Monday, October 31, 2011

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Cain: Sexual harassment story is 'baseless'

Washington DC- Herman Cain on Monday described a Politico report that he sexually harassed employees while he was chairman of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in the 1990s as "baseless."
"I have never sexually harassed anyone," the GOP presidential candidate said during an appearance on FOX News Channel's "Happening Now."

"Yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association," Cain said, but noted, "It turned out after the investigation to be baseless. It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I committed any sort of sexual harassment."

Politico reported Sunday that at least two former female staff members at the NRA complained to colleagues about "sexually suggestive behavior" by Cain and received five-figure separation packages from the association, complete with non-disclosure agreements.

The complaints against Cain, Politico reported, included allegations of "conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature, taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned restaurant association events and at the association's offices."

"Obviously some people are going to be turned off by this cloud that someone wanted to put over my campaign," Cain said Monday, repeating, "these are false accusations."

Cain, president and chief executive of the NRA between 1996 and 1999, did not deny the story when first questioned point blank by Politico reporter Jonathan Martin on Sunday.

"I am not going to talk about that," he said, before strangely turning the tables on Martin, asking the reporter if he had himself ever been accused of sexual harassment.

On FOX Monday, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO said he was unaware of any settlement with the former employees.

"If the restaurant association did a settlement I am not -- I was not even aware of it, and I hope it wasn't for much because nothing happened," he said. "So if there was a settlement it was handled by some of the other officers that worked for me at the association."

The NRA released a statement prior to the interview saying it does not "comment on personnel issues relating to current or former employees."

The allegations come as Cain remains at the top of the Republican 2012 field with several recent national surveys showing him in the lead, ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

A Des Moines Register poll released Saturday also showed Cain leading in the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

In an appearance at DC's National Press Club later Monday, Cain joked, "As a result of today's big news story, I really know what it feels like to be number one."

Asked whether he believed one of his Republican rivals was responsible for the story, Cain said, "I told you, this bull's-eye on my back has gotten bigger. I have no idea -- we have no idea the source of this witch hunt."

MLB 2011-2012 Offseason: Indians decline on Sizemore, keep Carmona

Progressive Field, Cleveland- Grady Sizemore pulled a pitch into right field at Progressive Field, where the ball bounced through the grass for a run-scoring hit. That seventh-inning single on Sept. 22 will go down as the center fielder's final act as a member of the Indians.
Cleveland made it official on Monday morning, cutting ties with the player once considered the face of franchise. By declining Sizemore's $9 million option and choosing a $500,000 buyout instead, the Indians will allow Sizemore to enter the free agent market immediately. Though they still hold exclusive negotiating rights until Thursday, they would likely only have interest in re-signing Sizemore to a lesser deal that includes a lower base salary with performance-based incentives.

Cleveland had a different decision on Fausto Carmona, exercising the $7 mllion option on the sinkerballing right-hander rather than going to arbitration.

This past season, the 29-year-old Sizemore returned from a 10-month rehab after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee, only to suffer a sports hernia and a right knee injury. Both ailments required surgery -- Sizemore's knee was operated on shortly after the season -- but the center fielder is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Even so, there is no denying Sizemore's problematic health history. Since 2009, he has only appeared in 210 games, or an average of 70 per season. There are 334 players who have played in more games over the same span. From 2005-08, only Ichiro Suzuki (646) played in more games than Sizemore (639) did for the Tribe.

Sizemore -- a three-time American League All-Star and two-time AL Gold Glove Award winner -- hit .224 with 10 homers, 21 doubles and 32 RBIs in 71 games for Cleveland this past season. His last full season came in 2008, when he hit .268 with 33 homers, 38 stolen bases, 90 RBIs and 101 runs scored. It is difficult to know if Sizemore can be that type of player again.

Carmona, who will turn 28 in December, has remained healthy, but he has been a kind of an enigma on the mound for the Indians. This past season, the big sinkerballer went 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA, marking the second-highest ERA in a single season for a pitcher with at least 32 starts in Cleveland's 111-year franchise history.

One year earlier, Carmona went 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA, turning in a respectable campaign for a 93-loss Indians team. From 2009-10, the right-hander went 13-19 with a 5.89 ERA for the Tribe, but that stretch followed his breakout 19-win showing for the AL Central-champion Tribe club of 2007.

Carmona's durability is what makes his $7 million option seem relatively affordable, considering what similar pitchers can fetch on the open market, or in arbitration. The right-hander also gives the Indians an experienced layer of depth, which is important given that starter Carlos Carrasco will miss all of 2012 with a right elbow injury.

As things currently stand, Cleveland's rotation for next season would include Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin, Ubaldo Jimenez and Carmona. David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister are in the running for the fifth spot. The Indians will also be in the market for a starter or two this winter.

The Indians also hold club options for each of the next two seasons on Carmona, who could be eligible for free agency next offseason.

A good chunk of the $8.5 million saved on Sizemore's option will likely help pay the pile of raises that will be expected for the team's seven arbitration-eligible players, including outfielder Shin-Soo Choo ($3.975 million salary in 2011); closer Chris Perez ($2.225); shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera ($2.025); relievers Rafael Perez ($1.33) and Joe Smith ($870,000); along with third baseman Jack Hannahan ($500,000) and starter Justin Masterson ($468,400).

Left-hander Tony Sipp did not qualify for arbitration via Super Two status.

The Indians operated on a payroll of around $49 million in 2011, and general manager Chris Antonetti noted that the budget will see an increase next season. The GM has remained mum about what type of payroll ceiling the Tribe will have for '12, but declining Sizemore's option helps provide a bit of financial flexibility.

The Indians saw an 11-win improvement in 2011, and hope to make a push for the AL Central crown next season. That being the case, the Tribe will be looking to upgrade its roster through trades and free agency this winter.

2 boys arrested for injuring woman with flying shopping cart: cops

Two 12-year-old punks were busted for critically injuring a woman after tossing a shopping cart off a parking garage in East Harlem, police sources said.
The boys shoved the cart from the fourth floor of the East River Plaza garage on 116th Street near FDR Drive, sending it right into Marion Hedges who was buying candy for a charity's block party.

Hedges, 47, a real estate agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, was with her 14-year-old son on the ground floor of the garage when she was suddenly hit. She also has a daughter.

She was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where she's in stable condition but remains unconscious.

The boys were charged as juveniles with assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
One of the boy's pals told cops about the prank and cops later arrested the duo and charged them with juvenile delinquency and criminal possession of a weapon, sources said.

The victim's son was not injured.

"They deliberately pushed it over the edge," a law-enforcement source told The Post.

"They're a bunch of stupid kids, they made a bad decision. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time," the source said.

According to a family friend, Hedges was shopping for candy at Costco for the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. Hedges has worked with charities 25 years and is helping at least six now.

"She is such a super, super nice person," the friend said.

Hedges husband, Michael is flying home from Spain, where he's head of emerging markets trading & structuring at Auriga Sociedad de Valoresworks, his father told The Post today.

When asked about Marion Hedges' condition, Michael Hedges Sr. said, "It's in God's hands now."

"It's so hard to tell," he added. "They have her sedated right now, she's unconscious. It's not quite clear what happened but I hear she has some broken bones and some cranial injuries -- there's some blood up there [he gestured to his head].

"They're letting us up two at a time and we can only stay for 5 minutes. You can't really see anything up there -- it's just her lying in a bed unconscious with 50 thousand tubes in her. She's stable, they're keeping her stable and her respiratory system is functioning."

Of the the boys who allegedly tossed the shopping cart, Hedges said, "They should have the book thrown at them."

He said his grandson is "holding up well -- he's a brave young man."

The family friend added, "I'll tell you, that is one tough kid. That little kid marched down to the police department this morning to give a statement. He's such a tough little kid"

"They're the nicest, kindest family," he added.

Prudential Douglas Elliman CEO Dottie Herman said in a statement Monday, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Marion and her family as we wish her a full and speedy recovery."

