Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Books: "The Club" On The Rapid Growth Of The English Premier League

The Club: How The English Premier League Became The Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force In Sports
By Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; hardcover, 320 pages; $28.00

Soccer has grown rapidly in the United States the past couple of decades, more popular than baseball among 35-54-year-olds, and closing in on basketball, and that has a lot to do with the popularity of the English Premier League.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Books: "All That Heaven Allows" On The Life Of Rock Hudson

All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson
By Mark Griffin
Harper; hardcover; $28.99

Rock Hudson was the definition of a movie star: tall, dark, and handsome, he epitomized American manhood at the pinnacle of his fame in the 1950s and '60s.

America's leading man exuded charm, strength, virility, and charisma in classics like Magnificent Obsession, Giant, and Pillow Talk, and was frequently paired with Doris Day. His mainstream appeal translated into box office success during the last hurrah of Hollywood's Golden Age.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Books: LookIng For Meaning In The Ring In "Why We Fight"

Why We Fight: One Man's Search for Meaning Inside the Ring
By Josh Rosenblatt
Ecco; hardcover, 224 pages; $26.99; available Tuesday, January 15

Josh Rosenblatt, a writer and journalist who lives in Brooklyn, tracks his trajectory from pacifist to pugilist, from idle philosopher to trained fighter, his life's abrupt face, and what compelled such a change in his new book, Why We Fight.

Stottlemyre, Yankees Ace & Pitching Coach To 1986 Mets & Yankees 1990s Dynasty, Passes Away at 77


Mel Stottlemyre, the ace of the Yankees pitching staff in the late 1960s who went on to be the pitching coach of the Mets' 1986 World Championship team, and the Yankees 1990s dynasty, passed away on Sunday at the age of 77.

Yankees Sign LeMahieu, Making Infield Complete

DJ LeMahieu.

On Monday, the Yankees announced the signing of two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove-winning infielder DJ LeMahieu to a two-year contract through the 2020 season.

LeMahieu is a solid second baseman, which gives the Yankees plenty of options in the infield as they cover for the loss of shortstop Didi Gregorius until June or July as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Books: Looking At America Through "Revolutionary Threads"

Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics
By Bobby Sullivan
Akashic Books, Brooklyn, NY; trade paperback, 228 pages; $15.95

Bobby Sullivan grew up in the Washington, DC, punk scene, fueled by Rasta rockers Bad Brains and the foundational Minor Threat. His most notable band continues to be Soulside (of which he is the singer), which had multiple releases on Dischord Records.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

St. John's, Who Played Without Ponds, Dominated By DePaul

Marvin Clark of St. John's battles DePaul's Femi Olujobi. @StJohnsBball.

St. John's, who unexpectedly had to play without their star point guard Shamorie Ponds, lost to DePaul, 79-71, on Saturday night at Carnesecca Arena.

St. John's, ranked 24th in the nation, has now lost two straight, dropping their Big East Conference record to 2-3, and they are 14-3 overall. They most likely will drop out of the Top 25 with this loss and the one to Villanova this past Tuesday night.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Books: Dave Anderson's Defining Book On Super Bowl III

Countdown To Super Bowl: How The 1968-1969 New York Jets Delivered On Joe Namath's Guarantee To Win It All - 50th Anniversary Edition
By Dave Anderson
Sports Publishing; paperback, 248 pages; $16.99

Saturday is the 50th Anniversary of the Jets' stunning victory of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

This is possibly the most consequential Super Bowl of all-time, as the Jets, then of the American Football League, beat the heavily-favored Colts, stalwarts of the National Football League. The two leagues merged soon after, with the NFL absorbing all AFL teams and the structure of the NFL still stands today.

NYCFC MLS Super Draft Report

NYCFC plays at Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

New York City Football Club selected goalkeeper Luis Barraza (Marquette University) with the 12th overall pick and defender Abdi Mohamed (University of Akron) with the 43rd overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft 2019 this afternoon in Chicago.

Red Bulls MLS Super Draft Report

Red Bull Arena. Photo by Jason Schott.

In the 2019 MLS SuperDraft on Friday, the Red Bulls made a trade with FC Cincinnati to move up to the 16th overall pick, and then selected UC Davis defender Roy Boateng. The Red Bulls traded 100K in General Allocation Money for FC Cincinnati's No. 16 and 25 (first pick in the second round).

Yankees Sign Eight, Including Gray, To Avoid Arbitration

Sonny Gray.

