Saturday, March 30, 2013

Phillies confident with Halladay as second starter

PHILADELPHIA -- For all of the positives that have come out of this spring for the Phillies -- the healthy returns of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the solid defense at third by Michael Young and the emergence of Domonic Brown -- it's hard not to escape the concern over Roy Halladay.


Halladay has had a myriad of issues, ranging from the flu to a dead arm, which has raised red flags for an organization that has leaned heavily on its ace over the past three seasons. Halladay's struggles were well documented last year, and even with Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, the key to the rotation in many minds is how Halladay rebounds from 2012.

"Right now it definitely looks like Halladay," said manager Charlie Manuel, when asked who would start on Wednesday in Atlanta in the second game of the season. "We're thinking about splitting our lefties up."

On the surface, that makes sense. Why have Hamels -- the Opening Day starter for the first time in his career -- and Lee go back to back when you can mix it up? Still, Halladay's final line in his last spring start was two runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings, which didn't ease the concerns back in Philadelphia.

"We're concerned about his spring, yeah," Manuel said. "But the last few times out there, he's gotten better. I think he's ready to go. Talking to Roy, he's ready to pitch."

Mets' Santana elects to have surgery to repair shoulder injury

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Johan Santana will be heading back to the operating room.


The Mets lefty has decided to undergo surgery on his left shoulder, after it was discovered last week that he has a probable re-tear of his anterior capsule. Santana's surgery is scheduled for Tuesday by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

As The New York Post reported on Saturday, the lefty has told friends he wants to continue pitching after rehab, which could last more than a year. Santana's first anterior capsule tear came in September of 2010, causing him to miss the entire next season while rehabbing from surgery.

But the 34-year-old Santana, who is in the final year of a $137.5 million contract, has likely thrown his last pitch for the Mets.

Manager Terry Collins said Saturday he wasn't surprised to hear Santana would have the second surgery.

"Not with him," Collins said. "The one thing everybody kind of forgets about is the competitiveness in this guy, and he's not done. That's why I'm sure he's doing it."

David Wright also expects Santana to attempt a comeback.

"I know Johan long enough that I don't think you want to go out like that," Wright said. "I wouldn't be surprised at all if you see him pitching again."


Giants reward Posey with $167M extension

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joining the chorus of praise for Buster Posey on Friday, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said that the organization "turned on a dime" when the catcher reached the Major Leagues.


Posey's considerable impact upon the Giants has turned that dime into pure gold.

He and the Giants agreed to terms on the most lucrative contract in franchise history on Friday, an eight-year, $167 million extension.

The deal locks in Posey's value, as well as Posey himself. The club assured itself of cost certainty with a contract that covers Posey's three remaining years of salary arbitration and five years of free agency. It includes a club option for 2022 and, according to a source familiar with the deal, a full no-trade provision.

"It's the most incredible feeling, knowing that the next nine years I'll be a part of this very storied franchise," Posey said.

The 26-year-old has gilded the franchise's glory. Posey's coming off a 2012 campaign in which he hit .336 with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs, won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and helped the Giants earn their second World Series title in three years. In 2010, the club's other World Series-winning season, Posey captured the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Posey became the first catcher to win the NL MVP Award in 40 years and the first to win the league's batting title in 70 years. He's also just the third catcher to win the MVP and World Series in the same season, along with Hall of Famers Roy Campanella (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1955) and Yogi Berra (New York Yankees, 1951). Posey and St. Louis' Stan Musial are the only players to perform for two World Series champions and win an MVP Award in their first three Major League seasons.

"If he's not the face of the franchise, he's certainly a player that comes around once in a baseball life, or not that often," Sabean said of Posey.

Posey's accomplishments and the relatively brief time in which he achieved them partly explain the contract's value and the challenge the Giants faced in negotiating the deal with his agent, Jeff Berry of CAA. Few players compare to him.

"We had a hill to climb to try to get on the same page," Sabean said, mixing his metaphors but not his meaning. Sabean recalled emphasizing to club president and chief executive officer Larry Baer as talks began that wasting Berry's time would be a mistake.

"CAA, and Jeff especially, are deal-makers," Sabean said. "I told Larry, as we contemplated how we would go forward, that Buster is the type of player who deserves this entree. But if we're going to get in negotiations, we have to be committed to sign this player. You don't get into negotiations just for the sake of seeing where you think it's going to go. You have to be all-out committed."

The Giants complied with a commitment that's nothing short of historic. It's a record guarantee for a player with fewer than three years of service time. Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez set the previous standard with his seven-year, $80 million contract. It's also the biggest financial obligation to a player with fewer than four years of service time, exceeding the $151.45 million Colorado committed to first baseman Todd Helton for 11 years.

Technically, the contract spans nine years, including this season, which represents the longest deal in history for a catcher. It also ranks second among catchers in total value. Minnesota's Joe Mauer signed an eight-year, $184 million extension in 2010, though his deal did not wipe out any arbitration years. In Giants annals, Posey's contract eclipsed the six-year, $127.5 million deal that right-hander Matt Cain signed last year for what was the franchise's richest pact.

Posey will receive a $7 million signing bonus, according to the source. Having previously settled for $8 million this year, Posey now will receive $3 million in 2013, $10.5 million in '14, $16.5 million in '15, $20 million in '16 and $21.4 million per year from 2017-21. The 2022 club option is worth $22 million, with a $3 million buyout. Posey also will contribute $50,000 per year to Giants charities.

"This is, by any measure, the largest and boldest commitment we've ever made to a player," Baer said, adding that the Giants also were investing in Posey's renowned character. "There are certain elements that give us a lot of comfort in making this kind of commitment. His professionalism, work ethic, maturity ... the way he plays the game with humility."

The deal's timing was significant, since both sides reportedly wanted to finish negotiations before Opening Day. The Giants begin defense of their World Series championship on Monday in Los Angeles.

Fortunately for the Giants, Posey maintained a genuine desire to stay in San Francisco long-term.

"I don't see how you can play here and not want to spend your career here," Posey said, citing the near-sellout crowd that gathered at AT&T Park for Thursday night's exhibition game against the Oakland A's. "It just goes to show you the love these fans here have not only for Giants baseball, but I think for baseball in general."

Posey will reach age 35 if he plays through the contract's option year, prompting the issue of how long he can catch and remain productive offensively. Posey indicated that he would be willing to switch positions "if it's something we felt would help the team." But, he added, "My passion is definitely to be behind the plate for as long as I can."

That possibility thrilled Posey's teammates.

"We're all super excited for Buster," Cain said. "He's definitely more than earned what just happened to him. Doing that shows how much faith [management has] in him and what he's done in his career. For a starting staff, it's really nice to see that he's going to be here ... forever."

Said shortstop Brandon Crawford, "Hopefully I can be here for all nine years."

Citing the combination of Posey's deal and the offseason re-signings of center fielder Angel Pagan, second baseman Marco Scutaro and left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, Crawford added, "That says a lot about the confidence our front office has in us."

To the Giants' executives, it's all money well-spent, particularly in Posey's case.

"There's a general good feeling that everybody won," Sabean said.

Woman allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint by two men in Washington Heights

Cops last night were searching for a woman who witnesses said was abducted at gunpoint by two men yesterday in Washington Heights, authorities said.


Two ten-year-old girls saw a woman walking along Haven Avenue near 173rd Street at about 7 p.m. when the men, dressed in black, forced her into a dark-colored Town and Country minivan with tinted windows, according to law-enforcement sources. The children called 911.

The victim was described as white or a light-skinned Hispanic woman wearing a long white coat with black pants, and carrying either two backpacks or a large duffel bag.
The abduction took place near housing for Columbia University medical students, but it was unclear if the woman lived in the building, police sources said.

Surveillance footage captured two men fleeing, as well as a dark-colored minivan heading south on Haven Avenue from West 173rd Street, police said.

Police have not identified the victim yet and are canvassing residents for leads.

They also dispatched a police helicopter yesterday to help in their search for the van.

A doorman at 154 Haven said he heard a scream but thought it came from kids in nearby Jay Hood Wright Park.

“The police asked me if I heard anything unusual. I wish I listened more carefully. A woman’s life is on the line,” he said.

Friday, March 29, 2013

LiLo gets down and dirty in San Paulo nightclub

Less than a day in Brazil and Lindsay Lohan’s already getting down and dirty in a San Paulo nightclub.


Lohan was photographed hiding under the DJ’s booth table with a hand on her head and showing a lot of leg.

A party-goer snapped the photo of the wayward actress and explained on Twitter that Lohan hid under the table because she refused to take photos with people at the club.

Before her 90-day court-ordered rehab, she’s reportedly set to make a six-figure some promoting a Brazilian clothing label.

Verlander agrees to five-year extension

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Justin Verlander casually mentioned in January how cool it would be to spend his entire career in a Tigers uniform. He took one big step toward doing that on Friday.


The Tigers, meanwhile, took care of their biggest contract question for the rest of the decade. With a five-year contract extension, they can keep Verlander in a Detroit uniform through at least 2019, and perhaps through 2020.

Terms of the contract were not revealed by the Tigers. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that Verlander will make $28 million each season from 2015-19, the years of the extension. A vesting option for 2020 is reportedly worth $22 million.

The $28 million a year will make Verlander the highest-paid pitcher on an annual basis, eclipsing the $25 million per year in the seven-year, $175 million extension Felix Hernandez signed with Seattle in February.

Verlander has two years remaining on the five-year, $79.5 million contract he signed after the 2009 season. He will make $20 million in each of those seasons.

Add those two seasons, with the reported terms of the extension, including the option, and Verlander would be baseball's first $200 million pitcher.

Verlander, 30, went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 33 starts last season, topping the American League with six complete games, 238 1/3 innings pitched and 239 strikeouts. He won the AL Most Valuable Player Award and the AL Cy Young Award in 2011, becoming the 10th pitcher in Major League history to win both the MVP and Cy Young Awards in the same season.

