2004-07-23 / Sports

‘Cyclone Joe’ Williams Stars In Brooklyn

By Elio Velez


Local resident Kristen Diffendale sang the national anthem before the start of the Brooklyn Cyclones-Hudson Valley Renegades game on Monday, July 19 at Keyspan Park. Diffendale was chosen as one of the winners in the national anthem contest held by the team in early June. A large amount of friends and family were on hand to cheer Diffendale on.
Local resident Kristen Diffendale sang the national anthem before the start of the Brooklyn Cyclones-Hudson Valley Renegades game on Monday, July 19 at Keyspan Park. Diffendale was chosen as one of the winners in the national anthem contest held by the team in early June. A large amount of friends and family were on hand to cheer Diffendale on. Lefthander Joseph Williams has pitched so well in his first professional season with Brooklyn that media relations’ manager Dave Campanero nicknamed Williams “Cyclone” Joe.

The nickname came from Negro Leagues Hall of Fame pitcher Joe Williams. From 1905-1932, Williams dominated in the Negro Leagues and in exhibition games against the Major Leagues. Though the present Williams is not even close to Hall of Fame status, the Cyclones (20-12, first place in the McMnamara Division ahead of Aberdeen) are benefiting from his mound presence this year.

Williams is 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA, which places him in the top 10 in the New York Penn League. He throws a two and four seam fastball, knuckle curve, changeup and a split-finger fastball.

“I don’t throw 95 mph but I get ahead of the guys and mix up my pitches.”

The 6’3 lefty also looks forward to becoming a Dontrelle Willis type hitter as he smacked 8 home runs as a senior at Xavier University in Illinois.

Williams could also have the nickname of “Dr. Joe” after graduating pre-med from Xavier with a 3.8 GPA and named as the 2004 NAIA Scholar Athlete of the year.

Williams’ will look to his girlfriend, who graduated this past year from Xavier, to become a doctor. The couple met in ecology class and she will go to medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa.

Being a doctor is something he would possibly do in the future but pitching is his first option now.

“It’s a backup thing. I was interested in biology in high school. It’s a thing I liked doing in college”, Williams said. “I could probably get in a medical school if I tired. It gives me an option just in case.”

Tijerina Suspended

Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina and pitcher Julio Freitas were suspended for three games last week after a beanball incident last Thursday in Williamsport.

In a 6-4 loss to the Crosscutters, Frietas was ejected after throwing behind a Crosscutter batter. Tijerina was suspended for arguing the call.

What is not clear is the reason why the N.Y. Penn League suspended Tijerina and Frietas for three games. One idea for the lengthy suspension may have been to prevent bench-clearing brawls such as the one that occurred last year between the Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees. Nine Cyclones were suspended along with several Yankees players.

Hitting coach Donovan Mitchell took over as interim manager. He was 0-3 in his short stint in losing to Williamsport and Hudson Valley.

Muniz Departs Brooklyn

California native Carlos Muniz was promoted to Capital City in South Carolina after finishing a rehab stint for tendonitis in his right shoulder. Muniz, who went 13 for 13 in saves in 2003 with the Cyclones

“I got my strength back. It is just a matter of being consistent. I got to pitch more aggressively inside. It’s just a matter of gaining command,” Muniz said.

“I’ don’t think I need more time. I’m ready to go now. I feel healthy and I’m going to get more stronger now.” SinglesNight

The Cyclones will host Singles Night at Keyspan Park tonight at 6:30 p.m. Hosted by Alex Micehl, the original star of the ABC-TV show “The Bachelor”, 50 men and 50 women will have th eopportunity to meet and mingle on the Ocean View Party deck while watchign the Cyclones take on the Aberdeen Ironbirds.

For $30, each single will receive food, drink and a ticket to the ballgame and the chance to meet his or her match. Singles will also be invited to particpate in between inning constests held each night at the Cyclones games.


Joe Williams. Photo by George Napolitano/Brooklyn Cyclones.
Joe Williams. Photo by George Napolitano/Brooklyn Cyclones.

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