltran now gets to play in the Bronx where there is a predominant Latino community. Girardi and the hierarchy of the Yankees were not holding back.

Carlos Beltran will also play a major role in the community. He is also a family oriented individual, something that Girardi also referred to as a constant in the Yankees clubhouse.

And there should be no issues about Beltran not fitting in with the New York fan base or getting along with the media. He did that well during his tenure with the Mets.

“Carlos understands how New York works,” said Girardi. “It helps a lot.”

It also helps that the Yankees are making roster additions in the off-season. Girardi is not adjusting the lineup in mid-season, or as was the case this past year welcoming one new player after another because of the constant injuries that plagued the team.

“What we’ve added to our lineup is as much since I’ve been here,” said Girardi with his confident smile. The feeling is, the Yankees hierarchy is not done and pitching now will be a priority before spring training commences in about seven weeks.

“I can deal with 0-for-fours and three strikeouts,” said Beltran after his introductory press conference. “And talking to you guys I can deal with that. When someone is trying to hurt you in a personal way, trying to put things out there that are not me, we have trouble.”

Beltran was not referring to the disgruntled Mets fans, who felt in the end that he was not the perfect fit. It was an attack at Mets management for berating his ability and possibly not living up to expectations. In six seasons with the Mets he hit 149 home runs and drove in 559 runs.

“You cannot believe the organization that signed you for seven years is trying to put you down,” he said. “In that aspect, I felt hurt. “I’m a player but they don’t only hurt me, they hurt my family, they hurt people around me. It wasn’t right put it that way.”

And if that is indeed true, Beltran had every right to express his feelings and the Mets brass could not be reached for comment, but they by now have heard the comments and will be asked sooner or later. The Yankees stressed that family issue with Beltran on board, and his wife and two children were very visible on his debut in the Bronx.

The Yankees scored a trifecta the past three weeks. It was Beltran on Friday, Ellsbury and McCann the prior two weeks. Beltran is the latest addition and he said, “When you don’t win, everything is a failure.”

The Yankees believe they have another piece to the puzzle that will get them back to the post season.  The question is, will Beltran, who almost became a Yankee in 2005, help return them to the post season?

Right now he appears to be a perfect fit.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Carlos Beltran Officially Introduced by New York Yankees

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 21- For the third time in the past three weeks, the New York Yankees officially introduced one of their free agent signees. These brief meetings with the press and media are wise ways for an organization to publicize its franchise in a positive manner and demonstrate to its fan base its efforts to improve the performance of the team in the coming season.

Catcher Brian McCann, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and on Friday, Carlos Beltran were the subjects of these public events. The player least needing an introduction to New York fans is Beltran.

The 36 year-old outfielder has been in the majors since 1998 and was a star on the New York Mets from 2005-2011. During that time, he has compiled very creditable on the field statistics and conducted himself humbly and gentlemanly off the field.  

After playing 14 games for the Kansas City Royals in 1998, Beltran earned the American League Rookie-of-the Year Award in 1999. After a trade to Houston during the 2004 season, Beltran became a free agent and was hopeful of signing with the Yankees in 2005.

Beltran recalled this experience, “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 win championships. Eight-nine years ago, they [Yankees] 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.”

Although he still retains the hurtful memories of having been unfairly spoken of negatively by Mets brass, Beltran put the entire Mets experience in a positive light, “I have good memories of Queens. As a person, I met so many good people. In my career, my best numbers were with the Mets.”

Beltran responded with total honesty when asked how playing for the Yanks will be different than playing for the Mets, “I don’t know. I have to experience it.”

New York Yankees President Randy Levine explained one of the reasons the Yankees desired to sign Beltran, “We know he can play in New York. A lot of great players can’t.” Beltran later explained the meaning of Levine’s words from his own playing experience, “Playing here [New York] is different than playing anywhere else. The attention here is more; that’s pressure.”