A five-time All-Star, Verlander is 124-65 with a 3.40 ERA in his big league career, which began with two starts in 2005. He is scheduled to start on Opening Day in Minnesota on Monday, marking the sixth straight season (2008-13) he has been tabbed the club's Opening Day starter by manager Jim Leyland. It will mark the longest such streak by a Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris started 11 straight Opening Days from 1980-90.

"Justin is one of the premier pitchers in baseball and we are thrilled to keep him in a Tigers uniform for many years to come," Tigers president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Justin has been a Tiger for his entire career and he is on pace to be one of the greatest pitchers in this illustrious franchise's history."

Though Verlander brushed off any sense of urgency about getting an extension done this spring, he made it clear last week that he didn't want to negotiate during the season. With next season being the final year on his contract, he would have been close enough to free agency that he might have been tempted to test the open market.

The extension takes that out of the question.

Fire destroys home, kills pets of Newtown massacre survivors

NEWTOWN, Conn. — A Newtown home destroyed by a fire this week was owned by a couple whose children survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December.


The News-Times of Danbury reports that Wednesday afternoon's fire left Hans and Audra Barth and their three children homeless. The American Red Cross has put them up in a hotel.

Two of their children attended Sandy Hook Elementary School, including a first-grader in teacher Kaitlin Roig's classroom. Roig has been called a hero for barricading her students in a bathroom as the shooter killed 20 other first-graders and six educators.

Friends say the family lost everything in the fire, and their pet dog and several baby chickens died. St. Rose of Lima Church is taking donations.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Take the Nostalgia Train to the Yankees Home Opener

Yankee fans riding the subway to Opening Day on Monday against their bitter rivals the Boston Red Sox are in for a special treat. Fans can head up to Yankee Stadium riding aboard New York City Transit’s special “Nostalgia Train.” First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.


The Yankees have a stellar 4-1 record in home openers since the MTA first ran the “Nostalgia Train” to the Stadium in 2008. So Yankee fans, get the season started off right and ride the “Nostalgia Train” to the game!

The four-car “Nostalgia Special” (photo attached below) will depart from Grand Central-42nd Street on the 4, uptown express platform at 11:30 a.m. and run non-stop to 161st Street-Yankee Stadium. The cars on the train will be the 1917 vintage Lo-V (low voltage) cars, which were removed from regular passenger service in 1969.

Additional trains and crews will be on hand with capacity crowds of more than 52,000 fans expected to attend opening day. As a reminder during the season, fans can always take the B, D or 4 train to 161st-Yankee Stadium (B during rush hours only). After all games, trains are queued along the center track of the Jerome and Concourse Lines and then called into 161st-Yankee Stadium and filled one by one until the last Manhattan-bound customers are on their way.

Yankee Stadium is also served by the Bx6 and Bx13 local buses. The Bx1, Bx2, and BxM4 stop at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse, a short three-block walk to the stadium.

Metro-North Railroad will offer plenty of direct, fast and convenient "Train to the Game" service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines as well as frequent shuttle service from Grand Central Terminal/Harlem-125th Street Stations throughout the season. Post-game direct trains are timed to depart 20- to 45-minutes after the last out.

Projected Opening Day lineups for all 30 clubs

Below is a list of projected Opening Day starting lineups for each of the 30 Major League teams. American League
Baltimore Orioles
1. RF: Nick Markakis
2. DH: Nolan Reimold
3. CF: Adam Jones
4. C: Matt Wieters
5. 1B: Chris Davis
6. SS: J.J. Hardy
7. LF: Nate McLouth
8. 3B: Manny Machado
9. 2B: Brian Roberts
SP: Jason Hammel


Boston Red Sox
1. CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
2. RF: Shane Victorino
3. 2B: Dustin Pedroia
4. 1B: Mike Napoli
5. 3B: Will Middlebrooks
6. DH: Jonny Gomes
7. C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
8. LF: Jackie Bradley
9. SS: Jose Iglesias
SP: Jon Lester


Chicago White Sox
1. CF: Alejandro De Aza
2. 3B: Jeff Keppinger
3. RF: Alex Rios
4. DH: Adam Dunn
5. 1B: Paul Konerko
6. LF: Dayan Viciedo
7. SS: Alexei Ramirez
8. C: Tyler Flowers
9. 2B: Gordon Beckham
SP: Chris Sale


Cleveland Indians
1. CF: Michael Bourn
2. SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
3. 2B: Jason Kipnis
4. 1B: Nick Swisher
5. LF: Michael Brantley
6. C: Carlos Santana
7. DH: Mark Reynolds
8. 3B: Lonnie Chisenhall
9. RF: Drew Stubbs
SP: Justin Masterson


Detroit Tigers
1. CF: Austin Jackson
2. RF: Torii Hunter
3. 3B: Miguel Cabrera
4. 1B: Prince Fielder
5. DH: Victor Martinez
6. LF: Andy Dirks
7. SS: Jhonny Peralta
8. C: Alex Avila
9. 2B: Omar Infante
SP: Justin Verlander


Houston Astros
1. 2B: Jose Altuve
2. 1B: Brett Wallace
3. LF: Chris Carter
4. DH: Carlos Pena
5. CF: Justin Maxwell
6. C: Jason Castro
7. 3B: Matt Dominguez
8. RF: Rick Ankiel
9. SS: Ronny Cedeno
SP: Bud Norris


Kansas City Royals
1. LF: Alex Gordon
2. SS: Alcides Escobar
3. DH: Billy Butler
4. 3B: Mike Moustakas
5. C: Salvador Perez
6. 1B: Eric Hosmer
7. CF: Lorenzo Cain
8. RF: Jeff Francoeur
9. 2B: Chris Getz
SP: James Shields


Los Angeles Angels
1. CF: Mike Trout
2. SS: Erick Aybar
3. 1B: Albert Pujols
4. RF: Josh Hamilton
5. LF: Mark Trumbo
6. 2B: Howard Kendrick
7. 3B: Alberto Callaspo
8. C: Chris Iannetta
9. SP: Jered Weaver


Minnesota Twins
1. CF: Aaron Hicks
2. 2B: Brian Dozier
3. C: Joe Mauer
4. LF: Josh Willingham
5. 1B: Justin Morneau
6. DH: Ryan Doumit
7. RF: Chris Parmelee
8. 3B: Trevor Plouffe
9. SS: Pedro Florimon
SP: Vance Worley


New York Yankees
1. CF: Brett Gardner
2. RF: Ichiro Suzuki
3. 2B: Robinson Cano
4. 1B: Kevin Youkilis
5. DH: Ben Francisco
6. LF: Vernon Wells
7. SS: Eduardo Nunez
8. 3B: Jayson Nix
9. C: Chris Stewart
SP: CC Sabathia


Oakland Atletics
1. CF: Coco Crisp
2. SS: Jed Lowrie
3. RF: Josh Reddick
4. LF: Yoenis Cespedes
5. 1B: Brandon Moss
6. DH: Seth Smith
7. 3B: Josh Donaldson
8. C: John Jaso
9. 2B: Eric Sogard
SP: Brett Anderson


Seattle Mariners
1. CF: Franklin Gutierrez
2. 3B: Kyle Seager
3. DH Kendrys Morales
4. LF: Michael Morse
5. 1B: Justin Smoak
6. C: Jesus Montero
7. RF: Michael Saunders
8. 2B: Dustin Ackley
9. SS: Brendan Ryan
SP: Felix Hernandez


Tampa Bay Rays
1. CF: Desmond Jennings
2. LF: Matt Joyce
3. 3B: Evan Longoria
4. RF: Ben Zobrist
5. DH: Luke Scott
6. SS: Yunel Escobar
7. 1B: James Loney
8. C: Jose Molina
9. 2B: Kelly Johnson
SP: David Price


Texas Rangers
1. 2B: Ian Kinsler
2. SS: Elvis Andrus
3. DH: Lance Berkman
4. 3B: Adrian Beltre
5. RF: Nelson Cruz
6. LF: David Murphy
7. C: A.J. Pierzynski
8. 1B: Mitch Moreland
9. CF: Leonys Martin
SP: Matt Harrison


Toronto Blue Jays
1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. LF: Melky Cabrera
3. RF: Jose Bautista
4. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
5. DH: Adam Lind
6. C: J.P. Arencibia
7. CF: Colby Rasmus
8. 2B: Emilio Bonifacio
9. 3B: Maicer Izturis
SP: R.A. Dickey



National League


Arizona Diamondbacks
1. CF: Gerardo Parra
2. 3B: Martin Prado
3. 2B: Aaron Hill
4. C: Miguel Montero
5. LF: Jason Kubel
6. 1B: Paul Goldschmidt
7. RF: A.J. Pollock
8. SS: Cliff Pennington
9. SP: Ian Kennedy


Atlanta Braves1. SS: Andrelton Simmons
2. RF: Jason Heyward
3. LF: Justin Upton
4. 1B: Freddie Freeman
5. CF: B.J. Upton
6. 2B: Dan Uggla
7. 3B: Juan Francisco
8. C: Gerald Laird
9. SP: Tim Hudson


Chicago Cubs
1. CF: David DeJesus
2. SS: Starlin Castro
3. 1B: Anthony Rizzo
4. LF: Alfonso Soriano
5. RF: Nate Schierholtz
6. C: Welington Castillo
7. 3B: Luis Valbuena
8. 2B: Darwin Barney
9. SP: Jeff Samardzija


Cincinnati Reds
1. CF: Shin-Soo Choo
2. 2B: Brandon Phillips
3. 1B: Joey Votto
4. LF: Ryan Ludwick
5. RF: Jay Bruce
6. 3B: Todd Frazier
7. SS: Zack Cozart
8. C: Ryan Hanigan
9. SP: Johnny Cueto


