Thursday, February 27, 2014

Highbridge News: Romeo Santos to Play Yankee Stadium

Highbridge News: Romeo Santos to Play Yankee Stadium: Romeo Santos to Play Yankee Stadium Bronx Native Santos to Perform First Latin Music Concert at Stadium  By Howard Goldin ...

Romeo Santos to Play Yankee Stadium

Romeo Santos to Play Yankee Stadium
Bronx Native Santos to Perform First Latin Music Concert at Stadium 
By Howard Goldin
Yankee Stadium is arguably the most iconic sports venue in the world. It is not only the home of the world renowned New York Yankees, but also hosted world class soccer matches, championship fights, football bowl games, and NHL outdoor hockey contests. 
Less known, but no less important is that in Yankee Stadium,  three Popes celebrated Mass, Billy Graham preached, Nelson Mandela spoke after being released from prison in South Africa, a service was held less than 2 weeks after the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center and world famous entertainers performed concerts.
A two purpose press conference was held in the Legends Club of Yankee Stadium on Monday afternoon. An announcement was made of the first Latin music concert at the current Yankee Stadium. Bronx born vocalist Anthony “Romeo” Santos, termed the “King of Bachata”, will headline the July 12 show. The second half of the conference featured Santos, seated in a chair, calmly yet animatedly answering questions regarding his newest recording, “Fórmula Vol 2”, scheduled to be released on the following day.
With a large gathering awaiting the start of the press event, Yankees President Randy Levine and COO Lonn Trost moved to seats on the stage and were followed shortly by concert promoter Felix Cabrera and Santos. The multi-platinum selling recording artist took time to pose for many photos before the conference began. 
Both Yankees executives expressed the happiness and pride of the organization to present the concert in July and predicted its great success, both artistically and financially. Santos follows such superstars of the entertainment world on the stage in the current Yankee Stadium as Jay-Z and Eminem, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters and a heavy metal concert with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. 
Levine said, “It only makes sense” that Bronx born Romeo Santos headlines the first Latin music concert at the current Yankee Stadium. He added, “Romeo Santos is going to be a giant hit here. The show will be memorable.”
Cabrera explained the number of performances that Santos sold out at Madison Square Garden and predicted, “I know he can sell out Yankee Stadium in less than one month.”
The 32-year-old singer seemed to be awed and proud to be in these surroundings. He remarked, ”I was born and raised in the Bronx, and when I walked around the streets here I always visualized coming to a game with my dad. My father is a big Yankees fane as am I, although I don’t know a great deal about sports.”
His feelings about performing a solo concert  at Yankee Stadium were expressed with much emotion, “This is a dream, thanks to God, to be here. It’s a tremendous honor to present myself here in a place of such magnitude, especially in the Bronx. It’s a privilege to be the first Latino artist. I am not just representing a genre [Bachata], a culture, but Latinos. [His father is from the Dominican Republic and his mother from Puerto Rico]. It’s a big responsibility, but I won’t let you down.” He termed it, “the most important event of my career.”
Many great musical artists performed in the first Yankee Stadium such as James Brown, Stevie Wonder, the Beach Boys, U2 and Billy Joel. The most recent Latin music concert there was held on August 24, 1973 by the Fania All Stars, more than 40 years ago.
To those who are not familiar with the musical sensation, it should be said that he has worked long and hard to reach his exalted position in the music world. After singing in a church choir as a boy, he, together with his cousin and two close friends formed a vocal quartet. They began as teenagers in 1994 and signed their first recording contract in 1999. After assuming the name Aventura, they had several hit records and attained status as a superlative musical group performing the Dominican genre, Bachata.
The foursome was honored during Bronx Week in 2007 as the group’s name was added to the Bronx Walk of Fame, the greatest honor given by the borough.
In 2010, the group disbanded, so its members could pursue individual projects. Romeo Sanchez recorded his first solo album, Fórmula Vol 1, which produced a unique feat of five #1 singles. The Sony Music Latin artist was the #1 in sales of Latin music in 2009, 2010 and 2012. This fact will most likely continue in the future as Santos has the most #1 discs in Latin music in the current decade. 
His new recording, which features Drake, Nicki Minaj, Carlos Santana, Marc Anthony, Tego Calderón and comedian Kevin Hart introducing it, has been eagerly awaited and should be another best seller.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Highbridge News: Blood Pool is Bad for Biz

Highbridge News: Blood Pool is Bad for Biz: Blood Pool is Bad for Biz Three Wounded as Gunfire Erupts Along Busy Shopping Strip (Photo by David Greene) By David Green...

