Wednesday, June 4, 2014
We Miss Mo!
Bullpen Continues to Cost Yanks a Win
as Pitchers Sputter from Loss of Mariano Rivera
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 4- Close games are costing the New York Yankees this season and no longer having the reliable Mariano Rivera could be a reason. The Yankees were prepared for the inevitable day when closing a game would not be routine when Rivera retired. In two of the last three games they realized more how much Rivera meant.
The bullpen implosion led to the Yankees third straight loss, 5-2, on a long Tuesday night in the Bronx in a game that was delayed over an hour by rain. And there are two more games with Oakland to close the home stand before another long road trip.
It was the Twins on Sunday when the Yankees pen imploded. Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, in the Oakland Athletics 10th inning, there was another implosion. Oakland scored three-runs off Adam Warren, and what was left of the 41,677 in attendance realized again the Yankees without Rivera are very beatable.
The Yankees are no longer a power threat and lacking a run producing lineup, so much different when Rivera was closing another win. Close games in the late innings are not a guaranteed win, evident by the extra inning loss and the second home run of the night by Brandon Moss, in the 10th off Warren that broke a 2-2 tie.
To say there is panic or that the Yankees are in deep trouble, it is still early with a third of the season complete. However, if close games are continually lost by the bullpen implosion, as has been the case as of late, then there is reason to panic.
“They are not going to be perfect they have been a big part of wins this year and not going to always be perfect,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi commented. The reference was to the reliable Dellin Betances who has been unstoppable, but finally had an implosion
The closer, David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth but gave away the lead Sunday. Betances had not walked a batter in his previous 10 appearances but, with two outs in the eighth inning Albert Callaspo got one. Pinch hitter Stephen Vogt followed and on a full count hit a tying double into the right center field gap.
And, as good as Betances has been, you can’t pitch like that to the A’s who happen to have the best run producing offense in baseball.
"I felt good,” Betances explained in a quiet Yankees clubhouse. “I just think the two-out walk hurt. I had him in my head and I just did not put him away I think from there I just fell behind on Vogt and just threw him a good pitch to hit. I think Callaspo, that at-bat was more frustrating."
Frustrating is the word Girardi used as his Yankees at 29-28, are in danger of falling to the .500 mark if they lose the second game of the three-game series tonight. It is not only the pen, but an anemic offense that showed some hope with a solo home run from Mark Teixeira in the sixth, his team leading 10th that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead off A’s starter Scott Kazmir.
Teixeira got clearance to start after missing the last two games with a sore right wrist. He has driven in 21 runs in his last 25 games, but when the wrist that is still heeling from surgery becomes bothersome, Teixeira, who appears to be the lone home run threat in this lineup, will have to sit down.
But it is the bullpen implosion that has the Yankees concerned. And without that late Hall of Fame closer no longer around, the Yankees have realized how different the late innings have become.
Posted by Bronx News at 10:10 AM
Monday, June 2, 2014
JLo Launches Family Health Center at Monte
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 2- Jennifer and Lynda Lopez, co-founders of the Lopez Family Foundation, and Montefiore Health System launched the Center for a Healthy Childhood at Montefiore’s Community Health Fair.
The new initiative between the Lopez Family Foundation and Montefiore aims to promote healthy living through community health programming, positive messages to raise children's self-image and a healthy environment so every woman, child and family can achieve their full potential. During the surprise visit, the Lopez Family Foundation made a $250,000 donation to Montefiore. The fair, a concept brought to Montefiore by Jennifer and Lynda, was held on Montefiore’s Moses Campus.
“We are proud to partner with Jennifer, Lynda and the entire Lopez Family Foundation to make a positive impact on the lives and futures of families in the Bronx,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO, Montefiore. “Montefiore’s work with the Lopez Family Foundation will begin by improving vital education, understanding and access to healthy eating and exercise. It is only through partnerships like this that we can ensure every child has a healthy and nurturing childhood to achieve their full potential. ”
Jennifer, Lynda and many of their friends and family attended the Community Health Fair to participate in activities, including a Zumba class featuring participants in B’N Fit, a program affiliated with the Center for a Healthy Childhood that helps teenagers maintain or lose weight. They also assisted in a healthy cooking demonstration, making smoothies for those at the fair.
“We can do so much to make the Bronx, our hometown, a healthier place. We can exercise together and we can eat well together. The Center for a Healthy Childhood will help make our vision a reality on every block,” said Jennifer Lopez. “It feels good to come home and talk to moms and kids about making healthy lifestyle decisions – they can make changes now that will set them on a path for a long, happy life.”
The Center builds upon Montefiore’s comprehensive community health programs and the long-standing commitment of Jennifer and Lynda to improving the health and well-being of women and children.
