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Missing Midville Dodgers Back With Team

Midville's Sandy Sussman, who accompanied Silvestri to Michigan and helped the Yankees win the Kings Park regional to advance to the World Series, has been suspended indefinitely. Sussman was missing from the organization until Monday night when he phoned Bob Holden, president of the Dodgers, asking for forgiveness and to be reinstated."I was 16 once," Holden said. Things like this happen when you're that age. There's no reason why this thing should be dragged out any further." Andrew Kapela, the third player taken by the Yankees, also served a one-game suspension and is also back playing with the Dodgers.As punishment for their actions, Kapela and Silvestri, a resident of Floral Park, had to brush up the field at Juniper Park and apologize to their teammates, who welcomed the players back with open arms."As far as I'm concerned, it's water under the bridge," said their Under-16 coach Bill Schindler. "These are 16-year-old kids and everyone makes mistakes. They were upset about what they did, and I know that they didn't mean for it to come to this. To be honest, we're trying to put this situation behind us."The situation - players leaving a team to play on a team going to the World Series - rocked the normally sedate world of amateur baseball and instigated a sandlot war of words between Holden and Bayside Yankees President Marc Cuseta, with the players seemingly caught in the middle.Silvestri, an honor student at Molloy and shortstop for Midville who played for the Long Island Yankees last year and has received interest from Columbia University and other coveted schools, was visibly shaken by the episode and chalked up what happened to a misunderstanding that never involved lying to or deceiving his coach as was earlier reported."I am deeply sorry for what happened, and if I did anything wrong, I apologize," he said. "I admit that I didn't call my coach to tell him that I was playing for the Bayside Yankees. In hindsight, I take responsibility for this. The only game I missed was a game that I didn't know about - a rescheduled game because of a rain-out. Any other games I missed was because I was on vacation in Montauk, and coach knew I was there. All I want to do is play ball, and I am sorry if I caused anyone any problems. It was an opportunity to play in the World Series. My teammates would have done the whole thing."Silvestri and Kapela are back in the lineup, blending seamlessly with their teammates and helping the Dodgers win a championship. It's been an eventful summer for Silvestri, one in which he learned more than how to hit a curve ball."You see the politics of (amateur baseball) how Cuseta and Holden went after each other, and it wasn't called for," he said. "You see that it's more than just a game."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

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