Complete listing of 2011-2012 Offseason Major League free agents

The following players became free agents on Sunday, Oct. 30, and will be eligible to sign with any team at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 3.
Atlanta Braves
Gonzalez, Alex
Linebrink, Scott
McLouth, Nate
Sherrill, George
Wilson, Jack

Arizona Diamondbacks
Marquis, Jason
McDonald, John
Nady, Xavier
Overbay, Lyle

Baltimore Orioles
Guerrero, Vladimir
Izturis, Cesar

Boston Red Sox
Bedard, Erik
Drew, J.D.
Jackson, Conor
Miller, Trever
Ortiz, David
Papelbon, Jon
Varitek, Jason
Wakefield, Tim

Chicago Cubs
Grabow, John
Johnson, Reed
Lopez, Rodrigo
Ortiz, Ramon
Pena, Carlos
Wood, Kerry

Cincinnati Reds
Hernandez, Ramon J.
Renteria, Edgar
Willis, Dontrelle

Cleveland Indians
Durbin, Chad
Fukudome, Kosuke*
Thome, Jim

Colorado Rockies
Cook, Aaron
Ellis, Mark
Millwood, Kevin
Romero, J.C.

Chicago White Sox
Buehrle, Mark
Castro, Ramon
Pierre, Juan
Vizquel, Omar

Detroit Tigers
Betemit, Wilson
Guillen, Carlos
Ordonez, Magglio
Penny, Brad
Santiago, Ramon
Zumaya, Joel

Florida Marlins
Dobbs, Greg
Lopez, Jose
Vazquez, Javier C.

Houston Astros
Barmes, Clint
Michaels, Jason

Kansas City Royals
Chen, Bruce
Francis, Jeff
Kendall, Jason

Los Angeles Angels
Branyan, Russ
Pineiro, Joel
Ramirez, Horacio
Rodney, Fernando

Los Angeles Dodgers
Barajas, Rod
Blake, Casey
Broxton, Jonathan
Carroll, Jamey
Garland, Jon
Kuroda, Hiroki*
MacDougal, Mike
Miles, Aaron
Padilla, Vicente
Rivera, Juan

Milwaukee Brewers
Betancourt, Yuniesky
Counsell, Craig
Fielder, Prince
Hairston Jr, Jerry
Hawkins, LaTroy
Kotsay, Mark S.
Rodriguez, Francisco
Saito, Takashi

Minnesota Twins
Capps, Matt
Cuddyer, Mike
Kubel, Jason
Nathan, Joe

New York Mets
Batista, Miguel
Capuano, Chris
Hairston, Scott
Harris, Willie
Isringhausen, Jason
Reyes, Jose
Young, Chris

New York Yankees
Ayala, Luis
Chavez, Eric
Colon, Bartolo
Garcia, Freddy Antonio
Jones, Andruw
Marte, Damaso
Mitre, Sergio
Posada, Jorge

Oakland Athletics
Crisp, Coco
DeJesus, David
Harden, Rich
Matsui, Hideki
Willingham, Josh

Philadelphia Phillies
Gload, Ross
Ibanez, Raul J.
Lidge, Bradley
Madson, Ryan
Oswalt, Roy
Rollins, Jimmy
Schneider, Brian

Pittsburgh Pirates
Lee, Derrek
Ludwick, Ryan

San Diego Padres
Bell, Heath
Harang, Aaron
Hawpe, Brad
Qualls, Chad

Seattle Mariners
Bard, Josh
Kennedy, Adam
Pena, Wily
Wright, Jamey

San Francisco Giants
Beltran, Carlos
Burrell, Pat
Cabrera, Orlando
De Rosa, Mark
Mota, Guillermo
Ross, Cody

St. Louis Cardinals
Jackson, Edwin
Laird, Gerald
Pujols, Albert
Punto, Nick
Rhodes, Arthur

Tampa Bay Rays
Cruz, Juan
Damon, Johnny
Kotchman, Casey

Texas Rangers
Chavez, Endy
Gonzalez, Mike
Oliver, Darren
Treanor, Matt
Webb, Brandon
Wilson, C.J.

Toronto Blue Jays
Camp, Shawn
Francisco, Frank
Johnson, Kelly
Molina, Jose

Washington Nationals
Ankiel, Rick
Coffey, Todd
Cora, Alex
Gomes, Jonny
Hernandez, Livan
Nix, Laynce
Rodriguez, Ivan
Wang, Chien-Ming

* Eligible per contract terms.


The following players have option provisions in their contracts that, if not exercised by either the players or the teams, will make them free agents.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Duke, Zach
Blanco, Henry
Bloomquist, Willie
Hill, Aaron

Boston Red Sox
Scutaro, Marco
Wheeler, Daniel

Chicago Cubs
Ramirez, Aramis

Cincinnati Reds
Cordero, Francisco
Phillips, Brandon

Cleveland Indians
Sizemore, Grady

Colorado Rockies
Giambi, Jason

Los Angeles Angels
Wells, Vernon

New York Yankees
Soriano, Rafael
Sabathia, C.C.
Cano, Robinson
Swisher, Nick

Pittsburgh Pirates
Cedeno, Ronny
Doumit, Ryan
Maholm, Paul
Snyder, Chris

San Francisco Giants
Affeldt, Jeremy

St. Louis Cardinals
Dotel, Octavio
Furcal, Rafael
Molina, Yadier
Patterson, Corey

Tampa Bay Rays
Farnsworth, Kyle
Shoppach, Kelly

Toronto Blue Jays
Encarnacion, Edwin
Rauch, Jon

MLB 2011-2012 Offseason: Johnson to manage Nationals next season

Nationals Park, Washington DC- The Nationals announced on Monday that they have exercised manager Davey Johnson's option for the 2012 season.
Johnson took over the position on an interim basis on June 26, three days after Jim Riggleman resigned. Washington went 40-43 under Johnson, finishing third in the National League East -- its highest finish since the team moved from Montreal after the 2004 season.

Johnson said being around people in the front office, the Minor League system and Major Leagues are the reasons he wanted to continue to manage the club. Johnson sees himself as a father figure to most of the young players.

"It's just a great organization. It's one of the better ones I've ever been in, if not the best," Johnson said.

"There is no question that I love baseball. ... I thought everything worked pretty good together [with the team]. I think we accomplished a lot of things. I would say the last two or three weeks, when I had kind of mixture of talent that I wanted on the ballclub ... that's when I really felt that there is so much more we can do here, and I need to be here to help see it along."

Johnson made it clear that his goal in 2012 is win the NL pennant. To do that, the Nats must improve offensively. Johnson felt that his position players struck out too much. He would like to see much more production out of his reserves. Last year, the bench was built on speed and defense. Johnson would like to add power to the bench.

"I wouldn't have been able to say that last spring," Johnson said about winning a pennant. "But after being there and seeing the progress the young players made, I think we definitely can contend. I would be sorely disappointed if we didn't do just that. The talent is there. I like the way we stack up in our division. I'm not just sticking out my chest. My baseball instinct tells me that's where we need to be. That's where we need to go and we can get there."

In 2011, for the second time in his career, Johnson took a big league manager's job in the middle of a season. He did the same with Cincinnati in 1993, and one season later, his Reds finished atop the NL Central with a .579 winning percentage during the strike-shortened 1994 campaign.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said it was an easy choice to hire Johnson as the interim manager in June. Rizzo remembered how Johnson worked with the players during Spring Training.

"The only questions that I had about Davey taking over [were], 'Did he want to do it? Was his energy level and his focus were going to be there?' Even as early as Spring Training this year, I saw that he moved around better this year," Rizzo said. "He always had the fungo in his hands. He was always pounding ground balls to the young guys.

"He had the energy and a bounce in his step that I thought to myself, "Wow, Davey is really into it. He is really fired up for the season.' It couldn't have been a smoother, easier decision for me to bring Davey on in midseason. It was just as comfortable and easy decision after the season to pick up the option and make Davey the leader of the ballclub."

Johnson has skippered five clubs (Nationals, Dodgers, Orioles, Reds, Mets) in 15 seasons, compiling a 1,188-931 record and a .561 career winning percentage that ranks second to only Earl Weaver (.583) among living managers with 10 or more years of experience.

He is one of only six living men to have won a World Series ring as a player and manager, joining Alvin Dark, Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, Mike Scioscia and Red Schoendienst.

Johnson joined the Nationals as a special assistant to the general manager on Nov. 18, 2009, after managing Team USA to a semifinal berth in the World Baseball Classic.

Developing Story: Kim Kardashian files for divorce from Kris Humphries

Los Angeles- After just 72 days of marriage, reality star Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kris Humphries this morning. Kardashian cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce and listed today as the separation date.

"After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage," Kim explained in a statement. "I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever but sometimes things don't work out as planned. We remain friends and wish each other the best."

Humphries was allegedly surprised by Kardashian filing paperwork. TMZ reports that the Nets player told friends he does not believe in divorce and thought he and his wife could work out their problems.

