Tag Archives: Baseball

St. John’s baseball advances to Super Regionals for first time


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of St. John's Athletics

It’s a bird, it’s a plane— no it’s the “Super” Johnnies.

Led by sophomore Frank Schwindel’s perfect 5 for 5 day at the plate, the Red Storm knocked out No. 1 seeded University of North Carolina, 9-5, in the Chapel Hill region and knocked down the doors to its first ever Super Regional tournament.

Junior pitcher Matt Carasiti held the Tar Heels offense to four runs over 5.1 innings and juniors Sean O’Hare and Robert Case added two RBIs each to help the Red Storm in the final game of the opening bracket on Sunday, June 3.

“I’m proud of these guys,” head coach Ed Blankmeyer said about the win. “We had a tough start this year and we were trying to find ourselves, but towards the end of the season I felt that we had a chance to do something special.”

The Johnnies (40-21) stormed past the NCAA Division I regional tournament with three straight victories.

Junior outfielder Jeremy Baltz was named the Chapel Hill regional MVP batting .400 (4 for 10), slugging .900 and scoring eight runs.

Following the victory, former St. John’s standout and Mets captain, John Franco sent a message to the Red Storm on the university’s website.

“Good luck St. John’s Baseball, bring us home a winner; let’s go boys,” Franco said.

After capping the regional district wins the Johnnies will advance to play against No. 1 seed Arizona University (41-17) in a three-game series, for a chance to play in the eight-team College World Series.

All-Star Game may be boom for Queens business


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Citi Field

Businesses owners are hoping that the 2013 MLB All-Star Game will hit one over the fence.

As baseball fans everywhere flock to the 84th All-Star Game next year at Citi Field, Queens businesses are prepping for the influx of customers.

“It gives Queens a huge national event. We’re planning to promote ‘the All-Star Game comes to Queens’ not to New York City,” said Rob MacKay, an executive committee member on the Queens Tourism Council, an arm of the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC).

He added, “We’re very excited about it. It can bring an economic boom to the borough.”

Last week at a press conference to officially announce the Mets will host the All-Star celebration in July, 2013 — which includes the Home Run Derby, Fan Fest and the Celebrity All-Star Game — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the event would draw in more than 175,000 fans and about $192 million to the city.

“It’s a good chance for us to A: bring people to our hotels, and then B: get those tourists to stay in Queens,” MacKay said.

It will be the second time ever the “Midsummer Classic” comes to the Mets, after its 1964 visit for Shea Stadium’s inaugural season.

MacKay hopes that fans stay at hotels in Queens over Manhattan and will then shop and visit restaurants, bars and various significant sites around the borough.

“It’s going to be huge. I’m extraordinarily excited,” said Brain Begos, general manager of McFadden’s bar across from Citi Field, who added he expects to have loads of customers from the events. “It’s great for New York, great for Queens, great for the Mets and great for McFadden’s.”

But there’s a curveball.

Edwin Rodriguez, a market manager at travel agency Expedia for the NYC metro area, researched the All-Star Game four years ago at Yankee Stadium and said the game may not bring as much business as expected.

“Expedia’s numbers show that MLB All-Star Games do not bring in huge amounts of compression for their host cities,” Rodriguez said. “All-Star Games typically don’t have the excitement that the World Series or Super Bowl would bring to a city.”

Rodriguez also said that during the 2008 All-Star Game, Bronx hotels only saw limited economic increases because the borough only had a few hotels, so most fans stayed in Manhattan.

That’s where MacKay said Queens has the upper hand, since there are about 90 hotels throughout the borough.

“We have luxury hotels that are as good as Manhattan, but $150 less,” he said.

MacKay said the Tourism Council has already begun discussing how to create packages for the hotels with various local businesses, such as “Borough Excursions,” to help fans enjoy Queens while they enjoy the baseball festivities.

“July and August are usually rough months for Queens hotels. So it’s coming at a perfect time,” MacKay said. “This is obviously a great opportunity and we’re not going to miss it.”

His ‘Imperfect’ life inspires


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE QUEENS COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Though his autobiography is entitled “Imperfect,” the cover captures the one day in his career Jim Abbott was perfect — well, unhittable.

Abbott, a former Yankees pitcher, was on hand at Queens College to speak about overcoming adversity — a lifelong struggle for the lefty.

“If we know anything, we know that challenges will come,” Abbott said. “It comes to all of us in a lot of different forms.”

Abbott was a lefty for one simple reason — he was born without a right hand.

