Bergen Beach Hands Latin Souls Second Loss of Season


By Jerry Del Priore

The Latin Souls seven- to nine-year-old little league divisional squad had been steamrolling most of the competition this season, going 10-1-3 heading into their game against host Bergen Beach

But the Latin Souls’ dominance ended Friday night, losing, 6-4, in a four-inning contest to Bergen Beach at Joseph T. McGuire Park.

Things began well for the Latin Souls, scoring three runs in the top of the first. They would have scored more, but they ran themselves out of the inning.

That gave Bergen Beach the opportunity to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame.

In the bottom of the second inning, Bergen Beach pulled ahead, 6-3. The Latin Souls would get a run back as Riley tripled and scored on an error that narrowed the gap to 6-4.

However, that as close as the Latin Souls would get, as Bergen Beach inserted its lights-out closer, who shut the door on the opposition, in the top of the fourth inning, as games cannot play passed 7:45 p.m., per league rules.

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Mets Trade Jay Bruce for Minor League Pitcher Ryder Ryan


By Jerry Del Priore

Ryder Ryan

Mets pitching prospect Ryan Ryder.

     The New York Mets continued their 2017 salary dump by trading outfielder Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians for right-handed pitching prospect Ryder Ryan Wednesday night.
     The move rids the Mets of the $5 million remaining on Bruce’s contract this season. So, New York adds another minor league reliever to its bullpen stable.
      The Mets acquired right-hander Drew Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays in a deal for first baseman Lucas Duda and three 22-year-old right-handed relieving prospects — Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek — for closer Addison Reed.
      New York also picked up set-up man A.J. Ramos from the Miami Marlins in exchange for two minor leaguers (Ricardo Cespedes and Merandy Gonzalez) right before last week’s trade deadline.
      Ryan is an intriguing pitcher. He was drafted twice by the Indians—in the 40th round out of high school, and in the 30th in 2016. The 22-year-old played third baseman at North Carolina, but Cleveland drafted him as a pitcher, his current position in the Mets’ farm system.

    Though New York is high on him, according to multiple media outlets, Ryan’s a work in progress, with a current 3-5 record and 4.79 ERA in the 2017 campaign.

     So, it remains to be seem if Ryan will turn into anything viable for the Mets.

J. J. Franco Off to Solid Start with Columbia


By Jerry Del Priore

J. J. Franco 12

New York Mets minor leaguer J. J. Franco.

After the New York Mets signed infielder J.J. Franco in late July, the team shipped him to low-level Single-A Columbia to continue his 2017 campaign.

Since reporting to the Fireflies, Franco, son of Mets legend John Franco, is hitting .295 with three RBI and an OBP of .406 in 44 at-bats in 12 games.

Moreover, Franco is on a bit of tear with Columbia as of late, reaching base safely 13 times in his last five contests.

The Brooklyn native began the season in the Chicago White Sox system, playing with low-A Kannapolis and high-A Winston-Salem, batting .273 with four doubles and eight RBIs between the two stops.

The 38th round MLB draft pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2014, Franco played college ball at Brown University and shined on the diamond at Poly Prep High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Note: Former Brooklyn Cyclone outfielder Jay Jabs clubbed his sixth home run of the year, in a 5-2 Fireflies’ defeat to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) Tuesday night at Spirt Communications Park.

SIWA Visits Newark for its Live Wire Wrestling Event in August


By Jerry Del Priore

M. Striker

Former WWEers — Matt Striker and Nunzio — faceoff on in Newark in August.

On Saturday, August 19th, at the JFK Recreational and Fitness in Newark, New Jersey, the Staten Island Wrestling Association (SIWA) will hold its Live Wire card featuring top independent wrestling talent and former WWE stars.

In operation since 2008, SIWA, in New Jersey for the first time ever, has slated eight high-octane matches sure to please the raucous wrestling fans in Newark.

To make matters more intriguing, a mysterious man sent a video to SIWA headquarters, putting everyone on pins and needles.

Here is the card:

Respected veteran and Mammoth wrestler Magic faces off against Lykos for the vacant SIWA World Heavyweight title.

In addition, there will be a 13-wrestler Battle Royal, in which the winner will get the opportunity to vie for any title of his chosen.

Father Rez Malverde will take on Matt Vertigo.

The “Lightning Fast” Tony Dangerous will be in action versus “The Hitman” Ace Jones.