Colorado Rockies
1. CF: Dexter Fowler
2. 2B: Josh Rutledge
3. LF: Carlos Gonzalez
4. SS: Troy Tulowitzki
5. RF: Michael Cuddyer
6. 1B: Todd Helton
7. C: Wilin Rosario
8. 3B: Chris Nelson
9. SP: Jhoulys Chacin


Los Angeles Dodgers
1. LF: Carl Crawford
2. 2B: Mark Ellis
3. CF: Matt Kemp
4. 1B: Adrian Gonzalez
5. RF: Andre Ethier
6. SS: Luis Cruz
7. 3B: Jerry Hairston
8. C: A.J. Ellis
9. SP: Clayton Kershaw


Miami Marlins
1. LF: Juan Pierre
2. 2B: Donovan Solano
3. RF: Giancarlo Stanton
4. 3B: Placido Polanco
5. C: Rob Brantly
6. CF: Justin Ruggiano
7. 1B: Casey Kotchman
8. SS: Adeiny Hechavarria
9. SP: Ricky Nolasco


Milwaukee Brewers
1. RF: Norichika Aoki
2. 2B: Rickie Weeks
3. LF: Ryan Braun
4. 3B: Aramis Ramirez
5. C: Jonathan Lucroy
6. 1B: Alex Gonzalez
7. CF: Carlos Gomez
8. SS: Jean Segura
9. SP: Yovani Gallardo


New York Mets
1. CF: Jordany Valdespin
2. 2B: Daniel Murphy
3. 3B: David Wright
4. 1B: Ike Davis
5. RF: Marlon Byrd
6. LF: Lucas Duda
7. C: John Buck
8. SS: Ruben Tejada
9. SP: Jon Niese


Philadelphia Phillies
1. SS: Jimmy Rollins
2. CF: Ben Revere
3. 2B: Chase Utley
4. 1B: Ryan Howard
5. 3B: Michael Young
6. RF: Domonic Brown
7. LF: Laynce Nix
8. C: Erik Kratz
9. SP: Cole Hamels


Pittsburgh Pirates
1. LF: Starling Marte
2. C: Russell Martin
3. CF: Andrew McCutchen
4. 3B: Pedro Alvarez
5. 2B: Neil Walker
6. 1B: Gaby Sanchez
7. RF: Travis Snider
8. SS: Clint Barmes
9. SP: A.J. Burnett


San Diego Padres
1. RF: Chris Denorfia
2. SS: Everth Cabrera
3. LF: Carlos Quentin
4. 1B: Yonder Alonso
5. 2B: Jedd Gyorko
6. C: Nick Hundley
7. 3B: Cody Ransom
8. CF: Cameron Maybin
9. SP: Edinson Volquez


San Francisco Giants
1. CF: Angel Pagan
2. 2B: Marco Scutaro
3. 3B: Pablo Sandoval
4. C: Buster Posey
5. RF: Hunter Pence
6. 1B: Brandon Belt
7. LF: Andres Torres
8. SS: Brandon Crawford
9. SP: Matt Cain


St. Louis Cardinals
1. CF: Jon Jay
2. RF: Carlos Beltran
3. LF: Matt Holliday
4. 1B: Allen Craig
5. C: Yadier Molina
6. 3B: Matt Carpenter
7. 2B: Daniel Descalso
8. SS: Pete Kozma
9. SP: Adam Wainwright


Washington Nationals
1. CF: Denard Span
2. RF: Jayson Werth
3. LF: Bryce Harper
4. 3B: Ryan Zimmerman
5. 1B: Adam LaRoche
6. SS: Ian Desmond
7. 2B: Danny Espinosa
8. C: Wilson Ramos
9. SP: Stephen Strasburg

Hotel rape charges dismissed against real estate mogul Keith Hartigan

The Manhattan DA’s Office dismissed the first-degree rape charge against real estate mogul Keith Hartigan who was accused of attacking a Citibank VP in his luxurious Standard Hotel room last February.


“There are no provable criminal charges,” said ADA Alexandra Murphy. “It’s unclear whether a crime was committed.”

The woman who claimed she was raped didn’t wish to pursue the matter, the ADA said.

The Denver-based realtor to the stars waived his right to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court today.

The woman, 31, had been drinking with Hartigan and his friend at the trendy 675 Bar on Hudson Street on February 1st of this year. The pal escorted the woman back to his and Hartigan's room on the 9th floor of the trendy Meatpacking District hotel where at some point the two fell asleep.

The woman told cops she was later awoken by a boozed-up Hartigan, 37, who ripped off her clothes and raped her before she pushed him off and fled.

“The videotape evidence and witness interview show consenting adults interacting in a positive way without any wrongdoing afoot,” said Hartigan’s defense attorney Edward Sapone, who wouldn’t say whether it was a ménage a trois gone terribly wrong.

“Sometimes people engage in conduct that they unfortunately regret,” he said of the possible motivation behind the false allegations.

The unwelcome media attention has hurt Hartigan’s business and reputation but he doesn't plan to sue the woman for making the false claim, his attorney said. "He just wants to get on with his life, he's not looking for retribution."

The strapping 6-foot-1 broker is CEO of View West Properties. The company’s Facebook page features photographs of Jack Nicholson’s house and a snapshot of Mariah Carey and her hubby, Nick Cannon, in ski gear. All three stars rented Aspen getaways through the company, a caption boasts.

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – March 30-31

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic from 12:01 am to 7 am Saturday to perform necessary long term rehabilitation and repainting work. Brooklyn-bound traffic will be maintained as will the pedestrian and cycling path. Manhattan-bound motorists will be detoured to the nearby Manhattan Bridge. The northbound FDR Drive exit to the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed starting one hour before the bridge closure hours.


One of four eastbound (Brooklyn-bound) lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge will be closed from 6 am to 2 pm on Saturday to facilitate bridge maintenance work.

The south tube of the Battery Park Underpass between Route 9A/West Street and the FDR Drive and one of two lanes in the north tube will be closed from 1 am to 8 am Saturday to facilitate NY State DOT construction activity. These closures will continue until approximately July.

The Grand Street Bridge over Newtown Creek will be closed to traffic from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturday to facilitate bridge repairs. Motorists should use the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge as a detour.

The following streets in Queens will be closed on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm for the Federation of Hindu Mandirs Parade:
  • Liberty Avenue between 133rd Street and 125th Street
  • 133rd Street between Liberty Avenue and 107th Avenue
  • 125th Street between Liberty Avenue and 95th Avenue
  • 95th Avenue between 125th Street and 127th Street.
The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Sunday:
  • 5th Avenue between 47th Street and 57th Street will be closed from 10 am to 4 pm for the Easter Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
  • The pedestrian plaza on Broadway between 34th Street and 35th Street and 34th Street and 35th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue (curb lanes only) will be closed from 10 am to 9 pm for the 39th Annual Macy’s Flower Show.
Detailed information on weekend street closures will be available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

Mets teammates feel for Johan after latest setback

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As the Mets brace themselves to go on without left-hander Johan Santana, teammate David Wright called it a "disheartening" situation for the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner whose career with the Mets has likely come to an end.


The club announced Thursday that Santana had torn his left shoulder capsule for the second time in three years, creating the "strong possibility" that he would need surgery, general manager Sandy Alderson said. It could also mean Santana's time in a Mets uniform -- and perhaps his career -- is over.

"You do something for so long and you're so successful at it, and to have a setback like this, it kind of hits everybody in here hard, just because of the kind of teammate he's been," said Wright, who has played alongside Santana throughout the lefty's entire time in New York.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen said Friday morning that he was "fairly concerned early on" this spring as Santana battled what the Mets diagnosed as left shoulder weakness. Santana flew to New York this week for an MRI, which revealed a probable re-tear of his shoulder capsule. Second opinions confirmed as much.

"He comes in -- I knew he hadn't thrown a whole lot, hadn't worked out a whole lot -- you think, 'All right, this is gonna take longer than what a normal Spring Training would be,'" Warthen said. "But as it continued on, it became a little more of a concern."

Warthen said he took notice when Santana had trouble getting his arm into the proper throwing position, and when Santana finally did, the ball "didn't come out like it generally does from Johan's arm."

Santana, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2004 and '06 with the Twins, was traded to the Mets in February 2008. He won 40 games in his first three seasons in New York before missing the entire '11 season after surgery to repair his torn left shoulder capsule in September 2010.

"To go through it a second time, I think it'd actually be harder, because you know what's ahead," said reliever Tim Byrdak, who had the same procedure last year. "The first time you go through it, it's a mystery, so you don't really know what to expect. The second time, you know kind of your checkpoints and can say this is where you're at. To know how far away it is, [that] is really rough."

Santana returned to the Majors 19 months later, going 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA from Opening Day 2012 through his June 1 no-hitter -- the first in Mets history. But he was not the same pitcher after that, posting a 3-7 record and 8.27 ERA in his final 10 outings.

With Santana battling ankle, back and shoulder issues, the Mets shut him down in mid-August; he went 0-5 with a 15.63 ERA over his final five starts.

"This was not a product or a byproduct of the no-hitter, or at least I don't feel that [it] was in any way, shape or form," Warthen said. "Because he had good velocity and arm strength after that, and it doesn't matter because he never would have let us get him out of the game anyway."

With one season left on his six-year, $137.5 million contract, Santana's time in New York is almost certainly finished. Alderson said that the final year of Santana's contract is not insured, meaning the Mets will still pay him his full $25.5 million salary in 2013, as well as the $5.5 million buyout on the '14 option year of his deal.

"It's not every day you get a chance to play with Cy Young Award winners," Wright said. "Just as important as what he brought to us on the field, he was dynamic for some of these young pitchers."