Dozens attended the speech in the college’s Student Union ballroom that was part of CUNY’s disability awareness month.

“He’s inspiring, even for someone without a physical handicap,” said Steven, a junior.

Abbott’s tome, Imperfect: An Improbable Life, released in April, tells the tale of the pitcher’s life growing up in Flint, Michigan, his award-winning days at the University of Michigan and on the U.S. national team and his days as a major leaguer.

“I don’t believe you have to be bound by the circumstances you’re born into,” he shared. “With strength and resiliency we all have it within us to adapt.”

Adapting was at the heart of the hurler’s talk, utilizing the word as an acronym outlining the traits needed to overcome any struggle: A: adjustability; D: determination; A: accountability; P: perseverance; T: trust.

Though the former major leaguer doesn’t like to harp on his disability, he realized that even as he climbed the ladder of success and entered the majors, his difference was always going to follow him.

In one of Abbott’s first little league games, the opposing coach had the first six players on his team bunt to see if he could field it and make the play at first.

“Six straight times,” Abbott recalled. “Two innings.”

A bunt almost destroyed his chance at baseball history on the night of September 4, 1993.

After holding the explosive Cleveland Indians hitless over the first eight innings on that fateful night, speedy leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton laid a bunt down the first base line. On his way to a sure single and breaking up Abbott’s chance at immortality, the ball bounded foul.

Lofton grounded out, followed by a fly out and another ground out and Abbott entered into the select group of pitchers over the game’s 100-plus years to throw a no-hitter and marked the crowning achievement in his unlikely story.

“It makes you think about what you can attain,” Derek, a sophomore at the college, said of Abbott’s accomplishments.

After retiring, Abbott spoke at his daughter’s pre-school career day. During his speech, his daughter raised her hand and asked, “Do you like your little hand?”

He had never thought about that, but took a second and answered.

“I like my little hand, but I haven’t always liked it, and it hasn’t always been easy. But you know what, my little hand has taught me an important lesson — life’s not easy. If you can find your own way of doing things, if you can make the most out of what you’ve been given, if you can believe in yourself no matter where you go in this world, nothing is going to stop you.”

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Late-night win brings relief for Yankees team struggling for clutch hits

This one, like its two immediate predecessors, carried the vibe of, “Well, we better beat the Orioles regularly. They’re terrible!” Yet this victory last night, 6-4 over Baltimore in 10 innings at Camden Yards, felt a little different, too. For a team eternally saddled with (and marketing) great expectations, you could sense some relief. Read More: New York Post

Wife bares hero’s stand

He died trying to be a hero. The wife of a man beaten to death outside his Astoria home in 2008 while trying to protect a neighbor from a crazed drifter yesterday told a Queens jury she begged him not to get involved. “I told him, ‘Please, please, don’t go,’ ” Dora Nowillo said of her husband Nicolas, 65. His alleged attacker, Eric Cherry, 47, faces manslaughter and assault charges. Read More: New York Post

Surfin’ US‘O’

Michelle Obama is flexing her muscle at the Rockaways’ legendary cabana clubs. The Obama administration made promoting the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” health-and-fitness campaign a criteria for winning the concessions contract for two Queens beach clubs in the Gateway National Recreation Area. The National Park Service insisted it wasn’t a case of government overreach. “These are presidential initiatives and we are part of the executive branch. Gee whiz,” said spokesman John Warren. “How can you disagree with . . . getting healthy?” Read More: New York Post

Delta Launches Construction Of New Domestic Hub At LaGuardia

Delta broke ground Wednesday on an expansion of its new domestic hub at LaGuardia Airport.Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to help usher in the construction project, the largest at the airport in more than 40 years. The expanded terminal will increase service at LaGuardia by 60 percent, adding 100 new flights and 26 new destinations by this summer. flights between the airport and more than 60 cities. The airline is also investing $160 million to modernize Terminals C and D at LaGuardia and build a connector between them. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Bloomberg is moving to regulate pay of unionized city trade workers, taking the power away from the City Controller

The Bloomberg administration is moving to seize regulatory control over close to 10,000 unionized city trade workers — yanking the power away from embattled City Controller John Liu. Officials from the city Office of Labor Relations on Wednesday contacted the unions representing city workers under some 95 job titles — including electricians, plumbers and steamfitters — to let them know about the impending switch. Since 1894, according to administration officials, the Controller’s office has set the trade workers’ pay levels based on the average earnings of their private sector counterparts. Read More: Daily News