The Yankees announced on Friday afternoon that they agreed to terms with RHP Dellin Betances, 1B Greg Bird, RHP Sonny Gray, SS Didi Gregorius, OF Aaron Hicks, RHP Tommy Kahnle, LHP James Paxton and C Austin Romine on one-year, non-guaranteed contracts, thus avoiding arbitration.

The name that jumps out is Sonny Gray, who had a rough 2018 season, in which he went 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA, and was relegated to the bullpen in July.

Yankees Bring Britton Back On 3-Year Deal

Zach Britton.

The Yankees have signed LHP Zach Britton to a three-year contract extending through the 2021 season with a team option for 2022, which the club must exercise or decline following the 2020 season. If the Yankees decline the 2022 team option following 2020, Britton may elect to become a free agent for the 2021 season.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bob Lederer, Author Of "Beyond Broadway Joe," On Super Bowl III's 50th Anniversary

Joe Namath in Super Bowl III.

Fifty years ago this weekend, the New York Jets, then of the American Football League, stunned the heavily favored Baltimore Colts of the National Football League, in Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969.

Jets quarterback Joe Namath, known to all as "Broadway Joe," became synonymous with victory and was transformed into a household name.

Seton Hall Holds On In Fierce Battle With Butler

Shavar Reynolds dropping a pass to Darnell Brodie. Photo by Jason Schott.

Seton Hall led throughout their game against Butler on Wednesday night at Prudential Center, and they held off a late surge from the Bulldogs to win 76-75.

Seton Hall, who improved to 12-4 overall and 3-1 in Big East Conference play, was led by Myles Powell's 31 points on 8-15 from the field, including two three-pointers, with 3 rebounds and an assist.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

St. John's Vanquished By Villanova

LJ Figueroa looks to find room along the baseline. @StJohnsBball.

In St. John's first game in four years as a ranked team after earning the 24th spot in the Associated Press Top 25 Monday, they came close to vanquishing Villanova on the road, but fell short, 76-71, on Tuesday night.

CC Cleared For Baseball Activities

CC Sabathia.

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia underwent a scheduled follow-up stress test earlier today. He has now been cleared to begin working out, which will include baseball activities.

Sabathia underwent an angioplasty on December 11, and when he met with doctors ten days later, he was told his prognosis is excellent.

Books: Levitsky & Ziblatt On "How Democracies Die"

How Democracies Die
By Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
Broadway Books; paperback; $15.00; available today, January 8

Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have long studied the demise of foreign democratic governments and could no longer ignore the signs of impending crisis they were seeing at home when Donald Trump became President.

Ponds Named National Player Of The Week

Shamorie Ponds. @StJohnsBball.

St. John's point guard Shamorie Ponds was awarded with National Player of the Week honors from the Citizen Naismith Trophy and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Books: Monty Python Speaks!

Monty Python Speaks: The Complete Oral History Revised and Updated Edition
By David Morgan; foreword by John Oliver
Dey Street Books; trade paperback, $17.99; available today, January 8

The legendary series Monty Python's Flying Circus was broadcast by the BBC between 1969 and 1974, and it introduced something completely different, as they introduced a new brand of surrealistic, stream-of-consciousness comedy that pushed the traditional boundaries of format, style, and content.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Red Bulls 2019 MLS Schedule

The Red Bulls celebrate a goal last season. Photo by Jason Schott.

Red Bulls and Major League Soccer announced the club's 2019 MLS Schedule today. The home schedule includes a rematch of the MLS Eastern Conference Championship against Atlanta United FC on May 19, and the renewal of the New York Derby on July 14.

NYCFC 2019 MLS Schedule

NYCFC plays at Yankee Stadium.  Photo by Jason Schott.

On Monday, New York City Football Club announced their 2019 MLS Regular Season schedule.

Wright To Be Special Advisor To Jeff Wilpon & BVW

The Mets announced on Monday that David Wright, their Captain who recently retired, will assume a new role with the club as Special Advisor to Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. In a related move, the organization and David mutually agreed to his release from the current roster.

St. John's Earns Spot In AP Top 25; Ponds Big East Player Of The WeeS

Shamorie Ponds driving against Georgetown Saturday. @StJohnsBball.

Monday was a huge day for the St. John's Red Storm, as they earned a spot in the  Associated Press Poll, ranked no. 24 in the nation after garnering a total of 221 points, and point guard Shamorie Ponds was named the Big East Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Books: College Football Traditions and Rivalries

College Football Traditions and Rivalries: Chants, Pranks, and Pageantry
Morrow Gift, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; Hardcover, $19.99; e-Book, $15.99

The College Football Playoff Championship game is Monday ngiht between Alabama and Clemson, and there is no better way to celebrate what makes this a quintessentially American sport than the new book College Football Traditions and Rivalries: Chants, Pranks, and Pageantry.