Blood Pool is Bad for Biz

Blood Pool is Bad for Biz
Three Wounded as Gunfire Erupts Along Busy Shopping Strip
(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 24- Dozens of residents and shoppers walking along Morris Park Avenue had to duck for cover as gunfire erupted and three people were wounded.
Police were called to Morris Park Avenue at Victor Street at just before 3 p.m., on February 19. EMS transported two teens and a 79-year-old woman who cops say was an innocent bystander.
Sources said an 18-year-old male was shot in the arm, a 19-year old-male was shot in the leg and the unidentified senior took a stray bullet to her hand. All three were removed to Jacobi Hospital and expected to recover.
One local resident stated, "I understand it was a dispute involving two groups of young men and someone just started shooting."
As police shutdown the entire street with crime scene tape, a pool of blood could be seen outside of a dollar discount store where the elderly woman was shot as she exited the store.
A baseball bat was left on the ground outside a hardware store and several shell casings littered the sidewalk outside of a multi-service agency.
Police would quickly announce the arrest of 18-year-old Christopher Lopez, who was picked-up on Morris Park Avenue on Friday morning.
Lopez was charged with three counts of attempted murder, felony assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.
Police now say that the two teen victims were the intended targets of Lopez who is said to be a member of a rival gang. Lopez has eight previous arrests.
One business owner of a local video store claims he lost $200 in business when police refused to let him meet customers on the street. The owner explained, "I cooperated as much as possible. They wanted me to close the store I had no problem with that."
The owner continued, "I told them (the police) that my customers could call me and I'd come out and give them their movie... and they wouldn't let me do that. They didn't care."
Meanwhile, local law makers have introduced new gun legislation titled, "Luisito's Law," that calls for a tougher minimum sentence for anyone who shoots a child under the age of ten or fires a weapon near a park or a school.
The legislation is named after Luis Oyola, Jr., now 3, who was wounded in the arm inside Vidalia Park last summer. 

Highbridge News: Brett Gardner Signs

Highbridge News: Brett Gardner Signs: Brett Gardner Signs 4 Year Extension with Yankees for $52 Million By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 24- Despite spendin...

Brett Gardner Signs

Brett Gardner Signs 4 Year Extension with Yankees for $52 Million

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 24- Despite spending hundreds of millions on free agents during the off-season, the New York Yankees are not broke, nor have they stopped spending to make what they believe will be improvements to the team.

The questions regarding his future with the Yankees raised by outfielder Brett Gardner during his recent appearance in New York City to receive a Thurman Munson Award by the AHRC were answered on Sunday as he inked a four-year extension of his current contract that will begin in 2015 for an additional $52 million. The club will have a fifth year option for $12.5 million. Although there is not a no-trade clause, the Yankees will pay Gardner a $1 million bonus if he is traded during the course of the contract.  

Gardner was somewhat dismayed by the unexpected offseason acquisition of free agent, Jacoby Ellsbury, a center fielder and lead-off batter as is Gardner. Prior to the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on February 4, the 30-year old expressed his surprise by the Ellsbury signing, “I didn’t see it coming.”

His words to reporters that evening displayed his insecurity regarding his future with the team, “I don’t really have any expectations of where I’ll be playing or where I’ll be hitting…Hopefully, I’ll play a big role…Until something happens, I expect to be a Yankee.” 

Thus far, Gardner has been a Yankee product since being drafted in the third round of the 2005 First Year Player Draft. He made his debut in the majors on June 30, 2008. 

Gardner spoke very differently on Sunday than he did less than three weeks earlier, “It’s meaningful to be able to play for New York. Hopefully, one day I can retire, and say I didn’t play for another team. I think that would be awesome. It’s such a historic franchise…I love putting on the pinstripes.” 

