Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bronx News Sports: From Hero to Zero

Bronx News Sports: From Hero to Zero: From Hero to Zero Ca$h is King #Cano gets Bronx Cheer from Fan Faithful By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 30- Robinson Ca...

From Hero to Zero

From Hero to Zero
Ca$h is King #Cano gets Bronx Cheer from Fan Faithful
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 30- Robinson Cano, one of the premier players in MLB, was the center of attention at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. For the first time he made his debut with the New York Yankees in 2005, Cano dressed in the visitor’s clubhouse and wore the uniform of the visiting club, the Seattle Mariners.
Several days earlier, Cano prophesied his feelings on the day of his return, “It’s going to be weird. It’s going to feel a lot different being on the other side.” 
Cano was on the Yankee side since he signed as a non-drafted free agent at the age of 17 on January 5, 2001. Interestingly, Cano’s father, Jose, was also drafted and signed by the Yankees. After several minor league seasons, he made his big league debut on May 3, 2005.
The native of the baseball hotbed of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic compiled outstanding statistics and received many honors during his nine seasons with the Yanks. 
The five-time American League All-Star, the last four as the starting second sacker, was a winner of the Silver Slugger five times and the Gold Glove twice. 
He has been especially effective in the last five years averaging 99 runs scored, 103 runs batted in, a batting average of .314, a slugging average of .530 and an on-base percentage of .369 per season. Cano was the winner of the 2012 Home Run Derby, and was named the MVP of the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), leading his nation, the Dominican Republic to the championship with a batting average of .469.
Not surprisingly, his recent performances increased the interest by teams other than the Yankees to obtain the services of Cano for the future. To the shock of many and the disappointment and anger of Yankee rooters, Cano signed a 10-year contract worth $240 million with the Mariners on December 12, 2013. 
In a pre-game press conference in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Cano refused to be trapped by questions in English or Spanish that attempted to get him to discuss his contract negotiations or to criticize the Yankees, “I just want to move on and not talk about the past. I’m just happy to be back and see those guts again that I played with.”
Prior to the game, the new Mariner expressed hope that the New York fans would remember his nine years and react well to him “Hopefully, I’ll be treated nice by the fans.” In spite of his high hopes, he did show understanding of the psyche of partisan sports fans, “I know I’m not a Yankee anymore. I have to understand the reaction of the fans.”
Loud boos were heard after the mention of his name in the pre-game introductions. Those jeers paled in comparison to the negative reception he received when he walked to the plate for his first at bat. The booing did not cease until Cano took a third strike which was cheered. 
The Seattle second baseman struck out again in the eighth, but drove in a run in the fifth with a ground ball out. He got an infield single, stole a base and scored in the seventh. 
The game is now behind him, so hopefully the fans can concentrate on rooting for the success of their team rather than for someone’s failure.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning

Bronx News Sports: Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning: Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Gary Quintal BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- Walton Campu...

Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning

Walton Dominates with 16-Run First Inning
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 28- Walton Campus exploded for a 16-run first inning against fellow Bronx A East division rival Taft Campus Friday evening in PSAL baseball action.  
The (5-2) Walton Wildcats cruised to an 18-1 victory putting them 2 games back of (8-2) James Monroe Campus while Taft falls to 2-6.  
Walton seeks to gain ground this week as they face JFK, Lehman, and Roosevelt while Monroe also plays Lehman in addition to Samuel Gompers this week. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bronx News Sports: John Ryan Murphy, Yankees

Bronx News Sports: John Ryan Murphy, Yankees: Newbies Save the Day for Yankees By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 27- A win or a loss in an individual baseball game is never the pro...

John Ryan Murphy, Yankees

Newbies Save the Day for Yankees

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 27- A win or a loss in an individual baseball game is never the product of one player’s performance. While writers and fans find it simplistic and thus easy to point to one player or one play as the cause for either the victory or defeat, the resaons are usually more complex.

On Saturday afternoon, the Yankees defeated the Angels, 4-3. The pitch count was 286, there were 67 official at bats, five batters drew walks, two pitchers balked. Some happenings were more crucial than others in determining the final outcome.

This article will focus on the performances of three lesser known and more recent players to join the team, who played critical roles in the Yankee victory. The Yankees starter Vidal Nuno, 26 years old, appeared in five games for the Yanks in 2013 and was making his fifth appearance and second start this year on Saturday. With Ivan Nova currently on the disabled list and Michael Pineda on suspension, other Yankees are being called upon for extra duty.

Nuno gave up a home run to the second batter in the game. To put that fact in truer perspective the batter was Mike Trout, arguably the best player in baseball. The homer was Trout’s sixth in 2014 and the run batted in his 15th. Later in the game, off different pitchers, Trout drew two walks, singled and stole a base. His batting average is .313.

The California native of Mexican descent yielded two runs in the fourth after retiring all six batters he faced in the second and third innings. The fourth began with the second straight single hit by future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. Of course, Pujols has little problem with any Yankee hurler. In limited at bats, he is 17 for 47. The next batter, Howie Kendrick, who holds the highest batting average against the Yanks-.357, walked. Both scored before the inning ended.