The Commandos, Luan Master and Kid Rico vs The Disassemblers, Bobby Dinero and Jack Sisco vs Defiance, Chris Cayden and Maximo Suave vs Gunz and Roses, Trigger and Lexa Rose, in an elimination match for the SIWA Tag team titles.

Jimmy Jact Cash Vs. Sebastian Cage in singles action.

Former WWE star Matt Striker, a current Lucha Underground announcer and Queens native, will be pitted against ECW legend and Ex-WWE wrestler Nunzio (A.K.A Little Guido).

A Hardcore Championship match is currently in the works.

For more information and purchase tickets to SIWA’s Live Wire event, which starts at 3.00 p.m. on August 19th, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Staten-Island-Wrestling-Association-309258271776/ and/or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/siwa-livewire-tickets-35455832349?aff=ehomesaved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia’s Matt Blackham Named SAL-BC® Relief Pitcher of the Month


By Jerry Del Priore

M. Blackham

Matt Blackham, New York Mets pitching prospect.

The South Atlantic League (SAL) tabbed Columbia Fireflies’ pitcher with the SAL-BC® Relief Pitcher of the Month honor for July, SAL President Eric Krupa announced today.

The 24-year-old righty hurled 15.0 scoreless during the month while fanning 23 hitters. Blackham permitted just six hits and two walks in his eight appearances.

“Matt has been one of our most consistent pitchers coming out of the bullpen,” Fireflies manager Jose Leger said in a press release. “He has absolutely dominated hitters this month. He brings so much hard work and determination to the table.”

The Overland Park, Kansas, native picked up a victory on July 13 at home against Greensboro (2 IP, 4 K) and posted two holds (July 20 and 28). Blackham has been arguably the most dependable reliever for Columbia.

The New York Mets’ 29th round pick in the 2014 of the MLB June amateur draft owns the best strikeout per nine innings pitched ratio (13.2) in the SAL. This season, Blackham has whiffed 66 batters in just 45 innings and is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA (28 games). 

The South Atlantic League-BC® Relief Pitcher of the Month award is sponsored by BC® Powder, the “Preferred Pain Reliever of the South Atlantic League. The award is given to the most outstanding relief pitcher in the league for the prior month.

Click the link for more information on BC Powder: BC Aspirin Fast Pain Relief Powder – Quickly Relieves Pain Due to Headaches, Body Aches, and Fever – Contains Caffeine – Cherry Flavored – 24 Powders.

 

Athens Foods Sparks Up BBQ Season with Healthier, Tasty Mini Fillo Bites


By Jerry Del Priore

With a good portion of the summer remaining, outdoor grilling is still at the forefront of eating and entertaining guest.

But why not incorporate a healthier measure to accompany your barbeque dishes?
Don’t fret, Athens Foods has the remedy to solve your dilemma, adding healthier, tasty appetizer options to your barbeque menu. Try the below recipes, with Athens’ Phyllo Bites.
Note: The trick is not to eat all appetizers by yourself. Yes, simple enough, but they are good, and you might be tempted to do so. Good luck.
Curried Chickpea Salad Phyllo Cups:

Chick Peas

Curried Chickpea Salad Phyllo Cups.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:
Serving size: 1 piece (56g); Calories: 90; Calories from Fat: 25; Total Fat: 2.5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Trans Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 150mg; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Total Carbohydrates: 14g; Sugars: 2g; Protein: 3g; Vitamin A: 6%; Vitamin C: 6%; Calcium: 2%; Iron: 4% (Percentage is based on the Recommended Daily/Dietary Allowance (RDA).
DESCRIPTION:
A salad consisting of chickpeas, spinach, bell peppers and carrots gets a sweet-and-spicy dressing and crunchy phyllo shell in these easy-to-assemble appetizers.
INGREDIENTS:
• Cooking spray
• 20 sheets Athens® Fillo Dough (9″x14″), thawed
• 2 cups canned cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1/4 cup red (or green) bell peppers, finely diced
• 1/4 cup carrot, shredded
• 1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
DIRECTIONS:
Lightly coat a 3” cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Layer 5 phyllo sheets, lightly coating each with cooking spray. Cut four, 4-inch circles from phyllo stack. Place cut shape into the muffin cup. Carefully push phyllo into cup, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Repeat process 4 times to make 16 shells.
Bake phyllo shells in preheated 350ºF oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, bell pepper, carrot, scallions, and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, maple syrup and curry powder. Drizzle dressing over chickpea mixture and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
2. Place about 1 tablespoon of baby spinach into each shell. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the chickpea filling. Serve immediately.