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Maniac went for cop-killer bullets: police

The crazed gunman who wounded four Brooklyn cops was reaching for another rifle loaded with more powerful, armor-piercing bullets to inflict deadly injuries just before he was stopped, officials said yesterday. “If he would have been able to grab that gun, this would have been a lot more tragic. It would have been in God’s hands,” said a police official familiar with the case. “It’s apparent [the suspect] wanted to shoot it out with cops and go out in a blaze of glory.’’ Read More: New York Post

Cuomo at all-time high in latest poll; Bam and Gillibrand strong

Gov. Cuomo’s job approval has hit an all-time high while President Obama and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are cruising toward re-election in deep blue New York this year, according to a new poll out today. The Siena College survey found New York voters divided over Obamacare and the potential legalization of casino gambling but strongly supportive of expanding the state’s DNA databank and rolling back pension benefits for new public employees. Read More: New York Post

Liu’s legal bills outweigh donations

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasury “is turning into a legal-defense fund.”

Liu’s campaign has spent more than $100,000 on lawyers and legal fees so far this year — more than he raised in campaign contributions. Liu only raised $82,305 from Jan. 1 through March 25. And the new report shows that Liu spent more than twice what he raised during the period — $162,354.92. The anemic fund-raising and ballooning legal bills come as Liu and his campaign operation face a federal criminal probe of their fund-raising activities. Read More: New York Post

Smoking banned in New York State Parks in New York City

In announcing the ban Monday, state officials said it was done to make state parks consistent with their city-run counterparts, where smoking was outlawed last year. Smoking will also be banned near pools and playgrounds at all other state parks outside of the city, as officials look to create “fresh-air” zones for parkgoers. Read More: Daily News


 

Park Officials Plan To Fix Up Vandalized Far Rockaway Playground By Summer

With the damages totalling more than $100,000, many Far Rockaway residents feared the city would halt construction on the Beach 29th playground, but the Parks Department says it will soon be back on schedule. “The contractor has been there a few times the manufacturer, we located the parts that we need, they’re now on order,” said Queens Park Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “We hope to be back in line and open the playground sometime during the summer.” Read More: NY1

 

 

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly fights the good fight in New York City’s long war against guns

This time it was 3301 Nostrand Ave. in the first moments of Easter Sunday, four Emergency Service Unit cops, cops as good as any Ray Kelly has, coming through the door of Apartment 6-K, all being shot by a “very bad dude” — Kelly’s words — named Nakwon Foxworth. Another bad dude in the City of New York with guns, one gun at least from the shoot-happy South. Read More: Daily News

 


 

Ire at home ‘free’ tenant

Queens landlord Debra Samuels says her only tenant hasn’t paid the $1,590 rent in more than a year — putting her two-family home in jeopardy. “We haven’t received a penny since February 2011 and she’s upstairs chilling, living free.” Samuels said. “I don’t see any resolution to this thing.” The cash crunch has put Samuels and her husband, who run a restaurant together, behind on their mortgage for the two-family Far Rockaway home.  Read More: New York Post

 

Catholic Charities boardmember quits over Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights

Angered by Cardinal Dolan’s stance on gay rights, a member of the junior board of the city’s Catholic Charities revealed Saturday he has resigned. Joseph Amodeo quit after Dolan took umbrage at a letter from a group that works with homeless lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender youths. Read More: Daily News

PSAL baseball roundup


| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com


A Division

The John Adams Spartans (2-0) beat the Long Island City Bulldogs by a score of 4-2. For the Bulldogs junior Charlie Mendes got the start and pitched five innings allowing six hits, three runs, one earned while striking out seven and walking four. Sophomore Albert Ramirez made an appearance on the mound for the Bulldogs, the young pitcher failed to record an out while allowing one run. Next up for the Spartans will be the Richmond Hill Lions (0-3).

The Lions lost their last game by a score of 13-0 at the hands of the William C. Bryant Owls (3-0). For the Owls senior Nicholas Alvarez went the distance in a mercy rule shortened game. Alvarez allowed five hits while striking out eight batters. On the offensive side of the ball, senior shortstop Christopher Alverez went 3-3 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Junior third baseman Jorge Zurita went 2-2 with an RBI.

