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From Dedeaux to the Bronx: Aaron Boone reflects on his baseball career

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first_imgYankees’ manager Aaron Boone is known for his home run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, which sent the Yankees to the World Series. (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics) Still, his experience in those games would prove crucial. Though the stakes might have been a little higher, Game 7 of the ALCS wasn’t Boone’s first time playing for a ticket to the final destination.  With one swing, none of that mattered. Boone clobbered a first pitch knuckleball into the left field seats at Yankee Stadium, sending New York to the World Series. Though Aaron and Bret just missed out on donning the Cardinal and Gold together, they finally had a chance to take the field as teammates with the Cincinnati Reds in 1998. On the last day of the season, the Boones made up half of the first starting infield in baseball history comprising two sets of brothers.  Boone has made a name for himself as a manager for his willingness to get in an umpire’s face when he disagrees with a call. His most famous rant, during which he screamed at a home plate umpire, “My guys are fucking savages in that box,” has become a rallying cry for the 2019 Bronx Bombers. Boone, who was ejected from his MLB debut as a player, described himself as “pretty laid back” before conceding that “I had my moments.” “I guess it just kind of happened to work out that way,” Boone said, laughing. “I’ve loved, obviously, my ties to USC. I think people that know me know how much it means to me and how much the University means to me … I feel so proud and honored to get to come to work every day for the Pinstripes. I feel blessed [for] the opportunities that I’ve had in my lifetime in being able to chase my dreams.” Boone made the most of the opportunity to play collegiate baseball at USC. In his three years as a Trojan, Boone hit .302 with an .821 OPS to earn a third round selection by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1994 MLB Draft.  But this is the season you think of when you think of Aaron Boone. Not because of those numbers, not even because of his stellar first half with the Reds that landed him a spot on the National League All-Star team.  The Yankees were facing their archrival Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Boone was at the plate against Boston’s Tim Wakefield in the bottom of the 11th. He was in the midst of a forgettable postseason, going 5-for-31 with nine strikeouts and 1 RBI to that point.  However, that doesn’t mean that USC has no alumni who could make a potential Fall Classic run. It’s only fitting that former Trojan Aaron Boone is leading the charge for the New York Yankees as they look to add to an MLB-high 27 World Series championships, 25 years after he played for the program with double the College World Series titles of any other school in the nation. Boone, now in his second season as the Yankees’ manager, played third base at USC from 1992-1994. He is the younger brother of Bret Boone, a retired 14-year major leaguer and three-time All-Star who also played for the Trojans.  “It’s such a majestic place,” Boone said of USC. “I think they do a great job of preparing people for careers and for life after college, so to speak. Not just me and baseball — I think it’s just something that the University has always done well, and it’s a great place to have gone to school.”  But now, with father and son on the same team, the circumstances were different. Most people would find Boone’s situation peculiar and, at times, slightly uncomfortable, but that’s not how it played out.  It’s one of the most famous moments in baseball history, and it came out of nowhere — a surprising feat considering Boone’s lack of postseason experience (in the majors, at least). The father-son duo in Cincinnati was short-lived. After two-and-a-half subpar seasons, the elder Boone was fired midway through the 2003 season. Just three days later, Aaron was traded to the Yankees.  The two had shared a clubhouse before. When Aaron was a toddler, Bob was a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. The future Yankees manager routinely hung out in the Veterans Stadium clubhouse with his father and his teammates — including Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose — who often got a kick out of Aaron’s impersonations of various Phillies.  