Friends say he is "bummed" by today's events.

Kardashian will be represented in divorce proceedings by celebrity lawyer Laura Wasser, who has worked with Britney Spears, Ryan Reynolds, Maria Shriver and Angelina Jolie. This will be Kardashian's second divorce; she was married to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000 to 2004.

Divorce documents reveal that the couple will each pay their own legal costs. Kardashian is asking that the court block any efforts by Humphries to seek spousal support. The two did have a prenuptial agreement.

Rumors that Kardashian and Humphries were headed toward a split have circulated for weeks, almost as soon as their four-hour wedding special aired on E! on Oct. 9.

The whispers reached a fever pitch when Kardashian headed to Dubai with her mom, Kris Jenner, instead of her husband, who is unemployed thanks to the NBA lockout. Star magazine reported a week later that Kardashian had consulted a "top divorce lawyer" after she she was spotted on said lawyer's floor in a New York office building.

More recently, Us Weekly reported that Kardashian and Humphries were "not getting along at all." A source squealed, "Kris is not drinking the Kardashian Kool-Aid. She told him he needs to do something productive. The work ethic in that family really means something. He needs to get off his (bleep), like, yesterday."

Meanwhile, Humphries was displeased that his wife wanted to continue her high-profile life, reports say.

Humphries will be a free agent when the NBA lockout reaches its conclusion, and reportedly wanted to settle down in the Midwest, where he is from. "How am I going to have my career and live in Minnesota?" Kardashian said in a preview for the second season of "Kourtney& Kim Take New York." The show premieres on E! on Nov. 27 and will chronicle the first two months of the couple's brief married life.

On Saturday night, Kardashian showed up alone to the Midori Green Halloween party in New York dressed as Poison Ivy. Sources told Page Six that Humphries “was supposed to be there but flew home to see his family in Minnesota instead.”

When asked, Kardashian explained away her husband's absence. She told Us Weekly, "Being in New York for a couple of months, I went to LA to unpack, and he had to go and bring all his stuff to unpack in Minnesota ... It's always tough when you're apart, but we do what we can to try and spend time together and make that time for each other."

Kardashian and Humphries met last fall, after being introduced at a basketball game. The two went on a double date with Humphries' teammate, Jordan Farmar, and a friend of Kardashian's. After a whirlwind courtship that was partially caught on camera, Humphries proposed in May with a 20.5-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring. Their over-the-top wedding reportedly cost $10 million, which TMZ points out is $138,888 for each day it lasted.

La Russa announces his retirement as skipper

Busch Stadium, St. Louis- One of the greatest eras in Cardinals history, as well as one of the most prominent in Major League history, came to an end on Monday when Tony La Russa announced his retirement after 16 years as the team's skipper and 33 seasons of managing in the big leagues.
La Russa, the third-winningest manager of all-time and most assuredly a future Hall of Famer, retired fewer than three days after winning a World Series for the third time, the second time with St. Louis.

The surprising announcement was made during a Monday morning news conference at Busch Stadium.

"There isn't one [factor] that dominates [my decision]," La Russa said. "They all just come together telling you your time is over.

"We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it's time to end it and I think it's going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what's going on here."
 
"There isn't one [factor] that dominates [my decision]," La Russa said. "They all just come together telling you your time is over.

"We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it's time to end it and I think it's going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what's going on here."

La Russa is one of nine managers to win the World Series three times and is the only one to win it all in three decades. He's also one of two managers, along with Billy Southworth, to win two World Series titles with the Cardinals.

He said that he'd made his decision to retire in August, informing general manager John Mozeliak at that time. He told his coaching staff and the players on Sunday.

"I'm looking forward to what's ahead," La Russa said. "I'm ready to do something different."

For the time being, he does not have a next job in line. He does not expect to return to the organization but indicated that he had some interest in continuing to work in baseball.

Mozeliak acknowledged that he has a preliminary list of people in mind to be the club's next manager, but made it clear that he expects that list to change in the coming days. Mozeliak did not rule out any possibility for the next Cardinals skipper, from internal candidates to managers not currently with a team to coaches or managers with other teams.

However, Monday was not about looking ahead. The Cardinals parted ways with the winningest manager in franchise history, a man who amassed 1,408 regular-season victories in 16 seasons. He made nine postseason appearances in St. Louis, won three pennants and wrapped up his second World Series championship with the Cards on Friday night.

"Today is about Tony," Mozeliak said. "Tomorrow is going to be about the next chapter for the St. Louis Cardinals. We've started to think about it. We've put together a search committee. And we'll begin doing our due diligence late this afternoon and beginning tomorrow we'll hit the ground running.

"But when I think back to my time with him, he's been a leader, a mentor, a friend. And when you have somebody step away from your life that incorporates all that, it's never a great feeling."

La Russa, 67, steps down with 2,728 managerial victories, ranking behind only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). Only Mack has managed in more ballgames. The Cardinals skipper is also the only manager in Major League Baseball history to win multiple pennants in both leagues and the second to win a World Series title in each, as well.

La Russa's Oakland A's won the World Series in 1989. Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson won World Series titles with Cincinnati and Detroit. The Cardinals' championship was their second in the past six seasons.

La Russa said that he did not consider continuing in order to get the 36 wins he would have needed and pass McGraw on the all-time list.

"I'm aware of the history of the game," he said. "But I would not be happy with myself if the reason I came back was to move up one spot. That's not why you manage ... it's not something that motivates me. Wherever you finish, you finish."

The club and La Russa held a mutual contract option for 2012, and Mozeliak had said as recently as Sunday night that the team hoped to have its manager back. However, La Russa had notified the club as long ago as late August that he was pondering retirement. He downplayed the significance of a bout with shingles during the year in his decision, insisting that it was simply time.

"We're grateful for what he's done for the Cardinals all these years," Cardinals chairman and chief executive officer Bill DeWitt Jr. said.

"My mind's not as strong as Tony's because I was thinking about this all the time," Mozeliak said. "I know the impact he had on this organization and specifically on the 2011 team. It's hard for me to swallow but at the same time I have to admire that he never wavered.

"He's been a leader, a mentor and a friend and when you have somebody step away from your life that incorporates all that, its never a great feeling."

St. Louis -- which lost starting pitcher Adam Wainwright for the season before Spring Training and played without key players, such as Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols and NLCS and World Series MVP David Freese, for significant stretches of the regular season -- climbed out of a 10 1/2-game NL Wild Card hole in late August to make the playoffs.

"In the baseball world and in Missouri, Tony La Russa was already a legendary figure before last week's World Series championship," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. "But after leading the Cardinals on one of the most outstanding runs in baseball history, Tony La Russa retires as an icon. He's truly irreplaceable. On behalf of the people of Missouri, I thank Tony La Russa for everything he gave Missouri -- both on and off the field."

La Russa called the timing of his decision and the Cardinals' deficit a "coincidence."

"That's a good connection to make," he said, "because of the coincidence, but it's inaccurate."

A light-hitting second baseman, mostly for the A's, over parts of six Major League seasons, La Russa's managerial career began with the Chicago White Sox in 1979. After parts of eight seasons with them, he moved to Oakland during the 1986 season and won the World Series with the A's in 1989, in the middle of three consecutive American League pennants.

The Cardinals hired La Russa in 1996. They finished in first place seven times and made the postseason nine times during his 16 seasons.

While he said, "I think it's better to step away for a long while," La Russa did not rule out taking another position in baseball.

"It's a little scary because I don't know if the phone's going to ring about doing something else in baseball," he said. "Maybe buy a Minor League club and keep my hand in it that way."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Storm blackout grows to 3M, Conn. to be dark for a week

The number of homes and businesses without power on the East Coast has grown to more than 3 million as an unusually early snowstorm passes over New England.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the more than 750,000 customers without power there breaks a record set when the remnants of Hurricane Irene hit the state in August. He says people could be without electricity for a week.

More than 650,000 have lost power in Massachusetts. Those without electricity number 285,000 in New Hampshire and at least 150,000 in Maine.

More than 617,000 people in New Jersey have lost power, and in New York, more than 200,000 are without it.

Utilities in Pennsylvania are saying more than 423,000 are without power, and Western Maryland had more than 29,000 outages.

Central Vermont Public Service says more than 6,300 there had no power.