B Division

The Beach Channel Dolphins (3-0) beat the August Martin Falcons (0-3) by a football score, 19-6. For the Dolphins senior Christopher Bonilla pitched five innings allowing six runs, five hits, six walks while striking out seven. Bonilla was star with the bat as well going 2-4 with four RBIs. Sophomore shortstop Kely Aponte led the team in hits, going 5-5 with three RBIs. Freshman first baseman Ryan Suglia went 2-2 with two RBIs, while sophomore Sergio Galdamez went 2-3, knocking in two. For the Falcons sophomore Carlos Medina pitched five innings giving up 19 runs only six of which were earned. In the five innings Medina also allowed nine hits, walked seven and struck out eight. Freshman outfielder Juan Abreu went 1-3 with three RBIs. Next up for the Dolphins will be a home game against the Falcons.

The Springfield Golden Eagles (1-2) shut out the Renaissance Knights (2-1) 10-0. For the Golden Eagles junior Dwayne Moore pitched a great game in the shutout allowing just one hit while walking one batter and striking out five. Moore was the offensive star as well going 2-3 with four RBIs. For the Knights sophomore Tenzin Samphel pitched three and a third innings allowing eight runs, two of which were earned.

 

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

JetBlue’s crazy capt. just before freak-out

In the moments before JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon threw a terrifying tantrum aboard a flight from JFK to Las Vegas last week, he appeared to be the picture of calm, according to a newly released video of the terrifying incident. In the footage, Capt. Osbon can be seen chatting with flight attendants, one of whom is even smiling. The other flight attendant goes on about her business, as Osbon talks and sips water. Moments later, he went berserk, prompting passengers to hold him down while the plane made an emergency landing. Read More: New York Post

Plea deal in Queens deli slay

A Queens man pleaded guilty yesterday to a reduced charge for killing a hardworking deli owner who tried save his brother during a botched robbery. Shawn Forde, 29, admitted he gunned down 54-year-old Juan Torres, owner of the Lucky Grocery & Deli on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton, in October 2010 as the victim was trying to protect his brother, Felix. Forde had faced 25 years to life for the murder and robbery, but copped a plea to first-degree manslaughter and will be sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 1. Read More: New York Post

Staten Island man arrested in accident that killed woman who died saving grandson

A 40-year-old Staten Island man was arrested early this morning, charged with driving away after running over a grandmother who was returning home from church. Clara Almazo, 57, died while courageously saving her 8-year-old grandson from the speeding vehicle, witnesses and relatives said. At this point, Brian McGurk is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. That accident happened as Almazo and the child were crossing Cary Avenue at Elizabeth Street in the West Brighton section. The black SUV barreled straight toward them at 9:50 p.m. Read More: New York Post

 

 

State Attorney General Seeks To Ban Sex Offenders From Online Gaming

“Online gaming is not just a digital playground. It has the potential to be a 21st century crime scene,” said the attorney general. On Thursday, Schneiderman announced the launch of “Operation: Game Over,” a deal with some of the country’s major gaming companies, like Microsoft and Sony, to block more than 3,500 online accounts of registered sex offenders, to take aim at offenders who may use these games to chat online with kids. “The most popular video games are specifically designed so players must interact,” said Schneiderman. Read More: NY1

 

 

 

Amazin’ Mets Seal 1-0 Victory At Citi Field Opener

The New York Mets opened their season of 162 games with a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Ace starting pitcher Johan Santana made a successful return after missing last season with a shoulder injury, pitching five scoreless innings and only giving up two hits while striking out five. The Mets scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning on an RBI single by David Wright. Frank Francisco closed it out ending it with a strikeout of Jason Heyward. The Mets have now won on opening day 33 of the last 43 years, but are still looking to rebound from three straight losing seasons. Read More: NY1

 

 

Roosevelt Islanders Discuss Planned Local Tech Center With Cornell Officials

Cornell University has animations to represent its present vision of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, but officials admitted what they call an open campus will change shape because they want the community’s input. “It’s not just rhetoric. We’re the state’s land grant institution and so it’s critical over the years we are developing this campus we’ve become good neighbors,” said Cornell University President David Skorton. NY1

 

 

Sixteen teachers singled out for pervy conduct get to keep their jobs in New York City schools

Sixteen city teachers have been singled out by education officials for pervy classroom behavior — but they can’t be fired, the Daily News has learned. One instructor allegedly bent a kid over a chair and thrust into him from behind, saying “I’ll show you what is gay.” Another couldn’t stop calling girls in his gym class “sexy.” And yet another is accused of telling a student: “I slept with your mother last night.” Read More: Daily News