Lime Shrimp Avocado Phyllo Bites:

Lime-Shrimp-Avocado-Phyllo-Bites-8-1-768x484

Lime Shrimp Avocado Phyllo Bites.

Nutritional Info:
Serving size: 1 shell (16g), Amount per serving: Calories 35, Calories from Fat – 20, Total Fat –2, Saturated fat –0g, Trans Fat – 0g, Cholesterol –10 mg, Sodium – 45mg, Total carbohydrate – 2g, Dietary Fiber – 0g Sugars – 0g, Protein – 2g, Vitamin A – 0%, Vitamin C – 2%, Calcium – 0%, Iron 2%.
Ingredients:
• 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
• 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
• 1 cup shrimp, cooked and chopped
• 2 tablespoons corn kernels (or grilled corn)
• 1 Haas avocado, 1/4″ diced
• 2 packages (15 count, each) Athens® Mini Fillo Shells
Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro and onion. Add shrimp and corn, mixing until coated. Chill for a least 1/2 hour. Gently mix in avocado. Drain any excess liquid and spoon into mini shells. Serve immediately.
TIPS:

For added crispness, preheat oven to 350⁰F. Place empty shells on a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes. Cool and fill.
About Athens Foods:
Athens is the world’s largest producer of phyllo dough and phyllo products, including convenient, fully baked Mini Fillo Shells®.

With more than 55 years of experience perfecting phyllo, Athens is dedicated to continually creating new recipes, gourmet appetizers, handmade desserts and a full array of phyllo delicacies.

For more information about Athens Foods and its products, visit www.athensfoods.com, www.phyllo.com, www.facebook.com/AthensFoodswww.twitter.com/athensfoods, www.youtube.com/user/PhylloTips, and www.pinterest.com/athensfood.

 

 

Mets Promote Columbia Righty Adonis Uceta


By Jerry Del Priore

Adonis Uceta

Adonis Uceta, who earned the SAL-BC® relief pitcher of the month honors for June, was just called to the St. Lucie Mets.

With a lack of pitching prospects at the top levels in the New York Mets’ minor league system, they’ve been looking to change that by promoting numerous hurlers throughout their system’s lower level this season.  The latest call-up was Fireflies former closer Adonis Uceta, whom the Mets bump to the Advanced-A St. Lucie Thursday.

Adonis posted a 4-0 record with a 1.26 ERA and 11 saves in 11 opportunities in 43 frames in 29 contests with Colombia before the promotion.

The six-foot-one-inch Dominican native is currently 0-0 with 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball in one game with St. Lucie.

Other pitchers who’ve received call-ups from Fireflies to St. Lucie this year have been righties Jordan Humphreys and Merandy Gonzalez.

In addition, right-hander Keaton Aldridge was transferred to Columbia from short-season Single-A Brooklyn. 

Plus, New York acquired pitching prospect Drew Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for first baseman Lucas Duda, who will become a free agent at season’s end.

Smith, the Detroit Tigers’ third-round selection in the June 2015 amateur draft out of Dallas Baptist University, was acquired by Tampa Bay on April 28, 2017 as the player to be named later to complete an earlier deal that sent Mikie Mahtook to Detroit on January 18, 2017.

In 79 career minor league contests, all in relief, Smith is 5-4 with a 1.80 ERA with 13 saves and 140 strikeouts. The Rays promoted Smith, 23, to Double-A at the beginning of this month.

The Mets assigned him to the Double-A Rumble Ponies.

 

Brooklyn Cyclones Tab Carl Stajduhar with Player of the Week Honors


By Jerry Del Priore

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Carl Stajduhar with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The Brooklyn Cyclones haven’t been hitting much this season, resulting in a 11-22 record through 33 games. But one player, infielder Carl Stajduhar had a very good offensive week earlier in July, slugging .333 (9-27), including going yard twice, ringing up two doubles and driving in five runs.

As result, the Cyclones named him as their player of the week, the team announced on Twitter.

Stajduhar, the New York Mets’ 18th round selection in the 2017 June MLB amateur draft, is currently batting .209 with a .395 slugging percentage through 43 at-bats in 13 games.

The six-foot-two-inch, 215-pounder played ball at the University of New Mexico, where he amassed a .344 average with 44 home runs and 188 RBI in 727 at-bats in 179 contests in three seasons before entering this year’s draft.

The Mets inked Stajduhar on June 19th and shipped him to Brooklyn on the 24th to start his professional baseball career.

