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20/10/2010

With A.J. Burnett set to take mound, Yankees put on game face

New York – The Yankees' future in post-season play is now in the right hand of A.J. Burnett, after Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers spanked the "Bronx Bombers" 8-0 on Monday night in the third game of the American League Championship Series.

For the Yankees, that is a scary ^aEUR" almost a Halloween type of proposition ^aEUR" because Burnett has been one of the worst pitchers in the American League in the second half of the season.

He lost the last six of his regular season games and compiled a 5.83 earned run average - well above his past efforts. He is now greeted with boos when he walks to the mound in his home stadium.

Burnett says he is not paying attention to any of the adverse comments about his performance. "I don't dig into it too much, but I do go off with everyday people that I meet at breakfast and lunch and stuff and it's been nothing but positive towards me."

So far, he's getting warm and fuzzy thoughts from his manager, as well. "We all know what A.J. can dial up, and we believe in him," says Joe Girardi, the Yankee manager, who reaffirmed on Monday night that Burnett would be pitching. But with the Yankees down two games to one in the American League Championship Series, Girardi is expected to temper his belief with a quick hook if Burnett gets into trouble.

One positive thing for the Yankees on Wednesday is that they will not be facing Cliff Lee, the Texas southpaw who struck out 13 Yankee batters and gave up only two hits. Instead, they come up against Tommy Hunter, a young pitcher who does not have the same repertoire as Lee.

Lee, in a dominant performance, pitched eight shutout innings Monday night, striking out 13. He gave up only two hits, keeping the Yankees from becoming any kind of threat. He changed speeds, fooling hitters, and consistently kept his pitches away from the middle of the plate.

"Cliff was great tonight, to say the least. He was just outstanding," said Andy Pettitte, the losing pitcher for the Yankees. "I haven't seen too many games like that."

Lee says he is just doing what he has done all year. "I throw strikes, I see how they swing and make adjustments on the fly," he says. "It's a game of never ending adjustments. That's the game."

Pettitte became the losing pitcher after giving up a home run to Texas slugger Josh Hamilton with a man on base. "It was a bad pitch by me," he said.

That home run, said Lee, helped give him confidence. ^aEURoeSome runs in the first is huge. It sets the tone early,^aEUR

Most of the rest of the Texas runs came late in the game when the Yankee bullpen imploded, giving up six runs.

But it was the Yankee offense that was stifled. Their only hits were a bloop single by Jorge Posada and a solid single by Brett Gardner, who then stole second base.

Girardi says he's confident his team will resume its winning ways. "We're a good club," he said in the postgame press conference. "You play a good game tomorrow and you feel a little different."

19/10/2010

Katy Perry, Akon to share runway with VS models

NEW YORK – Katy Perry, Akon and model Adriana Lima in a $2 million fantasy bra are among the highlights planned for this year's Victoria's Secret fashion show.

Other models expected on the runway include Alessandra Ambrosio, Rosie-Huntington Whiteley, Chanel Iman and Candice Swanepoel. Missing from the lineup is Heidi Klum, who recently parted with the brand.

The lingerie show has become a holiday tradition of sorts, with many of the catwalkers outfitted in elaborate, fanciful wings — and very little else — parading in front of elaborate sets.

The fantasy bra has become a signature, too: This one created by jeweler Damiani features diamonds, sapphires and topaz.

The show will be taped Nov. 10 to be televised in an hour-long special on CBS on Nov. 30.

14/10/2010

No Halloween Ghost, Freed Slave James Brown Walks Again in New York's Hudson Valley

When James F. Brown ran away from his Baltimore owners in 1828, he sent them a letter outlining the reasons why. "No man of integrity can provide for his family within the limitations of slavery," he wrote. It was an indication of all he was to achieve during a long life that included the social upheaval of the Civil War.

Beacon, NY (PRWEB) October 14, 2010

Now James F. Brown, as interpreted by actor Michael Monasterial, returns regularly to, the Dutch colonial homestead where he worked for 40 years. The Hudson Valley historic site presents From Slave to Mr. Brown, living history afternoons featuring Brown and his employer Mary Anna Verplanck as they were in 1848.

The pair interact with visitors as they are welcomed to the estate as guests or interviewed for farm and household positions by Brown. In the process, much is revealed about life in the 19th century and Brown's character and standing in the community.

"It's fabulous," Pat Gallie of Beacon said after one of the programs. "I totally believed he (Monasterial) was in the time."

William Puswald, 14, of Beacon, found it surprising that an African American in mid-19th century America "could be so successful in the north."

"Brown kept diaries for 40 years," Mount Gulian Historic Site Executive DirectorElaine Hayes explained."That's how we know that he returned to Baltimore to purchase his wife's freedom, bought his own home in Beacon and as a result of owning property, was able to vote in local and national elections."    

Brown, serving at a Verplanck dinner party, was almost returned to slavery whenone of the guests recognized him as a runaway. The Verplanck family purchased his freedom and he decided to work for them for the rest of his life, achieving regional respect as a horticulturist, and ultimately serving as the estate's personnel manager.

"Mary Anna was a strong character in her own right," Hayes said. "She never married, choosing to run her family's estate. Despite her wealth and privilege, she was never considered a full citizen of this country. She was never able to vote as James did."

Monasterial, who has appeared on stage and television, believes he shares common ground with Brown. "I'm a carpenter doing physical labor. You look at life differently when you work like that. Brown would feel the aches and pains of a life of working hard, and he'd know the satisfaction of doing a good job."

Jean Moss portrays Mary Anna Verplanck, bringing confident composure to the role. Historically correct improvisation, necessary to answer visitor questions, is unlike anything she's done before as an actor, however.

"My other roles were based on fictional characters. I've never had a role as challenging," she said.    

Bringing living history to Mount Gulian was a 15-year process, inspired by Brown's compelling story and a visit by Hayes to the Tenement Museumin New York. One of the tours includes a costumed interpreter in the role of a 14-year old who lived in the tenement in 1916.

Once Hayes secured grant funding from the NYS Council on the Arts and the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, research was conducted by Dr. Myra B. Young Armstead of Bard College. Scripts were developed in 2008, casting calls went out in June and rehearsals and costuming began in September.     

Living history interactions are slated for Sundays, Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and Feb. 20. There is one Saturday performance on Feb. 5. All programs start at 1:30 pm. Tours of the house, barn and garden, weather permitting, are included.

Special Candlelight Tours of the house will feature James and Mary Anna welcoming guests aif they were arriving for a holiday gathering in 1848. The tours will be conducted between 4 and 6 pm on Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19.

"If these programs are popular,From Slave to Mr. Brownwill be scheduled regularly from April through October next year," Hayes promised.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for young people ages 6 through 18. Advance reservations are required for groups. For more information call 845 831-8172 or visit .

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Ann MeliousMount Gulian Historic Site845 724-7084Email Information