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

DA: Mother Will Not Be Charged In Son’s Bathtub Drowning

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office on Monday announced it has declined to prosecute the mother of an eleven-month old boy who apparently drowned in the bathtub. A spokesman with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office says while the death of Elijah Pardella was tragic and accidental, it doesn’t rise to a level of criminality. Investigators say officers were called to an apartment located at 148 Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York just after 3 p.m. Sunday and found the 11-month-old unresponsive. Sources say his mother, Angelica Huertas, 24, was giving him and another child a bath. Read More: NY1

 

 Yankees GM calls AL East ‘a toss-up’

A year after naming the Red Sox as the team to beat in the AL East, Yankees GM Brian Cashman called the division a “tossup” this season and added the Rangers should be the team to beat in the American League. “Texas is clearly the favorite in the league,” Cashman said Tuesday before the Yankees played the Mets at Digital Domain Park. “They’ve won it two straight years. But Anaheim and Detroit have made significant improvements. Read More: New York Post

Manhattan Councilman Sets Sights On 2013 Comptroller’s Race

City Councilman Dan Garodnick told supporters Monday he’s running for City Comptroller and plans to take on incumbent John Liu if necessary. In an email to supporters, Garodnick said New Yorkers have to be focused on finding ways to make city government as productive as possible without distractions. In a video message posted online Garodnick said, “We have some very difficult budgetary challenges coming down the pike. New Yorkers need an independent voice that they can trust in the comptroller’s office.” Read More: NY1

 

MTA chief says Bloomberg’s dream of extending No. 7 train to NJ is ‘not going to happen’

The No. 7 train isn’t going to New Jersey anytime soon. Mayor Bloomberg’s dream project of extending the line across the Hudson River isn’t happening anytime soon — if it ever does at all, the head of the MTA said today. The subway extension to New Jersey likely is “not going to happen in our lifetime,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said at a New York Building Congress forum. He added, “It’s not going to happen in anybody’s lifetime.” Bloomberg has long supported a proposal to bring the 7 train to Seacaucus, NJ, a colossal effort that would cost billions to accomplish. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Chase Banking Glitch Causes Double Charges On Accounts

If you’re seeing double charges on your Chase bank account today, the bank says it’s aware of the problem. A Chase representative says some debit transactions in our area are posting twice. The rep says it’s unclear how many people have been affected. A customer service recording is alerting account holders to the problem and says accounts will be updated today. Read More: NY1

 

One dead, two injured in Brooklyn construction collapse

A construction worker was killed today when a home under construction collapsed in Brooklyn, authorities said. Rescuers were called at 11 a.m. to 38 Frank Court in Gerritsen Beach after the building’s second story, roof and walls fell in. A 25-year-old man, who was not identified by police, was pulled from the wreckage and rushed to Lutheran Hospital. He died a short time later from his injuries, police said. Two other workers were treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. Read More: New York Post

Mets’ Opening Day not sold out two days before game


| brennison@queenscourier.com

photo - rotundaw

Two days before the season’s first pitch, scores of tickets remain available for Opening Day at Citi Field.

Ticket sales have declined each year since Citi Field opened in 2009, but Opening Day was usually a no doubt sell out, with each season’s opener drawing more than 41,000 fans.

Perennial cellar dwellers, Pittsburgh and Kansas City, have already sold out their home opener.

Many factors were working in the Mets favor for an Opening Day sell out: nice weather, a ceremony honoring a Mets legend, the return of their ace and facing a bitter rival. But it seems hope has not sprung eternal for fans.

Fans can still purchase tickets for the Thursday, April 5 match-up with the Atlanta Braves in popular ballpark locales such as the Big Apple Reserved, and up to 12 tickets are still available together in the upper deck’s Promenade Reserved.  Four tickets are still available together in sections ranging from $40-215.

The season’s first game will feature a pre-game ceremony honoring the life and career of Gary Carter who passed away in February after a 10-month battle with brain cancer. The contest will also mark the return to the mound for Johan Santana. The Mets’ ace missed all of last season following shoulder surgery.

The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 56.

The last time the Mets did not sell out a home opener was in 1997 when the game took place a day late following a rain out.

To purchase tickets fans can visit www.mets.com/tickets

 

Mets owners settle with Madoff trustee for $162 million


| jlane@queenscourier.com


The Mets owners and a trustee for Bernard Madoff’s fraud victims have settled for $162 million. The Mets owners will not pay anything for three years. Jury selection had been set to begin in a civil trial to determine how much the team owners will owe other investors who trusted their money to Madoff.