Five Borough Wrestling Holds United We Stand in Brooklyn


By Jerry Del Priore

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Stand back, it’s Hurricane storming throwing. Well, more like former Cruiserweight Camp Hurricane Gregory Helms during Five Borough Wrestling’s show Thursday night in Brooklyn.

On Thursday, 5 Borough Wrestling held its United We Stand card at the American Legion Hall in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn, featuring some of the top local indie wrestlers as well as a veteran former WWE fan favorite, Hurricane Gregory Shane Helms.

Here’s how the high-octane action went down in Kings County:

General Manager Chris Beckett pulled the curtain on the show as he introduced his new assistant Ariela Nyx. He also stripped Mike Verna and David Starr of the Tier 1 W (T1W) Tag Team Titles because of lack of a title defense.

During his opening comments, things got worse as Darius Carter—the No. 1 contender for Verna’s FBW Heavyweight Title—interrupted Beckett.

After a bush league shot from behind from Carter’s reputed henchman, Anthony Gangone, on the Man of Steel, Beckett called for a tag match later that night between Carter and Gangone and Verna and partner of his choice.

Logan Black and Bam Sullivan, with Victoria Von Black Vs. Stockade and Matt Tremont for the open Tier 1 Tag Team belts.

The King of Chaos Logan Black teamed with his trusty bother in arms, Bam Sullivan, to take on Stockade and Matt Tremont for the vacant Tier 1 World Tag Team straps.

Von Black performed an impressive Hurricanrana on Cyrus during the match. But after outside inference from him, Stockade and Tremont came out victorious and the new T1W Tag Team Champs.

Matt Macintosh Vs. Talon.

In another highly competitive encounter, Macintosh defeated Talon due to outside interference from Danny DeManto. Talon vowed to seek vengeance on DeManto.

Chris Payne Vs. The Pro Wrestling Manic Joe Gacy in a Wild Card Championship Qualifying bout.

Payne pinned the crazed grappler to qualify him for the Wild Card Title.

Denny Gavin Vs. Orion Dove.

Newcomer Gavin outlasted Dove, but the collective group of MJF, Bear Bronson and AJ Spectre (Force) made him pay for it by mercilessly beating down the youngster.

Fortunately for Gavin, Hurricane and The Elements intervened and saved him from the clutches of Force.

Tag Team match between Darius Carter and Anthony Gangone and Mega Muscle – Mike Verna and the Big O (Adam David Ohriner).  

Carter and Gangone both pinned the Big O after a physical, hard-fought contest by both teams.

Hurricane and the Elements (Pyro and Glacier) took on Force in a trios main event match.

Hurricane and The Elements eroded Force with a stellar wrestling performance that worked the crowd into a frenzy as the three embarrassed their opponents ridiculous fashion time and time again.

 

 

 

 

Grunt Fit Set to Transform the Fitness App Scene


By Jerry Del Priore

GF11-BETA-WorkOutWRKOUTHaving a qualified personal trainer at your disposal isn’t always possible, nor affordable, for that matter. But then there’s the next best thing: Grunt Fit, brought to you by the people at Grunt Style, and produced by Softweb Solutions.

Grunt Fit, which will begin beta testing on Tuesday, August 1st and will go live later in the month, is a fitness app that will bring the personal trainer to palm of your hand.

Moreover, Grunt Fit, free and available on both iOS and Android platforms, goes beyond planning a basic workout. It helps you tailor your meals to meet your specific nutritional needs, with recipes, prep instructions and nutritional information.

Plus, it helps you adjust your workouts according to your soreness and injuries, removing excuses from most exercise programs.

Those factors alone separate Grunt Fit from the rest of the fitness apps pack.

However, those features aren’t the only ways Grunt Fit differs from other fitness apps on the market. GF8-BETA-FoodEATING

“Consider us as being the Drill Sergeant in your pocket,” explained Tiffany Allen-Hampton, President of Grunt Fit. “We basically tell you what to do. If you want to be successful in reaching your fitness goals, let us help. Whether you want to lose weight, maintain it or build muscle, we can show you exactly what you need to do to reach those goals.

In addition, you can invite friends to download the app and create friendly competitions, adding a bonus motivational factor to your fitness regimen.

While there isn’t a cost right now, upgrades (such as working with other devices) will be available to the user as more complex elements are introduced, which may carry a slight fee, as the app progresses, according to the company.

But please don’t forget to check with a licensed health care professional (e.g. Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant) before starting any type of exercise program, especially if you have special medical needs.

To learn more about Grunt Fit, log onto www.gruntfit.com