Thursday, January 31, 2019

Books: On Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson's birthday was 100 years ago today, January 31, 1919. There are two books that illustrate the remarkable life of man who broke baseball's color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Jackie Robinson: An Integrated Life by J. Christopher Schutz, and Jackie Robinson In Quotes: The Remarkable Life of Baseball's Most Significant Player by Danny Peary.

Books: "The Killer Collective" By Barry Eisler

The Killer Collective
By Barry Eisler
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, 429 pages, $24.95; paperback, $15.95; Kindle eBook, $4.99; Audiobook, $24.99; available Friday, February 1

Barry Eisler, the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen thrillers and a former CIA covert operative, has created three series, featuring sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, freelance assassin John Rain, and black-ops soldier Ben Treven. These have received numerous literary awards, made it on various "Best of" lists, and have been translated into more than twenty languages around the world.

Books: "The Forgotten Hours" By Katrin Schumann

The Forgotten Hours
By Katrin Schumann
Lake Union Publishing; hardcover, $24.95; Kindle eBook, $4.99; available Friday, February 1

Katrin Schumann, an editor and teacher who has a life-long passion for stories that explore the grey and ambiguous areas of the human heart, has written a story that is both timely and evocative in her powerful debut novel, The Forgotten Hours.

St. John's & Seton Hall Save Their Seasons

Shamorie Ponds breaks through Creighton's defense. @StJohnsBball.

On Wednesday night, St. John's and Seton Hall each got big wins that saved their seasons, as St. John's ran out Creighton on the road, 83-67, an Seton Hall outlasted Providence, 65-63, in Newark.

Both schools improved to 4-5 in Big East Conference play and moved into third place behind Villanova (8-0) and Marquette (8-1), breaking out of the pack of 3-win teams (Georgetown, Creighton, Xavier, Providence, Butler, and DePaul).

Books: On The New England Patriots

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

The New England Patriots are back in the Super Bowl, seeking their sixth championship with Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady at the helm. They have reached the Super Bowl a record nine times in 18 years.

A couple of recent books on the pair include Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time by Ian O'Connor, and Belichick And Brady: Two Men, the Patriots, and How They Revolutionized Football by Michael Holley.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Yankees Establish First Environmental Science Position in Pro Sports

The Yankees today announced the appointment of recognized industry leader Dr. Allen Hershkowitz to the new role of Environmental Science Advisor, the first of its kind in professional sports.

This represents a defining moment in the Yankees' decades-long commitment to sustainability, and serves to deepen an existing dedication to environmentally-friendly practices and community-wide awareness. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Books: "Obstruction of Justice" On The Deep State

Obstruction of Justice: How The Deep State Risked National Security to Protect the Democrats
By Luke Rosiak; with a foreword by Newt Gingrich
Regnery Publishing; hardcover; $28.99; available Tuesday, January 29

Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation who, prior to that, was an investigator for the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, examines this national security breach of the Democrats in the new book Obstruction of Justice.

Books: "Unjust" By Noah Rothman

Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America
By Noah Rothman
Regnery Publishing; hardcover, $28.99; available Tuesday, January 29

Noah Rothman. the associate editor of Commentary magazine, powerfully exposes the real motives behind the social justice movement in the United States and explains why it should be taken seriously, in his new book, Unjust.

Books: "The End of Loneliness" By Benedict Wells

The End of Loneliness
By Benedit Wells; Translated by Charlotte Collins
Penguin Books; paperback. 272 pages; $16.00; available Tuesday, January 29

German novelist Benedict Wells captured the hearts of readers across Europe in 2016 when his captivating novel, The End of Loneliness, was released.

It was on Germany's bestseller list for over eighty weeks and it won the prestigious European Union Prize for Literature and was selected as German independent bookstores' favorite book of 2016. Since then, it has been translated into 27 languages, and it is now available in America.

NYCFC Signs Luis Barraza To His First Professional Contract

Courtesy NYCFC.

New York City Football Club announced that 2019 MLS SuperDraft first round selection Luis Barraza has signed his first professional contract with the Club.