Gardner also spoke very positively of the coming season for the Yankees, “I feel like we’re going to have a special season and a special next several years. We brought in a lot of good talent this off-season and I’m looking forward to getting out on the field in a couple of days and playing baseball.”

On Tuesday, the Yankees will play their first Spring Training game against Florida State University with Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. 

New York Yankees General Manager explained some of the thinking of the team’s brass for the contract extension, “It’s a demonstration from our end. We don’t typically do this, but it shows the level of confidence, beliefs and trust in the type of person and player he is.”

Gardner will play left field and not bat in the lead-off position unless something unexpected happens to Ellsbury before or during the season. It appears that Carlos Beltran will be in right field, Alfonso Soriano will be the designated hitter and Ichiro Suzuki will serve as the fourth outfielder.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Highbridge News: Yankee Stadium to Become Soccer Mecca

Highbridge News: Yankee Stadium to Become Soccer Mecca: Yankee Stadium to Become Soccer Mecca  By Howard Goldin Yankee Stadium will be the venue for one of the 13 matches that comprise t...

Yankee Stadium to Become Soccer Mecca

Yankee Stadium to Become Soccer Mecca 

By Howard Goldin

Yankee Stadium will be the venue for one of the 13 matches that comprise the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup. 

Eight of the top European sides, AC Milan, AS Roma and FC Inter from Italy, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United from Britain, Olympiacos from Greece and Real Madrid from Spain, will comprise this year’s field. Real Madrid is the defending champion of the inaugural year of the prestigious tournament that is being played on iconic venues in the United States from July 24-August 4.

The eight clubs will be divided into two groups of four. The winner of each group will meet in the final at Met Life Stadium in Miami on August 4.

Anyone familiar with baseball and soccer will not find it surprising that the two teams scheduled to play at Yankee Stadium on the evening of July 30 are Liverpool and Manchester City. Not only are the two sides rivals in the English Premier League, not only have both been in existence since the late 19th century, but both are associated with MLB teams involved in the greatest rivalry in the sport of baseball. In 2010, Liverpool was purchased by the Fenway Sports Group, owners of the Boston Red Sox. In 2013, the Yankees entered into a financial partnership with Manchester City to become 20 percent owners of the New York City FC, an expansion club that will enter the MLS (Major League Soccer) in 2015. 

The representative of each team, Mike Summerbee (Manchester City) and Robbie Fowler (Liverpool), is retired after a lengthy and successful playing career in England. Each had a number of caps for the English National Team during his career. 

Both men expressed the importance of playing in America. Summerbee commented, “It’s all about the branding of the club. Everybody wants to play in America.” He explained how he saw the growth of the sport in the U.S., “I came here in 1969 and there was almost nobody watching the games. In 16 years, America will win the World Cup.” 

Fowler explained Liverpool’s thinking, “Not everyone can come to the stadium [in Liverpool]. We like to bring the club to the people. There are 21 million supporters of Liverpool in the United States.”

When asked how two English clubs will draw in a city with so many ethnic groups, Charlie Stallitano, representative of Relevent Sports the promoters of the tourney, replied, “Any team that we bring here will bring true football fans. Football is really universal and these teams are so multi-cultural.” 

Each team is comprised of players from many nations. For example, Luis Suárez, the Liverpool player leading the English Premier League in goals is from Uruguay and the leading scorers from Manchester City, Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast) and Sergio Aguero (Argentina) are stars of their own national teams, not England’s.

It was announced that tickets for this upcoming game will go on sale to the public on March 13.

It should also be mentioned that questions were asked of Mark Holtzman, the representative of the New York Yankees regarding the 2015 site for the New York City FC and who will be on its roster. The answer given was, “There’s a lot of work and planning to be done for the new expansion team.” Holtzman said everyone will soon find out specific information, but none would be dispensed during the press conference.

Highbridge News: Gang banger convicted in beat down

Highbridge News: Gang banger convicted in beat down: Gang banger convicted in beat down BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 21-  District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced the conviction o...