The score was tied when Nuno was removed after 4.1 innings, giving up three runs and five hits. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said Nuno was not as impressive as in his last start (zero runs in five frames) on April 20, but “he gave us a chance to win. He’ll be out there in six days.”

The four relievers for each club did not allow a run to score. Dellin Betances, who followed Nuno earned the win. Betances, 26 years of age, pitched in only two games in 2011 and six last year for the Yanks. Saturday’s relief effort was his ninth appearance this season.
Betances gave up a single and a walk in two innings of work. Girardi commented very favorably on the native New Yorker, “He got a lot of big outs for us today. This was the toughest challenge we’ve given him. He’s had to change roles and had to fight to get here.”
The 6-8 hurler spoke of the effort he makes, “I’m just trying to go out there and make my pitches. I want to do the best I can to help.”

Thanks to a lead-off first pitch home run in the fifth by catcher John Ryan Murphy, Betances obtained his first major league win. Betances commented, “It was good to get the first win, especially from the bullpen. I feel the win goes for myself and everybody who got in the game.”

He had special words of commendation for Murphy, “I’m so happy for him. He did the job today. I’ve gotten to know him in the last few years.”

While the home run was the game winning run batted in, Murphy also got the other two runs batted in for the Yanks. He drove in two runs in the second. The third run in that inning scored on a balk by Hector Santiago.  

Girardi said of Murphy, 22, who was in 16 games for the Yanks last year, “He’ll never forget it. Huge day. Great job behind home plate. It means even more because we won the game by one run and he did it.”

Murphy received the game ball after hitting his first homer in the majors. Of the ball, he explained, “[I’ll] probably give it to my mother and let her decide what to do with it.”
The starting pitchers in the rubber game of the three game set which will begin late on Sunday night are two undefeated pitchers, Masahiro Tanaka for New York and Garrett Richards for Los Angeles.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Play Like They Were Cursed

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Play Like They Were Cursed: Yanks Play Like They Were Cursed  Kuroda Bombs, Angels Clobber Yanks, 13-1 By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 26- Returning from a road...

Yanks Play Like They Were Cursed

Yanks Play Like They Were Cursed
 Kuroda Bombs, Angels Clobber Yanks, 13-1

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 26- Returning from a road trip which found starter Ivan Nova injured, needing surgery, and out for the rest of the 2014 season and starter Michael Pineda suspended for 10 games, starter Hiroki Kuroda began the homestand on Friday night with his worst performance of the young season.

Kuroda was removed from the game by Yanks skipper Joe Girardi after 4.2 innings after surrendering 10 hits and 8 runs, 6 earned. In his previous 26 starts, since May 28, 2013, Kuroda had pitched a minimum of five innings. The current holder of the highest streak of games of at least five innings pitched is Kuroda’s countryman, Yu Darvish with 56.

Kuroda spoke critically off his performance, “Right now, some pitches are inconsistent. I need to improve my breaking ball. I need to make an adjustment.”

Two veterans, Albert Pujols and Raúl Ibañez, beagn the hit parade for the Angels with singles in the first inning. The first three batters in the second inning, Ian Stewart, Erick Aybar and Hank Conger, hit safely and later in the inning scored.

With two out in the third, second sacker Howie Kendrick singled and was driven in on a two-run homer by Stewart.

Pujols, leading off the fifth, drilled a 1-1 pitch into the leftfield stands for his ninth home run of the year and the 501st of his career in the majors. He became the 26th player to reach 500 four baggers three days earlier. Now in his 14th season, Pujols, off to an excellent start, had only once, 2006, reached his ninth homer in the season sooner than game #22. The nine homer in April tied an Angels mark set by Brian Downing in 2006.

Pujols is the first righty to hit a home run off Kuroda in 10 starts. The last was Edwin Encarnación on August 28, 2013. The last righthand batter to homer off him in Yankee Stadium was Jose Iglesias on June 2, 2013.

Although the outcome was already decided when Kuroda left the field, the Angels left nothing to chance by scoring five runs off Yankee relievers. Four were driven in by homers in the seventh. Aybar blasted a three run home run and, two batters later, Colin Cowgill hit a solo homer.

The Yankee offense was halted by Los Angeles starter CJ Wilson. In six innings, he yielded only four hits and one run to earn his third win of the season.

The second game of the series will be plated on Saturday afternoon with Vidal Nuno starting for the Yanks and Hector Santiago for the Angels.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium

Bronx News Sports: Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium: Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 22- Officials of the New York Yankees and the New...

Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium

Soccer has a New Home at Yankee Stadium
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 22- Officials of the New York Yankees and the New York City FC (NYCFC) were present at a  press conference that was held at Yankee Stadium on Monday to announce that that the iconic ballpark will be the first home venue for the NYCFC when the team begins its first season in MLS (Major League Soccer) in March of 2015.
Tim Pernetti, the Chief Business Officer of the new club in the MLS, stated its goal originally was and still is “to find the right community to build a soccer specific stadium in New York City.” He stressed that the 20th member of the MLS intends to play its games within New York City.
Attempts have previously been made to plan construction of a new stadium in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens and in the South-west Bronx, but resistance from residents has thus far thwarted those efforts from being successful.
With less than one year remaining before the new MLS season will begin, a home for the new club to play had to be named. All those officials on the dais presented realistic reasons as to why Yankee Stadium fits the bill.
Pernetti pointed out, “The Yankees are no strangers to soccer. They understand the needs of our club. This is the first MLS season that will be played within New York City.”
As part owners of the club, the Yankees organization has a vested interest in it being successful in every measurement of that term. Transforming the baseball field into an acceptable soccer pitch has been done before and is already been thoughtfully planned for 2015.
Soccer was played at the original Yankee Stadium from 1931 through 1976. Two world class soccer matches have been played at the current Yankee Stadium in each of the past tywo years and a match between Manchester City and Liverpool, two of the powers in the English Premier League is scheduled to be played on July 30.
Lonn Trost, the COO of the Yankees, using a chart, explained the particulars of the use of the stadium by NYCFC: The baseball capacity of 49,681 will be lowered to 33,444 for soccer, the pitch will measure 110X70, 17 games will be played in the Bronx during the regular season, field conversion to the other sport will take three days.
The schedule of playing dates between the Yankees and NYCFC will be worked out without difficulty. According to Randy Levine, “They [MLS] know we know what we are doing.”
One of the main benefits of playing in Yankee Stadium is accessibility, which was mentioned repeatedly during the press conference. 
Pernetti remarked, “Yankee Stadium is one of the world’s most legendary sports venues and a great and accessible location for fans.”
The Sporting Director of NYCFC, an experienced soccer star who captained the Red Bulls, commented on its attractiveness to world class players, “By having our home facility at Yankee Stadium, we feel even more confident that we’ll be able to attract top-level talent from around the world to our organization. Top athletes want the opportunity to showcase their talents at the world’s most famouis sports venues, and Yankee Stadium is such a venue.”
Although not present at the press conference, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. issued a statement supporting the team’s playing in the Bronx, “The Bronx is thrilled to have the New York City Football Club makes its home in Yankee Stadium. This will lead to more visitors to our borough, which in turn will mean more tourism dollars and more people discovering the ‘New Bronx’.”

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Fordham Sweeps Double Header

Bronx News Sports: Fordham Sweeps Double Header: Fordham Sweeps Double Header  (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Gary Quintal BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 21- Fordham softball swept a dou...

Fordham Sweeps Double Header

Fordham Sweeps Double Header 
(Photos by Gary Quintal)

By Gary Quintal

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 21- Fordham softball swept a double header over visiting UMass Saturday afternoon to extend their winning steak to 11 games.  

Fordham took the first game 7-0. All of their runs were scored  in the third inning, including a grand slam by pitcher Michele Daubman.  

A five-run, sixth inning in Game Two gave Fordham a 6-2 victory. With six games remaining, Fordham holds a 29-16 record. 

Bronx News Sports: Grandy Man Comes Through for Mets

Bronx News Sports: Grandy Man Comes Through for Mets: Grandy Man Comes Through for Mets By Howard Goldin The marathon encounter between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves on Sunday aftern...

Grandy Man Comes Through for Mets

Grandy Man Comes Through for Mets
By Howard Goldin
The marathon encounter between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon did not come to a conclusion until 398 pitches had been thrown and 4 hours and 37 minutes had elapsed. 
It was fitting that the crucial blow in the 14th inning had been struck by 33 year-old Curtis Granderson. The veteran outfielder had first played in the majors with the Tigers in 2004. He joined the Yankees in 2010 and signed a free agent contract with the Mets on December 10, 2013.
Expectations were very high when Granderson went across town to a new team and a new league. Mets fans were excited to have a person of Granderson’s ability as a player and decency as a human being on their club. Unfortunately for him and for the fans, Granderson has not yet lived up to expectations. 
After his 0 for 6 day at the plate on Sunday, his batting average dropped to a meager .127. He has been hitless in his last 16 official at bats. His strikeouts have not dipped in number this year as he has been fanned 20 times in 63 at bats. This showing has disappointed Mets fans who were heard booing the first year Met at each of his trips to the plate on Sunday. 
In addition to his lack of hitting, Granderson made a wild throw from the outfield that could not be cut off during the only inning [5th] in which the Braves scored. Of the throw, he admitted, “I just lost it.”
When asked after the game about whether or not he heard the jeering, he responded, “You can’t help but to hear it. I haven’t given them much to cheer about.” 
Granderson’s opportunity to shine came in the bottom of the 14th. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off with a walk. Ruben Tejada sacrificed him to second. Eric Young Jr was intentionally walked. Rookie Gus Schlossar, in his fourth inning on the mound, fired a wild pitch moving the runners to second and third. Granderson stated he “slightly did change” after the wild pitch and was able to lift a fly ball to left that scored the lead runner with the winning (4-3) tally. The walk-off run batted in was Granderson’s third in the majors and his first since June 12, 2006, when he was with Detroit. 
Granderson, his teammates, his manager and most of the 33,131 fans in the stands were overjoyed by his accomplishment. Manager Terry Collins spoke with high praise of Grandy, “There’s not a finer guy that you would want on your team. You have to root for him. I’m really happy for him.”
Collins also said he considered his poor start to be an aberration, “It’s early in the year. This [poor start] will be forgotten in July when he puts up his numbers.”
Granderson, of course, was happy to be a contributor to his team’s win, “Hopefully, the team will win and I’ll have something to bring to it. Victory is always a good thing. I needed something positive.” The play also is a lesson of life, according to Granderson, “It’s a sign that things can change in a matter of seconds.”
The game was not decided in totality by only one play. Two others who stood out should be mentioned. David Wright hit four singles to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. It was the 18th game in which the Mets captain has reached the four hit plateau.
Dauske Matsuzaka came in a reliever for the second consecutive game, yet only the third time in his career in the majors. He hurled three innings (11th, 12th and 13th) excellently as he gave up no hits, walked one and fanned five. 
The veteran pitcher from Japan was not troubled by what was asked of him, “This is my role for the time being, so I’ll do what I can. Having thrown three innings and done well was very satisfying. Yesterday, I only threw one inning, so I didn’t think pitching back-to-back would be a problem. It wasn’t too difficult.”
The St. Louis Cards now come to Citi Field for a four game series starting on Monday evening. The Braves return to Atlanta for a three game set with the Miami Marlins.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson

Bronx News Sports: Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson: Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson  By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 17- On April 15, 1997, the 50 th anniversary of t...

Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson

Yankees Honor Mandela, Jackie Robinson 
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 17- On April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of the first game played by Jack Roosevelt Robinson in the major leagues, Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig announced the retirement of Robinson’s #42 from Major League Baseball. On that date in every year since 1997, all players in a scheduled game wear the #42 to honor Robinson’s accomplishment of breaking the color barrier. With the retirement of Mariano Rivera at the close of the 2013 season, there are no longer any active p[layers wearing #42.
Inclement weather in the Bronx forced the delay of the April 15 game between the Yankees and Cubs, the ceremony and the press conference for the one day, but did not in any way lessen the meaning of the day of remembrance.
This year’s special Robinson ceremony took place at Yankee Stadium to honor not only Robinson but former South African President Nelson Mandela. The New York Yankees added a plaque honoring Mandela in Monument Park. Many remember Mandela’s appearance at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 1990, shortly after his 27 year imprisonment in South Africa ended. On that day, wearing a Yankee jacket and cap, Mandela remarked to the crowd, ‘’You know who I am. I am a Yankee.’’
That day and Mandela’s subsequent accomplishments as South Africa’s president were recalled in a press conference that featured many prominent speakers who paid tribute to his deeds.
Zondwa Mandela, the grandson of the world leader who died at the age of 95 in December 2013, expressed his gratitude to the Yankees, and referred to himself as ‘’just a custodian of his [Mandela’s] legacy.”
Also present were South Africa’s Consul General, George Monyemangene, and Sello Hatang, Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO. The latter asked the Yankees to honor Mandela on July 18, Nelson Mandela Day. 
Others who spoke in honor of Mandela included former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the Reverands Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte, New York Yankees President Randy Levine and Robinson’s daughter, Sharon.
Yankee Managing Partner Hal Steinbrenner presented a matted copy of Mandela’s plaque to Mandela’s grandson and wife. The plaque will join those of Robinson, Yankees immortals and world leaders such as Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in Monument Park. 
The centerpiece of the annual ceremony was, as always, a recognition of Robinson’s deed. His widow, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon, were present to enhance the remembrance of their loved one. 
To put the achievement of Jackie Robinson in historical perspective, we should recognize that he integrated MLB before it was accomplished in the NFL or NBA, seven years before the Supreme Court decision on Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 16 years before the memorable March on Washington and 17 years before Congress passed the Civil Rights Acts during the administration of President Lyndon Johnson. 
In his introductory words at the informative, inspirational and educational press conference, New York Yankees Executive Director of Communications and Media Relations Jason Zilo linked the legacies of the two honorees, “Bringing people of all backgrounds and demographics together.”

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yankees Sock it to Boston

Bronx News Sports: Yankees Sock it to Boston: Yankees Sock it to Boston Yanks Put to Rest Some Questions with Dominance of Red Sox, Ejection of Manager John Farrell By Ric...

Bronx News Sports: Yankees Sock it to Boston

Bronx News Sports: Yankees Sock it to Boston: Yankees Sock it to Boston Yanks Put to Rest Some Questions with Dominance of Red Sox, Ejection of Manager John Farrell By Ric...