The Mets must also decide how to replace Santana in the rotation after already naming Jon Niese the Opening Day starter and sliding Jeremy Hefner into the rotation. But with Shaun Marcum battling a neck injury and Jenrry Mejia shut down for two weeks due to elbow tendinitis, the club's depth chart is thin.

"We'll figure it out," Wright said. "I'm not so much concerned with who's gonna pitch those starts. I think that right now, [Santana is] going through a rough time. We'll figure that out. We've got guys that can step up and get the job done on the field. That's not a concern. For me, the concern is what I feel for Johan."

EDITORIAL: WHERE'S THE SHAME?

When the New York Post exposed EMS Lt. Timothy Dluhos for his vile tweets, we thought it couldn’t get worse. After all, here was a guy tweeting under the moniker “Bad Lieutenant” and using a photo of Adolf Hitler for his profile. But it turns out that Dluhos has friends in some pretty low places.


These friends of Dluhos have now turned their online fury on Candice M. Giove, the New York Post reporter who exposed him. Some fantasize about her being raped. Another talks about her being killed with a hatchet. One perverse soul wishes she would die in a car fire — “hopefully” when she’s pregnant.

Let’s put this in perspective: Dluhos is an officer in the service of New York City who was tweeting his rants for all the world to read. Though he wept when he was found out and asked reporters to leave him in peace for the sake of his children, he’s not exactly keeping quiet himself. On Wednesday, the suspended lieutenant called in to an online radio program to thank a host who then told him he was “a brave motherf-----.”

Rest assured, Candice Giove will be fine. She is a tough reporter. And neither she nor The Post is about to be intimidated by lowlifes whose idea of defending Dluhos is to speculate about the grisly death of a female journalist or refer to her with vulgarities.

We can’t help wondering: How many of the people posting these things would show so much bravado if they had to sign their own names to their posts?

We all say things we regret. But we’re seeing something very different from regret from Dluhos’ defenders — something far more troubling than tasteless language.

What we are seeing is the fruit of an online universe whose offer of anonymity is helping to feed a culture of shamelessness.

Bigots spew bile

Racist friends and colleagues of the “Bad Lieutenant” are threatening the life of a New York Post reporter since she revealed the FDNY worker’s secret Twitter account, where he belittles women, blacks, Jews and Asians.


EMS Lt. Timothy Dluhos broke down in tears when reporter Candice M. Giove confronted him about his account, where his profile picture is of Hitler and he called Mayor Bloomberg “King Heeb.”

But his vile supporters saw nothing wrong with a city worker’s hate speech and instead unleashed a string of death threats, racial abuse and vulgar insults against Giove.

“Please die in a car fire,” @misterfriction spewed in a March 26 tweet. “Hopefully you’re pregnant when it happens.”

“I hope you get raped and murdered or sumthin,” posted @ElChiprucabra.

Offered @Oozypoo: “I would love to read . . . that you caught on fire, and they put you out with a hatchet.”

Several used profanity, including the “c” word, in a stream of gutter jabs.

“I hate this bitch more than anything right now,” railed @Creepyphuquer.

“I’ve been barraging her since Sunday,” bragged @GingerDemoness.

Dluhos has been suspended without pay from his $93,561-a-year, taxpayer funded job at EMS
Station 57 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, after a Post investigation found he was tweeting about his job under the pseudonym Bad Lieutenant. He posted messages like “f--ken chinks can’t drive” and bragged about his Nazi memorabilia.

One reader, identifying himself as Ryan Collins, wrote in to the paper, saying that reporters were likely to be physically attacked, then threatened, “Just hope you don’t need ems when it happens.”

On Wednesday night, Footer and P-Rock, hosts of an online radio program called “The Red Show,” poured out their admiration for Dluhos.

“I love him,” gushed P-Rock. “He’s a brave motherf--ker, but in the end he’s going to come out fine . . . He’s been cornered as a racist, and that’s not true. Tim’s our guy.”

“The guy’s getting railroaded here,” remarked Footer.

Dluhos called in to thank the radio show for its support. The two hosts then took pot shots at Giove.

“Like I said to that dumb c---, ‘He’s out there saving lives!’ ” said Footer.

Then the hosts tried to guess the reporter’s ethnicity: “For me she looked a little yellow, like Middle Eastern. I don’t think she should be allowed to carry a backpack.”

On another online radio show, LustNLove Radio, the female host said, “I pray to God the day doesn’t come when this girl’s crossing the street and she gets hit by a f--king bus in the f--king head.”

Meanwhile, listeners offered their own support in a chat room for “The Red Show” that appeared to include Dluhos (as “Tim BOOM”) and some of his Twitter pals.

Posted Lyle: “Hey Tim . . . real nigs see who you are through that c---’s article.”

Asked by The Post if he would respond to the scandal, Dluhos wrote, “I can’t.”

But he added: “My wife wants to KILL me right now.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

City's oldest police precinct gets $61.7M renovation

It may be worth getting arrested just to see the spanking new $61.7million state-of-the art facelift on the landmark, 19th century Central Park precinct.


Gone are the boarded up windows to keep the squirrels out, or the leaking slate roof that damaged wood structures or crumbling brick walls. Roll call will no longer will have to be held in an adjacent shed.

The two-story station house has upgraded technology, security, and communications. It has a new lobby with a partially bullet-proof glass atrium; arrest processing and interview rooms and central air-conditioning and 2,300 more square feet of additional space than before.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the 86th Street transverse stationhouse, Police Commissioner Kelly boasted, “The city's oldest precinct is now wired for the latest computer and communications technology, with new phones and computers and better heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It brings a 19th century station house into the 21st century."

Mayor Bloomberg said, “With the opening today of the beautifully restored Central Park Precinct Station, we have updated a police station that dates back to 1936. The newly restored precinct gives officers in Central Park an expanded and modernized working environment and conserves many beautiful architectural elements that distinguish this 19th century building.

“Central Park is safer than ever – with crime down by more than 20 percent since 2001 – and the enhancement to the station will help police officers build on this record of success."

Originally, the stationhouse was a complex of horse stables and sheds when it was constructed in 1871 by Jacob Wrey Mould.

It was built in the High Victorian Gothic Cottage style and was originally planned as a park administrative complex. But in 1936 it was converted into the 22nd precinct, and in 1968 it was officially renamed the Central Park Precinct.

When the dilapidated precinct building was closed in 2001, cops moved to a temporary precinct that was built on the adjacent parking lot. They moved back into the reconstructed precinct in June 2011.

The temporary precinct was then torn down. A new parking facility was built in its place for police scooters.

The initial cost of the 2009 project was $46 million, but during construction they discovered contaminated soil that had to be remediated and old trolley tracks under the transverse that had to be removed.

The final tap came to $61.7 million.

NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who was paralyzed in 1986 after he was shot by three thugs in the park was on hand for the ceremony.

Central Park Precinct Commanding Officer, Capt. Jessica Corey, summed it up. “Wow is how we all feel. I've got a lot of people who outrank me who are seeing the place for the first time today and they're talking about taking my office," she joked.

When the building opened in 1871 there were about 4.5 million visitors to the park. Now there are 40 million a year.

Italy's high court overturns Amanda Knox acquittal, orders new trial

ROME — Italy's highest criminal court ordered a whole new trial for Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend on Tuesday, overturning their acquittals in the gruesome slaying of her British roommate.


The move extended a prolonged legal battle that has become a cause celebre in the United States and raised a host of questions about how the next phase of Italian justice would play out.

Knox, now a 25-year-old University of Washington student in her hometown of Seattle, called the decision by the Rome-based Court of Cassation "painful" but said she was confident that she would be exonerated.

The American left Italy a free woman after the 2011 acquittal and after serving nearly four years of a 26-year prison sentence from a lower court that convicted her of murdering Meredith Kercher. The 21-year-old British exchange student's body was found in November 2007 in a pool of blood in the bedroom of a rented house that the two shared in the Italian university town of Perugia. Her throat had been slit.

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's Italian boyfriend at the time, was also convicted and acquitted.

It could be months before a date is set for a fresh appeals court trial in Florence, which was chosen because Perugia has only one appellate court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new trial and one of her lawyers, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said she had no plans to do so.

"She thought that the nightmare was over," Dalla Vedova told reporters on the steps of the courthouse. "(But) she's ready to fight."

He spoke minutes after relaying the top court's decision to Knox by phone from the courthouse shortly after 2 a.m. local time in Seattle.

Another Knox defender, Luciano Ghirga, was gearing up psychologically for his client's third trial.

Ghirga said he told Knox: "You always been our strength. We rose up again after the first-level convictions. We'll have the same resoluteness, the same energy" in the new trial.

Still, it was a tough blow for Knox, and she issued a statement through a family spokesman.

"It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution's theory of my involvement in Meredith's murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair," she said.

Knox said the matter must now be examined by "an objective investigation and a capable prosecution."

"No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity," Knox said.

The young woman had planned to sit down with a U.S. TV network to tell her story in a prime-time special to be broadcast April 30. The exclusive ABC News interview was timed to the publication of her new book "Waiting to Be Heard."

It wasn't immediately clear if there were any plans to delay the book, given the court setback.

Dalla Vedova said Knox wouldn't come to Italy "for the moment" but would follow the case from home. He said he didn't think the new appeals trial would begin before early 2014.

Prosecutors alleged Kercher was the victim of a drug-fueled sex game gone awry. Knox and Sollecito denied wrongdoing and said they weren't even in the apartment that night, although they acknowledged they had smoked marijuana and their memories were clouded.

An Ivory Coast man, Rudy Guede, was convicted of the slaying in a separate proceeding and is serving a 16-year sentence. Knox and Sollecito were also initially convicted of the murder and given long prison sentences, but were then acquitted on appeal and released in 2011.