The goalkeeper, who was taken 12th overall, becomes NYCFC’s sixth offseason acquisition, following the arrivals of Tony Rocha, Keaton Parks, Ebenezer Ofori, Justin Haak and Juan Pablo Torres.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Georgetown Outlasts St. John's

Georgetown's Mac McClung draining a three-pointer with 6:07 left. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Georgetown Hoyas outlasted St. John's, 89-78, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, getting revenge for an overtime loss at their building on January 5.

The Hoyas, who improved to 3-4 in Big East Conference play and 13-7 overall, were led by Mac McClung, who had 25 points on 9-19 from the field, including 4-10 on three-pointers, with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Books: "Guts & Genius" On NFL's Best Coaches In '80s

Guts and Genius: The Story of Three Unlikely Coaches Who Came To Dominate the NFL in the '80s
By Bob Glauber
Grand Central Publishing; hardcover, $28.00

The NFL in the 1980s was dominated by three of the greatest coaches in history, Bill Parcells of the Giants, Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins, and the San Francisco 49ers' Bill Walsh in what may go down as the best decade in pro football history.

Big Ten Super Saturday Hoops & Hockey At MSG

Faceoff between Michigan and Penn State. Photo by Jason Schott.

Madison Square Garden held the annual Big 10 Super Saturday College Hoops and Hockey today, with Illinois beating Maryland in basketball, 78-67, followed by Penn State beating Michigan 5-2 in hockey.

NYCFC Signs Torres; Berget Departs

Juan Pablo Torres. Courtesy NYCFC.

New York City Football Club have signed midfielder Juan Pablo Torres to a multi-year contract from Belgian First Division A club KSC Lokeren, pending the receipt of International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Friday, January 25, 2019

Hall of Fame Memories From Mo, Moose, & Edgar

Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and Mariano Rivera flanked by National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Jeff Idelson (l.) and its chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark, at right.

The 2019 Hall of Fame class' inductees, Yankees legends Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina, and slugger Edgar Martinez, met with the media on Wednesday at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Pitcher Roy Halladay, who was inducted posthumously, was represented by his family.

Rivera, Mussina, and Martinez shared priceless stories about their experiences in baseball and playing against each other.

Books: "41 Reasons I'm Staying In"

41 Reasons I'm Staying In: A Celebration of Introverts
By Hallie Heald
Morrow Gift; hardcover, $16.99; eBook, $13.99; available Tuesday, January 29

In a world of in which social obligations seem nonstop, we could all use a night off to relax and focus on oneself.

In the new book 41 Reasons I'm Staying In, illustrator and self-proclaimed introvert Hallie Heald imaginatively portrays engaging and sometimes outlandish excuses to avoid leaving home.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Yankees Sign Ottavino, A Brooklyn Native, To Three-Year Deal

Adam Ottavino with Colorado last season.

The Yankees announced on Thursday the signing of one of the best relievers in baseball, right-handed pitcher Adam Ottavino, a Brooklyn native, to a three-year contract through the 2021 season.

Ottavino became a premier set-up man out of the Rockies' bullpen last season, and joins a Yankees' group of relievers that includes closer Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, Chad Green, and Jonathan Holder.

Red Bulls Sign Rzatkowski To MLS Contract

The Red Bulls have signed German midfielder Marc Rzatkowski to an MLS contract using Targeted Allocation Money, the club announced on Thursday. Rzatkowski signs on a free transfer after spending 2018 with New York on loan from Red Bull Salzburg.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

New Hall Of Famers Rivera, Mussina, & Edgar Meet Media

Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and Mariano Rivera.

Yankees legends Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina, along with Edgar Martinez, who starred for the Seattle Mariners, the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, met the media on Wednesday afternoon at the St. Regis Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rivera First-Ever Unanimous Selection For Hall Of Fame

Mariano Rivera.

Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all-time, was  elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, the first-ever unanimous selection.

Rivera will be joined by teammate Mike Mussina, along with Edgar Martinez and Roy Halladay.

Mike Mussina, Who Starred For Yankees, Makes Hall Of Fame

Mike Mussina.

Mike Mussina, who won 270 games his 18-year career with the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, joining teammate Mariano Rivera, along with Edgar Martinez and Roy Halladay.