Despite the pressure, he talked of his happiness of being in New York, a feeling that was not always realized by the public, “People misunderstood that I didn’t like New York. I really did enjoy it. My wife loves it here.”

As a Latino born in Puerto Rico, the veteran major leaguer expressed happiness of being 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. We’re going to have some fun.”

The socially conscious individual also spoke of his responsibility of giving back to the community, “My opportunity as a player is to give back. We are going to do something positive.”

As a veteran player who at the end of his current three year contact will have played in the majors for 18 seasons, Beltran is thinking of the future. He said although he never gave thought to the Hall of Fame, people have told him it could be in his future. Because of this possibility, he felt a strong preference for a three year rather than two year contract, “The third year, to me, is important. It allows me to play longer and get better numbers.”

The statistics and honors earned by Beltran are already quite impressive. The eight time All-Star, three time Gold Glove winner and recipient of the Silver Slugger twice is worthy of being considered. His .333 batting average in 51 post-season games also adds to his high reputation.

He responded to a query of when he will retire, “It depends on how I feel. Right now, I consider it my last contract.”

Perhaps, the comment by Levine of why this contract between Beltran and the Yankees was signed was most appropriate, “The stars were aligned.”

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Torre gets Well Deserved Hall of Fame Nod

Bronx News Sports: Torre gets Well Deserved Hall of Fame Nod: By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 9- Joe Torre is now a legitimate part of baseball history when he got the well- deserved h...

Torre gets Well Deserved Hall of Fame Nod

By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 9- Joe Torre is now a legitimate part of baseball history when he got the well- deserved honor of being elected with two other former and living managers into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The announcement was made at the annual baseball winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista Florida.
Torre, along with Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, former managers of the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals, were unanimously elected by the expansion era committee. The late George Steinbrenner, who hired Torre to manage the Yankees in 1996, was denied induction for the second time.
With four World Series rings, and a successful playing career, Torre, Executive Vice President of Operations for Major League Baseball, joins an elite group of former managers to be enshrined in the Hall.
It is an honor that is well deserved with overall managerial record of 1,173-767 with the Yankees and six American League pennants. Steinbrenner at the time took a chance when he appointed Torre as the manager and there was much skepticism at the time. But, with an array of free agents and support from the Yankees front office staff, Torre was able to utilize what he had and it worked guiding his team to championships in the Bronx.
Previously as a manager with the Braves, cross-town Mets and the Cardinals, Torre did not have much success and that was a primary cause of concern when he was hired by the Yankees. However the names of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and many more put a hush to the critics about his managerial ability.
He always said, the players made the job that much easier to manage. On the other hand, those who played for Torre always claimed that he was the proper fit to guide the Yankees. A player’s manager, and one who knew how to take control in the clubhouse when there was any sign of adversity, Torre was respected.
Though in the Torre years, there was little room for adversity as the Yankees, always with the highest payroll in baseball were able to compete and get the players that they needed. 
Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Tags: Joe Torre, NY Yankees, Baseball Hall of Fame

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Thanks Jay Z!

Bronx News Sports: Thanks Jay Z!: Thanks Jay Z! Cano Runs out of Bronx for Seattle Ca$h Grandi Man goes to Mets By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 6- Robinson C...

Thanks Jay Z!

Thanks Jay Z!

Cano Runs out of Bronx for Seattle Ca$h
Grandi Man goes to Mets

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 6- Robinson Cano exits the Bronx and the New York Yankees, signing the highest contract in Seattle Mariners history. Moments later, the cross-town NY Mets make a big splash and ink former Yankee Curtis Granderson to a four-year deal. Yes, it has been a memorable Friday of off-season baseball news in New York.

And this December, with the winter meetings next week, the complexion of baseball has changed. More so, the change is apparent in New York with the Yankees and Mets. Assuming Granderson is healthy, this was a monumental move for the Mets. They get a left handed bat in the lineup and protection for David Wright.