Books: New Novels In The New Year

The Morgan Library. Photo by Jason Schott.

There are three new novels that are perfect for the new year and the winter's cold nights meant for curling up with a book: Scrublands by Chris Hammer, Freefall by Jessica Barry, and The Last Of The Stanfields by Marc Levy.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Mets Make Moves On Busy Weekend

Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets have been busy this weekend shoring up their roster, as they acquired outfielder Keon Broxton from Milwaukee, infielders J.D. Davis and Cody Bohanek from Houston, and catcher Kevin Plawecki was sent to Cleveland for right-handed pitcher Walker Lockett and infielder Sam Haggerty.

Books: How To #Chill And Be Your Best Self In 2019

The New Year is always a time for reflection and how to improve oneself. Two new books, Best Self by Life Coach Mike Bayer, and #Chill by Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D, can help advance your goals.

Books: "Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America"

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America
Edited by Ibi Zoboi
Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books; hardcover, 416 pages; ages 13 and up; $17.99; available Tuesday, January 8

Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and immigrated to the United States, settling in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with her mother when she was four years old, and she still lives in the borough with her husband and their three children.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Ponds Powers St. John's Past Georgetown

Shamorie Ponds drives the lane. @StJohnsBball.

St. John's star point guard Shamorie Ponds put together one of his signature performances on Saturday afternoon against Georgetown, as they prevailed in overtime, 97-94.

Ponds had 37 points on 11-21 from the field, with six three-pointers, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds, the latest big outing from the Big East Preseason Player of the Year.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Yankees Sign Tulowitzki As Possible Didi Fill-In

Troy Tulowitzki.

The Yankees announced on Friday afternoon that they have signed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to a one-year Major League contract.

Arguably the best shortstop in Major League Baseball at one time, Tulowitzki, 34, is the perfect option to fill in at shortstop for Didi Gregorius, who is having Tommy John surgery and is expected out until June or July.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Books: Gary Myers On The Dallas Cowboys Empire

How 'Bout Them Cowboys? Inside the Huddle with the Stars and Legends of America's Team
By Gary Myers
Grand Central Publishing; hardcover, $28.00

There have been many books about America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, this year's NFC East Champions, but there hasn't been one that gives you an inside pass to the most valuable sports franchise in the world.

Mullin, Ewing Renew Rivalry When St. John's Visits Georgetown Saturday

Mullin and Ewing at Big East Media Day in October. Photo by Jason Schott.

St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin and Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing renew the rivalry that began in their playing days when the Red Storm visit Washington, DC, on Saturday afternoon.

St. John's is 13-1 overall on the season and 1-1 in Big East play after a stirring 89-69 win over Marquette on Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena.

Mikey Dixon Leaving St. John's Basketball Program

Mikey Dixon (3) in action Tuesday night. @StJohnsBBall.

On Thursday afternoon, redshirt sophomore Mikey Dixon notified the St. John’s coaching staff of his intention to transfer out of the program.

Devils Give Contract Extension To Coach Hynes

John Hynes.

The Devils announced on Thursday morning that they have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Head Coach John Hynes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Books: "The League" On The NFL's Five Founders

The League: How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire
By John Eisenberg
Basic Books; hardcover, 416 pages; $30

The NFL is America's most popular sports league, a towering colossus that generates $14 billion in annual revenue. Fans would be hard pressed to imagine how hard the beginnings of professional football were, but the determination of five men kept it alive.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

St. John's Mauls Marquette For First Big East Win

Shamorie Ponds celebrates. @StJohnsBball.

St. John's beat Marquette, 89-69, on Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena to earn their first Big East Conference win of the season in what was possibly their best performance of the season.

The Red Storm rebounded from a heartbreaking loss to Seton Hall on Saturday night that opened Big East play. That was their first loss overall of the season as well, as they went 12-0 in non-conference play.

Books: "The Last Man In Tehran" By Mark Henshaw

The Last Man In Tehran
By Mark Henshaw
Touchstone Paperback, Simon & Schuster; $16

Mark Henshaw, CIA analyst and former Red Cell think tank member, made his mark with his debut novel Red Cell, and he brings those characters back for his new thriller, The Last Man In Tehran.

Agent Kara Stryker and CIA analyst Jonathan Burke try to prevent a war from breaking out between Israel and Iran as a mole threatens to tear the CIA apart.