Whether Knox ever returns to Italy to serve more prison time depends on a string of ifs and unknowns.

Should she be convicted by the Florence court, she could appeal that verdict to the Cassation Court, since Italy's judicial system allows for two levels of appeals — by prosecutors and the defense alike.

Should that appeal fail, Italy could seek her extradition from the United States.

Whether Italy actually requests extradition will be a political decision made by a new government being formed right now after last month's inconclusive national election.

In the past, Italian governments on both the left and the right refused Italian prosecutors' request to seek extradition for the trial of 26 Americans accused in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan as under the CIA's extraordinary rendition program. All 26 were tried in absentia, convicted of having roles in the abduction and received sentences ranging from seven to nine years. It will be up to the new government to decide if they will seek extradition to serve the sentences, all but three of which have been confirmed by the supreme court to date.

Ultimately, it will be up to U.S. authorities to decide to send Knox to Italy to serve any sentence if she was convicted. Dalla Vedova noted that U.S. authorities would likely carefully study all the documentation in the case to decide whether the U.S. citizen had received fair trials.

U.S. and Italian authorities could also come to a deal that would keep Knox in the United States.

The United States in the past extradited to Italy an Italian woman convicted in a domestic U.S. terrorism case after a deal was reached that she would serve out the rest of her sentence in her homeland. Instead, Italian authorities released her from prison not long after she arrived back in Italy, citing medical reasons.

Sollecito, who turned 29 on Tuesday, sounded shaken when a reporter from Sky TG24 TV reached him by phone to ask about the legal setback.

"Now, I can't say anything," said the Italian, who has been studying computer science in the northern city of Verona after finishing up an earlier degree while in prison.

One of his lawyers, Luca Maori, said neither Sollecito or Knox ran any danger of being arrested. '
'It's not as if the lower-court convictions are revived," he said, noting that the Cassation Court didn't pronounce "whether the two were innocent or guilty. "

The appeals court that acquitted Knox and Sollecito had criticized virtually the entire case mounted by prosecutors, and especially the forensic evidence which helped clinch their 2009 convictions. The appellate court noted that the murder weapon was never found, said that DNA tests were faulty and that prosecutors provided no murder motive.

In arguing for the acquittals to be overturned, the prosecutor described the Perugia appellate court as being too dismissive about whether DNA tests on a knife prosecutors allege could have been the one used to slash Kercher's throat and DNA traces on a bra belonging to the victim could be reliable findings, as well as tests done on blood stains in the bedroom and bathroom.

Whether that argument swayed the top court at this point was unclear, said Dalla Vedova.

Sollecito's attorney, Giulia Bongiorno acknowledged that perhaps the appeals court ruling had been "too generous" in ruling that the pair simply did not commit the crime, but was confident that Sollecito's innocence would be affirmed.

The court on Tuesday also upheld a slander conviction against Knox. During a 14-hour police interrogation, Knox had accused a local Perugia pub owner of carrying out the killing. The man was held for two weeks based on her allegations, but was then released for lack of evidence.

Her defense lawyers have contended that Knox felt pressured by police to name a suspect so her own interrogation could end.

Because of time she served in prison before the appeals-level acquittals, Knox didn't have to serve the three-year sentence for the slander conviction. The court on Tuesday also ordered Knox to pay 4,000
euros ($5,500) to the man, as well as the cost of the lost appeal.

It was not known why the court concluded the appellate court had erred in acquitting Knox and Sollecito and won't be until the Cassation judges issue their written ruling.

But Prosecutor General Luigi Riello, who successfully argued before the Cassation panel of judges for the acquittals to be overturned, said he thought it could be significant that the slander conviction was upheld. He noted that the appellate court — in explaining the acquittals — apparently didn't attribute to Knox's falsely accusing the pub owner a possible motive of covering up any of her own involvement.

The new trial in Florence will be "guided by the principles" laid down in the written Cassation's explanation, Riello said. Should the Cassation judges think "there is a link" between Knox's reason for fingering the pub owner and the murder, it could bolster prosecutors, he said.

The Kercher's attorney, Francesco Maresca, said after Tuesday's ruling: "Yes, this is what we wanted."

In her statement, Knox took the Perugia prosecutors to task, saying they "must be made to answer" for the discrepancies in the case. She said "my heart goes out to" Kercher's family.

Obama to appoint first woman as head of Secret Service

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will appoint veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency's first female director, a White House official said, signaling his desire to change the culture at the male-dominated service, which has been marred by scandal.


Pierson, who most recently served as Secret Service chief of staff, will take over the top job from Mark Sullivan, who announced his retirement last month. The agency faced intense criticism during Sullivan's tenure for a prostitution scandal during preparations for Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia, last year.
The incident raised questions within the agency - as well as at the White House and on Capitol Hill - about the culture, particularly during foreign travel. In addition to protecting the president, the Secret Service also investigates financial crimes.

Obama is expected to announce Pierson's appointment Tuesday, according to the official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the pick ahead of the president. Pierson does not need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Thirteen Secret Service employees were caught up in last year's prostitution scandal. After a night of heavy partying in the Caribbean resort city of Cartagena, the employees brought women, including prostitutes, back to the hotel where they were staying. The incident became public after one agent refused to pay a prostitute and the pair argued about payment in a hotel hallway.

Eight of the employees were forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two have been fighting to get their jobs back.

The incident took place ahead of Obama's arrival in Colombia and the service said the president's safety was never compromised. But news of the scandal broke during his trip, overshadowing the summit and embarrassing the U.S. delegation.

The incident prompted Sullivan to issue a new code of conduct that banned employees from drinking within 10 hours of starting a shift or bringing foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.

Sullivan apologized for the incident last year during testimony before a Senate panel.

Giants DT Rogers has $500,000 in jewelry stolen: report

Shaun Rogers certainly doesn’t travel light when it comes to jewelry.


The Giants defensive tackle this past weekend reportedly was robbed of $500,000 worth of jewelry in Miami Beach, according to CBS Miami via the Miami Beach Police. According to the reports,

Rogers was staying at the Fontainebleau Hotel and went down to the hotel club with some friends.

The group returned to the room about 7 a.m. along with a woman they met at the club.

After he returned to his room, Rogers placed his many pieces of expensive jewelry in the room safe.

When he woke up at 12:30 p.m., the woman and the jewelry were gone.

The rundown of the losses: Diamond earrings worth $100,000; two watches worth a combined $160,000; a gold necklace with gold pendant worth $50,000; gold bracelets worth $60,000; and a diamond Cuban necklace with a gold pendant worth $70,000.

Rogers, 34, played 11 years in the NFL before coming to the Giants last year. He did not play a game for the Giants, instead spending the 2012 season in injured reserve with a blood clot in his leg. He became an unrestricted free agent and the Giants signed him to a one-year contract worth $1 million, including a signing bonus of $20,000.


Wright plays in Minors, 'optimistic' about Opening Day

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Third baseman David Wright took another sizeable step toward Opening Day on Tuesday, making five plate appearances as the designated hitter in a pair of simultaneous Minor League games.


"I've been optimistic about Opening Day since I came back to St. Lucie, and talked to the doctors and the trainers about the diagnosis," Wright said. "It's another step closer, so I'm still very optimistic."

Bouncing between a Triple-A and a Double-A game on Tradition Field's back diamonds, Wright finished 1-for-5 with a hit up the middle, also scoring from second on a single. It was his first game action since a March 12 appearance in the World Baseball Classic appearance, after which Mets trainers learned of his strained left intercostal muscle and shut him down.

"It was good to get that number of ABs that quickly," Wright said. "I felt as comfortable as I guess I could taking the two weeks off."

Because Mets Minor Leaguers are not scheduled to play in games on Wednesday, Wright will spend the day working on the Major League side at Tradition Field. Assuming all goes well, he will appear in another Minor League game on Thursday, perhaps playing the field for the first time.

Spring Minor League games are beneficial for Wright and other injured Mets because they have extremely flexible rules. Wright hit third in every inning on Tuesday, walking from one field to another to take at-bats in simultaneous games. In that fashion, he was able to record five plate appearances in roughly an hour.

To sharpen his fielding, Wright has been working daily with third-base coach Tim Teufel, who hits grounders to him at random speeds and angles. Due to disabled list backdating rules, the Mets will not use Wright in a Grapefruit League game until they are positive he will not begin the season on the DL.

Brooke Astor's son Anthony Marshall loses appeal, faces up to three years in prison

The late Brooke Astor's son lost his appeal on his 2009 conviction for trying to steal $60 million from his mother.


Anthony Marshall has been free on appeal, holed up with wife Charlene in their Upper East Side apartment, since the verdict.

A mid level state court judge today, writing for a unanimous panel, said that Marshall’s arguments for appeal were "unavailing" and "against he weight of the evidence.”

Marshall, 88, now faces jail time of one to three years, the minimum sentence for his grand larceny for swiping $5.75 million that Astor had earmarked for charities.

“The record amply supports the jury’s determination that defendants are guilty of a scheme to defraud Mrs. Astor by fraudulently changing her will,” Justice Darcel Clark of New York State Appellate Court wrote, referring to Marshall and attorney Francis Morrissey, whom the son installed to carry out the fraud.

Clark added that the self-dealings occurred, “At a time when they knew her physical and mental condition precluded her from having the capacity to agree to any such changes.”

The five panel judicial decision tossed only one of 14 counts against Marshall, a minor grand larceny charge for having his mother’s social secretary work for his production company.

“Mrs. Astor supported Marshalls’ theater ventures,” Justice Clark noted. “Additionally, there is not evidence to suggest that the secretary’s work for Marshall caused her to forgo work she was supposed to do for Mrs. Astor.”

The 17-page decision recounts the charges against Marshall and Morrissey.