Gang banger convicted in beat down

Gang banger convicted in beat down

BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 21- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced the conviction of Idelfonso Mendez, a reputed leader of the Latin Kings Goonies street gang, for his role in a gang assault which occurred on October 3, 2010.

Mendez, 26, of East 197th Street, the Bronx, pled guilty to one count of gang assault in the first degree, a Class B felony offense.

The plea was entered before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett who set sentencing for March 31, 2014 in Part 60. Under the plea agreement Mendez will be sentenced to a term of 14 years imprisonment followed by post release supervision for five years. Mendez also waived his right to appeal the conviction.

Mendez admitted that he “acted-in-concert with others with intent to cause serious physical injury to Victor Pellot, and being aided by two or more other persons actually present, did cause serious physical injury to Victor Pellot.” The assault occurred in a basement apartment at 1910 Osbourne Place where the gang members congregated.

Six other defendants were previously convicted in connection with this incident which involved three victims at two separate locations. The case against a seventh defendant, Luis Garcia, is still pending.

David Rivera, 24, of Sedgwick Avenue, pled guilty to one count of burglary in the first degree, a Class B felony offense, for his role in the gang related incident. Rivera admitted that he, acting in concert with other gang members, entered the home of two of the victims, displayed what appeared to be a gun, and took cash, credit cards, and personal property, including a television. Rivera also pled guilty to one count of robbery in the third degree, a Class D felony offense, stemming from an unrelated crime. Rivera was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Nelson Falu, 20, of Hennessey Place, pled guilty to one count of robbery in the first degree, a Class B felony offense, for his involvement in the October 3rd incident during which he admitted stealing personal property after threatening one of the victims with a baseball bat. Falu was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Elmer Confresi, 26, of Loring Place, pled guilty to one count of attempted gang assault in the first degree, a Class C felony offense. Confresi admitted that he acted-in-concert with the others to cause serious physical injury to one of the victims. Confresi was sentenced to four years in prison.

Jose Dominguez, 26, of Loring Place pled guilty to one count of attempted assault in the first degree and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Ruddy Vargas, 26, of Colden Avenue, pled guilty to one count of robbery in the third degree and was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in prison.

In urging the court to accept the plea agreements in each case, Senior Trial Assistant District Attorney Theresa Gottlieb told the court the pleas were offered after lengthy consultation with the victims who wished to avoid having to testify, which might have had the effect of victimizing them again. ADA Gottlieb told the court that the People believed that the pleas served the interest of justice from society’s perspective as well as that of the victims.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Assistant District Attorney Theresa Gottlieb.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Highbridge News: Always the Captain

Highbridge News: Always the Captain: Always the Captain Jeter on Season: It’s not about me Derek Tried to Focus on Yanks’ Season Rather than Retirement By Rich...