Yankees Sock it to Boston

Yankees Sock it to Boston
Yanks Put to Rest Some Questions with Dominance of Red Sox, Ejection of Manager John Farrell
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 14- The rivalry changed a bit when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox met for the first time in the Bronx the past three days. The Yankees, a team with questions will take what they accomplished after their 3-2 win Sunday night taking three of four games from their rivals.
This early in the season, and with questions about a Yankees bullpen that is being tested, they conquered. Matt Thornton, David Phelps and Shawn Kelley closed the door with David Robertson on the disabled list. It was intense baseball in the Bronx and from the looks of these first four of 19-games that will be played between these division rivals, there will be more intensity.
And count on a little of everything, including spectacular defense that came from the Yankees outfield. With a decimated infield, plagued by injuries, Carlos Beltran was shifted from right-field to first base in the top of the fifth because of an injury to Francisco Cervelli.
Cervelli, will likely go on the disabled list. Sunday night, Beltran went 3-for-4 including a home run, single and a double He has been everything the Yankees wanted in their lineup, perhaps something they did not have last year when the Red Sox dominated New York.
"I didn't have a whole lot of choices tonight," said manager Joe Girardi about putting Beltran in at first for the injured Cervelli. "Just tells you the type of player he is. Willing to do anything you ask him to do.”
He added, “Very, very unselfish."
Beltran is that type of player. He was one of the four players the Yankees purchased for over $450 million to get them back to October. But, with the Yankees decimated with injuries in the infield, Beltran was pressed into service and was put in the infield for the first time in his career.
It was another dimension to this rivalry, a new one that has developed. The Red Sox don’t resemble the team that went on to win a World Series last October. And the Yankees, without Derek Jeter this night ,were pressed to do something and Beltran did not say no.
"Thank God nobody hit the baseball to me," said Beltran. He made three putouts and without Mark Teixeira, on the disabled list with a right hamstring pull, Girardi may not hesitate to put Beltran at first again.
“We have to do what it takes," Beltran said. I hope I don't have to do it again." The Yankees are doing what they have to do, 13-games into a young season. He has homered in consecutive games since May 28-29 of last season against Kansas City when he was with the Cardinals.
The Yankees scored their third run in the fourth inning. The new instant replay rule went to their benefit and caused the ejection of Boston Manager John Farrell. Cervelli was ruled safe on a bang-bang play at first. Girardi challenged.
Farrell contested the change of a call that enabled the Yankees to get what was a decisive run in what could have been an inning ending double-play. Under the new rule a play overturned is not supposed to be argued by a manager, hence the ejection. More, so the Yankees got the benefit and the rivalry got more intense.
So much of what transpired renewed a rivalry that seemed to disappear last season. Ichiro Suzuki, replacing Beltran in right, crashed into the outfield wall and made a spectacular catch that took an extra base hit away from David Ortiz in the eighth inning.
And by the eighth inning, with Mike Napoli on second, after a double to left that the Yankees’ Brett Gardner did his best to get, the Yankee Stadium crowd could be heard again, as it was when this rivalry was so intense.
Phelps, part of the mix and match late combination out of the Yankees pen walked Daniel Nava on a pitch that was low. A.J. Pierzynski got hit by a pitch that loaded the bases. Mike Carp off the bench after going behind 2-0 on the count went after a breaking ball and swung at strike three.
Then Kelley, in a role as one of the closers, sent the Red Sox packing in the ninth. It is only April, but these games are so important in a division that will be contested also with Tampa Bay.
“You know the division and wild card come down to one run,” said Girardi who always said these games are important now. However, if the Yankees want to be there in late September, they need to stay healthy. And they need good pitching as Ivan Nova got his second win in 7.1 innings. He struck out four on eight-hits and one of the Boston runs off Napoli’s third home run in the sixth.
“I thought he had a better command of his curveball tonight and that was a difference,” commented Girardi. In his last outing, Nova gave up seven runs and 10-hits in 3-2/3 innings to Baltimore.
The type of game on Sunday night that revived a rivalry in the Bronx and the Yankees, with an off Monday have a day to recuperate before welcoming the Chicago Cubs for a two-game interleague series.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Blast Sox Off

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Blast Sox Off: Yanks Blast Sox Off Homers Give Yankees a 7-4 Victory over the Red Sox By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK APRIL 13- In a reversa...

Yanks Blast Sox Off

Yanks Blast Sox Off

Homers Give Yankees a 7-4 Victory over the Red Sox

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK APRIL 13- In a reversal of the circumstances of the previous night’s contest at Yankee Stadium, five Yankee four baggers drove in each of their seven runs and ensured them a Saturday matinee victory over the Boston Red Sox.

The good feeling of sitting under blue skies and mild temperatures in the 60’s was increased for the Yankee rooters in the ballpark by the success at the plate of the Yankee batters. The combination provided a pleasant Saturday afternoon outing for the 48.572 fans in the Stadium, the largest crowd of the season.

In the first frame, a two-out single by the hot hitting former star of the Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury, was followed by Carlos Beltran’s second home run of the 2014 campaign, which gave New York a two run lead.

A lead-off base hit by Xander Bogarts in the second led to a tied score of two as the next batter, AJ Pierzynski blasted the first pitch into the seats in right to drive in two runs.
Two innings later, Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano connected for back-to-back homers to give New York a 4-2 advantage. The Yankees had last hit homers back-to-back on June 6, 2013 in Seattle.

Two additional Yankee runners crossed the plate in the bottom of the sixth. McCann with his second home run of the game also drove in Beltran, who had doubled to begin the inning. This was McCann’s tenth multi-homer game in his career in the majors. It was the first Yankee multi-home run game since Soriano blasted two round trippers on September 10, 2013.

Despite entering the contest with a batting average of .162, the Yankee skipper was not surprised by McCann’s home runs, “I know he’s going to hit; he’s too good a hitter not to hit.”

Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda was removed from the game after 6.1 innings after walking two batters in the seventh. A hit batsman and a single by Mike Carp off reliever Matt Thornton allowed the last two baserunners of Kuroda’s outing to score.