The higher court reaffirmed the 2009 finding that Morrissey forged Mrs. Astor’s signature on an addendum to her will in March 2004.

A year later Marshall stole “more than $2 million by granting himself a retroactive pay raise and using his mother’s money to buy a 55-foot yacht,” the decision recounts. “As well as to pay the yacht captain’s wages, the expense related to his wife’s property in Maine,” it adds.

Marshall, who was rolled into a court hearing on his appeal in December in a wheel chair, begged the court to spare him jail time given his age, health, military service, public service and lack of prior criminal history.

“We are not convinced that as an aged felon Marshall should be categorically immune from incarceration,” Justice Clark asserted. She added that the wayward son was unlikely to die in jail.

Clark found the additional arguments for leniency unconvincing.

“The lack of a criminal history is an ordinary circumstance that does not vitiate a prison term for obtaining millions of dollars through financial abuse of an elderly victim,” the justice declared.
Marshall’s attorney John Cuti said, “We’re obviously very disappointed. We’re reviewing the decision carefully and reviewing all of Mr. Marshall’s options.”

The Manhattan DA's office released a statement regarding the decision.

“Today the Appellate Division overwhelmingly upheld the 2009 trial convictions of Anthony Marshall and Francis Morrissey, including the top count against Marshall, grand larceny in the first degree. The court also rejected Marshall’s argument that he should be spared the charge’s mandatory prison sentence. This trial underscored the importance of prosecuting elder abuse, particularly financial fraud perpetrated by those close to the victims. In the words of the appellate court, ‘the record amply supports the jury’s determination that Marshall committed a series of larcenous acts.’”

Wells joins Yankees as trade is completed

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees will not waste any time finding a spot for Vernon Wells in their lineup, welcoming the veteran outfielder to camp by sending him out to left field and batting sixth for Tuesday's game against the Astros.


Wells was officially acquired by the Yankees from the Angels on Tuesday, along with cash considerations. New York sent Minor League outfielder Exircardo Cayones and Minor League left-hander Kramer Sneed to the Halos in exchange for the 34-year-old Wells, who is expected to be the Yankees' Opening Day left fielder.

"Just the history and the names that are in this clubhouse, and the guys that are in this clubhouse -- this is special," Wells said. "It's obviously a huge commitment to put the pinstripes on, but this is baseball. This is the center of it all and this is a fun way for things to go toward the end of my career."

The transaction involved the Angels taking on the majority of the $42 million Wells is owed through the 2014 season. Multiple reports have outlined that the Yankees' share of the contract will be approximately $13 million over the next two seasons. The Yankees will pay most of his salary this year, a move designed to help the Angels to stay under the luxury-tax threshold of $178 million, while the Angels will pay most of his salary next year, when the Yankees hope to get under the threshold as it rises to $189 million, The Associated Press reported.

The Yankees believe they have some extra money to spend because part of Mark Teixeira's salary -- approximately $4 million per month -- is being covered by insurance from the World Baseball Classic while he is on the disabled list.

Expected to provide a right-handed bat in left field and perhaps at designated hitter with the Yankees, Wells struggled during his two seasons in Anaheim and was limited to part-time duty in 2012. He played in 77 games, posting a .230/.279/.403 line with 11 home runs.

But he is a .292 career hitter with 62 homers against left-handed pitching, and he was impressive this spring with the Angels, batting .361 (13-for-36) with four homers and 11 RBIs.

"My goal was just to get back to the basics and just put the barrel on the ball as many times as I can, shorten my swing and use the other field," Wells said. "I forgot what right field was like for a couple of years. You get caught up in hitting home runs and seeing how far you can hit them, and your swing changes.

"I was able to take some time this offseason, look at a lot of video from when I was younger and just spraying the ball all over the field. Once we got into Spring Training, that was my goal. So far, so good. Getting back to just being short and quick, and balls are still jumping off my bat and my hands are still as quick as they were when I was younger."

Cayones, 21, batted .228 with 15 RBIs in 47 games for Class A Staten Island last year after being acquired from the Pirates as part of the A.J. Burnett trade. Sneed, 24, was 0-7 with a 5.37 ERA in 31 games (four starts) at Class A Tampa.

Because it is so late in camp, Wells found that he was assigned a locker spot in "catcher's row} between Francisco Cervelli and Bobby Wilson. He was temporarily issued uniform No. 56, which had been previously used by bench coach Tony Pena.

"They said, 'We'll get you a little lower one when the season starts,'" Wells said. "But I'm going to wear Lawrence Taylor for a little bit."

Wells was a three-time American League All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner during his nine full seasons with the Blue Jays from 2002-10, and owns 259 career home runs.

He said that he had a difficult time stifling his grin when the Angels told him that the trade had been agreed upon, and went on to say that he has long admired the Yankees from afar and is honored to finally get the chance to put the pinstripes on.

"I remember the first time I played the Triple-A Yankees when I was 20 years old, and [Darryl] Strawberry was on that team," Wells said. "It was the first time that I actually got goosebumps playing against another team.

"From that day, I've quietly been a Yankees fan -- obviously not when we played against the Yankees, but every time or any time the Yankees were in the playoffs and I was sitting at home, I was cheering for the Yankees. This is somewhat of a dream come true."

Yankees' Jeter has 'stopped putting dates' on return to field

TAMPA -- Don't look for Derek Jeter to bounce off the DL on April 6 -- the first day the shortstop is eligible.


Asked Tuesday about GM Brian Cashman's hope that Jeter would be available as soon as the DL stint ended, Jeter didn't know or care to predict when he will return to the middle of the Yankees' infield and top of the order.

"I have stopped putting dates on it,'' Jeter said of his return from a fractured left ankle.

From the time he was injured in the Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers, the plan was for Jeter to play Monday against the Red Sox on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

That didn't change when spring training opened. When Jeter was held out of the early exhibition games his mantra remained the same.

However, that changed this past Saturday after a four at-bat stint in a minor league game in which Jeter struggled running to first.

"Take it day to day and see what happens,'' said Jeter who had a cortisone injection the previous Wednesday.

While admitting not being ready for Opening Day was disappointing, Jeter is focused on being ready to help for more than one game.

"I am disappointed I am not going to be ready Opening Day,'' said Jeter, who will miss his second Opening Day. The other one was 2001 when Luis Sojo played short. "Big picture I will be ready. I ran out of days, ran out of time.''

Jeter admitted the ankle was sore following the minor league game.

"The goal was to be ready for Opening Day but the goal is also to be ready for the season,'' said Jeter, who will be replaced at short by Eduardo Nunez. "I pushed it to get ready for Opening Day and it didn't work out.''

Did the 38-year-old Jeter push it too hard?

"I don't know,'' Jeter answered.

After talking to Dr. Robert Anderson, who performed the late October surgery, Jeter was still down about not making it to Opening Day but was informed this is all part of returning from a significant injury.

"It's a setback for Opening Day but it's not a setback in the recovery process,'' Jeter said. "In the normal recovery process these things happen. There are issues all along the way.''

Jeter was unaware what the plan for him is.

"I have to put together a schedule,'' said Jeter, who didn't know if he was staying in Florida or going with the Yankees when they travel home after Thursday's game. "It's whatever gets me ready to play. If staying here gets me ready to play, stay here.''

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mets inform Feliciano he won't make ballclub

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pedro Feliciano's comeback attempt with the Mets has stalled, at least for now.


The Mets have informed Feliciano that he will not make the Opening Day roster, the left-hander said Monday, asking him instead to report to the Minor Leagues. Feliciano can either accept that assignment for $100,000 or ask for his release; his unguaranteed deal was worth $1 million had he made the team.

Though Feliciano enjoyed a successful spring following a health scare in February, posting a 2.08 ERA in eight Grapefruit league appearances, his velocity never rose above the low- to mid-80s.

"My velocity is a little down, but I think to get a lefty out, you don't have to throw hard," he said. "Just throw strikes."

With Feliciano out of the picture, Robert Carson becomes the obvious choice to make the team, given manager Terry Collins' stated preference for a second left-hander to supplement Josh Edgin.

The only other outstanding bullpen battle is between hard-throwing right-hander Jeurys Familia and submariner Greg Burke, both of whom have intrigued Collins this spring. Though the Mets believe Familia can be a lockdown late-inning reliever, the team may carry Burke so as not to risk losing him.

Feliciano, 36, returned to the Mets this offseason after pitching for them from 2002-04 and 2006-10.

He underwent major left shoulder surgery shortly after signing with the Yankees in 2011, and he wore a heart monitor early this spring due to a rare but not severe issue. Feliciano's most recent Major League pitch came with the Mets in 2010.

Raj Rajaratnam's brother pleads not guilty to insider trading

Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, pleaded not guilty on Monday to insider trading charges.


The younger Rajaratnam entered his plea in Manhattan federal court, one day after his arrest at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Vinoo Varghese, an attorney for Rajaratnam, said his client arrived in New York early Sunday morning, accompanied on a flight from Brazil by an FBI agent.

Prosecutors on Thursday accused Rengan Rajaratnam, 42, of conspiring with his brother to trade on non-public information concerning Clearwire Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc in 2008.

Rajaratnam appeared in court dressed in a blue dress shirt, blue jeans and a dark suit jacket Varghese gave him upon entering the courtroom.

"Not guilty, your honor," he said when U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald asked him for his plea. Rajaratnam agreed to the judge's request to refer to him as "R.R."

Lawyers for Rengan Rajaratnam said their client learned through news reports that he had been charged, and volunteered to return immediately from Brazil, where he had lived and worked for the past year, to defend himself.

"Within a matter of hours, Mr. Rajaratnam literally dropped everything and headed to the airport," Varghese told Buchwald. Varghese added that Rajaratnam offered to pay the FBI agent's plane ticket and that he was "mentally and physically drained" from the past 72 hours but determined to defend himself.