Always the Captain

Always the Captain
Jeter on Season: It’s not about me
Derek Tried to Focus on Yanks’ Season Rather than Retirement
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 20- Derek Jeter will be missed by the New York Yankees and their fans when his wonderful career concludes this season. Others will also miss his presence, including members of the media. And there are many reasons why the media will miss Jeter.
Derek Jeter was not a friend to the dozens who followed and chronicled his career on the field the past 20 years, rather we referred to Jeter as the professional who answered every question and never ducked an issue. He appreciated this end of the baseball business, and that was displayed again Wednesday at his retirement press conference down in Tampa Florida.
This was the start of Jeter’s retirement press tour. Time and time again, he will answer similar questions as he makes the final rounds around ballparks the Yankees visit. He was patient and understanding.
Then, there was this comment showing his concern to the media: “You can go off to work if you have to.” A few seconds after commenting about his retirement decision, Jeter momentarily took notice of some reporters leaving the pavilion at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Jeter once again, as he has been so accustomed to doing, did not want to be the center of attention. He was the story, and he will be this Yankees 2014 season. But, Jeter also is aware that the media has a job to do. With those words, to those few leaving the press area, Jeter was handling business.
This is spring training, about the New York Yankees quest and hopeful return to the post season in October. This day, according to Jeter, should not be about him. However, that is the side of Derek Jeter that we have all come to know. It was again, more about the Yankees and not about Derek Jeter.
His comments were to the point:
“I feel the time is right. There are other things I want to do. Physically I feel great and I look forward to playing a full season. The thing that means the most to me is to be remembered as a Yankee. Yeah, I’m emotional. It’s kind of difficult because we still have a season to play.”0
He did not laugh. Jeter did not cry. He said it was not a retirement press conference. “I have feelings,” he said.
And there have been times when we knew Derek Jeter had feelings. There have been the many times, and many more this final season when reporters await him by his dressing quarters. At the old and new Yankee Stadiums, the proper answer would always come from the Yankee captain.
Then there was this comment, so typical of what we always get to hear when Derek Jeter speaks.
“Every time the Yankees win,” he said about his favorite career moment. That had to be the toughest answer Wednesday, but one expected from Jeter. And if everything follows the Yankees illustrious history, the Yankees biggest win will come with a sixth World Series ring in the final season for Derek Jeter.
He said, “I think it would have been more of a distraction if I did not mention it,” referring to his retirement announcement on his social media Facebook page last week.
The point is, Derek Jeter has never been a distraction. He has done everything right as a New York Yankee and playing in the New York spotlight, well he handled that like a true professional.
He especially handled it right with the media. He will be missed. The good news is we get to enjoy watching Derek Jeter play one more season and like he said, baseball is fun to play.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Mancuso

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Highbridge News: Snow Doesn’t Slow Down Cops

Highbridge News: Snow Doesn’t Slow Down Cops: Snow Doesn’t Slow Down Cops (Photo by David Greene) By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 19- The repeated snow-storms...

Snow Doesn’t Slow Down Cops

Snow Doesn’t Slow Down Cops
(Photo by David Greene)
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 19- The repeated snow-storms have not sidelined detectives who continue to respond too and solve local homicides.
Police officers in Morrisania were called to the Forest Houses on Friday, February 15, where Darin Capeheart, 25, who suffered from spina bifida, was shot several times in the chest outside of the E. 166 Street building and died at Lincoln Hospital.
A second victim and friend of Capeheart, described by police as a 26-year old male, was shot several times in the legs and buttocks and survived.
Just six days later police charged Bronxites Salim Wilson, 22, the suspected trigger-man and his accomplice Julio Velasquez, 20. Both men were charged with murder and attempted murder and Velasquez was also charged with possession of a weapon.
Investigators needed less than two days to solve the January 26 stabbing death of Leobardo Garcia, 29. Garcia was stabbed in the chest while visiting a building on Grant Avenue in the Concourse section.
Police have charged Pedro Torres, 32, with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Highbridge News: Will Gardner Stay in Pinstripes?

Highbridge News: Will Gardner Stay in Pinstripes?: Will Gardner Stay in Pinstripes? By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 13- New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner travel...

Will Gardner Stay in Pinstripes?

Will Gardner Stay in Pinstripes?

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 13- New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner traveled from South Carolina this week for the 34th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner to support the AHRC New York City Foundation. 

Gardner was among several New York sports stars who were honored for their off-the-field efforts in bettering the lives of others as well as their athletic accomplishments. Among the 2014 award recipients were hurler Dillon Gee of the New York Mets, defensive specialist Anton Rolle of the New York Giants, former Knicks and Nets forward Bernard King, who was voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, and former MLB pitching standouts David Cone and Jim Kaat, both currently baseball broadcasters.

These philanthropic occasions have raised more than $12 million that has been used to better the lives of approximately 15,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Each of the honorees expressed their gratitude when speaking with the press and praised Munson even though Gardner, Gee and Rolle were born after Munson had died. 
Gardner said of the award, “It’s a good honor. I’m humbled by it. It definitely means a lot.” He offered praise of Munson, “He played hard. He played the game the right way. He set an example for the younger players.”

Gardner, who was drafted by the Yankees in the 3rd round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, has been with the organization since that day. Although in 2013 he had a batting average of 273 with a single season high in home runs and runs batted in, his name was often mentioned in trade rumors during the off-season. Gardner reacted to questions of how it affected him, “It’s hard to ignore it [a rumor]. It always follows you.”