Kuroda gave up six hits and four earned runs in his 6.1 inning performance. He earned his second win of the young season, but was critical of his pitching, “Overall, I wasn’t sharp. My command and precise control wasn’t there.”

Kelly Johnson began the eighth frame with a crushing blow that landed in the center field seats. Saturday’s game was the third straight in which Johnson homered. The two rookies, Yangervis Solarte and Dean Anna, followed with a single and a double respectively. They were stranded on second and third when the inning concluded after the next two batters could not move them.

The offensive onslaught was quite pleasing to the Yankee manager, “It definitely helps if you can score runs quickly. I think our offense is much more balanced than last year. I think it is much more explosive too.”

The final game of the series will be played on Sunday night. Ivan Nova will start for New York and Felix Doubront will start for Boston.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bronx News Sports: CC Loses Concentration, Game

Bronx News Sports: CC Loses Concentration, Game: CC Loses Concentration, Game Red Sox Homers Give Boston a 4-2 Win over Yanks By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 12-  The Red Sox evened...

Bronx News Sports: CC Loses Concentration, Game

Bronx News Sports: CC Loses Concentration, Game: CC Loses Concentration, Game Red Sox Homers Give Boston a 4-2 Win over Yanks By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 12-  The Red Sox evened...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bronx News Sports: One-Two Punch Sox Boston

Bronx News Sports: One-Two Punch Sox Boston: One-Two Punch Sox Boston Pitching, Hitting Takes Out Red Sox By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 11- Michael Pineda made his...

One-Two Punch Sox Boston

One-Two Punch Sox Boston
Pitching, Hitting Takes Out Red Sox
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 11- Michael Pineda made his second start of the year and his first at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. His start on April 5 at Toronto was his first since September 21, 2011. His last victory in the majors came on July 30, 2011. A serious shoulder injury and surgery kept him out of the majors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
In each of his starts this month, Pineda pitched six innings and gave up only one earned run. He was given the loss on April 5 because the Yankees were shut out. The situation was different five days later. 
Yankee batters managed more than one hit in only two innings but made those hits count. Jacoby Ellsbury was safe on an error to begin the fourth frame. Carlos Beltran followed with a single to right, his fourth hit in the last two games. Ellsbury scored the first run in the game as the next batter, Brian McCann, broke a 0 for 14 streak with a run batted in single. McCann spoke about the hit, “I found a hole. I really needed that hit.” The second run crossed the plate on a double play on Alfonso Soriano.
The Yanks scored their final two runs in the next inning. With one out, Dean Anna hit his first major league home run. The 27 year-old was acquired from the San Diego Padres in a trade on November 20, 2013. The native of Illinois made his major league debut on April 4. He said, “Words can’t explain it.” He then tried to, “It feels really good to hit a home run at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox. He [Buchholz] threw a change-up [and] I hit it well.”
Asked if he felt like giving up after playing 554 minor league games before reaching the majors, the infielder remarked, “You just have to keep your head down and work, work, work.”
The second run scored that inning was by Derek Jeter, who doubled with two out. Jeter was driven in by a single from Ellsbury, in his first game against his former team. In a pre-game press conference, the new Yankee commented that playing for both the Red Sox and Yankees was “pretty special.”
The only Boston run was scored on a seventh inning lead-off homer by Daniel Nava.
The four runs for the Yankees were more than sufficient for the win because of Yankee pitching. Pineda’s six inning performance was impressive. He gave up one run and four hits, walked two and fanned seven. 
Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was pleased, “He pitched extremely well. He mixed his pitches, location was really good, he had command of the strike zone. We’re glad to have him back.”
David Phelps, the reliever who got the save with an outstanding 2.1 innings on the mound, also praised Pineda, “He [Pineda] did a great job carrying us. He keeps guys off balance.”
Girardi also gave credit to Phelps, “Outstanding performance on his part, got huge outs for us.”
CC Sabathia (Yanks) and Jon Lester (Red Sox) will be the starters of the second contest of the big rivalry on Friday night. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Phenomenal Start for Yankee Rookie Yangervis Solar...

Bronx News Sports: Phenomenal Start for Yankee Rookie Yangervis Solar...: Phenomenal Start for Yankee Rookie Yangervis Solarte By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 10- -The cycle of life can be seen...