The government did not seek Rajaratnam's detention because he volunteered to U.S. authorities to return immediately to face the charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Massey said at the hearing. He remains free on a $1 million bond secured by $500,000 in cash and property, Massey said.

Rajaratnam, a U.S. citizen born in Sri Lanka, has surrendered his U.S. passport to the FBI and will be allowed to stay at a Manhattan residence, Massey said. He will also receive mental health counseling because of the stress he is under, Massey told the court.

Buchwald set June 4 for the next court date in the case.

Rengan Rajaratnam, whose full first name is Rajarengan, was a portfolio manager at the hedge fund Galleon Group, and the trades for which he was charged resulted in nearly $1.2 million of illegal profit, according to prosecutors.

The defendant was charged with six counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy, and faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the fraud counts.

He also faces separate U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil charges. These allege a broader scheme that netted $3 million in illicit gains following trades on stocks including Polycom Inc and Hilton Hotels.

Rengan Rajaratnam's arrest is the latest in a sweeping crackdown on insider trading by the U.S. government.

The office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said it has charged 77 people in its investigation since October 2009, 71 of whom have since been convicted.

Raj Rajaratnam, 55, received an 11-year prison sentence in October 2011 after a jury convicted the former billionaire the previous May.

By Reuters

Yankees on verge of acquiring Wells from Angels

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees may not have seen much of Vernon Wells over the last few seasons, but as they eye an Opening Day lineup that suddenly seems lacking in star power, they're ready to give him much more of a look.


The Yankees and Angels are closing in on a deal that will fit the 34-year-old outfielder for pinstripes, sources have confirmed to MLB.com, and the trade could be completed on Monday pending approval from the Commissioner's Office because of the amount of money involved.

The transaction will involve the Angels taking on a majority of the $42 million Wells is owed through the 2014 season, which is a matter still under discussion between the clubs.

Multiple reports have indicated that the Yankees' share of the contract will be approximately $13 million over the next two seasons. The Yankees have some extra money to spend because Mark Teixeira's salary -- about $6 million if Teixeira returns in mid-May -- is being covered by insurance from the World Baseball Classic while he is on the disabled list.

The Yankees are expected to send a low-level Minor League player to the Angels in exchange for Wells.

"I'm not at liberty to have any conversations publicly about it yet, but I know what you're asking," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday. "There's a lot of I's to dot and T's to cross to get to a finish line when you're doing something."

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed that the two sides are talking, but declined to go into detail. Wells himself referenced the talks on Twitter, writing late Sunday night, "Thankful and blessed! #Pinstripes"

Wells has a full no-trade clause, but was coming into the season as the Angels' fifth outfielder behind Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Josh Hamilton and designated hitter Mark Trumbo.

He grinned and said, "Possibly," when reporters in Tempe, Ariz., asked him if he had approved a trade.

"It'd be a huge change," Wells said of joining the Yankees. "I don't think it's ever easy saying goodbye, but at the same time, if this were to happen, it's a good group of guys over there. I'll just get to know a new family."

The Yankees suddenly find themselves in a position to offer Wells a healthy number of at-bats, at least early in the upcoming season. Curtis Granderson is not expected to play until early May because of a fractured right forearm, and the Yankees have been looking for a right-handed outfield bat for some time.

Juan Rivera, considered a leading contender for that right-handed outfield job, might now be the regular first baseman with Mark Teixeira lost to a strained right forearm until at least the middle of May.

The Yankees signed Ben Francisco to a Minor League deal after he was cut loose by the Indians this month, but Francisco -- as well as Brennan Boesch, a lefty-hitting outfielder who was released by the Tigers -- can be sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by the Yankees.

Wells has enjoyed a nice spring with the Angels, batting .361 (13-for-36) with four homers and 11 RBIs, and several Yankees seemed excited about the prospect of his addition.

"He's a veteran, a leader, a good guy who's got power and can play the outfield real well," Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "I've always respected Vernon as a player. It'd be great. I never complain about getting guys on a team. I always find good things guys can do on a team. If he were to come here, I bet he'd do a good job helping us try to win."

Teixeira took to Twitter to voice his support of the trade, writing, "Vernon Wells joining the #Yankees? Great guy who will be a big addition to our club."

Wells, who plans to retire after the 2014 season, had been accepting of his limited role this spring with the Angels and said he still has something to offer a big league lineup.

"My offseason was geared towards getting back to what I'm capable of doing," Wells said Sunday.
"That was my goal coming into spring -- the work I put in the offseason, the work I've been doing in Spring Training was to get my swing back to where it's supposed to be. That's short and through the ball. When I can do that, I can still put up the numbers that I'm supposed to be putting up."

With the Blue Jays from 2002-10, Wells posted a .279/.330/.478 slash line, won three Gold Gloves and made three All-Star teams. But he hasn't been able to duplicate that success since coming to Anaheim in a January 2011 deal that saw the Angels send Rivera and Mike Napoli to Toronto while picking up $81 million of the $86 million owed to Wells.

Wells hit 25 homers in 2011, but posted the lowest batting average (.218) and on-base percentage (.248) in the Majors. He batted .244 with six homers in the first two months of 2012, then missed the next two months with thumb surgery and, with Trout producing, hardly played the rest of the way.

"We haven't seen him a lot the last two years, just because he was hurt some, and we don't see the Los Angeles Angels much," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I know when he was in our division, he was a very good player. A very good player."

Tiger tames Bay Hill, back on top of world rankings

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods is back to No. 1 in the world with a game that look as good as ever.


Woods tied a PGA Tour record Monday by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the eighth time, and this one had some extra significance. It returned him to the top of the world ranking for the first time since the final week of October 2010, the longest spell of his career.

Woods never let anyone closer than two shots in the final round at Bay Hill that was delayed one day by storms. With a conservative bogey he could afford on the last hole, he closed with a 2-under 70 for a two-shot win over Justin Rose.
Next up is the Masters, where Woods will try to end his five-year drought in the majors.

Woods fell as low as No. 58 in the world as he coped with a crisis in his personal life and injuries to his left leg. One week after he announced he was dating Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn, Woods celebrated his third win of the season, and his sixth going back to Bay Hill a year ago.

"It's a byproduct of hard work, patience and getting back to winning golf tournaments," Woods said.
Vonn tweeted moments after his win, "Number 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Like so many other wins, this one was never really close.

Rickie Fowler pulled to within two shots with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole, but after he and Woods made bogey on the 15th, Fowler went at the flag on the par-5 16th and came up a few yards short and into the water. Fowler put another ball into the water and made triple bogey.

Woods played it safe on the 18th, and nearly holed a 75-foot par putt that even drew a big smile from the tournament host. He walked off the green waving his putter over his head to acknowledge the fans who had seen this act before.

Woods tied the tour record of eight wins in a single tournament. Sam Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times from 1938 to 1965 at two golf courses. Woods tied his record for most wins at a single golf course, having also won eight times at Torrey Pines, including a U.S. Open.

"I don't really see anybody touching it for a long time," Palmer said as Woods was making his way up the 18th fairway. "I had the opportunity to win a tournament five times, and I knew how difficult that was."

Rose, who played the first two rounds with Woods, closed with a 70 to finish alone in second.

Fowler had to settle for a 73 and a tie for third with Mark Wilson (71), Keegan Bradley (71) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (72).

Already with three wins this year, Woods is closing in on another Snead record - 82 career wins.

Woods won for the 77th time on tour.

Rory McIlroy had been No. 1 since he won the PGA Championship last August. He is playing this week at the Houston Open.

Wang happy to be back where he started

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tugging on a Yankees cap, Chien-Ming Wang said on Monday that it felt just like old times to go through the paces of a workout at the club's Minor League complex.


Wang returned to the Yankees last week, having shown enough promise during his World Baseball Classic stint with Chinese Taipei to warrant a Minor League contract. He is expected to start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"It's like back in the day," Wang said through an interpreter. "This was my first team. This is where I started. I feel great."

Wang played catch and took fielding practice at the club's Himes Avenue complex across the highway from George M. Steinbrenner Field.

He expects to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, and he said he selected the Yankees from a group of "four or five" interested clubs, all of whom offered Minor League deals.

"It was an easy decision for me, because I never wanted to leave," Wang said.

Wang, who will turn 33 on March 31, was 55-26 with a 4.16 ERA in 109 games (104 starts) with the Yankees from 2005-09, including back-to-back 19-victory seasons in 2006 and '07. His 46 wins from 2006-08 were tied for the third most among all American League pitchers, trailing only Roy Halladay
(52) and Josh Beckett (48).

His career was derailed when he injured his right foot running the bases in a June 2008 Interleague game against the Astros in Houston.

After struggling through an injury-marred 2009 with the Yankees, going 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA, Wang missed all of 2010 with the Nationals while recovering from right shoulder surgery before resurfacing in the big leagues in 2011. He went 6-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 21 games (16 starts) with Washington in 2011-12.

"He was a very good pitcher for the New York Yankees," manager Joe Girardi said last week. "It's unfortunate that he's had some injuries that have cost him. He was really good."

Wang made two starts for Chinese Taipei during the 2013 Classic, logging a victory and holding opponents scoreless over 12 innings. He said that his health is "much better" this year, and that he looks forward to pitching every fifth day in a rotation.

He represents a depth acquisition for the Yankees, who project to have CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, David Phelps and Ivan Nova in their rotation to open the season. Phil Hughes is expected to join the group for the second turn through the rotation, taking the spot of either Nova or Phelps.

Wang said that his phone buzzed with some familiar numbers when his deal with the Yankees was officially announced.

"That day, Joba [Chamberlain] and Pettitte called me," Wang said. "They said, 'Welcome back.'"

MTV VMA's to air live from Barclays Center

The Moonman has landed in Brooklyn.