Cards pay a visit to Rams game before parade

Before the Cardinals officially kicked off their championship parade on Sunday, about a dozen Cards players arrived at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, where they received a huge ovation during the Rams' 31-21 win over the Saints.
Chris Carpenter and manager Tony La Russa were among the group who witnessed the Rams' upset of New Orleans for their first win of the season.

"To be on the sideline is definitely an adrenaline rush, and we're not even playing today," Edwin Jackson told The Associated Press.

After winning their National League-record 11th World Series on Friday, the Cards were introduced early in the first quarter and waved to the crowd from the end zone.

Carpenter went to midfield for the pregame coin toss, wearing running back Steven Jackson's jersey.

La Russa wore a Sam Bradford jersey, with Matt Holliday and Kyle Lohse also on hand.

"This is my first time in this stadium," Yadier Molina told the AP. "It's awesome to be part of this."

The Cardinals' victory parade was set to start at 4 p.m. CT, finishing a few blocks away at Busch Stadium.

Giants rally past Dolphins, avoid another upset

Tom Coughlin told his Giants to watch out for the winless Miami Dolphins and they came real close to missing the message.
Luckily for New York, Eli Manning was there to pick up everyone - and put embattled Dolphins coach Tony Sparano under even more pressure.

Manning threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with 5:58 to play and the Giants barely avoided a post-bye letdown, keeping Miami winless with a 20-17 victory Sunday.

Manning hit 31 of 45 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns in rallying the Giants from an 11-point first-half deficit. Mario Manningham caught the other touchdown, a 7-yard play that got New York (5-2) back into the game late in the first half.
 
Lawrence Tynes kicked two short field goals, and New York's defense got four sacks on the Dolphins' final two drives. Corey Webster iced it with his third interception in the last two games.

Steve Slaton and Matt Moore (13 of 22 for 138) capped the Dolphins' first two drives with 1-yard runs. But Miami could only muster a 40-yard third-quarter field goal by Dan Carpenter the rest of the way.

The Giants' winning drive covered 53 yards in six plays and came after the defense forced Miami (0-7) to punt from its 22.

Ahmad Bradshaw, who missed much of the second half getting his right foot X-rayed, had runs of 2 and 11 yards to get the drive started and Manning hit Hakeem Nicks for 17 yards to the Miami 23.

The quarterback found a wide open Cruz over the middle and the New Jersey native spun out of Will Allen's attempted tackle at the 5-yard line. Cruz seemingly was flung into the end zone by the former first round pick of the Giants.

A kickoff return by Slaton to the Dolphins 45 resulted in nothing when New York got two sacks, the last by a combination of Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck, who was playing for the first time in four games.

Miami, which wasted two timeouts early, got the ball back at its 16 with 3:35 to play and quickly got a 24-yard completion to Davone Bess.

However, Osi Umenyiora and Kiwanuka got sacks for 10-yard losses on consecutive plays to set up Webster fourth-down pick.

Coughlin spent most of the week telling his team not to take the Dolphins lightly and for the first two series it looked like nobody on the defense listened.

Miami, which came in having scored seven touchdowns in its first six games, scored on its first two series.

Moore, who made the Giants look foolish two years ago in their last game in Giants Stadium, looked like Tom Brady - next week's opponent - in leading the Dolphins on scoring drives of 66 and 90 yards.

He had a 15-yard third-down scramble to set up Slaton's 1-yard run, and an 11-yard third-down run on the longer drive that he capped with a fourth-down 1-yard bootleg.

After walking into the end zone, he spiked the ball with a vengeance.

Trailing 14-3, Manning hit 9 of 10 passes on a 13-play, 84-yard that he capped with a 7-yard fade to Manningham in the corner of the end zone.

New York earlier settled for a 25-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes after a drive that reached the Dolphins 12 was short-circuited by consecutive penalties.

Mets hire Goodwin as first-base coach

The Mets have hired former big league outfielder Tom Goodwin to be their first-base coach, completing a shakeup of their coaching staff, the club announced on Saturday. Goodwin has spent the last three seasons as a Minor League outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Red Sox.

Goodwin, a first-round selection by the Dodgers in the 1989 First-Year Player Draft, played in 14 big league seasons and finished his career with a .268 batting average and 369 stolen bases. Goodwin, 43, twice led the league in sacrifice hits and stole at least 50 bases in four seasons, with a career-high 66 in 1996.

New York has engineered a re-shaping of its coaching staff. Manager Terry Collins will be back, but he'll have a new bench coach (Bob Geren), bullpen coach (Ricky Bones) and third-base coach (Tim Teufel) in addition to Goodwin's addition in the first-base coaching box.

Hitting coach Dave Hudgens and pitching coach Dan Warthen will return in their respective capacities next season. Goodwin last played in the big leagues with the Cubs in 2004. He finished his career with 1,029 hits.

Exclusive: DAs outside Bronx 'ignoring' ticket-fixing scandal

Their silence is deafening.
The district attorneys in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are turning a blind eye to potential ticket-fixing scandals in their own back yards -- despite referrals from the Bronx DA and NYPD admissions that the practice was citywide, sources told The New York Post.

The Internal Affairs Bureau has questioned cops about ticket-fixing in all five boroughs, the sources said, but prosecutors either deny ever getting tipped off about any cases or simply dismissed those leads.

“No one else wanted to touch it,” a Bronx law-enforcement source said.

After 16 cops were indicted on a slew of felony charges related to the Bronx ticket-fixing probe, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted that the practice “did spill into all four other counties in the city.”

But none of the DAs showed much interest.
  • Law-enforcement sources in Manhattan claim Bronx DA Robert Johnson hasn’t referred any cases and prosecutors aren’t investigating any ticket-fixing.
  • In Queens, a source said prosecutors haven’t had any referrals and that the DA’s Office is not looking into ticket-fixing.
  • On Staten Island, sources said the DA’s Office has no ongoing ticket-fix probe -- nor any plans to launch one.
  • And in Brooklyn, sources insisted any cases referred there were looked into but not worth prosecuting.
“Lots of cops serve as key prosecution witnesses, so prosecutors don’t want this probe to put all their criminal cases in jeopardy,” a Democratic insider told The Post.

“But they can’t make it look like they are condoning criminal behavior. They have to walk a very fine line, and it won’t be easy.”
N
o prosecutor is eager for the high-profile anxiety associated with such a probe, a law-enforcement source added.

“Ticket-fixing goes to the highest ranks of the NYPD,” said the source. “Potential embarrassment stopped other DAs from doing this.”

Another source noted that “the names of people whose tickets have disappeared would be a veritable Rolodex of New York’s rich and famous. You would basically have a who’s who.”

The elected DAs also have to worry about the political fallout of declaring war on the NYPD in cop-friendly boroughs.

“They don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot,” said a law-enforcement source. “[Bronx DA] Johnson shot himself in the foot. His already-abysmal conviction rate will get even lower.”

Some of the Bronx cases extended far beyond quashing summonses, and included serious felonies such as burglaries and corruption.

In one jaw-dropping case, Bronx cops were caught on wiretap discussing how to protect a Manhattan cop buddy from a DWI charge after he drunkenly left a path of destruction while driving down a Westchester street.

“I can’t say if the investigation will go off in other directions,” Johnson said after the Friday arraignments. “I can only say that whenever we get evidence in another county, it is turned over to that county.’’

Prosecutors also fear the investigation will create credibility issues for ticket-fix officers who testify in trials and before grand juries.

It could also lead to a raft of appeals.

“A big ripple effect is the trust factor -- the value of cops’ testimony in grand juries and trial juries,” said a Staten Island source.

The Manhattan and Staten Island DA offices declined to comment. A spokesman for the Brooklyn DA said that office has had no cases related to ticket fixing. There was no immediate comment from Queens.

Look back at the Mets' NLCS loss to Cardinals with those who were there

It is a look back. Just over five years ago, the Mets and Cardinals played a magnificent Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, the Cardinals winning it 3-1 to kill the Mets' season. The New York Post rewinds to that game, thanks to the help of 24 players, coaches, managers and executives from both teams who provided their exclusive perspectives.
Here's an in-depth look at the last playoff game the Mets have played:

TONY La RUSSA, CARDINALS MANAGER: "A classic."

JOSE REYES, METS SHORTSTOP: "I had my goggles and everything here in my locker for the champagne and everything."

WILLIE RANDOLPH, METS MANAGER: "I just felt the whole game that it was our game."