The thought of Gardner being traded for a starting pitcher intensified when the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury as a free agent, the center fielder of the Red Sox in 2013. Gardner explained his reaction, “I felt like I did pretty well last year. I didn’t see it coming. We have the same skill set; you wonder what’s going to happen.”

Gardner put a positive face on playing with his new alter ego teammate, “Hopefully, we’ll push each other to be better. I’m sure he’ll help us win a lot of games. He makes our team better.”

As both men are center fielders, usually bat in the lead-off spot in the batting order and are known for their speed on the base paths and in the outfield, Gardner used words regarding his place on the team next year that show uncertainty, “I don’t really have any expectations of where I’ll be playing [position] or where I’ll be batting [in the order]. Until I hear otherwise, I’m planning to go to Spring Training and prepare to help this team. Until something happens, I expect to be a Yankee.”

Since last season ended, Gardner explained he was “enjoying my time at home in South Carolina with my wife and sons [ages 3 and 5].” Of the annual trek to Spring Training, he remarked, “It’s always an exciting time of the year [although] it’s tough to leave home. My goal is to be physically and mentally prepared for the season”, said Gardner. 

Gardner was enthusiastic when asked his opinion of the off-season transactions of the Yankees, “Right now, I like our chances. Every year, we get new faces and everybody gets along pretty well. I’m excited to see what these new guys can reminds me of the 2008-9 off-season.”

Gardner is referring to the last season, 2008, when the Yankees failed to qualify for the playoffs, and then signed costly free agents like C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira and won the World Series title in 2009.

How Gardner will fare in 2014, whether or not he will still be a member of the Yankees and where the team will finish in the standings cannot be determined at this time. Many unexpected events can take place before October, even before April. 

On February 7, it was announced that Alex Rodriguez was withdrawing his law suit against MLB and the MLBPA. Thus, his suspension of 162 games will probably remain in effect. On February 11, Masahiro Tanaka will be holding a press conference at Yankee Stadium. Those are just the first of many unforeseen events that will take place.

Highbridge News: Tanaka to Become Newest Yankee Ace?

Highbridge News: Tanaka to Become Newest Yankee Ace?: Tanaka to Become Newest Yankee Ace? By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 13- Three days before pitchers and...

Tanaka to Become Newest Yankee Ace?

Tanaka to Become Newest Yankee Ace?

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 13- Three days before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training in Florida, the Yankees introduced their new and high priced free agent acquisition to the a large contingent of the American and Japanese sports media. The extremely well organized media event allowed questions to be asked to the new Yankee and the members of the Yankees brass in attendance without the highly anticipated event turning into an out of control circus atmosphere.
The 25 year-old pitcher surprised most in the crowd by uttering his words in English, “Hello; I’m Matsahiro Tanaka. I’m very happy to be a Yankees.” His smile after saying those words was matched by most of the several hundred press representatives in the large Legends Club room. The tone was set for an informative rather than unnecessary adversarial meeting.
One query that implied this was Tanaka’s first trip to New York elicited an interesting reply, “My first visit to New York was when I was in high school. My first dish was sushi which I bought at a local grocery store.” As a member of a high school baseball All-Star team, Tanaka visited Yankee Stadium and met Hideki Matsui.
Although young in years, Tanaka is a seven-year veteran of the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball). Thus, he responded to questions, through his translator Shingo Horie, with care. 
One question that was asked several times was why he chose the Yankees. The response, although convoluted, gave some hints as why, “I wasn’t specifically looking to go to one team. I wanted to come here to win a championship. I understand there’s a lot of pressure here. I wanted to see how far I could go. I just wanted to put myself in this environment.”
Tanaka minimized the influence of other Japanese major leaguers in his decision, “I’ve been watching them [current Yankees teammates Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda] since I was a kid growing up. I didn’t sign with the Yankees because they are here.”
He admitted he spoke on the phone briefly with former Yankee Hideki Matsui, “He basically told ne how good the city was.” When he was questioned as to whether he planned to seek advice from Yu Darvish, a recent very successful transfer to MLB, he replied that he didn’t because they are such different types of pitchers.
Tanaka said he recognized the many adaptions he would have to make regarding the size of the baseball, the number of days between starts, batters he never previously faced and the culture he would be living in, “I just feel it’s very important for me to make that adjustment.”
The point of view of the Yankees towards the signing of Tanaka was clearly explained by General Manager Brian Cashman and Managing Partner Hal Steinbrenner.
Cashman told of the preparation, “We had scouts at every home game [last year]. We put ourselves in a position to evaluate the talent.”
Steinbrenner spoke openly of his feelings for making this agreement with the young pitcher, “When we do things we have to do them right. 189 [million dollars] or not, we wanted a quality starter. Nobody scouted him as much as we did. We wanted to see him as much as we could. He has the toughness and the ability. He’s been on the big stage there. He’s going to be perfect in the clubhouse going to be a great teammate.”
The general manager described the impressions he had of the new hurler, a presence reminiscent of that of Orlando “El Duque’ Hernandez, all business when necessary but a distinct personality with a sense of humor. 
While it is not reasonable to expect him to win 28 straight games as he ended the most recent phase of his career in Japan, it is possible that he can be a great boon to the Yankees in the immediate future.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Highbridge News: Bronx Gets Shortchanged AGAIN!

