Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Picking up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Hunts Point News: Spooky Fun

Hunts Point News: Spooky Fun: (Photos by Dan Gesslein) Hurricane Sandy maybe threatening to derail trick or treating, but kids in Hunts Point did not dampen t...

Spooky Fun

(Photos by Dan Gesslein)
Hurricane Sandy maybe threatening to derail trick or treating, but kids in Hunts Point did not dampen their Halloween spirit. Scores of children dressed in their favorite hero or ghoul costume marched through Hunts Point during the 27th Annual South Bronx Halloween Parade.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Google Helps Bronx Small Biz Get Online

BRONX, NEW YORK, October 22- This week, Google brought its New York Get Your Business Online program to NYC with events throughout all five boroughs. Launched last year in Albany and Buffalo, New York Get Your Business Online helps drive economic growth by giving small businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow their business.
The event, held at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, is the final one in a week-long series that has reached all five boroughs and included almost a thousand of NYC’s small businesses. At each event, Google has worked with small business owners to create their own websites courtesy of Intuit. Businesses have also received a customized domain name, free web hosting for one year, a local business listing on Google Maps, free tools, training and resources. Google experts have been on hand to train the business owners on how to reach more customers online.
“We are committed to making sure the City’s small businesses are online so potential customers can find them,” said Susan Molinari, Vice President, Public Policy & Government Relations, for Google. “Many small businesses do not have a website because they think it is too expensive, too difficult or too time consuming to create. New York Get Your Business Online helps small businesses easily and quickly create their own web presence and start growing their businesses online.”
New York Get Your Business Online is an easy and fast way for Bronx small businesses to get a website and become more visible online, where the majority of people are going to find goods and services. While 97 percent of Americans look online for local products and services, 53% percent of New York’s small businesses do not have a website or online presence.
“As a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee I am deeply involved in matters involving the internet and I know that having a presence on the internet is an absolute necessity today,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “More and more, commerce is becoming e-commerce. This is an opportunity to raise your presence beyond your neighborhood and spread the word much further afield about what you can do for your customers and to attract new ones.”
During this morning’s session, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson stopped by to visit and speak with the business leaders who were participating.
Businesses unable to attend the event can still get a free website, resources and more information about the program by going to www.NewYorkGetOnline.com.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Good, The Bad  & the Zombies

(Photos by Robert Press and Ken Carozza)
Comic Con 2012 – Review
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, October 15- If you did not attend the sold out Comic Con 2012 here is just a little recap of what you missed. 
As soon as you got near the Javits Center you entered another dimension. A dimension of comic characters coming to life as many Comic Con 2012 attendees were dressed as their favorite comic characters for the daily costume contest. There were the usual Supermen & Supergirls, Batmen & Robins, Vampires & Zombies, many of the new comic characters, and even characters that were made up that people might want to see. When I asked some people why they came in their outfits, the answer was “This is the only time other than Halloween that I can dress up like this”.
While there were dozens and dozens of booths selling comics going back to first issues of almost any and every comic book printed, and artists signing and posing for pictures. Comic Con 2012 was more than just comics. There were “Spotlight Comic Guests”, “Featured Comic Guests” “Spotlight Entertainment Guests”, (such as Adam West T.V.'s 
original Batman, Julianne Moore of Carrie, Kevin Bacon of the Following, Vanessa Williams of 666 Park Avenue, Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future fame, Lou Ferrigno of the Hulk fame, WWE star Booker T, and Divas Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins Brie and Nikki, and former boxer/wrestler Butterbean to name only a few. Each day was a different line up of stars and characters.
I went Friday and went back on Sunday to the Javits center for “Kids Day”. Sunday was the most crowded as line waits were about one half an hour or more at several “hot” booths. On Sunday three stars of wrestling Tito Santana, Brutis “The Barber” Beefcake, and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, were taking photos with the attendees. Greg Valentine appeared in April at St. Francis Xavier “Wrestling Night” event in the Morris Park area of the Bronx. Also with a Bronx connection was Gregory Lamberson author of the “FRENZY WAR”, who with his Bronx partner Marc Makowski made the “SLIME CITY” cult film series of movies.
You can go to my blog at www.100percentbronx.blogspot.com to see photos of Comic Con 2012 for Friday and Sunday at posts that are sandwiched around the Liberty Democratic Club 5th Annual Award Dinnerand post. Check the archive section for other items that were related to Comic Con 2012. People who attended Comic Con 2012 said that they can not wait for Comic Con 2013.
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Saturday, October 13, 2012