It’s the year when Boone became an October legend. Though Aaron claims to have been a Trojan fan before his brother started college in 1988, he admitted that continuing the family tradition made his time at USC all the more special.  Now, Boone finds himself back where he’s spent a good chunk of his life: in the dugout. From playing third base at USC to taking over as the manager of baseball’s most famous franchise, it’s clear that Boone can’t seem to keep out of the spotlight.  “One of the things I’m so grateful [for] with my dad is he always took us with him,” Boone said. “We were always at the park with him, so we got to know and be around so many great guys, got to do so many great things at the ballpark as kids growing up that  allowed us to fall in love with the game.” “He didn’t really treat me any different, wasn’t harder on me, wasn’t easier on me,” Boone said of his father. “I was an established player at that point, and he treated me with a lot of respect like I was one of his established players. And then away from the field, to have my mom and dad around was cool … I never felt weirdness from my teammates … I never wanted them to feel like they had to hold their tongue around me or anything like that, and I don’t think that was the case.” Six months after writing goodbye letters to his family in case he didn’t survive the procedure, Boone became the first Major Leaguer in history to play after undergoing open heart surgery.  Perhaps Boone’s most remarkable feat came when he was a Houston Astro in 2009. That March, he received open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. Boone had known of his heart condition since he was at USC, but the effects had recently accelerated.  With the MLB postseason beginning Tuesday, the Trojans have exactly zero former players taking the field on baseball’s biggest stage.  Boone spent half a season with New York. He hit six home runs, drove in 31 runs and posted a modest .254/.302/.418 line through 54 regular season games there.  “To be able to get back to where I got to play in the big leagues again in the month of September — I remember my first game back, how nervous I was just being out in the field again,” Boone said. “But it was really rewarding to get to play with my teammates again for that month of September.” Through all of his career’s twists and turns, Boone hasn’t forgotten the campus that kickstarted it all.  “It was a great way to get my feet under me at the big-league level,” Aaron said of playing third base in the latter half of his rookie season while Bret played across the infield at second. “To have [my] brother over there, it was really cool.” In the last two years of Boone’s college career, USC reached the NCAA Regional Finals, where a win would have put them in the College World Series. The Trojans lost to Texas in 1993 and LSU in 1994, and Boone twice fell a game shy of Omaha.  2009 was Boone’s last season as a player. On Feb. 23, 2010, the 12-year veteran hung up his spikes, headed for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and shuffled between the studio and the broadcast booth until 2017.  “Everything you experience in the course of your life prepares you and hopefully plays a role in your career,” Boone said. “Playing in huge regional settings at LSU and Texas with everything on the line — I think those are where you gain experience. I certainly think it helped me moving forward in my career.” “I had become a huge ‘SC [football fan] when I was in middle school,” the La Mesa, Calif. native said. “And then my brother happened to go to ‘SC, so it just got me more entrenched with the school and with the program. And then all throughout high school, I always wanted to go to ‘SC. So when that became a reality, it was pretty cool.” Though he denied that college Boone was also a “savage,” it wouldn’t be an unfair word to describe his baseball career. Boone has already etched his name into the history books, and a 28th World Series ring for the Yankees would further cement his legacy as one of baseball’s greats.  The Boone lineage in Cincinnati didn’t stop when Bret was traded to the Atlanta Braves in the winter after the 1998 season. Aaron only had to wait two years for his father Bob to take over as the Reds’ manager.  If there’s anyone in the game who’s up to the task, it’s Aaron Boone — the man who has seen and done it all.last_img read more