Phenomenal Start for Yankee Rookie Yangervis Solarte

Phenomenal Start for Yankee Rookie Yangervis Solarte
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 10--The cycle of life can be seen in this year’s Yankee infield. One individual is about to depart while another is about to begin a life. Yankee captain Derek Jeter’s playing career in Major League Baseball (MLB) will end at the conclusion of this season while Yangervis Solarte made his debut in the majors last week.
The absence of Jeter will be noticed and commented upon throughout the nation. 
On the other hand, Solarte began as a Yankee with little notice. At the age of 18, the Venezuelan signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins as a non-drafted free agent. In six minor league seasons, Solarte saw limited playing time.
In the winter of 2011, he was signed as a minor league free agent by the Texas Rangers. In two full seasons at the Rangers’ Triple A affiliate in Round Rock, Solarte batted an impressive .340 and .323 in respective seasons. His combined minor league batting average was .286 in 672 games. 
The 26 year-old signed with the Yankees in January of this year as a minor league free agent. At the conclusion of the 2014 Spring Training, Solarte was moved to the Yankees roster in place of Eduardo Nuñez, who was traded to the Twins this week. Solarte earned his promotion by batting .429 (18 for 42) and driving in nine runs in 24 games. 
Solarte made his major league debut on April 2 as a pinch hitter for Kelly Johnson. His first start in the majors on the following day was an auspicious occasion as he batted 3 for 3 and drew a walk in four trips to the plate. His was not perfect at the plate in his next two road games but hit safely twice in each. This achievement made him the first Yankee since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 with at least two hits in each of his first three starts in the majors. 
In his four starts on the Yankees first road trip of the season, he hit safely 8 times in 15 at bats and drove in five runs.
The Yankee Stadium Opening Day start at third in front of a full house did not awe the neophyte major leaguer. He walked in his first trip to the plate and scored the first Yankee run of the afternoon. In his next at bat, he drove in a run with a single.
The rookie continued his hot batting in Tuesday afternoon’s humiliating 14-5 loss to Baltimore. He doubled home a run in the fourth, and in his next at bat, doubled again. According to Elias, Solarte is the first major leaguer since 1900 to hit, at least, six doubles in his first seven games.the two hits raised Solarte’s hitting streak to six games.
After Tuesday’s game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi remarked, “I like what I see. He’s certainly taken advantage of this opportunity. We’re going to keep running him out there.”
The name of former Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez is not being currently heard at Yankee Stadium.

Bronx News Sports: Tanaka has arrived in the Bronx

Bronx News Sports: Tanaka has arrived in the Bronx: Tanaka has arrived in the Bronx  Pitching Phenom Lives Up to the Hype By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 10-  The slider, fas...

Tanaka has arrived in the Bronx

Tanaka has arrived in the Bronx 
Pitching Phenom Lives Up to the Hype

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 10- The slider, fastball, and change up came as advertised from Masahiro Tanaka and were on display for the first time in the Bronx Wednesday night. And for almost seven innings, Tanaka had the Baltimore Orioles knowing that the New York Yankees right-hander from Japan had arrived.

Nelson Cruz also knows that well, two of the 10-strikeout victims, courtesy of a nasty slider Tanaka throws that hit the dirt. The fastball also contributed to the swings, and looks at the plate that Cruz and the Orioles will see again.

It was Tanaka as advertised, and there will be more to come. The Yankees early season bullpen issues are more of an issue for manager Joe Girardi. 

Tanaka was asked about his first two starts and the early runs. He gave up a first inning home run in his first start, to Melky Cabrera up in Toronto. Wednesday night, the Orioles scored three runs in the second inning.

“Obviously that is something I need to adjust,” he said through his interpreter. “It’s really hard to make an assessment after two games.” And one veteran scout sitting up in the Yankee Stadium area press box said, “He will adjust. Wish we had him.”

A first inning fastball hit by Delmon Young, a double to the wall in left was the beginning of what will be an adjustment. It was clocked at 90, advertised as it came. But Young got a hold of it and Tanaka, will eventually adjust and learn how to get three easy outs in a Major League Baseball game first inning.

Adam Jones got caught swinging at a third strike, a 14-pitch first inning. Nelson Cruz got fooled and struck out in the second on a Tanaka fastball. Steve Lombordozzi followed with the second hit of the inning, lining a ball that got over the head of Yangervis Solarte at third.

But, Tanaka looked good against Cruz, one of the premiere hitters in baseball, with or without a steroid suspension on his resume. He got Cruz to strike out in the third inning on a slider that was in the dirt, but in that second inning, he continued to get a lesson.

Jonathan Schoop, on a 1-0 pitch, got hold of a slider that landed deep in the second deck out in left for an Orioles 3-0 lead. He would settle down, very identical to that first start up in Toronto. There were 58 pitches, 40 for strikes after three innings. He definitely can dominate, and on four days rest, another adjustment that he says will not be an issue.

“He made a mistake and kept a slider up,” commented Schoop. “I tried to make adjustments as he tried to elevate me, and then he made a mistake.”

However, Tanaka, as everyone knows will not make many mistakes. This is still a learning process of adjusting and learning the hitters here, even in his new home run yard known as Yankee Stadium. He allowed three earned runs and a walk.

“He battled out of tough jams, made pitches when he had to and got better as the night went along,” said Girardi, who added, Tanaka threw the ball okay. In the fifth inning with two on base and with two out, the score knotted at 3-3, on a 2-2 pitch he got Matt Wieters to go after a changeup in the dirt and get out of the inning, his eighth strikeout.

“He is as good as advertised,” claimed Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “

On his 101st pitch, Tanaka got Young swinging on another slider for his 10th strikeout and second of the sixth inning. He could have gone longer, but this is a process, now adjusting to the four day rest routine. In other words this is not the accustomed process of taking the mound every fifth day.  

He said, “I understand four days. Also it’s a long season and will go along with it.” 

The Orioles’ Adam Jones said, Tanaka is not facing the same hitters that were in Japan. “We groove, we hack.”

Jones struck out twice and singled in three at bats off Tanaka. He became the second Yankee pitcher to strike out at least eight batters in each of his first two Major League starts. The 10 strikeouts were the most by a Yankees rookie since Ivan Nova on August 4, of 2011 against the White Sox, and most for a rookie at home since 1998 in a game against Texas.