AARON HEILMAN, METS RELIEVER AND LOSING PITCHER: "I just remember sitting there in the dugout being like, 'This didn't just happen. We've got another inning.' "

RANDY FLORES, CARDINALS RELIEVER AND WINNING PITCHER: "I'm going to use so many generic terms here, but it wasn't overrated. Game 7, in Shea, that loud, that matchup, that situation, that close of a game, that catch by Endy [Chavez], just everything. It was not overrated. It's not something that afterwards you're like, 'Well, that was just another game.' It really wasn't."

PAUL Lo DUCA, METS CATCHER: "We had the best team. And that's not to take anything away because the Cardinals, they ended up winning it all and they had a solid team too. They limped into the playoffs that year, but they had some injuries and they had a solid team. And we had our chances. But we really felt that was the year."

***
The top-seeded Mets went 97-65 and swept the Dodgers in the NLDS, despite the injury absences of Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez. The Cardinals went 83-78, the worst record of any playoff team.

The Mets had staved off NLCS elimination in Game 6 as John Maine outpitched Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter. A night later, Oct. 19, 2006, was Game 7 -- winner to Detroit in the World Series.

FLORES: "I remember Tony that night before Game 7, saying, 'When you go to bed, just realize how special it is.' It wasn't a talk where 'you guys can do it' or 'battle back' or 'leave your heart out there.' It was 'Just appreciate how special tomorrow is. It's Game 7. And you'll remember this Game 7.' "

CHAD BRADFORD, METS RELIEVER: "I can remember waking up that morning and before I could get a sip of coffee, I was already nervous."

BILLY WAGNER, METS RELIEVER: "We were excited, but we had a lot of anxiety about going out. Because the pressure was really on us to win. We were by far and away the most talented team. We probably didn't have the strongest pitching staff, but we had really enough to get us to the World Series."

SHAWN GREEN, METS RIGHT FIELDER: "I feel like we all believed we were going to win the game."

REYES: "I remember before that game, man, this stadium was crazy. The stadium, the fans. Everybody."

DAVID ECKSTEIN, CARDINALS SHORTSTOP: "Oh my gosh. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. The one thing that Shea Stadium had was the speakers in center field. It was one of the loudest stadiums you ever wanted to be at."

DAVID WRIGHT, METS THIRD BASEMAN: "I tell people all the time, the playoffs in '06, especially Game 7, from pregame on, we would go take the field for warm-ups and the place would literally be, like, swaying back and forth kind of. It was incredible. Unbelievable baseball atmosphere."

***

Veteran Jeff Suppan started for St. Louis -- he had shut out the Mets in Game 3. Oliver Perez, a July acquisition, had won Game 4 and started for the Mets over Steve Trachsel, who had given up five runs in just one inning of Game 3.

DARREN OLIVER, METS RELIEVER: "I was [in the mix to start]. I remember doing that press conference and I told my wife when I got home, 'You know, if I start this game and I lose, we're going to have to take a bus to Philly so we can fly out of here.' "

JOHN RICCO, METS ASSISTANT GM: "I do remember Trachsel had been hurt and banged up. I know he had a back injury. I think that's what it was. Our bullpen had been so solid, I think there was a reluctance to mess around with that. I think more than anything it was probably that we would want to keep the bullpen intact and use Ollie in that spot."

GUY CONTI, METS BULLPEN COACH: "The bullpen was very, very strong that year. We felt if we could get four innings out of Ollie, we could get to the bullpen."

WAGNER: "When Oliver got the nod, we all knew that it was going to be all hands on deck because if the first inning went a little crazy, then guess what? You were going to be in early."

CONTI: "What I looked for in Ollie, was he repeating his delivery? Once he repeated his delivery, he could repeat his arm slot and could repeat release points. As he warmed up, he was repeating his delivery."

RICK PETERSON, METS PITCHING COACH: "As he left the bullpen, he gave me this look. He kind of nodded his head like yeah, let's do this."

WRIGHT: "It seemed like everything was moving a little more for [Suppan] that series. But we beat Carpenter the night before, so we had a lot of momentum going into that game."

RICCO: "I remember thinking Suppan, he was a good pitcher but he was definitely a guy who was beatable."

La RUSSA: "We knew that [Suppan] wasn't going to scare, but this is a pretty intimidating place. Fifty thousand people are booing our batboys, for Christ sakes."

***
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first when Wright -- just 3-for-21 in the series at that point - dumped an RBI single to right.

WRIGHT: "I remember I was seeing the ball pretty well against the Dodgers the first series. And then the second series, they had Carpenter and some of the guys throwing well. So it kind of got me into a little funk. I had been pressing a little bit and to get one to flare in there gave me a lot of confidence. And obviously to take a lead early on in Game 7, that was big for us."

With runners on first and third, though, Green lined out to end the inning. The Cardinals tied it in the second on a squeeze by Ronnie Belliard, and through five innings, it was 1-1. The Mets had just two hits off Suppan, both in the first inning. Perez had surrendered just four hits, striking out four.

OLIVER: "I don't know what happened to [Perez] but then he was good. He was really good."

La RUSSA: "I know he's got a real good arm and he's excitable. But what we didn't do right was early on, we didn't shake him up a little bit. And once he gained confidence, he pitched very well."

TOM GLAVINE, METS PITCHER: "I think [Suppan] falls into the category of so many pitchers of that style, myself included, guys that rely on changing speeds and locations, if you give them a chance to get settled in, they're going to figure some things out and they're going to get tougher as the game goes on. I think that was exactly the case with Suppan."

WAGNER: "He had a good gameplan, and he was under control. We were going to have to force him to change his game, and we never made him change his game. He really made it look very easy."

BRADEN LOOPER, CARDINALS RELIEVER: "Probably the best game I've ever seen pitched."

****
After walking Jim Edmonds to open the sixth, Perez was visited by Randolph and also Wright, Lo Duca, Reyes and Carlos Delgado. Perez had 87 pitches, and Scott Rolen was due up.

PETERSON: "I thought his stuff was still good. I do remember we had Bradford ready. When the inning started, I said, 'Willie, let's get Bradford up. Let's make sure he's ready for Rolen.' He says, 'OK, great.' He kind of nods. Right when he walked Edmonds, I said to Willie, 'Willie, I would go get him right now.' Something along those lines."

"Willie said, 'I think he's still got good stuff.' He went out to just check the temperature."

RANDOLPH: "That meeting was pretty much just calm everything down and just get focused on what we're doing."

Lo DUCA: "Rolen fit him perfect. Because one thing about Ollie was, he could get a ball in to a right-handed hitter. And I thought, 'Let's try to go right after him.' Rolen was struggling a little bit on balls inside half. I remember Willie asking me and my response was, 'Yeah, let's go. He's OK.' One thing about Willie that was good, he trusted in his players. And he left him in."

Rolen drilled the first pitch -- 91 mph over the middle -- to left field. Endy Chavez raced to the wall and leaped, arm extended over the fence.

Lo DUCA: "I didn't know if he got it because I knew he got jammed just a little bit. It didn't sound real crisp. When he first hit it, I thought it wasn't that bad. But when I saw Endy break back the way it was, I thought we were in trouble."

RICCO: "We didn't have that big wall that we have now."

WRIGHT: "When he first hit it, I remember that Endy had a great bead on it."

ENDY CHAVEZ, METS LEFT FIELDER: "I knew it's right on the fence or over the fence. I was just trying to get myself as quickly as I can to the fence and as soon as I got to the warning track, I knew the ball was on the other side of the fence."

LOOPER: "You could see his arm come over the fence."

La RUSSA: "He catches the ball, I went, 'Oh, [expletive].' "

FLORES: "It was the best feeling in your stomach followed by the worst feeling in your stomach a second later."

OLIVER: "I'm hugging on [Pedro] Feliciano. We're jumping around. We're like, 'Yeah! There it is!' "

CHAVEZ: "When I saw it in my glove, I looked for Edmonds and I saw him right next to the shortstop and I said, 'We have a chance to get him on first.'"

WRIGHT: "Right away, I just thought double play."

Lo DUCA: "To me, under the circumstances, it's the best catch ever. Obviously Willie Mays' catch was in the World Series as well. So maybe that I saw. But maybe in the top five."

FLORES: "I have never seen a standing ovation, what was it, three times, thrice over for a catch? And it was well deserved."

RANDOLPH: "I remember just turning to my coaching staff and I'm saying, 'Hey man, we're going to The Show. We're going. There's no way in the world we're not going to the World Series.'"

REYES: "I said, 'This is over. We're going to win this game, no matter what happens.' "

***
Following the catch, the Mets immediately loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, one out, Jose Valentin up, Chavez on deck.

