Tag Archives: Season

Behold! 2019 Tree Set to Arrive at Rockefeller Center, Officially Kicking Off the Holiday Season

Behold! 2019 Tree Set to Arrive at Rockefeller Center, Officially Kicking Off the Holiday Season

From a coffee table to a yard in New York’s Orange County, the 2019 Rockefeller Center holiday tree is ready for showtime.

The 77-foot-tall Norway spruce from Carol Schultz in the village of Florida arrived at Rockefeller Center early Saturday morning. It will be raised off a trailer and hoisted into its place by the iconic Prometheus statue on the ice rink in a three-hour effort around 9 a.m. 

Schultz will use a sledgehammer to drive a spike into the trunk as the huge spruce is erected in middle of the 30 Rock Plaza.

The arrival of the tree officially ushers in the holiday season. Vistors will witness quite the engineering feat as the iconic holiday symbol is raised off a 115-foot-long trailer and put into its prominent Rockefeller Center home, where it will be lit in all its glory during a live television special next month.

The 14-ton tree was cut down on Thursday. And it has quite a story. 

Schultz tells News 4 it was only 4 feet tall when she planted it in 1959. She says she initially had the plant inside her home on a coffee table but later planted it outside.

“I said, ‘Oh I don’t think it’s gonna take.’ You know how things happen, but it turned out to be a magnificent tree. It’s so beautiful, shaped perfect and I’m happy to share it with everybody,” Schultz said.

The head gardener from Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauze, says he spotted the top of the tree while he was driving and he just had to figure out a way to get to it.

“As soon as I came around the corner I kind of knew it’d be the tree,” Pauze said.

It was a bittersweet goodbye for Schultz but it was almost destined to be. It didn’t take a lot of convincing on Pauze’s part when he knocked on Schultz’s door, since she had submitted the very same tree to be the Rockefeller tree candidate in 2010. 

After being adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored lights and crowned with the iconic Swarovski star, the tree will be illuminated for the first time during a live TV broadcast on Wednesday, Dec. 4. 

It’ll be on display until Friday, Jan. 14, 2020. Afterwards, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to be made into a home.

Last year’s tree was a 72-foot, 12-ton Norway spruce from Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez in Wallkill. 

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by workers building the complex during the Great Depression. The first official tree lighting there was in 1933.



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‘SNL’: Impeachment Inquiry Takes Center Stage in Season 45 Premiere

'SNL': Impeachment Inquiry Takes Center Stage in Season 45 Premiere

In the premiere of “Saturday Night Live” Season 45, actor Alec Baldwin reprised the role of President Donald Trump, who is overwhelmed by an impeachment inquiry sparked by a whistleblower complaint. The season’s first episode is filled with references to the ongoing developments around a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.

Two hundred and twenty-five House Democrats and one Independent united to start the impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower detailed a July 25 call in which Trump pressed new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son.

The declassified complaint also alleges that the White House tried to “lock down” details of the call by filing official notes of the call in a classified computer system. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several prominent Democratic lawmakers have accused the president and the White House of trying to cover up the incident. 

In the “SNL” cold open, Baldwin’s Trump scrambles to make calls to his three “stooges”: lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (played by Kate McKinnon), Attorney General William Barr (Aidy Bryant) and Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett).

Trump mentioned both Barr and Giuliani repeatedly in his call with the Ukrainian leader. 

“It’s the greatest presidential harassment of all time,” Baldwin’s Trump said of the impeachment inquiry. The real President Trump described the move in similar terms, slamming the inquiry as “presidential harassment” in a Tuesday tweetstorm.

Eric Trump (Alex Moffat) and Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) also appear to offer up their reactions to the news.

Bowen Yang, the show’s first Asian cast member, as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un offers Trump advice on how to deal with the whistleblower.

“Famous” rapper Kanye West (Chris Redd) and boxing promoter Don King (Kenan Thompson), however, call to inform the president that they’re ending their friendship with Trump because “the impeachment thing is hurting our brand.”