Highbridge News: Bronx Gets Shortchanged AGAIN!: New Mayor, Same Result: Bronx Gets Shortchanged AGAIN! Officials blame residents for icy streets By David Greene BRONX...

Bronx Gets Shortchanged AGAIN!

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New Mayor, Same Result: Bronx Gets Shortchanged AGAIN!
Officials blame residents for icy streets
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 12- Residents may not know if theirs is a tertiary or secondary street, but you don't have to be a genius to know that the city's new web site to track snow removal is a flop.
Residents in Norwood realized that when New York City's PlowNYC web site showed their area was plowed however, several secondary streets were not plowed enough or missed completely after two storms battered the area over three days.
Norwood residents took to Facebook after snowplows left a narrow path and large patches of ice along Decatur and Hull Avenues between East Mosholu Parkway North and E. 204 Street-- causing more than a few vehicles to become stuck.
Shortly after the latest storm of February 5, PlowNYC reported the roadway's were clear. The following Thursday angry residents took to the social media web site that apparently generated calls to both 311 and Councilman Andrew Cohen's office.
The source, who noticed the problem when she attempted to assist an elderly woman cross one of the ice covered streets, recalled, "They came and plowed, but I called them again and said it wasn't good enough, so they came back."
Sources say a plow again returned late Monday and eventually cleared the roadway.
Unpaved streets were also reported along Kossuth Avenue as well as Tryon Avenue, both in the Norwood section.
Meanwhile, traffic agents appeared to be engaged in a ticket blitz as two-man teams patrolled down Bainbridge Avenue and across E. 204 Street, converging on any vehicle in a no standing zone or metered spot.
The two-manned teams of ticket writers were also spotted in force in the Morris Park, Tremont and Fordham sections as hundreds of cars remain encased in blocks of solid ice two or three feet deep.
PlowNYC has been tracking the progression of snow removal by the Department of Sanitation of New York (DSNY) since Feb, 2013 and was created in response to the snow removal fiasco of 2010.
The PlowNYC program outfitted 1,700 plows and salt spreaders with GPS tracking devices that send the information to a central computer that uploads the information to an on-line map.
Keith Mellis, a spokesman at DSNY defended the department, claiming, "The block had been plowed by DSNY," but added that the situation was caused by careless residents.
Mellis claimed, "It's caused by people who throw it back into the
middle of the street and we go through with a plow and can't pick it up."
He explained that the tossed ice becomes embedded into the blacktop by passing vehicles.
Pleading with the public for cooperation, Mellis, now gearing up for the next storm, urged, Please don't put it back in the street."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Highbridge News: Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence...

Highbridge News: Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence...: Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 10- A cutting-edge statewide gun and gang violence p...

Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence

Former Gang Bangers Reach Out to Stop Gun Violence
BRONX, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 10- A cutting-edge statewide gun and gang violence prevention program – Operation SNUG – received a $300,000 award from State Senator Jeff Klein to operate in The Bronx’s Jacobi Medical Center. The hospital also generously chipped in another $50,000 to the anti-gun violence effort.
Operation SNUG – guns spelled backwards – is an aggressive, on the ground program that brings reformed gang members and criminals to hotbed street corners to teach their hard-learned lessons to troubled youths. Acting as “violence interrupters” these individuals will be on the front lines, facing down potentially violent confrontations in some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods. Expanding on the program’s past success, violence interrupters will be on the ground in the Bronx to mediate disputes before guns are drawn.
Senator Klein was the only elected official in New York City to secure SNUG funding for his district in 2014. The new program builds on the anti-gun momentum Senator Klein began last year when he co-authored and helped passed the NY SAFE Act, a new law which finally gives New York the toughest gun laws in the country.
“I’m proud that I was able to deliver $300,000 to the people in the Bronx who need this program the most. SNUG’s aggressive and proven approach makes it clear to our young people that guns and gang violence do not need to be a way of life,” said Senator Klein. “Our violence interrupters can reach these kids in a way that no one else can. Their inspiring stories teach kids that gun violence is not worth the tragedy and jail time that too often tear apart our communities. This initiative, along with the NY SAFE Act, are essential tools in our fight to eliminate gun violence,” Klein added.
The state’s Division of Criminal Services (DCJS) selected Jacobi Medical Center Auxiliary, Inc. to run the Operation SNUG program. Thanks to Senator Klein’s advocacy, the Bronx was one of only seven areas selected across the state for part of $2.18 million in funding for the initiative this year.
The funds present an exciting opportunity for Jacobi Medical Center to take an active role in the community it serves.
“More and more hospitals have to operate without walls. The funds we have obtained through DCJS and Senator Klein’s office will allow us to have a community based Injury Prevention program. Now our Auxiliary will be able to help patients in many more ways than ever before. Additional resources including violence interrupters, focused recreational programs, clinical social work intervention and follow-up will provide us with the opportunity to take preemptive measures and ensure that young adults are safe from violence” said William P. Walsh, Executive Director of Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital. 
Violence interrupters will target areas that are known to police as breeding grounds of violence, places where, unfortunately, problems have in the past been solved by guns.
“As a doctor, I have seen too many kids killed or maimed for life as a result of the senseless destruction of bullets. I became an activist because treating wounds just wasn’t enough, we need to attack this problem at is source. Thanks to this DCJS grant and Senator Klein’s efforts, we’ll be able to do just that.  Approaching the gun violence epidemic with a community-centered violence prevention program is the most effective way of ensuring these kids never get injured or have to cross through the doors of our Emergency Room.‘ said Dr. Sheldon Teperman; Trauma Service Director and Board Member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
“Empirical evidence shows that hospital-based interventions are extremely effective. This new program and the research it produces will allow us not only to gain an insight to those who are affected by gun violence but also to make an impact on these individuals lives,” added Dr. Stephen Blumberg.
The program could shield another mother from the agony that Elizabeth Thompson went through when her 19-year-old son, Shawn Lamont Williams, was fatally shot nearby her Bronx home.
“As a mother who has lost a child, I’m doing everything in my power to prevent another parent from enduring the same pain I have experienced. A Bronx SNUG program may be too late for my son, but if it saves one young person’s life it’s worth every penny. Thank you Senator Klein for listening,” said Thompson, member of North Central Bronx Hospital’s Community Advisory Board and a member of the North Bronx/Westchester Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.
Some of the violence interrupters will be recruited by a local pastor, who has experience in counseling high risk youth.
“This is a very significant program that we are bringing to The Bronx. In my line of work I eulogize a lot of young men from street violence. I believe that this is a way that we can save lives. This program will be a definite blessing to the community,” said Rev. Joseph Gooding of Fellowship Tabernacle Ministries.
Operation SNUG was heralded by Community Precinct Councils across the borough, Community Board No. 10 and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.