“We love having the opportunity to offer resources that mothers, children and families in the Bronx need for better access to healthcare, health information and health education,” said Lynda Lopez. “The Lopez Family Foundation is passionate about the health and well-being of mothers and children, and we're excited the Center for a Healthy Childhood will go deep into the community to provide needed support – whether it’s to educate about childhood nutrition, physical activity, emotional and intellectual engagement on health, or healthy pregnancies and motherhood."
The Center will serve Montefiore patients and their families, as well as the tens of thousands of children and families in the Bronx and beyond reached through partnerships with the New York City Department of Education, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other health and social service providers.
For more information about the Center and its affiliated programs, visit chc.montefiore.org.
Posted by Bronx News at 1:38 PM
Latino Sports Honors Carlos Beltrán
(Photo courtesy of NY Yankees)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 2- A festive luncheon was held at Yankee Stadium last Friday afternoon, several hours before the first game of a seven-day home stand to welcome Carlos Beltrán to the Bronx and to the New York Yankees.
Latino Sports has previously honored Beltrán with a Latino MVP Award as Rookie of the Year in the first year of the organization’s existence, 1989. After Beltrán’s final game with the Mets, several journalists approached the baseball great to shake hands and extend well wishes for his future.
At that time, Julio Pabón, the founder and president of Latino Sports, told Beltrán that he would receive a proper greeting upon his return to New York. The baseball great returned to New York this season and the meaningful welcome was in place on Friday.
Pabón took the occasion to briefly explain the 25-year history of Latino Sports and the reason for its founding and the need for its continued existence. He also educated his audience on the history of the relationship of the New York Yankees and the residents of the surrounding community.
He introduced two specials guests, NYY General Manager Brian Cashman and Senior Vice President Corporate/Community Relations Brian Smith. The two Brians spoke in agreement with Pabón’s thoughts that relations between the organization and the community have improved.
Beltrán, a soft spoken and humble man with great talent as an athlete, graciously accepted the gifts he was presented with. His words exhibited his intelligence and maturity. His concern and gratitude to those present, especially the children, was also apparent by his manner and thoughtfulness.
Several of those in attendance, perhaps including Beltrán himself, were thinking this luncheon and Beltrán’s signing with the Yankees should have taken place a decade earlier.
At the age of 18, the native of Manatí, Puerto Rico was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft. In his first full season with the Royals, 1999, his fine performance led to his selection as American League Rookie of the Year.
Although he drove in at least 100 runs in four of his five full seasons with Royals, the outfielder was traded to Houston in June of 2004.
On January 11, 2005, he signed with the Mets as a free agent. It was that winter that he was also in contact with the Yankees, with whom he hoped to sign. At a press conference after his free agent signing in December of 2013, Beltrán spoke of that missed opportunity by the Yankees, “I grew up being a Yankee fan, a Bernie Williams fan. I used to look up to this organization. They always did what it takes to put good teams out there and in championships. Eight-nine years ago, hey couldn’t commit to the years I wanted. They were having problems with the salary cap. They got Randy Johnson and I signed with the Mets.”
What the Yankees passed up by not signing Beltrán can be understood by his being chosen as a National League All-Star in five of his seven seasons with the Mets.
After two All-Star seasons with the Cardinals, the eight-time All-Star is finally a Yankee. His personal background makes him very comfortable and very pleased to be playing in the Bronx, “I’m proud that on this side of town we have a lot of Puerto Ricans. I have a double responsibility, representing the Yankees and representing my country.” His loyalty and pride in his homeland was also exhibited by his membership on Puerto Rico’s national team in all three sessions of the World Baseball Classic (WBC)-2006, 2009 and 2013.
Using different words than he spoke in December, the meaning of Beltrán’s words were the same, “I am proud to be a Latino. I like to walk in the barrio because that’s where I come from.”
He also spoke of his love and respect for his parents, “I come from a humble family. God gave me the ability to play baseball [but I am] more proud of my parents for giving me values.”
Beltrán has not only conducted himself as a gentleman, but is a socially conscious individual. He has been involved in numerous positive endeavors during his career, especially those that are beneficial to children. He realizes his position as a renowned major league baseball star comes with responsibility, “My opportunity as a baseball player is to give back. I want to do something for the Latino community. Every day I live I try to impact other people’s lives. I believe we can change lives. We are going to work on a project to benefit the people.”
His efforts and accomplishments have been recognized with his being the recipient of the Thurman Munson Award in 2009, the Joan Payson Award in 2010 and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2013.
Although Beltrán is currently on the disabled list with a bone spur on his right elbow, he is working hard to prevent the need for surgery and an absence of 10-12 weeks.
His record on the field and his character off the field have merited him consideration of one day being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. If he successfully completes his contract with the Yankees, one day there may be a luncheon in Beltrán’s honor to celebrate his election to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The ceremony brought good feelings to all present, regardless of age or personal background. The food was delicious and plentiful, and more importantly, the atmosphere was joyful and very positive. The guest of honor was very deserving of so meaningful a display of affection and respect.