West, who used his stage as a musical guest on “SNL” to give a long rant in support of the president; and King, who notoriously dropped the n-word when introducing then-presidential nominee Trump at a 2016 Ohio pastors conference, are both longtime Trump supporters.

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro (Cecily Strong) and “Ray Donovan” actor Liev Schreiber, as himself, also appear.

In his monologue, host Woody Harrelson lauds his evolution from a frump to a fashionista on the cover of Esquire.

”Now I care about one thing and one thing only — looking good,” Harrelson said just before he removing his tux to reveal a pair of silk purple pajamas.

The actor also shared that “SNL” writers wanted to help him write his monologue in fear he’d accidentally say something offensive. Harrelson, making no attempt to placate those fears, incorporated several intentional gaffes and double entendres in his monologue. He even made a swipe or two at Fox News.

The show’s focus on the impeachment inquiry and the whistleblower complaint continued in the season’s first “Weekend Update.”

Colin Jost made fun of Giuliani’s tendency to defend Trump in rambling television interviews. Jost also described the president’s Twitter criticism of the media’s coverage of the controversy.

Co-host Michael Che lamented how long the impeachment process would take.

Kenan Thompson joined the segment as David “Big Papi” Ortiz, the Dominican former Boston Red Sox hitter who recently survived a possible assassination attempt. Ortiz joked about the food offered at Dominican hospitals, and used his screen time to advertise weaves and the Possible Burger — not to be confused with Burger King’s Impossible Whopper.

Up-and-coming singer Billy Eilish made her “SNL” debut with her performance of two songs from her new album “When We Fall Asleep and Where Do We Go?”. During her performance of “Bad Guy,” the 17-year-old hopped around the stage despite her sprained ankles and brace, which she revealed on Friday’s live episode of “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.” In her second stage for “I love you,” Eilish paired her silky vocals with an acoustic guitar.



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Kodi Lee, Singing Prodigy Who Is Blind and Has Autism, Wins ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 14

Kodi Lee, Singing Prodigy Who Is Blind and Has Autism, Wins 'America's Got Talent' Season 14

Kodi Lee, a 23-year-old singer and pianist from Lake Elsinore, California, was named the winner of “America’s Got Talent” season 14 Wednesday night. Lee, who is blind and has autism, captivated audiences all season long after winning Gabrielle Union’s golden buzzer with his rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You” in the first audition episode of the season.

“He’s changed the world, and he’s going to continue to change the world,” Union said Wednesday night.

For winning the competition, Lee gets $1 million and his a residency in Las Vegas. For four nights, from Nov. 7 to Nov. 10, the inspiring musician will host his own show at the Paris Las Vegas.

“I will buy lots of grand pianos in every color,” Lee said. 

After performing Wednesday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Lee earned a standing ovation from the audience and the judges, foreshadowing the end result. Lee’s personal story combined with his prodigious vocal and piano talent made him a favorite for crowds and the judges, alike.

“Kodi is an anomaly,” Julianne Hough, one of the judges, said. “I think in our lifetime we are lucky to experience the kind of magic Kodi is, and America knew it.”

Judge Simon Cowell added, “He is going to inspire other people.”

“Kodi won tonight, but the world won,” Tina Lee, Kodi Lee’s mother, said. “That’s really what happened here tonight is that the world completely won because Kodi just opened doors for everyone, like all of the kids with special needs. The parents, keep pushing them for on what they love to do. Give them the tools. Look at them, it’s possible. And don’t give up. We all won–the world.”



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‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Debuts ‘Killer’ Poster for Final Season (Exclusive)

'How to Get Away With Murder' Debuts 'Killer' Poster for Final Season (Exclusive)

‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Debuts ‘Killer’ Poster for Final Season (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Alex Trebek Completes Chemo, Returns for New ‘Jeopardy’ Season

Alex Trebek Completes Chemo, Returns for New 'Jeopardy' Season

Alex Trebek has returned to the set of “Jeopardy” to begin filming season 36 after completing a bout of chemotherapy.