FLORES: "Now it's bases loaded, and you're really feeling the wind out of your sails."

JEFF SUPPAN, CARDINALS STARTER: "In my mind, I was going to stay away from the curveball in this situation. I had bases loaded, I had been in the dirt with the curveball before. And Yadi[er Molina] really wanted to go with the curveball. So I was like, this is it, this is the pitch. I know I struck him out with one."

RANDOLPH: "I remember feeling in my heart like, wow, I hope that doesn't come back to haunt us."

MANNY ACTA, METS THIRD BASE COACH: "I felt that if we would have scored there, we would have won the game."

SUPPAN: "That was a huge strikeout. And then going into the Chavez at-bat, obviously he made the great catch the inning before."

RICCO: "I'm thinking, OK, here we go. The same way that we say the guy who makes a great catch leads off the next inning. Well, here he was, up with a chance with the bases loaded and two outs to give us a lead."

ECKSTEIN: "It set up great for TV."

SUPPAN: "I elected to go with the fastball above the hands. I think it ran out over the plate, I think it was belt high and he popped it up."

WAGNER: "That was really the turning of the tide. Because if we go out there and we score a run, all of a sudden, there's a lot of confidence on our team and we're like, 'OK, here we go. We're going to roll.' And who's to say we stopped at just getting one run? But by not getting that run, it nullified that catch. Because they got nothing and we got nothing."

Lo DUCA: "When we didn't score that inning, it was huge. I remember going, 'Oh, God. All right, now we've got to scrap it out.' It was a 0-0 game basically with two innings left or three innings left. That's what it turned into. Because the momentum shifted right back to them."

Bradford relieved Perez and pitched a scoreless seventh, which Suppan matched. Heilman worked a scoreless eighth and Flores relieved Suppan following a Carlos Beltran walk, striking out Delgado and Wright before Green grounded out. It was 1-1, top of the ninth. Heilman, with 18 pitches, was on the mound - not Wagner, the closer.

PETERSON: "Aaron was a solid two-inning guy, if you needed two innings. He was going to go out there if the game was still tied. If we scored, Billy was going to go in the game. We felt at that time that Heilman and Billy were our two best pitchers. We started saying if the game stays tied and we go to extra innings, Billy can give us as much as two innings."

HEILMAN: "I wasn't surprised by it. I had thrown multiple innings that year. It wasn't anything taxing or something crazy that was out of my normal realm of workload."

WAGNER: "I felt that was probably a wise move because he was throwing the ball way better than I was at that time. I hadn't thrown the ball well. I really hadn't been very crisp or looked very good."

RANDOLPH: "That came into the equation. He wasn't really throwing the ball great. I thought Aaron was throwing the ball pretty good. I just felt like I wanted to stretch him out a little longer. I felt good about that."

Heilman struck out Edmonds, then surrendered a single to Rolen. That brought up Molina.

WAGNER: "When he got the first guy on, I had gotten up."

HEILMAN: "My main concern was now, you've got a guy on first, go get a ground-ball double play."

Lo DUCA: "We felt that we were gonna throw a changeup and then try to pound him in and then put him away with a changeup. He ended up just leaving one out over the plate and Molina put a good swing on it."

"Molina always hunted first pitch. Did I think he's sitting on [the changeup]? He might have been. But I felt that I wanted to throw a first-pitch changeup in there because he was a first-pitch fastball hitter."

HEILMAN: "It was definitely one of those pitches where as soon as I threw it, that's not where I wanted it to go. I knew it was up. Usually when your off-speed pitches are up, it's not a good thing."

Lo DUCA: "Aaron just basically hung it. If it's down, it's probably a ground ball. You can second guess, but as a catcher, I've never felt like I called the wrong pitch because it was his best pitch. You live or die with a guy's best pitch."

HEILMAN: "I didn't think it was a no-doubter when he first hit it."

YADIER MOLINA, CARDINALS CATCHER: "I didn't know right away, but I hit it pretty good."

WRIGHT: "It just seemed like an eternity for him to round the bases."

CONTI: "To this day, I've told a couple people, I did the lineup cards. I did the lineup cards for Willie every day. And made the lineup card. And received La Russa's lineup card. And for some reason, he had moved Molina from the eight-hole to the seven-hole. Sure enough, that's the guy who hit that home run. I never forgot that."

"Before the game started, I wondered, why would he do that? But he did that."

La RUSSA: "He hits a home run. You think, 'Son of a [gun], we're [three] outs away from being the champions!' And then your heart starts going boom-boom-boom-boom and it's an easy call - here comes Wainwright and then it became just like the movies."

The Cardinals led 3-1 and summoned rookie closer Adam Wainwright. Singles by Valentin and Chavez put two on, none out.

OMAR MINAYA, METS GM: "You start dreaming like a classic ending, a walk-off ending. But at that point, you're emotionally drained already. All I'm thinking was let it play out, see what happens."

ADAM WAINWRIGHT, CARDINALS CLOSER: "This is what went through my head -- 'This is not how you succeeded all year long.' I stepped off the mound and grabbed a rosin bag and said, 'Let's go. You can do this. One out at a time.' As soon as I did that, for whatever reason, I had this really calming effect go over my body. I knew I was going to get the job done. I knew they weren't going to score and I started executing pitches."

****
Randolph called for Cliff Floyd to pinch-hit for Heilman rather than, say, Anderson Hernandez, who could have bunted. Floyd, thanks to injury, was also taking just his third at-bat of the series.

WAINWRIGHT: "Looking back, I'm still a little surprised they didn't bunt. But they're at home, they're trying to win the game. They don't want to go into extra innings there. They've got a rookie closer on the mound."

RANDOLPH: "What went into it is my supreme confidence in Cliff Floyd. He had been swinging the bat well for us. He's one of our biggest hitters all year. You have that bullet on the bench. I just felt good about using it then. I just felt at the time that Cliff was going to hit a line drive in the gap somewhere and give us a chance to win the ballgame."

BRADFORD: "I think it was with Cliff Floyd up, I'm thinking, Cliff's gonna do something big here."

WAINWRIGHT: "I knew he was in the game for one purpose only. He was trying to end it right there."

Floyd struck out and Reyes lined out to Edmonds.

Lo DUCA: "If that ball is 10 feet to the right or left of it, it's in the alley. He just ended up hitting it right at Edmonds."

REYES: "As soon as I hit that ball, I said it's a triple. And that guy, he was playing me perfect."

Lo DUCA: "So then I came up. It was [a] 3-1 [count] and I remember stepping out of the box going, OK, just look for a fastball middle-in and swing as hard as you can because if you run into one, you're going to be a hero, right?"

"I remember sort of bailing a little bit and was getting ready to try to swing at a fastball but it was a fastball way away and it ended up being ball four."

WAINWRIGHT: "I was too young and too naive to really understand that loading the bases with Carlos Beltran was probably not a good idea. It never even crossed my mind because I knew I was going to get the job done, whether it was him or Carlos Beltran."

GLAVINE: "You've got your best player at the plate. You can't ask for anything more than that. Carlos and the year he had - right guy, right place, right time."

CARLOS BELTRAN, METS CENTER FIELDER: "Honestly, I wasn't thinking about anything different than I have thought in the past. I know that it was an important at-bat. All I was trying to do was look for a pitch that I could put in play and hopefully get a hit."

WAINWRIGHT: "Yadier comes out to the mound, just so we know how we're going to face him. We decided we're going to start him with a fastball away, sinker away. I liked it - let's attack him, let's not be scared of him."

BELTRAN: "I was looking for maybe a fastball middle-away."

WAINWRIGHT: "[Molina] goes back to the plate and if you watch baseball a lot, you'll see sometimes when a catcher points to his chest and says, 'Trust me here or follow me.' Yadier has this sign like, 'I'm on to something here, just throw whatever I put down.' He puts down a changeup. I hadn't thrown a changeup in probably a month."
"I threw it right down Broadway, right down the middle. He took it and he kind of looked out, like, did you just throw me a changeup?"

BELTRAN: "In order for you to swing at a first-pitch changeup, you have to really be looking for a changeup. I wasn't looking for a changeup."

Lo DUCA: "He threw him a first-pitch changeup, and a lot of people always say, 'Why didn't he swing at that first pitch?' Well, Wainwright really never threw a changeup. We were all sort of surprised."