Yes, Tanaka has arrived. The Yankees may have their bullpen issues but a sensation from Japan will eventually go deeper into games. It is part of the adjustment and he comes as advertised.

Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Clobbered by O’s, 14-5

Bronx News Sports: Yanks Clobbered by O’s, 14-5: Yanks Clobbered by O’s, 14-5 (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 9- For Yankee fans, the less said ab...

Yanks Clobbered by O’s, 14-5

Yanks Clobbered by O’s, 14-5
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 9- For Yankee fans, the less said about Tuesday afternoon’s game with Baltimore the better. Thus, to spare the feelings of Yankee rooters, this article will be brief. 
Yankee pitching was embarrassing. Starter Ivan Nova yielded seven runs and 10 hits in 3.2 innings before he was mercilessly lifted. After the game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi commented on Nova, “He didn’t have his good stuff and couldn’t get through it. Whatever it was,  we have to get it corrected.”
Not to be outdone, reliever Vidal Nuno also surrendered seven runs in only 3.1 innings. Baltimore batters pounded Yankee pitching for 20 hits including home runs by Adam Jones, Delmon Young and Matt Weiters. Eight batters of the starting nine drove in runs.
Yankee batters reached Oriole hurlers for 13 hits and five runs. Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson, as a pinch hitter, hit four baggers. Jacoby Ellsbury continued his torrid hitting with three hits. Soriano and rookie Yangervis Solarte each blasted two extra base hits. 
In the rubber game of the three game series on Wednesday night, Masahiro Tanaka will be making his first home start for the Yanks. Miguel Gonzalez will start for Baltimore. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bronx News Sports: One Last Time

Bronx News Sports: One Last Time: One Last Time Derek Jeter was the highlight for his final Opening Day in the Bronx By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 7- De...

One Last Time

One Last Time
Derek Jeter was the highlight for his final Opening Day in the Bronx

By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 7- Derek Jeter struck out in the first inning, his final Opening Day at bat in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium. He got cheers, and what else would be more appropriate. He has been an icon in the once “House of Ruth Built” across the street and at the new stadium since 1996, and cheers will continue until his final at bat in September.
Except, Jeter is one to not take the accolades for himself and as he said again early Monday, this is not about him. It’s about his teammates and the Yankees winning another championship. And the goal for these Yankees is to win one more this season for the Captain as Jeter wears the pinstripes for a final time.
“It’s pretty much like every opening day,” said Jeter. He said the fans always treated him with respect, they get excited and it is a big deal in New York.
He said there have been a lot of wild moments, and enjoyed each and every day in the Bronx. The fans have been special. They always knew Jeter had a priority when he took the field in the Bronx. They saw that in October of 2012, the night when his season ended abruptly against the Tigers in the American League Championship Series.
Jeter struggled to get up. The pain was etched in his face, but a broken ankle prevented the Yankees Captain from leaving the field on his own. The Manager Joe Girardi had to help Jeter off the field.
So, when the player introduction commenced, there was Derek Jeter. In the Yankees dugout, and just like every Opening Day he was nervous. It is part of being a ballplayer. The nerves will flow opening the home season, except this one was extra special.
“I think I’m curious how he’s going to handle it,” said Girardi before the first pitch. “Something like today, or the last time in a city maybe, I’m curious to see how he handles that. I’m sure he’ll take a moment to reflect on that but will it be visible that he’s reflecting on it?”
See, Derek Jeter has always been one to reflect on things, especially his marvelous career. But he never made it known how he felt. His teammates over the years have said, Jeter keeps it all inside, and perhaps that’s what made him so special. After all, this is New York. The spotlight and center of attention of the New York Yankees, that being Derek Jeter, is not supposed to have hidden feelings.
This is New York, and when you play here the entire world is tuned in.
"I think people are going to show him the appreciation no matter what happens just because of what he's meant,” said Girardi.  “You think about his rings, his World Series, All-Star Games, everything he's done and the way he's played the game, I don't think his stats will have a very big impact on how they show appreciation.”
“But the stats might have an impact on people letting him go away after this season in a sense. If he has a season like we know he's capable of, people are going to say 'why aren't you going to keep playing?’"
Jeter now has the most hits for a right-handed batter in American League history. He led off the bottom of the fifth with a double that almost cleared the left field wall for a home run. New teammate, Jacoby Ellsbury, followed with a run scoring single that gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead over the Orioles.
It was a typical Jeter swing. His head slide into second, something he could not do last year, showing no effects of an injury that kept him away from an opening day in the Bronx last year.
“I've always said that Yankees fans are the greatest fans in the world,” commented Jeter. “That is no disrespect to any other team or any other sport. That's just how I feel."
And with the “Core Four” together one more time, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, Jeter heard more of the ovations from a capacity crowd. He spent so much time in pinstripes, had those wonderful moments in the Bronx and there is no telling how many more of those moments will occur from now until late September.
For now, the Yankees and their fans will relish these final moments. It is a love affair that will never go away. Opening Day in the Bronx will just have to be a little different next April with Derek Jeter as a special guest at Yankee Stadium.
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