Bring on the Tigers
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, October 13- There is one difference for the New York Yankees when they open the best of seven American League Championship Series tonight in the Bronx- CC Sabathia, who pitched the complete game division series win Friday night against Baltimore, won’t start the opening game.
And for the Yankees, who advanced to their 15th ALCS, Sabathia is a key if the series should go the full route. Because not having Sabathia pitch game one against Detroit means it’s probable the Yankees ace will get two starts instead of a possible three.
However, this is Sabathia, and these are the Yankees. Anything is possible after a remarkable and low scoring series with the Orioles.
“He’s our ace,” said manager Joe Girardi about the complete game and 8/2-3 innings that won game one of the Baltimore series.  “That’s the bottom line. He’s done an unbelievable job since coming here. But that was vintage CC.”
Girardi said there was no question about Sabathia clinching and completing the deciding game. “He was going. It was his game,” he said. So many times we have heard Girardi refer to his ace that way, even when Sabathia struggled at times during the season.
Ask the Yankees. They know how valuable Sabathia is. After game one in Baltimore there were no signs of fatigue. Friday night it was the same. He became the second Yankee to throw a complete game in a ALDS game, the first being David Wells, and 17/2 innings tossed surpassed David Cone in a division series.
“He usually gets better as the game goes along and he has a way of stepping it up. I have a ton of confidence in CC even when I knew he was going through his struggles. I knew he would get it right. I felt good about sending him out there.”
Girardi was referring to the eighth inning. The Orioles had their opportunity with the bases loaded. It was Sabathia’s fourth straight quality outing, the last two why New York moves on and Baltimore goes away now until April.
There are no days off in between series, and no pitching rotation has been set by Girardi for the Tigers. Just Andy Pettitte for game one and the game two start Sunday night in the Bronx will be announced by Girardi Friday afternoon. Confidence with Pettitte who has won more post season games for a pitcher, coming out of retirement to be where the Yankees are now
Sabathia will probably get a start in game four, with the travel and off day Monday. But the way Sabathia threw the ball in the two games against Baltimore, the feeling is he could go sooner.
“I was trying to back up a little bit and tried to be aggressive with fastballs and that didn’t work,” commented Sabathia about the only inning where tension was evident in the Bronx at the Stadium.
He said about the deciding game on the mound, “Right now this ranks at the top. Pitching a game like, this having a chance to win a championship every year, the organization puts together, that’s, all you can ask for with a team.”
“It’s what I came here for. It’s what I play the game for. Getting the ball for saving the season whether its game one or game 15. I feel I have to win every game. I go out, put pressure on myself to perform well. I expect it.”
The Orioles never went away. Girardi, still feeling the effects on the passing of his father did not field many questions about what is next. The Tigers have their ace also, Justin Verlander, who also won’t be available for game one.
“It seems like when you manage the New York Yankees every series is like managing the World Series,” he said. But he has Sabathia, a difference whether it is the first game, the middle one, or the last.
Sabathia said, there is a long way to go, and he looks for three or four more starts this post season. There could be one more, pending how far this Yankees team will advance with the World Series one step away.
They have CC Sabathia, and to them getting to and winning the World Series is what it is about.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring 786@aol.com
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Thursday, October 11, 2012


Ibañez Homers Inch Yanks Closer to WS
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, October 11- Game 3 of the ALDS was a classic. The definition of the word for this story is taken from the 2012 book written by managerial great Tony La Russa, “The game has to have serious stakes. The competition between the two teams has to be both fierce and equal. The performances of individual players have to be of extremely high caliber. The outcome should be in jeopardy until the final moments. The action has to arrest your attention because of the brilliant, the surprising, or the unique nature of the performances or the personalities.”
The closeness in the competition between the Yanks and Orioles continued at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night when the ALDS shifted from Baltimore to the Bronx. The two clubs split 18 contests during the regular 2012 season. The teams also split the first two games of the ALDS.
Wednesday night’s contest featured an old fashioned pitchers’ duel between Miguel Gonxzalez of Baltimore and Hiroki Kuroda of New York. The rookie hurler for the O’s pitched with confidence and poise for seven innings. Only five batters reached base, all with base hits. His control was outstanding. Seventy percent of his pitches were strikes. No Yankee batter drew a walk, but Gonzalez fanned eight. The only Yankee run off him came in the third frame. Russell Martin doubled and scored on a triple by Derek Jeter.
Although his first appearance in the majors was May 29, Wednesday was his third start at Yankee Stadium. He earned a win in each of his previous outings in the Bronx on July 30 and August 31. He pitched a total of 13.2 innings, surrendering four earned runs for an ERA of 2.63.
Before the game, O’s manager Buck Showalter said of the 28 year old, “The guy does so many things that give himself a chance to be successful…We’re real proud of him.”
Kuroda accomplished what would normally result in a win. He pitched 8.1 innings, a mark he reached only twice in 33 previous starts this season. He also only gave up five hits, but two were crucial, a first pitch solo homer by Ryan Flaherty in the third and a solo first pitch home run by Mario Machado in the fifth. The two rookies showed no fear of playing in the postseason in Yankee Stadium.
In the pre-game press conference, Joe Girardi commented on the native of Japan, “I feel good about him on the mound because I’ve seen what he’s done all year for us.”
The Yanks tied the contest at two with one out in the ninth. Girardi removed the designated hitter, Alex Rodriguez, for pinch hitter Raúl Ibañez. The New York native parked the baseball in the right field seats to electrify the sell-out crowd of 50,497.
After the game, Girardi explained the decision that reporters called a genius move, “It’s a tough move. I just had a gut feeling about a left-hander who’s a low ball hitter. Raúl came up with some clutch hits; he’s been doing it all year. Sometimes you have to do what your gut tells you.”
The game ended in a most spectacular fashion as Ibañez led off the 12th with a walk-off home run. The unbelievable event prompted Yankee starter Kuroda to say, “It seemed like it was something out of cartoon.”
Ibañez whose wife gave birth earlier in the month remarked humbly, “I’m a very blessed man. I have a healthy baby boy; my wife is healthy.” Of the two home runs, he explained, “I was just trying to get a good pitch. I was not trying to do too much. Fortunately, it worked out.”
In game 4, Phil Hughes will start for New York against lefthander Joe Saunders, who was announced as the starter by Showalter in a post-game press conference. If the Yanks win on Thursday they will advance to the ALCS.
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Bring on the Rings?