Sandy Alderson, the Mets general manager was reportedly informed by the so-called stingy Mets ownership to make the deal for Granderson. The Mets are looking better, have made a statement and for the moment have made their fans content. Alderson has made his first big splash in the free agent market since assuming his role as the GM.

As for the Yankees, congratulations!  They were not willing to make another 10-year major investment with a player, as good as Cano is, and now a loss in the Yankees lineup. But, as history has dictated, the Yankees always find a way to recover their loss and they are not going sit still.

Of course they won’t sit still. With a Cano contract off the books, and the assumption Alex Rodriguez and his $25 million is off the books, pending an expected season long suspension, well the money is in place to keep the Yankees at that $189 million threshold that has been a target this off-season.

Of course there is the bitter sentiment of Yankee fans with the departure of Cano. He is considered one of the top ten players in the game. The Mariners will have a different look, so will the Yankees when they take the field in the Bronx in a few months.

Yes, the complexion of the game has changed. The talk of free agency and the long term mega contract is still strong, because Cano had the leverage with Jay-Z and the newest sports agents in town. The loyalty and pride of being a Yankee, well that is gone.

Because Robinson Cano, despite all he accomplished in the Bronx was a homegrown player and from the Yankees system, he will be a distant memory. Now he is headed to Seattle as one of six players in baseball history to achieve a contract of $200 million or more, and not considered a loyal New York Yankee.

Not considered a loyal player in Yankee pinstripes, so different from the “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, all raised out of the Yankees organization. Though Pettitte tested the free agent market and decided to return and retire in Yankee pinstripes.

Yes, the complexion has changed. And the cross-town Mets, with some money to spend made a statement. It is not unprecedented to see a player from the Bronx go to Flushing in the span of one baseball season to another. It has happened with a rare trade of the two New York baseball teams, or in this case via the free agent route.

Except in this case, Granderson is a big name player and comes from the Bronx. That makes a Yankee fan unhappy and a fan of the Mets smiling. Because anytime the Mets can obtain a player of this magnitude, as is the situation with Granderson, it is a major New York baseball story.

The Mets don’t make player acquisitions like this one. It is always the Yankees who make the big move, but the hierarchy in the Bronx did not want to get involved with another Alex Rodriguez type of contract, and who can blame them for that.

The Yankees will survive without Robinson Cano as they seek pitching, a bat without Cano, a possible third baseman and a closer out of the pen. This coming week at the winter meetings the search will continue to assure their fans that baseball will be played again in the Bronx come next October. Will Cano be happy with his new surroundings, despite all the money? That remains to be determined.

Granderson adds a different dimension to the Mets, a team that lacked power the past few years. If David Wright gets his home run trot back to form, and with Granderson having potential to hit 25 or maybe 30 long balls, well the Mets with a young and good pitching staff will make noise.

The wheeling and dealing will continue for both teams, as it will with many other teams in baseball who feel they are one or two players away from contention. The question always is, are these the right moves to get one step closer?

Friday, New York should have been focusing on their football, basketball and hockey teams. However, significant off-season baseball moves became the subject of discussion.

The Mets improved with a valuable addition in Curtis Granderson. And the Yankees, no matter how weird it sounds, will survive and do well without Robinson Cano in their lineup.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Tags: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Jay Z

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Fordham Rams Crush Furman Paladins, 79-48

Bronx News Sports: Fordham Rams Crush Furman Paladins, 79-48: By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 5- The contest on Wednesday evening between the Fordham Rams (4-2) and the Furman Pa...