“I’ve gone through a lot of chemotherapy and thankfully that is now over,” he said. “I’m on the mend and that’s all that I can hope for right now.”

In March, Trebek shared that he had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. At the time the 79-year-old host said he plans to beat the disease’s low survival rate with the love and support of family and friends and with prayers from viewers.



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Kenley Jansen Has Struggled This Season and Dodgers Fans Are Worried

Kenley Jansen Has Struggled This Season and Dodgers Fans Are Worried


How do you solve a problem like Kenley? 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been burdened by bullpen woes all season. Early in the year, it seemed the only relief pitcher the Boys in Blue could rely on was closer Kenley Jansen. Boy, what a difference a few months make.

Flash forward to today, and their greatest strength has arguably become one of their glaring weaknesses.

At 31-years-old, Jansen is starting to decline. His signature pitch—the cutter—doesn’t cut like it used to. At least not consistently. His fastball velocity has been steadily declining over the last five years, and he’s on pace for career lows in 2019.

The latest thrill ride that has been Jansen’s rollercoaster season came on Saturday afternoon against the New York Yankees. Mostly due to some soft contact and fielding mistakes, Jansen loaded the bases with one out and a one-run lead in the ninth before striking out Mike Tauchman and Gary Sanchez to escape with the save. 

The outing before that, Jansen allowed a game-tying home run on to Blue Jays slugger Rowdy Tellez, recording his sixth blown save of the season. It was the second time in his last five appearances he had allowed a game-tying homer.

On the season, Jansen has blown six saves in 33 appearances, tied for third most in the National League. However, he has the most blown saves out of any designated closer in all of MLB.

After the homer to Tellez, Jansen’s ERA ballooned to a career-low 3.62. It was the eighth homer he allowed this year, second most in a season, and just five behind his career-worst 13 in 2018.

Last year, Jansen had a career-low FIP of 4.03 and a career-worst strikeout per nine innings ratio of 10.3. Jansen’s current WHIP of 1.048 is the second highest of his career, and worst since 2014.

All of this mounting evidence speaks to Jansen’s inevitable decline, and begs the question:

Should Jansen remain as the Dodgers closer moving forward?

On its face, the question sounds preposterous. Jansen is without a doubt the best closer in Dodgers franchise history. That includes Brooklyn and Los Angeles. He’s the all-time franchise leader in saves (294) and ERA at 2.32.

He will likely enter the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown wearing Dodger blue, but that doesn’t mean fans have forgotten his inability to close out four separate games over the last two World Series combined.

With the current rendition of the Dodgers on pace to be better than both of the last two NL Pennant winning teams, Dodger fans across the globe understandably have concerns about Jansen come October.

Many of those fans that booed Joe Kelly and Pedro Baez in May, booed Jansen off the field on Wednesday, and are now calling for Kelly or Baez to take over the closer role. The irony in all of that is outright comical.

“I get it,” said Jansen when asked if he heard the boos and how he felt about them. “Boo me. I’d boo myself. I didn’t want the results. I was hurting myself out there.” 

Irony aside, there’s a point to their argument. Kelly has been lights out over the last three months. Since June 1, he’s 4-1 with a 1.33 ERA with 39 strikeouts. Over that same span, Jansen has an ERA of 4.13 with 30 strikeouts and six walks. The most glaring statistic however is Jansen’s four home runs allowed compared to Kelly’s one.

“At this point in time, I’m not tempted,” said Roberts about removing Jansen from the closer role. “I do think that this is a performance based business. I expect him to work through things. But there’s no guarantee for anyone—nor should there be—if performance doesn’t warrant it. That’s something that from Day One I’ve said that my job is to do what’s best for the Dodgers, not for an individual player.”