Read more: New York Post

 

 

Celebrate Darryl Strawberry’s 50th birthday with him


| brennison@queenscourier.com

IMG_6361w

Two-time silver slugger award winner Darryl Strawberry is entering his golden years.

Strawberry turns 50 on Monday, March 12 and the former rookie of the year will be celebrating his birthday amongst fans at his Douglaston sports grill — Strawberry’s. Guests will have a chance to sign a “supersized” birthday card for the four-time World Series champ and meet the New York baseball legend.

Mets memorabilia will be raffled off and a DJ will be on hand to keep the crowd dancing.

To make reservations call 718-517-8787

 

Chunk of Queensboro Bridge falls on Mercedes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Chunk of Queensboro Bridge falls on Mercedes

A New Jersey man was driving to Queens Tuesday evening when he got an unexpected surprise — a piece of the Queensboro Bridge crashed through his Mercedes Benz. Andrew Campbell, 40, of Bergenfield, was heading to an indoor soccer game in Jackson Heights when he said a large screw and a piece of metal shattered the windshield of his white luxury car about 7 p.m. on the bridge’s lower level. Read More: New York Post

Playmate strips NY of $1.2M

Busty former Playboy Playmate Stephanie Adams was awarded $1.2 million yesterday after a Manhattan civil jury ruled she was the victim of excessive force by the NYPD. “I waited six years for this,” an emotional Adams said after the jury gave her $350,000 more than her lawyer had asked for from the 2006 run-in with cops, which was sparked when a cabby told cops the first openly lesbian Playmate threatened to shoot him — even though she sat in the back of his cab in a skimpy, skintight outfit that could barely conceal a cigarette lighter. Read More: New York Post

 

Mets strike out Kosher-dog vendor

Religious Jews attending Mets games at Citi Field on the Sabbath will have to stick to peanuts and Cracker Jacks. A judge yesterday ruled against a vendor who made a federal case out of the team’s order that it not peddle kosher hot dogs on Friday nights and Saturdays. Internal memos showed that team officials felt that Sabbath hot-dog sales did not cut the mustard under Jewish law and feared offending observant Jews. Read More: New York Post

New Agreement Could Bring 440-Seat Public School To Woodside

According to officials, a new 440-seat public school is coming to a lot at 57th Street and 39th Avenue in Woodside, Queens, and it will ideally provide some relief to the overcrowded PS 11. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Woman Claims Mold Drove Her From Home

A Queens woman says she’s struggling to find a new place to live after her apartment was recently overtaken by mold. Patrina Smith says she first noticed the problem in her bathroom last year. She asked her landlord to fix it, and a contractor came to clean it up but the mold came back just days later. Now, after months of back and forth, the mold has spread throughout her home. Smith says it’s taking a toll on her health. Read More: NY1

Diamond Club: St. John’s releases 2012 baseball schedule


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of St. John’s University

Baseball fans found some cleats and bats in their stockings this month as St. John’s announced the Red Storm’s schedule for the coming 2012 season.

The 56-game season stretch includes 24 home games and features the fourth annual Big Ten-Big East Challenge, as well as a total of 11 games against teams that participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Ed Blankmeyer said the high caliber of opponents is significant this season and his team will work hard to match intensity, game by game.

“This is a tough schedule comprised of great RPI [Ratings Percentage Index] teams and tough road trips, but that’s the type of schedule we want to play and we’re excited for the challenge,” said Blankmeyer, who enters into his 17th season as head coach this year. “Our hope is that the rigors of playing a tough schedule prepare us to reach our goals, which are always to win the conference regular season and tournament crowns, and to compete in the NCAA Tournament.”

The season opens with three games in Florida as part of the Big Ten-Big East Challenge. The Red Storm will face 2011 Big Ten regular season co-champions Michigan State (February 17) to open the season before facing Minnesota (February 18) for the third-consecutive season. St. John’s will conclude its opening weekend against Illinois (February 19), the defending Big Ten Tournament champions and co-regular season champions.

St. John’s then heads to Lubbock, Texas, for three games as part of the Texas Tech-hosted Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. After playing host Texas Tech (February 24), St. John’s takes on Northern Illinois (February 25) before wrapping up the weekend with another game against the Red Raiders (February 26).

After a pair of midweek contests against North Carolina (February 28), a 2011 College World Series squad, and UNC Wilmington (February 29), the Red Storm travels to Conway, S.C. for the Coastal Carolina Invitational. St. John’s opens the Invitational with a non-conference matchup against Big East foe Pittsburgh (March 2) before taking on Coastal Carolina (March 3). The third game of the Invitational against Illinois (March 4) will be played in Myrtle Beach at BB&T Coastal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers).