Books: "The Inner Level" On Making Society More Equal

The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity, and Improve Everyone's Well-Being
By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Penguin Press; hardcover, 352 pages;.$28.00; available today, January 22

Richard Wilkinson has played a formative role in international research on the social determinants of health. He studied economic history at the London School of Economics before training in epidemiology and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Nottingham Medical School and Honorary Professor of University College London.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Gray Is Going: Yankees Trade Righty To Reds In 3-Way Deal

Sonny Gray,

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman made it clear in October when the offseason commenced that he would move struggling starter Sonny Gray, and on Monday afternoon, he finally did.

Gray was sent to the Cincinnati Reds, along with left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin, for second baseman Shed Long and a Competitive Balance Round A pick in the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Long was then sent from the Yankees to the Seattle Mariners foroutfielder Josh Stowers.

Books: "Restoration Heights," A Noir Mystery On Gentrification

Restoration Heights
By Wil Medearis
Hanover Square Press; hardcover, 336 pages; $26.99; available Tuesday, January 22

When artist Wil Medearis moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, he became a living witness to the effects of gentrification and the tensions it creates between the community's newcomers and its longtime residents.

Books: Newly-Discovered Sylvia Plath Short Story

Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom
By Sylvia Plath
Harper Perennial; paperback, 64 pages; $9.99; available Tuesday, January 22

Renowned author Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright fellowship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes.

Ponds Names To Big East Honor Roll For Fifth Time


St. John's point guard Shamorie Ponds has earned a spot on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the fifth time this season.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

DePaul Dominates Seton Hall Again

Myles Powell racing to the other end after a steal. Photo by Jason Schott.

Seton Hall was outlasted by DePaul, 97-93, on Saturday night at Prudential Center for their third consecutive loss. They are now 3-4 in Big East Conference play and 12-7 overall.

This was DePaul's second win over Seton Hall in two weeks, having beaten them 75-74, on January 6 in Chicago, and it was their second straight win on a Saturday night in the New York metro area, as they won at St. John's on January 12, 79-71.

St. John's Bounced By Butler

Kamar Baldwin goes up for a layup. @ButlerMBB.

St. John's was dominated throughout by the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon in Indiana, on the way to an 80-71 loss.

This leaves St. John's at 3-4 in Big East Conference play, continuing their uneven play in January after a 12-0 start in non-conference play.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Books: "We Want Fish Sticks" On The Infamous Islanders Rebranding In The '90s

We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders
By Nicholas Hirshon; Foreword by Eric Fichaud
University of Nebraska Press; hardcover and eBook, 312 pages; $29.95

The Islanders were a struggling franchise a decade after winning four straight Stanley Cups in the early 1980s, epitomized by their embarrassing sweep by the Rangers in the first round of the 1994 playoffs.

Books: "Tigerbelle," The Story Of An Olympic Pioneer

Wyomia Tyus (c.) on the podium after winning Olympic Gold.

Tigerbele: The Wyomia Tyus Story
By Wyomia Tyus & Elizabeth Terzakis; foreword by Joy Reid; An Edge Of Sports book curated by Dave Zirin
Akashic Books, Brooklyn, NY; 288 pages; hardcover, $27.95; trade paperback, $15.95 

Wyomia Tyus won gold medals in the 100-meter sprint in two consecutive Olympics, 1964 and 1968, becoming the first person to ever earn that achievement, and it was not repeated for almost twenty years, and fifty years to be exceeded.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Books: "The Accidental Further Adventures Of The 100-Year-Old Man"

The Accidental Further Adventures Of The 100-Year-Old Man
By Jonas Johansson
William Morrow; paperback; $15.99

Jonas Jonasson, the acclaimed international bestselling author, always claimed that Allan Karlsson, the beloved centenarian and main character of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared, would not return for a sequel.

St. John's, Led by 22 From Ponds, Crushes Creighton

Justin Simon bringing the ball up. Photo by Jason Schott.

The St. John's Red Storm came back from an early nine-point deficit to cruise to an 81-66 win on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena.

This was a much needed win for St. John's, as they improved to 3-3 in Big East play (15-3 overall) after losses to Villanova and DePaul last week.

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.