FLORES: "I can remember no greater feeling of relief -- this sounds weird -- than with the bases loaded and Beltran up, he threw a changeup first pitch. And I know that's not his best pitch. But when I was sitting there, I thought, did he just throw an 0-0 changeup for a strike to get ahead? Whatever happened after that, I knew he had the count in his favor and some big-time weapons to battle that at-bat."

WAINWRIGHT: "I felt like I had him after that. The [guts] of Yadier to throw that pitch. Because if I give up a hit on a changeup, Tony La Russa and [pitching coach] Dave Duncan probably call me into the office and spank me with a belt. And probably trade me or release me the next day."

Lo DUCA: "After that, you knew you were just gonna get hook after hook. Maybe a courtesy fastball just to show you. But he was going to throw you some nasty hooks and he had a nasty one."

WAINWRIGHT: "[On 0-2] I honestly did, I said, 'All right, I'm going to throw the very best curveball that I can possibly throw down and away for a strike. And if I miss, it'll be away.' But literally, in the back of my head, I knew I was not going to miss. And I reached back, and I threw the best curveball l've ever thrown."

GLAVINE: "I know a lot of people are like, 'How could he take strike three?' You know what? The guy made a hell of a pitch."

BELTRAN: "It was a good pitch. Outside corner."

WRIGHT: "You can't [just swing no matter what]. It might look like you can do that. You can't. If you know the guy's throwing 94-95 with a curveball that just buckles you, you have to look one or the other. You can't go up there and hit both."

WAGNER: "That at-bat was about as deflating to my career and my season as it could have been."

SUPPAN: "When we won, to hear the silence in the stadium considering how loud it was before in different parts of the game, was incredible."

GREEN: "It seemed like forever for [Molina] to get out to the mound and for the whole team to get there and start celebrating. You watch something like that on TV and everything looks fast, everyone's huddling in together and jumping on each other. But this looked like really slow motion. Almost kind of like a Rocky movie where the punch -- you know, [like] you hear the voices going, 'Nuhhhhh!' All slow."

FLORES: "The biggest thing afterwards, there's something special about it happening on the road. You feel like your own little platoon there, as we're bouncing around like little kids on the infield."

La RUSSA: "First thing is the coaches on our staff hug each other. We're all saying, 'Can you [freaking] believe it?' And you go out and the first thing you see is Yadi -- he's got this greatest smile."

REYES: "It was tough. When we came into the clubhouse, everybody was down. I was down. Because we put a very good regular season together and we made it so close, but close is not enough."

MINAYA: "I think we were a better team on paper, but we didn't win it."

WAGNER: "I remember just talking to a few guys, probably Glavine and David Wright, thinking how hard we'd worked to get this far and what an amazing ride it'd been for nothing. To get to the playoffs and really accomplish nothing."

ACTA: "Good God, we stayed there forever."

Lo DUCA: "A lot of us, if Duaner Sanchez doesn't get in that cab, you honestly think that nobody would have beat us. It was just unfortunate. It was a lot of different things throughout that year that, in my eyes, sort of carried over into '07 that we just never recovered from. Because we had the best team in '07 and we didn't even make it to the playoffs. It was one thing after another. At times, I guess, at the end maybe we didn't stick together or what it was. But God, man, we had some bad luck. We really did."

WRIGHT: "All along, we didn't think we were going to lose. But I remember driving home and thinking to myself, 'That was really, really cool.' Just that whole experience. Not specifically Game 7. Obviously it took awhile to get over that. But I just remember thinking that's the coolest thing I've ever experienced -- the playoff baseball in New York and a Game 7 in the NLCS."

CONTI: "It was a phenomenal ballclub. It was the best team I've ever been around."

Icy Bx. accident turns deadly when pair struck, knocked off overpass

A young woman was killed and her brother left clinging to life after they were hit by a car amid a horrific string of weather-related accidents on a Bronx highway, authorities said.
The 20-year-old victim and her 19-year-old brother had been traveling westbound on the Cross Bronx Expressway in a 2002 Chevy Venture, along with six other occupants, when their vehicle was involved in a crash at 5:49 a.m. near Bruckner Boulevard, cops said.

The smash-up was the result of icy roads and vehicles’ rubbernecking to catch a glimpse of a previous accident in the eastbound direction, police said.

The siblings exited their vehicle to inspect the damage when they were slammed into by a 1999 Toyota Corolla, cops said.

The pair was thrown over a concrete barrier and plummeted 75 feet below, onto Bruckner Boulevard and Brush Avenue, police said.

The woman was pronounced dead at Jacobi, and her brother is listed in critical condition there.

2011-2012 MLB Offseason: Options on Cano, Swisher exercised by Yanks

Yankee Stadium- The Yankees have exercised their 2012 club options on second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Nick Swisher, the team announced Saturday night.
It was widely expected that the Yankees would lock up both players for next season. Cano's option is for $14 million, while Swisher will earn $10.25 million.

Cano is coming off his second straight All-Star season and a campaign in which he became arguably the most feared hitter in New York's lineup.

The 29-year-old second baseman led the Yankees with a .302 average and posted an .882 OPS, slugging 28 homers and driving in a career-high 118 runs. Cano also ranked second in the Majors with 81 extra-base hits.

The Yankees have Cano under their control for at least one more year with a $15 million club option for 2013.

Agent Scott Boras told the New York Post this week that he had reached out to general manager Brian Cashman in hopes of having those options deleted from Cano's contract in favor of a larger contract extension. Boras amended his remarks the next day, saying he had only been joking.

Swisher, meanwhile, batted .260 with an .822 OPS, tying for fifth among big league switch-hitters in home runs (23) and ranking seventh in RBIs (85).

But the 30-year-old Swisher was among the many Yankees who underperformed in the postseason, logging just four hits in 19 at-bats during the club's five-game American League Division Series loss to the Tigers.

In three seasons as a Yankee, Swisher has batted .160 (16-for-100) with four home runs and five RBIs in 28 postseason games. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season.

The World Series 2011: Cards to be honored by fans in Sunday parade

Busch Stadium, St. Louis- The Cardinals will celebrate their 11th World Series championship on Sunday with a victory parade through downtown St. Louis, concluding with a special ceremony on the field at Busch Stadium.
The parade will begin at 4 p.m. CT with the Budweiser Clydesdales leading the procession in Ford trucks east along Market Street, from 18th Street at Union Station to 7th Street South, toward Stan Musial Drive. The festivities will be streamed live on cardinals.com and MLB.com as well.

The celebration will include the newly crowned World Series champion Cardinals, Fredbird, Team Fredbird and the Rally Squirrel, along with musical entertainment by the marching bands of Lindbergh, Pattonville, Seckman and Belleville High Schools. The on-field ceremony at Busch Stadium will also include a fireworks display.

Tickets to the victory celebration at the stadium -- available for $5 each, with all of the proceeds going toward the Cardinals Care charitable foundation -- will go on sale Saturday at 2 p.m. at cardinals.com/parade. Fans will be limited to two tickets per order.

Season-ticket holders can purchase up to four tickets, two hours in advance of the tickets going on sale to the general public.

Weather Report for October 30th


Weekday and Weeknight Service Advisories for October 31-November 3

1 LineAll times until June 2012
South Ferry-bound platform at Dyckman St is closed for rehabilitation.

For service to this station, take the to 191 St and transfer to a 242 St-bound .

For service from this station, take the to 207 St (free transfer with MetroCard)
and transfer to a South Ferry-bound .

Alternate travel note:Customers can also use the nearby Dyckman St Station instead and transfer
between and trains at 168 St.
 
 
 
 
 
2 Line
12:01 AM to 5 AM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
 No trains between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Trains replace the in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
service operates as follows:
  • Between the Dyre Av Station and E 180 St.
  • Between E 180 St and 34 St-Penn Station (regular service).
  • Between 34 St-Penn Station and the South Ferry Station, making local stops.
 
service operates as follows:
  • Between the 241 St Station and E 180 St.
  • Between E 180 St and Flatbush Av, making express stops along Lexington Av.
 
In the Bronx:
Transfer between and trains at E 180 St.
 
 
For service between Manhattan and Brooklyn:
  • Free out-of-system transfer is available between and trains at South Ferry and Bowling Green.
  • Transfer between and trains at Times Sq-42 St and Grand Central-42 St via the 42 St Shuttle (operating overnight during this time).
  • Free out-of-system transfer is available between Chambers St and Stations.
  • Transfer between and trains ( overnight) at South Ferry and Whitehall St.
 