St. John’s returns to the Tri-State area for a midweek game at Fairfield (March 7) before heading south and concluding its season-opening 15-game road trip with a three-game set at Liberty (March 9-11).

Following a midweek home-opener against FDU (March 14), the Red Storm hosts the inaugural Red Storm Baseball Tournament (March 16-18). St. John’s will play Albany (March 16) before another matchup against the Great Danes (March 17) opens a double-header that includes a matchup between Albany and Holy Cross. The Red Storm opens another double-header with a game against Holy Cross (March 18) that precedes a contest between the Crusaders and Great Danes.

After concluding a five-game home stand with a midweek game against LIU (March 21), the Red Storm opens Big East play on the road with a three-game set at Villanova (March 23-25).

St. John’s returns to Queens for the next four games, hosting Maryland (March 28) in midweek action before welcoming West Virginia (March 30-April 1) for a three-game Big East set.

The Red Storm is on the road for the next four games. After traveling to Staten Island for a midweek contest against Wagner (April 3) at Richmond County Bank Stadium, home of the Staten Island Yankees (Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees), St. John’s heads to New Jersey for a BIG EAST series with Rutgers (April 5-7).

A season-long six-game home stand is next on the schedule for St. John’s. Following a pair of midweek games against Columbia (April 10) and Hofstra (April 11), the Red Storm hosts a three-game series with 2011 NCAA Super Regional participants Connecticut (April 13-15). St. John’s hosts Princeton (April 18), another NCAA Tournament squad, to conclude the home stand.

St. John’s next embarks on a seven-game road trip that begins with a three-game set at Cincinnati (April 20-22). The Red Storm then takes on Boston College (April 24) in a neutral site game in Norwich, Connecticut, that will be played at Dodd Stadium, the home of the Connecticut Tigers (Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Detroit Tigers). St. John’s concludes the road trip with a three-game set at Notre Dame (April 27-29).

The Red Storm returns home to host Iona (April 30) before welcoming USF (May 4-6) for a three-game series. After hosting NYIT (May 9), St. John’s takes to the road for a three-game set at Louisville (May 11-13).

St. John’s concludes the regular season with a four-game homestand. After facing Marist (May 15) for the first time since 1992, the Red Storm hosts Seton Hall (May 17-19) in a rematch of the 2011 Big East Tournament championship game.

The Big East Tournament runs from May 23-27 and will once again be held in Clearwater, Florida, at Bright House Field.

 - with St. John’s University

Darryl Strawberry: Mets unwise not to trade Reyes


| DStrawberry@queenscourier.om

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I was saddened to hear the news of Jose Reyes signing a 6-year contract with the Miami Marlins this week.  He has been a superstar for the Mets, and a fan favorite.  He has an electrifying style of play and will be a tough player to replace.

When facing the realization that losing Reyes to free agency was a real possibility, the Mets were unwise not to trade him.  The organization would have had, at the very least, the opportunity to consider other prospects to rebuild the talent on the team.

I strongly believe the Mets must be strategic in the offseason and take the necessary precautions to remain healthy once the season begins.  Injuries plagued both the star players and the players that stepped in to fill their void on the team throughout the season. The key to success in the upcoming season is playing hard and keeping healthy.

As many of you know I have been an avid basketball fan for many years.   I was thrilled to hear the NBA organizations and players reached an agreement to end the lockout that threatened to shelve the 2011-12 season.  I am excited for the official season to begin on Christmas day and am looking forward to learn where stars like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard end up.  Hopefully NBA teams like the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets will take note of what happens with players like Reyes and not repeat the mistakes of the Mets. It’s important to ensure you’ll be signing talent of your own.  It is going to be interesting to see the result of the Los Angeles Lakers offering up Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum to land Howard and Paul.

My love of baseball and sports in general inspired me to open up a place where the neighborhood could come together, enjoy great food and watch the big game.  I opened Strawberry’s Sports Grill over a year ago and am thrilled with the community’s response. Make sure to stop by the restaurant located at 42-15 235th Street Douglaston, NY 11363.  We’re right next to the Douglaston LIRR train station and only minutes from the LIE and Cross Island Pkwy. You can watch all the NBA action unfold on one of our 16 HD TV’s and you never know when I may pull up a chair for some of our award winning chili, or to just relax and watch the game.