MTV's hot Video Music Awards show will be held at the Barclays Center this year.

Music-industry favorites will get their VMA Moonman statues Aug. 25 at the brand-new arena, which opened late last year as host to the Nets.

“Brooklyn is home to icons like the Cyclone in Coney Island and the Brooklyn Bridge,” said a beaming Mayor Bloomberg. “And now it can lay claim to the MTV ‘Video Music Awards.’ Bringing the VMAs to Brooklyn will mean hundreds of jobs.’’

The live event will mark the award show’s 30th anniversary and is a major coup for the fledgling arena.
“From hip-hop to hipsters, Jay Z to MGMT, Brooklyn musicians have a long history of dominating the ‘spotlight’ on MTV,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Brooklyn is a cultural Mecca—the hippest, coolest place for young people across the country.”

Last year’s Music Video Awards show was broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and was the No. 1 telecast that evening with more than 6 million viewers.

MTV teased the Barclays announcement over the course of the morning by featuring photos of its silver-suited Moonman statue in a cross-country trek from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

The VMAs debuted in 1984 and have earned a reputation for its onstage shock value, including the now-infamous kiss between Britney Spears and Madonna and shock jock Howard Stern's character "Fart Man" harassing Eminem.

For his part, Eminem was a bit more classy in his most memorable VMA moment when he performed "The Real Slim Shady/The Way I Am" with an army of impersonators at the 2000 show.

At the opposite end of the shock-spectrum was Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress, which she wore to the 2011 VMAs.

MTV's signature award show is not just about shocking moments, however; there have also been a plethora of cringe worthy moments in the VMA's checkered history.

For example, in 2009 Taylor Swift was on stage to accept the award for Best Female voice when Kanye West walked out from the audience, grabbed the microphone from the waify singer's hand and proceeded to go on a rant in praise of Beyonce.

"Yo, Tay, I'm really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," Kanye said, referencing Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video.

And then there was the awkward kiss heard round the world.

The year was 1994 and Michael Jackson was in a relationship with Lisa Marie Presley that many doubted.

To silence the doubters, the pair proved their "love" by taking center stage at the VMAs in a very awkward public display of affection.

"Just think, nobody thought this would last," Jackson said moments before the incredibly strange kiss.

Brewers on verge of multiyear deal with Lohse

PHOENIX -- News that the team was adding a free agent from a fierce division rival created buzz in the Brewers' Spring Training clubhouse on Monday, as word spread that former Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse had agreed to a multiyear contract.


MLB.com has confirmed that the proposed deal guarantees $33 million in base salary over three years. Lohse arrived at Maryvale Baseball Park at 10:30 a.m. MST for a physical exam.

"I think everybody was trying to find a high note leaving spring," Brewers first baseman Corey Hart said. "You're looking for a spark. This is definitely a spark. I think everybody in here was hoping they would get an established pitcher like that."

The Brewers will forfeit their first-round Draft pick -- No. 17 overall, which in 2012 was worth $2 million -- for signing Lohse, and the Cardinals will receive a compensatory pick later in the round, No. 28 overall. Neither club immediately confirmed the deal, pending Lohse's physical.

Lohse, 34 years old, went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the Cardinals last season, numbers that added up to a seventh-place standing in the National League's Cy Young Award balloting. Lohse pitched to a 55-35 record and a 3.90 ERA in 137 games for St. Louis over the past five seasons.

Lohse has been throwing simulated games in nearby Scottsdale, Ariz., so he should not need much more time to be ready for the regular season. His arrival would give the Brewers some needed experience behind Opening Day starter Yovani Gallardo, pushing Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta, Chris Narveson and Mike Fiers down the depth chart.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke did not mention Lohse in his daily morning meeting with Brewers players. He wanted to wait for the contract to be official.

"If this goes through, there's going to be a lot of goings on here the next couple of days, figuring things out," Roenicke said. "But it will be in a good way."

One of the Brewers' existing starters will probably shift to the bullpen. Fiers and Peralta each have Minor League options. Roenicke declined the notion that those pitchers' subpar springs - Peralta has a 5.74 ERA in four starts, while Fiers has a 6.98 ERA in five starts and one relief appearance -- prompted the Lohse deal.

"When you have young guys, you want them to perform well right off," Roenicke said. "I don't think there's any panic going on, on my part, Doug's part. I think you always try to get better, and sometimes things come up in a hurry."

Lohse, a former 28th-round Draft pick, has gone 6-8 with a 4.44 ERA in 22 career appearances against the Brewers. He also spent some time in the NL Central with Cincinnati (in 2006 and '07). For his career, Lohse has racked up a 118-109 record with a 4.45 ERA in 118 games.

Durst in push for missing wife's $82K - even though he's still a suspect in her disappearance

The oddball multimillionaire scion of a Manhattan real estate family wants to poke around in the investigation of his long-missing wife, even though he’s still a suspect in her disappearance, according to court records.


Robert Durst tried to subpoena two prosecutors and an investigator in the Westchester County District Attorney’s office to prove that the investigation into Kathleen’s disappearance in 1982 is a cold case.

The multimillionaire’s stated reason for the shady probe is to collect a mere $82,000 from her estate that’s been held in escrow pending the investigation’s conclusion, according to his May 9, 2012 petition.

“Durst’s professed intention in seeking the subpoenas is suspect,” Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore wrote last spring in answer to the multimillionaire’s petition to Manhattan Surrogate’s Court.
She called the request “unprecedented,” “extraordinary and unlawful.”

Durst has a “right to withdraw the funds being wrongfully withheld from him on the mere suspicion that perhaps at some unspecified time in the future something might show up,” his attorney Robert Damast argued in legal papers.

“Whether [Durst] has a thousand or a million dollars in the bank shouldn’t affect his right to receive what the law recognizes as his inheritance, be it large or small,” Damast concluded.

Kathleen, a medical student, vanished on Jan. 31, 1982 after dining with Durst at their waterfront bungalow in South Salem.

“In the days following Kathleen’s disappearance, Durst gave conflicting accounts of the circumstances surrounding the last time he saw her,” Westchester prosecutor John Carmody noted in a response to Durst’s petition.

“Investigation by authorities subsequent to Kathleen Durst’s disappearance revealed the details of their troubled and abusive marriage and that, before her disappearance, Kathleen Durst was considering divorcing Robert Durst,” Carmody asserted.

The real estate heir was linked by law enforcement to three murders after his wife’s disappearance, including the execution-style homicide of Kathleen’s friend Susan Berman in 2000.

Durst was arrested a year later in Texas, where he’d been cross-dressing as a woman and using fake aliases, and charged with the grisly murder of his neighbor. He was acquitted.

He resurfaced in Manhattan when he frightened neighbors by purchasing an East Harlem townhouse in 2011.

In the court petition Durst argued that the case has been cold for three years. He wants details on grand jury deliberations, witnesses and other evidence.

Surrogate’s Judge Nora Anderson denied Durst’s request in June.

She noted District Attorney DiFiore’s concern that granting Durst’s request could mean “giving him access to information that he could use to dissuade person with knowledge [of the investigation] from coming forward,” in her June 2012 decision.

He appealed in August.

She has yet to issue a new decision.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Grand Central's Horses

A herd of thirty large, peaceful, magnificent, and magical horses will be pastured in Grand Central Terminal.



It’s all part of Heard-NYa much-anticipated seven-day performance produced by MTA Arts for Transit and Creative Time in honor of GCT’s centennial.  The “horses” are sixty dancers from The Ailey School inhabiting “Soundsuits” created by renowned artist Nick Cave.
Every day at 11 a.m and 2 p.m. from Monday, March 25 to Sunday, March 31, the herd will perform specially choreographed movements to live music as they cross the Terminal, swaying and swishing their long, colorful, embellished coats.
“MTA Arts for Transit and Creative Time are launching Nick’s first large-scale public art project in New York,” says Sandra Bloodworth, director of MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design. “We’re excited to present this historic event celebrating Grand Central’s Centennial in a monumental way with this contemporary art experience that engages the public in the celebration.   Nick, an artist we have long admired, along with the Ailey School students, are creating an ephemeral experience that will be remembered by its audience as an enchanting moment in New York City’s history.
Known for his elaborate costume-sculptures that mix fantasy, found objects, and cross-cultural references, Cave has created life-size “horses” with raffia coats that create calm, swooshing sounds as they move. Cave hopes that the magical presence and sound of his special heard will lull rushing New Yorkers into a more peaceful, contemplative state of mind: “I’m trying to create a moment that brings us back to dreaming and fantasy, to a state of mind where we can think about alternative ways of being.”
Between performances, the Soundsuits will be displayed in Vanderbilt Hall so Cave’s sculptures can be enjoyed up close. Using patterns and materials evoking India, Tibet, Morocco, and other parts of the world, the richly layered references embedded in Cave’s herd is likely to resonate strongly with the one that thunders across the GCT concourse daily, just as Pegasus thunders across the heavens as depicted in the sky ceiling of the Main Concourse.
“A lot of people are working together behind the scenes to make the magic take place next week,” explains Amy Hausmann, Arts for Transit assistant director. “Heard-NY could not happen without our enthusiastic and supportive partners – the volunteers who are helping on-site, our colleagues at MTA Marketing and Transit who helped with the promotion in stations and on trains, Jones Lang LaSalle, Metro-North and the entire Grand Central team – security, MTA Police, and the Fire Brigade ­ plus the incredible staff at Creative Time and Arts for Transit, especially Jessica Wallen who coordinated AFT’s efforts for this project. The collaboration has been tremendous.”
So, enjoy looking for the horses. You may find the entire herd in Vanderbilt Hall, see groups in the main concourse, or discover a few elsewhere in the Terminal. As you pause, think about the time when horses were a part of daily city life and when horsepower was just that.