Jansen and Kelly could swap roles, but there’s not much difference in allowing the tying home run in the eighth inning compared to the ninth inning. When asked about perhaps surrendering his stranglehold on the closer’s role, Jansen was defiant in his response.

“Why would I worry about not being the closer? asked Jansen flippantly. “I’m going to be there…’Oh let me worry about not being the closer…’ Why? I’m putting a drama that is not there.”

The Dodgers have 22 blown saves this season. That ranks in the bottom five in the league, and their 59 percent save percentage is among the lower half of all teams in MLB.

Jansen is a big part of those numbers. His individual save percentage stands at 81 percent, good for the 33rd best in baseball, not numbers you want to see from an All-Star closer.

The Dodgers failed to acquire another closer or dominant backend reliever at the trade deadline and it could cost Los Angeles come October. On one hand, having another reliable arm like Felipe Vazquez, Shane Greene, or Ken Giles could have fortified the pen even further, but the front office made it known that Jansen would remain the closer no matter who the team acquired at the deadline.

If the price of any of those pitchers is a bounty of prospects that could turn into future All-Stars, the Dodgers were right in standing pat. Sure a combination of Kelly and Vazquez could have bridged the gap to Kenley, but what’s the point if Jansen still surrenders the game-tying or go-ahead homer in the ninth?

It’s too late for Los Angeles to add another elite reliever now. Their only option is to get Jansen back to form as quickly as possible. He may not as dominant as he was in 2016 or 17, but with a few adjustments, he can still be effective.

The changes Jansen needs to make begin and end with his cutter. His trademark pitch doesn’t have the same movement or velocity as it once did and Dodgers’ pitching coach Rick Honeycutt has noticed. 

Between 2011 and 2017, opponents had a slugging percentage of just .315 off Jansen. In 2018 it rose to .403, and this season it’s over .465. Over the last nine seasons, Jansen has thrown his cutter 90 percent of the time, this year, he’s thrown it just 76 percent of the time. That’s because Honeycutt and the front office are encouraging Jansen to incorporate a mixture of pitches, including his slider, in order to keep hitters off balance. 

“Guys know it’s coming,” said Dodgers’ catcher Will Smith about Jansen’s cutter. “When he misses, usually the cutter doesn’t stay up, but it still has depth to it. It’s kind of a work in progress.”

Despite the insistence that he changes his style like many pitchers before him have when entering the back half of their career, Jansen has been reluctant to change. Sticking with “old reliable,” whenever he gets into a jam. A fact that was evident by what happened against the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Jansen began the ninth inning with three consecutive cutters to Randal Grichuk. He overmatched the veteran hitter as Grichuk didn’t come close to making contact on all three.

“Sometimes I get myself in trouble, because when I blow hitters out like that with a few pitches, it’s like, ‘Aw s—, I got it today,” said Jansen. “And it’s like, ‘Hey use your mind.’ It gave me all the signs to change [on Wednesday], and I didn’t do it. You know what? It’s okay. It’s a mistake, you learn from it. No excuses, man.”

Jansen proved he could change on Saturday. After six straight cutters to start the ninth, Jansen began incorporating his slider and two-seamer. Players made soft contact on the slider, but he didn’t surrender any back-breaking home runs like he has previously.

“I have one goal and that is to just have fun and enjoy the moment,” said Jansen after the save. “I need to stop worrying about the results. We’re having an unbelievable season this year and I need to enjoy watching all my teammates doing really well and let that motivate me. That’s what I did today.” 

Jansen’s change in attitude came after a long meeting with Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts and President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman after the game on Wednesday. Both people gave the closer a vote of confidence and told him to go back to having fun and enjoying himself, and not allow his anger to consume him. 

“The biggest step for me is to be happy and stop being angry and worrying about the results,” said Jansen. “People need to understand with Doc and the front office and all that, we’re in this together. We want to win a championship. When we have a meeting, today with Andrew, people are pulling for you, they believe in you. Andrew believes in me. Doc believes in me. My teammates believe in me. Why should I worry about what people think or fans or media?” 