Preparations continue for Poland qualifier

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first_imgRepublic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill says he still has decisions to make about his starting line up for their Euro qualifier this weekend with Poland.The Republic are fourth in Group D, but just three points behind the table topping Poles.Daryl Murphy has scored 23 goals for Ipswich in the Championship so far this season and the 32 year old says he wants to feature against the Poles on Sunday. The Waterford native admits that while he’s keen to play he’s not saying too much to manager Martin O’Neill.last_img read more

Pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Adam Wainwright offer contrasting styles in Game 3

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first_imgThe pitching matchup for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series will be called a contrast in styles, and rightly so.Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu is a rookie who relies on a changeup and a four-seam fastball, in that order, and all but abandoned his curveball in his first major-league playoff game. He was shelled, too — the 26-year-old lefty lasted just three innings in Game 3 of the NL Division Series, and sometimes looked flustered against the Atlanta Braves.St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright is a veteran who throws a curveball with abandon. His first postseason appearance came seven years ago. The 32-year-old right-hander last pitched in Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and dominated all nine innings of a win-or-go-home victory.As if being ahead 2-0 in the best-of-7 series weren’t enough of an advantage, the Cardinals will have their best pitcher on the mound today. The Dodgers will not. “We kind of got a taste of it the other day watching (Wainwright’s) game (against the Pirates) on TV, just how confident he is with his curveball,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “He throws it any count, any time. He’s got the ability to throw it for strikes and shorten it for strikeouts. “It’s a challenge.”Ryu isn’t unfamiliar with St. Louis, either. He tossed seven innings without allowing an earned run Aug. 8 at Busch Stadium, a game that featured five players who could be in the starting lineup today — but no Matt Adams or Yadier Molina. Still, it was one of Ryu’s best games in a season worthy of Rookie of the Year consideration. He struck out seven batters and only five of his pitches reached the outfield on the fly. The Cardinals’ seven hits against Ryu were all ground-ball singles through the infield. It was a typical game for the Cardinals, who struggled mightily against left-handers in 2013. Their .238 batting average against southpaws was worse than all but three teams in the regular season. That’s probably why Ryu, and not right-hander Ricky Nolasco, earned the start after struggling against Atlanta. “St. Louis is probably a different team than we were in the regular season,” Ryu said. “So I still have to take it very carefully and consider them a brand‑new team that I’m going to be facing.”Ryu can be considered a brand-new pitcher. He’s thrown more than 100 pitches just twice in his last seven starts and is approaching a career high in innings pitched.“I’m not going to focus too much on the length of my outing,” he said. “Truthfully, if I’m out there for five innings I’d be more than happy.”If Wainwright is out there for five innings, the Dodgers would be ecstatic.He’s pitched once at Dodger Stadium the last three years, a no-decision in 2012 in which he allowed two runs in six innings. Wainwright lost a pitchers’ duel with Zack Greinke on Aug. 5 in St. Louis, allowing three runs in seven innings.“I’ve talked to Yadier,” Wainwright said, “and Yadier and I will get together and come up with a master plan.”If both pitchers perform as expected, the onus will fall to the Dodgers’ ice-cold lineup and often-warm bullpen to make the series competitive again.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Vancouver latecomer actor Lillian Lim shines bright in new feature Meditation Park

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first_imgFrom left, Sharmaine Yeoh, Pei-Pei Cheng, Alannah Ong, and Lillian Lim in a scene from the new Mina Shum movie Meditation Park. SUBMITTED / PNG Advertisement “I think that was my first love since childhood, because I grew up with Shirley Temple and the Chinese equivalent to Shirley Temple named Fung Bo-Bo,” said Vancouver’s Lim, remembering those early movie-going days.“My mom would take me to the movies because my brothers couldn’t sit still.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: As a child Lillian Lim would sit in a Chinatown theatre and dream of being an actor, but it wasn’t until more than five decades later that she got to fulfil her fantasy.In 2013, at the age of 58, Lim joined a Meetup group (online groups that bring people together to do what they love) called the Vancouver B-Movie Factory. The moviemaking group made YouTube shorts, and Lim was thrilled to bits.Flash forward to 2018 and the 65-year-old now has a list of film credits under her belt, and is now on the big screen in a meaty supporting role in the Mina Shum written and directed feature film Meditation Park. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Indigenous language culture programs in Quebec receive 87 million boost from Canada

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first_imgLindsay RichardsonAPTN NewsOver the next two years, Quebec-based Indigenous language and culture programs will receive a $8.7 million boost from the Canadian government, Pablo Rodriguez, minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism, announced Monday.“Indigenous languages are an integral part of our country’s identity and play an important role in sharing culture,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Most Indigenous languages in Canada are considered endangered, and we recognize the importance of preserving them.”According to Rodriguez, the government allocated funding to programs whose mandate “[keeps] with the spirit of the Indigenous Languages Act,” legislation which came into effect earlier this summer after two years of consultation and development with Indigenous organizations.This year’s federal budget committed $333.7 million over five years – starting in 2019 – to support implementation of the act.The funding, according to a press release, will support 48 community-based projects that include “the promotion of Indigenous cultural heritage, language camps, classes, immersion programs,” as well as distributable resources – like translator tools and children’s books – and other unspecified educational material.Rodriguez and constituents also project that the financial boost will allow for the creation and maintenance of “culturally relevant” radio and television programming and mobile applications.In November 2018 and July 2019, the government provided $691,482 to three community-based projects in Montreal, Kahnawake, and the Gaspe.According to UNESCO – who declared 2019 the year of Indigenous languages – three quarters of the 90 Indigenous languages in Canada are considered ‘endangered.’“Indigenous languages are an integral part of Indigenous identity and Canada’s cultural identity,” Marc Miller, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations – also a student of the Mohawk language, Kanien’keha – explained.“We are pleased to support the efforts of these Quebec organizations who are working to preserve and promote Indigenous languages and culture,” Miller added.UNESCO data indicates that first-language fluency among Indigenous peoples fell from 21 per cent to 15.6 percent over 10 years, between 2006 and 2016.lrichardson@aptn.calast_img read more