At the end the Yankees seem to have it all together as they await the next step
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, October 5- The Texas Rangers or the Baltimore Orioles are awaiting the New York Yankees Sunday night as the new wild card format this season has the lower seed teams hosting the higher seed in the divisional series. But, the Yankees don’t care where they go, or who they play.
Momentum has become a major player the last month or weeks of the baseball season. The Yankees have that right now, so similar to what the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals had in 2010, and last year. Their late season surges continued right to a World Series championship.
And, as every baseball or sports fan knows, a New York Yankees season is not complete, or a success, unless they bring a World Series trophy back to the Bronx. They finished with the best record in the American League, decided when they clinched their second straight division title Wednesday night with a sweep over the Boston Red Sox.
Home field advantage for the first two rounds of the post season goes to the Yankees with a 95-67 finish, second best in baseball to the Washington Nationals. Though sweeping the lowly Boston Red Sox to finish off, and scoring 14-runs in their final game, don’t make that a barometer that they will dominate from here on in.
This was the Red Sox. Not the Rangers, Athletics, Tigers, or the Orioles where pitching, with perhaps the exception of the Rangers collapse, won them games this time of year. The Yankees inconsistency of their pitching staff could be their obstacle as to getting a 28th championship.
“Now the real season starts,” commented Derek Jeter, the Yankees captain who knows something about the meaning of October baseball with five World Series rings.
So, with a September that was one to remember, the Yankees had to fight to the end with Baltimore. The 27-time world champions are confident. Yes, momentum is on their side as the pitching and hitting have come together, as well as a healthy compliment of players off the disabled list.
The season of adversity, one key pitcher or starting player hindered by injuries hurt the Yankees as they struggled and surrendered a 10-game AL east divisional lead to the Orioles.
“This year we had to fight, scratch and claw,” said Nick Swisher who had his struggles and finished with a strong September.
The Yankees at one time or another this season, and Girardi utilized what he could from the roster, saw different players at third, first, in the outfield, at DH, and on the mound.
The losses of pitchers CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, and other role players, for a short or extended period of time had an impact but they overcame the adversity.
That also included losing all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera, with a freak season ending injury in the outfield shagging fly balls prior to a game at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City. Rafael Sorinao stepped in the closer role, and overall with 42 saves but had the tendency to throw the home run ball in the late going.
Gardner is back and could be on the post season roster, but getting on base and speed came when the Yankees acquired the able Ichiro Suzuki in the second half. Robinson Cano struggled, and the final three weeks the all-star second baseman had the highest hitting percentage in baseball.
The last seven years, New York has won the World Series once, so the obvious dynasty in baseball is a thing of the past with parity an obvious part of the game. However, as was the case with the Giants and Cardinals, pitching wins games this time of year.
“To have the best record and not know where you’re going is strange,” says Yankees manager Joe Girardi. They probably would prefer the Orioles. They split the 18-games between them and scored more runs. The Rangers, though struggling, know how to handle this time of year.
And when it comes to the Yankees and Rangers in October, Girardi is aware that Texas has come up short the last two years in failing to win the World Series, but the Yankees have never done well at the ballpark in Arlington in October baseball games.
The tentative starting rotation in the best- of- five opening round will be Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Pettitte, and Phil Hughes. It looks good, though Hughes has been ineffective in his last three starts and gives up the home run ball. Hughes getting the ball in a game three or four could be detrimental.
“The fact we struggled, we overcame the adversity, I am proud we are at this point,” says Girardi. Driving in the timely run has been the inconsistency and striking out to much, and Curtis Granderson had a team high in strike outs when he was not hitting the home run ball.
Just about every position player is liable to hit the ball out of the park. The Yankees finished 2012 with a club record in round trippers. But we saw something the past few weeks that started to develop.
The Yankees played small ball with the bunt, steal, and that produced some run production that helped them win some close games on the road. They finished four games over .500 away from the Bronx.
The team works out at Yankee Stadium early Friday evening and will watch the wild card game between the Orioles and Rangers. From the Bronx they will have the bags packed and ready to begin the next journey.
The new season begin Sunday evening. The quest with momentum is to bring championship number 28 to the Bronx in a few weeks.
E-Mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com/ Facebook.com/Keep it in the Ring
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