For now, Jansen is determined to ignore the outside noise and focus solely on what he can control: changing his pitch sequence, and living in the moment. When he does that, and the adrenaline is flowing like it was on the mound against the Yankees, good things can happen.



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‘This Close’ Returns With Season 2: Watch Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman in an Exclusive New Teaser

'This Close' Returns With Season 2: Watch Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman in an Exclusive New Teaser

‘This Close’ Returns With Season 2: Watch Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman in an Exclusive New Teaser | Entertainment Tonight

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Stephanie Pratt Says She’s Not Returning to ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’ for Season 2

Stephanie Pratt Says She's Not Returning to 'The Hills: New Beginnings' for Season 2

Stephanie Pratt Says She’s Not Returning to ‘The Hills: New Beginnings’ for Season 2 | Entertainment Tonight

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Dodgers Host Marlins and Angels in Final Freeway Series of Season

Dodgers Host Marlins and Angels in Final Freeway Series of Season

The 2019 MLB All-Star Game is now in the rear view mirror, and the best team in baseball is heading back to Los Angeles for a five-game homestand after a winning road trip in Boston and Philadelphia.

The Dodgers begin the homestand on Friday night at Chavez Ravine where they will host the Miami Marlins for a three-game weekend series. The trio of games marks the 2019 return of former Dodger manager Don Mattingly.

Friday, July 19, 7:10 p.m. vs. Marlins

Friday’s opener pins RHP Zac Gallen for Miami against All-Star Hyun-Jin Ryu for the Dodgers on Friday Night Fireworks Night presented by Denny’s. DJ Severe will play music during the fireworks show in honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Saturday, July 20, 6:10 p.m. vs. Marlins

Fans will want to show up to the park on Saturday night as the Dodgers will induct pitcher Fernando Valenzuela into the “Legends of Dodger Baseball” during a pregame ceremony. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a limited edition Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead courtesy of San Manuel Casino.

Former Valenzuela teammate Mike Scioscia, the scout that discovered Valenzuela in Mexico, Mike Brito, and his current broadcast partner, Jaime Jarrin, will all be in attendance for the ceremony and unveiling of the plaque.

On the field RHP Sandy Alcantara will face All-Star Clayton Kershaw at 6:10PM PT.

Sunday, July 21, 1:10 p.m. vs. Marlins 

The finale of the three-game series with the Fish will take place on Sunday afternoon, and is highlighted by Cuban Heritage Day. There will be a Viva Los Dodgers pregame event in the parking lot at the old 76 Station at 11:00AM featuring Cuban music, food, games, and player/broadcaster autograph sessions.

Fans who purchase special event tickets at Dodgers.com/Events will receive a long-sleeved “Cuba Day” t-shirt. On the field, RHP Jordan Yamamoto will face RHP Walker Buehler in a matchup of hard-throwing young stars. After the game, kids are invited on to the field to run the bases.

  

Tuesday, July 23, 7:10 p.m. vs. Angels

After an off-day on Monday, the Dodgers will host the inner-city rival Angels in the final Freeway Series of the season. RHP Kenta Maeda is expected to start the opener on Tuesday as the Dodgers host new MLS soccer club, LAFC.

Players from the first-place team in the MLS will be honored before the game, and available for photographs in the right field plaza. Fans who purchase special event tickets at Dodgers.com/LAFC will receive a Dodgers and LAFC jersey.

Wednesday, July 24, 7:10 p.m. vs. Angels

The finale of the homestand on Wednesday will feature a pregame concert by Japanese musician MIYA VI. Women’s Tennis Champion, Naomi Osaka, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in honor of Japan Night presented by TACOM.

Fans who purchase tickets at Dodgers.com/Events for Japan Night will receive a special Kenta Maeda Dodgers jersey in Japanese.

Have fun during the homestand and see you at the ballpark.



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