Fordham Rams Crush Furman Paladins, 79-48

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 5- The contest on Wednesday evening between the Fordham Rams (4-2) and the Furman Paladins (3-4) in the Bronx was only the second meeting between the two teams. In both games, at the NCAA Tournament in 1971 and in the Bronx this week, Fordham was victorious by 31 points. The win raised the 2013 mark of the Rams to 4-2, their most successful start since 2006.
Although Furman is not currently a national basketball power, one of its former players, Frank Selvy, accomplished a feat on court not yet reached by another men’s player in NCAA Division I basketball. Selvy in January, 1954, scored 100 points. The two-time All American was the first NBA draft choice at the end of the 1954 season. Selvy played a decade in the NBA, including 1958-59 with the New York Knicks.
Although none of the current Paladins are recognizable by fans in the Bronx, one name should be recognized. Aaron O’ Neill, the starting guard in all seven of his team’s contests this year, is the son of former New York Yankees highly popular right fielder and now one of their TV broadcasters, Paul O’Neill. The younger O’Neill joined the team as a walk-on in his freshman year, 2011-12. O’Neill earned a scholarship this year. He amassed his most minutes in a contest on Wednesday, 24, but did not score.
Fordham’s superiority in athleticism, height and shooting skill was apparent from the earliest seconds of the game. Bryan Smith, after missing the last two contests with an injury, scored the first basket of the evening before five seconds had passed. After gaining a 6-5 lead, the Rams scored 12 unanswered points to take a double digit advantage, 18-5, at 13:49 of the half. 
Leading 30-15 mid-way through the first half, Fordham began a 10-2 scoring run that increased the lead to 40-17 with 5:02 left in the half. As the half-time buzzer sounded Fordham had more than doubled the point total of its opponent, 49-24. 
The Rams, in the beginning of the second half, played in much the same fashion as they did throughout the first. The Rams scored 15 of the first 17 points to amass an overwhelming 64-26 lead with 13:07 remaining in the game. 
A layup by senior Branden Frazier at 9:43 produced largest lead of the game for the Rams, 41 points (72-31). Fordham Coach Tom Pecora gave his reserves the opportunity to see game action during the one-sided contest; 13 Rams played.
Fordham controlled the boards, garnering 45 rebounds to 25 for Furman. The Rams shot 47 percent from the field while its defense held the Paladins to 34 percent and none successful from beyond the arc. 
Three of Fordham’s starters are natives of Brooklyn and all three contributed to the win. While Smith did not again score after his game starting basket, he was crucial under the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds. Freshman Jon Severe, the leading scorer in the Atlantic-10, continued his hot hand with 5 for 8 from 3-point range and compiled a 23 point total. Frazier scored nine.
Two sophomores from upstate New York made important contributions. Mandell Thomas netted 19 points on 7 for 11 shooting from the floor. Ryan Rhoomes achieved a double-double, 15 points and 14 rebounds, in only 22 minutes on court.
Fordham makes its only appearance at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon, December 7, facing the St. John’s Red Storm in the second game of the Holiday Festival doubleheader.
Tags: Fordham, Rams, Basketball

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bronx News Sports: Rams Win First Round FCS Playoff Contest

Bronx News Sports: Rams Win First Round FCS Playoff Contest: (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2- A historic college football game was played at Jack Cof...

Rams Win First Round FCS Playoff Contest

(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2- A historic college football game was played at Jack Coffey Field on the Bronx campus of Fordham University on Saturday afternoon. Fordham(13-1) hosted its first FCS playoff contest, in the first round of the 2013 Division I championship and the Sacred Heart Pioneers (10-3) were making their first FCs playoff appearance.

The weather was not a factor in the outcome as skies were clear, winds were blowing more than 10 mph and the temperature was in the 30s. 

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend did not decrease interest in the game as nearly 5,000 of the 7,000+ seats were filled with enthusiastic Rams rooters.

The result of the hard fought contest was primarily determined by turnovers. Each of the four turnovers of the Pioneers led to a Fordham Rams score.

The first turnover of the afternoon was an interception of a Michael Nebrich pass by J. D. Roussel, that he carried 52 yards to the Fordham 13. The scoring opportunity was nullified two plays later as Keshaudas Spence, the North East Conference (NEC) Offensive Player of the Year, fumbled the football, which was recovered by Levon Williams on the Fordham 30. 