Deadly St. Albans ‘DWI’ crash


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

4 Accused in Theft of Aid Meant for Nonprofit

In 2006, a Queens state senator, Shirley L. Huntley, set up a nonprofit group called Parent Workshop that was intended to help parents navigate the inner workings of New York City’s school system. Then she began funneling state aid to the group, whose executives had close ties to her. But the money never helped a single family in the school system, prosecutors said Wednesday. They said four people with ties to Parent Workshop were involved in the theft of nearly $30,000 in state aid that Ms. Huntley had secured. Read More: New York Times

 

[UPDATE] Cops hunt Long Island City rape suspects

Police are looking for three suspects in connection with the ambush and rape of a woman in Long Island City. According to police, the 20-year-old victim — who is from the neighborhood — was walking along Vernon Boulevard and 10th Street in L.I.C. at approximately 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, December 4 when she was grabbed by two of the suspects and dragged to a nearby parking lot. There, she was held down between parked cars and raped by a third man. Read More: Queens Courier

 

What Would Judy Say?

Judge Judy Sheindlin answers your questions about problems that trouble you most. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Kids meet former Mets’ hurler John Franco

Thirteen-year-old Joseph Santana stood in line wearing an oversized striped Mets jersey, clutching a cobalt blue baseball cap. He bobbed excitedly as the line grew shorter, anticipating his turn. When he reached the front of the line, he thrust the cap at former Mets relief pitcher John Franco, who scribbled his signature in black Sharpie marker across the brim. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Riders on the Q111 bus uneasy about their safety after fatal shooting 

Rattled riders on the Queens bus line where a gunman shot two passengers last week said they are scared that violence may erupt again. After Demel Burton, 34, went on a shooting spree on the Q111 on Friday, straphangers said it underscored the fact that bus drivers can’t protect them. Read More: Daily News

Alec Baldwin apologizes to American Airlines passengers for plane outburst, but not to flight attendant

 

Actor Alec Baldwin apologized Wednesday to fellow passengers for the cell phone inspired tirade that got him bounced from an American Airlines flight. But the Hollywood hothead remains enraged with airline staff. “I learned a valuable lesson,” he said in a Huffington Post article. “I’ve learned to keep my phone off when the 1950s gym teacher is on duty.” Baldwin claimed that the incident was triggered after “one employee singled me out to put my phone away” while the delayed flight was waiting at the gate. Read More: Daily News

Deadly St. Albans ‘DWI’ crash

An allegedly boozed-up driver was arrested after he slammed into two cars in Queens yesterday, killing a 21-year-old man, cops said. Curtis Dean, 25, was cruising south in an Infiniti on 201st Street in St. Albans when he smashed into a Ford sedan just after 5 a.m., sending the Ford into a resident’s yard, cops said.Three victims were taken to Jamaica Hospital, including a passenger in the Ford who died there. Dean also allegedly plowed into a parked SUV. He was hit with a slew of charges, including manslaughter and DWI. Read More: New York Post

 

Remembering John Lennon: On the Anniversary of His Death, 5 Iconic Moments (Video) via the Hollywood Reporter

Department of Transportation To Investigate Dangerous Queens Intersection

It’s almost like a game of chicken. Drivers speed through the stop sign on Vleigh Place in an attempt to beat cars with the right of way on 72nd Avenue. And while most make it through the intersection without a problem, neighborhood residents say they have witnessed a lot of accidents. “There have been about four accidents in the past maybe month and a half. People fly past the stop sign like it doesn’t exist,” said one resident. Read More: NY1

Long Island City Residents Urged To Stay Alert After Parking Lot Attack

Police say a woman in Queens was attacked by three men and raped earlier this week, and now residents and local leaders are urging others to stay alert. Watch the Video: NY1

Atomic Bomb Survivors Visit Flushing International High School

Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings visited the Flushing International High School to speak with students Wednesday. Watch the Video: NY1

Lame defense: Graffiti suspect: I’m crippled

An ex-cop standing trial on charges that he had revived his youthful graffiti-vandal compulsion was walking with a limp and appeared to be incapable of the dexterity required for the avocation, the arresting officer testified yesterday. Steven Weinberg admits that he once was the infamous “Neo” who, during the height of the city’s 1980s graffiti scourge, “bombed” trains and trestles with his bubble-lettered signature. But his lawyer, Patrick Broderick, said Weinberg, with an injured leg, couldn’t possibly make the climb required recently to spray-paint his tag on an overpass. Read More: New York Post