Park Place, Wall St, Clark St and Hoyt St Stations are closed.
Use nearby stations at Brooklyn Bridge, Fulton St, Wall St and Borough Hall.
Or, use nearby stations at City Hall, Cortlandt St, Rector St, Court St and Jay St-MetroTech
via transfer at Times Sq-42 St.
 
 
The platforms at Fulton St and Borough Hall are closed. Take the instead.
Note: This service change is scheduled to operate weekends and most late nights until Nov 28.
 
 
10:30 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
241 St-bound 2 service runs express from 3 Av-149 St to E 180 St.
 
These service changes affect one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.
 
 
 
 
 
4 Line
11 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Thu, Oct 31 – Nov 3
Utica Av-bound trains run express from Burnside Av to 149 St-Grand Concourse.
 
For service to 176 St, Mt Eden Av, 170, 167 and 161 Sts, take the to
149 St-Grand Concourse and transfer to a Woodlawn-bound .

For service from these stations, take the to Burnside Av and transfer to
a Utica Av-bound .
 
 

 


This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.


 


 


 


5 Line


12:01 AM to 5 AM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4


Trains replace the in the Bronx and Brooklyn.


Trains replace the between Dyre Av and E 180 St.

service operates as follows:
  • Between the 241 St Station and E 180 St.
  • Between E 180 St and Flatbush Av, making express stops along Lexington Av.
 
service operates as follows:
  • Between the Dyre Av Station and E 180 St.
  • Between E 180 St and 34 St-Penn Station (regular service).
  • Between 34 St-Penn Station and the South Ferry Station, making local stops.
 Note: This service change is scheduled to operate weekends and most late nights until Nov 28.
 
 
10:30 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
No  service between 149 St-Grand Concourse and E 180 St– Take the .
 service operates in two sections:
  1. Between Dyre Av and E 180 St.
  2. Between 149 St-Grand Concourse and Flatbush Av.
To continue your trip, transfer between the   and at E 180 St and 149 St-Grand Concourse.
 
Note: 241 St-bound  trains run express from 3 Av-149 St to E 180 St during this time.
 
This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.
 
 
 
 
6 Line
12:01 AM to 5 AM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
No  service between 125 St and Brooklyn Bridge –Take the  or .
 
This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.
 
 
 
 
7 Line
10:30 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
Manhattan-bound 7 service runs express from 74 St to Queensboro Plaza.
 
 
 
 
 
A Line
11 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, Oct 31 – Nov 4
Lefferts Blvd/Far Rockaway-bound trains run express from 125 St to 59 St.
For service to 116, 110, 103, 96, 86, 81 and 72 Sts, take the to 59 St and transfer
to a 207 St-bound .

For service from these stations, take the to 125 St and transfer to a Far Rockaway-bound .
Alternate travel note:
Customers can also use nearby stations instead and transfer between and
trains at 59 St.
 
 
 
 
D Line
12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tue to Fri, Nov 1 – 4
Uptown D trains run local via the A from W 4 St to 59 St.
 
This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.
 
11 PM to 5 AM, Tue to Thu, Nov 1 – 3
Manhattan-bound D trains skip 182-183 Sts.
 
10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, Oct 31 – Nov 4
Coney Island-bound D trains run via the N from 36 St, Brooklyn to Stillwell Av.
 
 
 
 
E Line
12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tue to Fri, Nov 1 – 4
No E trains between W 4 St and World Trade Center
  • Take the A instead: transfer at W 4 St.
  • Downtown E trains rerouted to the F at W 4 St and run to 2 Av, the last stop.
  • Queens-bound E trains originate at 2 Av.
 
12:01 AM to 5 AM, Tue to Fri, Nov 1 – 4
Manhattan-bound E trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.
 
 
 
 
 
F Line
Smith-9 Sts Station is closed for rehabilitation.
All times until Spring 2012

Use the Carroll St or 4 Av-9 St Stations instead.
Use the B57 bus for connections between the
Smith-9 Sts and Carroll St Stations.
and service is available at Carroll St.
Use the B61 bus for connections between the
Smith-9 Sts and 4 Av-9 St Stations.
and service is available at 4 Av-9 St.
 
 
 
 
G Line
Nights, 11 PM to 5 AM, Mon to Fri, Oct 31 - Nov 4 • Nov 7 - 11
Trains run every 30 minutes between Court Sq and Bedford-Nostrand Avs.
Service operates in two sections:
1. Between Court Sq and Bedford-Nostrand Av.
2. Between Bedford-Nostrand and Church Avs.
 
• Transfer at Bedford-Nostrand Avs to continue your trip.
 
 
Departures to Court Sq
Bedford-Nostrand AvsMetropolitan AvGreenpoint Av
11:19 PM11:25 PM11:28 PM
11:4911:5511:58
12:19 AM12:25 AM12:28 AM
12:4912:5512:58
Then every 30 minutes until:
4:49 4:55 4:58
Departures to Bedford-Nostrand Avs
Court Sq Greenpoint AvMetropolitan Av
10:56 PM10:59 PM11:02 PM
11:2611:2911:32
11:5611:5912:02 AM
12:26 AM12:29 AM12:32 AM
Then every 30 minutes until:
4:26 4:29 4:32

Note: At Nassau, Metropolitan Avs, Broadway, Flushing, Myrtle-Willoughby, and Bedford-Nostrand Avs, all trains board at the Court Sq (Queens)-bound platform.




J Line
10 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
Jamaica Center-bound J trains run express from Marcy Av to Myrtle Av


This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.




L Line
10:15 AM to 3:05 PM, Mon to Fri, Oct 31 – Nov 4
Trains run every 24 minutes between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Pkwy.

Service operates in two sections:
  1. Between 8 Av and Broadway Junction.
  2. Between Broadway Junction and Rockaway Pkwy.
Transfer at Broadway Junction to continue your trip.
 
 
Departures to Rockaway Pkwy:
Broadway JunctionSutter AvLivonia AvEast 105 St
10:32 AM10:34 AM10:36 AM10:39 AM
10:5610:5811:0011:03
11:2011:2211:2411:27
11:4411:4611:4811:51
12:08 PM12:10 PM12:12 PM12:15 PM
Then every 24 minutes until:
2:562:583:003:03
Departures to Broadway Junction:
Rockaway Pkwy East 105 StLivonia AvAtlantic Av
10:19 AM10:20 AM10:23 AM10:27 AM
10:4310:4410:4710:51
11:0711:0811:1111:15
11:3111:3211:3511:39
11:5511:5611:5912:03 PM
Then every 24 minutes until:
2:43 PM2:44 PM2:47 PM2:51
 
11 PM to 5 AM, Tue to Thu, Nov 1 –3
L service operates in two sections:
  1. Between Rockaway Parkway and Broadway Junction, every 24 minutes.
  2. Between Broadway Junction and 8 Av.
To continue your trip, transfer at Broadway Junction.
 
These service changes affect one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.
 
M Line
10 AM to 3 PM, Wed to Fri, Nov 2 – 4
Metropolitan Av-bound M trains run express from Marcy Av to Myrtle Av
 
This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs.
 
 
 
N Line
Days, 10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, Oct 31 - Nov 4 • Nov 7 - 11
• Nov 14 - 18
Coney Island-bound trains skip 30 Av, Broadway, 36 Av and 39 Av.

 


For service to these stations, take the to Queensboro Plaza and transfer to an
Astoria-bound .

For service from these stations, take the to Astoria Blvd and transfer to a
Coney Island-bound .

Note: No service between 57 St-7 Av and Ditmars Blvd during this time.


 


 


 


 


Q Line


10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, Oct 31 – Nov 4


No trains between 57 St-7 Av and Ditmars Blvd.

Take the instead.  service operates between 57 St-7 Av and Stillwell Av.
Note: Coney Island-bound trains skip 30 Av, Broadway, 36 and 39 Avs during this time.


 


This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations. Please call 511 for help with planning your trip. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. For more information, read station signs or go to www.mta.info.


 


 


Staten Island Railway


Effective now through mid-December

Fallen Leaves May Slow SIR Service
MTA Staten Island Railway advises customers to allow extra travel time
as trains may need to move at slower speeds due to fallen leaves on the tracks.

Fallen leaves, when crushed by moving trains, leave a slippery residue on the
running rails. This residue may affect the train's ability to move and stop.
In order to ensure safe operation, trains may operate at reduced speed
and or operate at slower than normal speeds while entering or leaving stations.