The Fordham drive that followed culminated in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Nebrich to Tebucky Jones, Jr. at 6:23 of the first quarter. The extra point kicked by Michael Marando gave the Rams a 10-7 advantage. 

Seconds into the second quarter, the same Fordham combination, Jake Rodrigues, who again caused Spence to fumble and Williams, who recovered the ball, set the stage for another Fordham touchdown. A 19 yard Nebrich pass to another of his favorite receivers, Sam Ajala, brought the Fordham lead to 24-7 at 13:22 of the second quarter. 

The visitors hung tough and cut the Rams advantage to four points, 31-27, before the third quarter concluded. 

Sacred Heart’s first drive of the final period was stopped at Fordham’s 32 as Jordan Chapman picked off a pass by the Pioneers’ quarterback, R. J. Noel, and carried it 35 yards to the Sacred Heart’s 33. The Fordham drive stalled at the 15, but Marando kicked a 32 yard field goal to increase Fordham’s lead to 34-27 at 11:29.

The final scoring opportunity of the afternoon began with an interception of a Noel pass by Williams at the Fordham 29. Not only was a scoring threat by the Pioneers prevented, but the Fordham possession resulted in Marando’s third field goal of the game with 2:05 on the clock. 

Of the fourth quarter Fordham defense, Williams commented, “We played very aggressively. We felt we had to get the ball back.”
The importance of the turnovers was commented upon in the post-game press conference. Sacred Heart Coach Mark Nofri said, “We had four turnovers and that’s one of the things that stood out today. The turnovers came back to bite us in the end.” Spence who fumbled twice, but also gained 194 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns, remarked, “We definitely shot ourselves in the foot.”

Several Fordham offensive players broke school marks with their contributions to Saturday’s victory. Quarterback Nebrich’s 32 complete passes, 413 yards gained in the air and three touchdowns brought him Fordham season records with 316 complete passes, 3,989 yards gained, and 31 touchdown passes. Ajala, with 128 yards gained on seven receptions, broke the Fordham receiving yards mark for a season with 1,516.

These marks and others will rise next Saturday as the Rams move to the second round of the tournament to play Towson (10-2) in Maryland. Coach Joe Moorhead of Fordham described his team’s opportunity, “it’s going to be a challenge, but we’re going to do what we always do every week, prepare to go 1-0.”

Senior running back Calvin Koonce, who gained 152 all-purpose yards on Saturday, spoke about the importance of continuing the season for the seniors, “I don’t want it [the season] to end. This is our last go around.”

Quarterback Nebrich predicted, “As long as we execute to our level, nobody can beat us.”

Tags: Fordham, Rams, Football

Bronx News Sports: Hayes Stuffs Mount to Win Turkey Bowl

Bronx News Sports: Hayes Stuffs Mount to Win Turkey Bowl: Photos by Gary Quintal By Gary Quintal BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2- Mount Saint Michael Academy and Hayes continued their t...

Hayes Stuffs Mount to Win Turkey Bowl

Photos by Gary Quintal
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2- Mount Saint Michael Academy and Hayes continued their tradition playing their 71st annual Turkey Bowl at McGovern Field Thanksgiving morning to the usual sell-out crowd. This year the AA City Championship was also on the line.  
The scoring started early with Hayes and Mount trading touchdowns through the first four possessions, including a touchdown pass into the back corner of the end-zone on Hayes opening possession. 
Mount held a 16-14 lead at the half thanks to a missed extra point conversion by Hayes. Both sides seemed to solve each other until a fourth quarter touchdown run by Hayes put the Cardinals up for good with a 20-16 lead.  
The turning point came as Hayes, down by two, recovered a Mount fumble just inside the two yard line late in the third quarter after Mount had just successfully pulled of a fake punt, running for a first and goal.
Tags: Mount Saint Michael Academy, Cardinal Hayes, Thanksgiving, Turkey Bowl