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For over 25 years, Bob Matthews has held the title of Rochester's most popular sports writer/commentator. For over 20 years, Bob has hosted WHAM's nightly sports talk program...consistently ranked at the top of his time slot!
From 1978 to 2012, Bob Matthews was a sports columnist for the Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle and a regular "As the Sports World Turns" contributor to the Gannett News Service. He is the only person to be selected Press-Radio Club Sportswriter of the Year (five times) and Sportscaster of the Year, and was a pioneer inductee into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
A Rochester native, Bob graduated from Brighton High School where he played varsity baseball, basketball and served as student council V-P. Bob is also a veteran, serving his country in Vietnam.
Always opinionated and outspoken, Bob's proudest accomplishment is advocating for Frontier Field. His all-time favorite athlete...former Red Wing Luke Easter. One of his sports regrets……not being around for the glory year of the Rochester Royals.
THE ANSWER MAN: ON REVIS, RUSSELL WESTBROOK, ATLANTA BRAVES, ETC.
MUSIAL CAPTAINS BOB’S ALL-TIME RED WINGS MAJOR-LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM
SENIOR BOWL: RECOMMENDED VIEWING FOR FANS OF THE BUFFALO BILLS
Do you believe the New York Jets really are listening to offers for Darrelle Revis?
ANSWER – If they aren’t they should be. The Jets are a mess and not likely to be a playoff contender in 2013, with or without Revis. He’ll be a free agent after next season and owner Woody Johnson doesn’t think the team could afford to keep him. The rebuilding Jets would be wise to get something (probably a lot) for him now. Coach Rex Ryan is very good at building a defense. The greatest need for the Jets is an improved offense. Dealing Revis could hasten the process.
Does Russell Westbrook hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder more than he helps them?
ANSWER – Of course not. The Thunder are the NBA’s most entertaining team and arguably the best team (they get my vote) and Westbrook is the second-biggest reason. His speed fuels the team’s up-tempo offense and he is improving as a playmaker. His greatest flaw is shot selection. He takes too many shots – particularly too many wild ones. He leads the Thunder in shots taken. That’s ridiculous. Teammate Kevin Durant should in shots for any team he plays for . Through Wednesday night, Westbrook had taken 17 more shots than Durant this season (811 to 794 and made 74 fewer shots (339 to 413. That says it all.
Did the Atlanta Braves make a good move on Thursday trading for Justin Upton?
ANSWER – I think so. The Braves improved their chances of topping the loaded Washington Nationals for the National League East pennant this season. Atlanta earlier this winter signed free agent B.J. Upton to be play center field. I don’t think the Upton brothers have played to their potential in recent years. Playing on the same team could amp up both of their games…How’s this for a possible Opening Day lineup: CF B.J. Upton…LF Justin Upton…RF Jason Hayward…C Brian McCann…1B Freddie Freeman…2B Dan Uggla…3B Chris Johnson…SS Andrelton Simmons.
What do you think about Peyton Manning imploring players to play with more intensity in Sunday’s Pro Bowl?
ANSWER – First, I applaud him for playing in the game. Most elite veteran QBs decline their invitations. If the players don’t respond to Manning, it probably is a lost cause to save the Pro Bowl. Will they give an honest effort? I’ll believe it when I see it.
Do you think the Manti Te’o affair will hurt his status in the NFL draft?
ANSWER – I don’t think so – and I hope not. He was naïve and ignorant in this episode but he has more than paid his dues in embarrassment and ridicule. We’ve all had our fun. Now let the kid get on with his life, on and off the field. He’s still taking heat while Ray Lewis is being glorified despite his past indiscretions. Lewis has made many more mistakes and hurt many more people than Te’o has.
Are the Buffalo Sabres a lock to make the Stanley Cup playoffs?
ANSWER – I rate Buffalo 60-40 to make the playoffs. A deep and talented crew of defensemen and goalie Ryan Miller give the Sabres a shot. But lack of firepower is the obvious weakness. Buffalo won’t win many games when the opponent scores more than three goals.
Who was the worst snub for the NBA All-Star Game?
ANSWER – Stephen Curry of Golden State. He was the top scorer (20.9-point average) not chosen. Teammate David Lee is a good player and was selected as a reserve, but Curry is the most important player on the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets have the best record (26-16) of the teams with no players going to the All-Star Game. Guard Deron Williams is having a sub-par season by his standards but center Brook Lopez (team-leading 18.6-point average and 7.4 rebounds per game) deserved an invitation…I know Blake Griffin (Clippers) is the current master of the thunder dunk and stars in some clever and humorous car commercials, but – all things considered -- I think Tim Duncan (San Antonio) would be a more worthy starter at power forward for the West.
MUSIAL, GIBSON TOP ALL-TIME EX-RED WINGS MAJOR-LEAGUE TEAM
The passing of Stan “The Man” Musial inspired me to come up with the following All-Time Rochester Red Wings Major League Team.
This mythical squad includes all players who appeared in at least 50 games with the Red Wings. Among the players failing to meet this requirement were catcher Tim McCarver (he hit .357 in 17 games in 1959 at age 17), catcher Joe Mauer (batted .316, 6x21, with 2 RBI, in 5 games on rehab in 2004) and pitcher Jim Palmer (0-0 record and 12.27 ERA in four games on rehab in 1967-68).
The players on this team were determined exclusively by their performances in Major League Baseball:
First base – George Sisler (played final pro season with Rochester in 1931 after a Hall of Fame career in the majors)…tops Boog Powell
Second base – Bobby Grich (played 2B with the Red Wings in 1970 and SS in 1971)…beats out Davey Johnson
Shortstop – Red Schoendienst (played SS with Rochester and mostly 2B with St. Louis Cardinals)
Third base – Cal Ripken Jr.
Catcher – Chris Hoiles…He had a longer and more productive big-league career than you might think (I know I was surprised when I looked it up this week): 10 seasons (1989 through 1998); 894 games; .262 batting average; 151 HRS; 449 RBI.
Outfield – Stan Musial (captain of this team)
Outfield – Steve Finley
Outfield – Eddie Murray (54 games with 1976 Red Wings, including 21 in the outfield…I know this is a stretch, but I feel he deserves to be on this team…apologies to Don Baylor and Bill Virdon, among others)
DH – Johnny Mize
Starting rotation – Bob Gibson, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Dennis Martinez, Mike Flanagan
Closer – Arthur Rhodes (over Armando Benitez)
Manager – Earl Weaver (over Billy Southworth).
SENIOR BOWL: RECOMMENDED VIEWING FOR BUFFALO BILLS FANS
I usually wouldn’t recommend the Senior Bowl as interesting TV fare for sports fans, but Saturday’s game (4 p.m. on the NFL Network) is an exception – at least for Buffalo Bills fans.
Bills GM Buddy Nix and his scouting staff spent the past week checking out the talent for April’s college draft – focusing on the quarterbacks, linebackers and wide receivers.
Nix and his staff interviewed all of the prospects the team is interested in – including all six quarterbacks: Zac Dysert (Miami, Ohio), Mike Glennon (North Carolina State), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), EJ Manuel (Florida State), Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) and Tyler Wilson (Arkansas).
Don’t be surprised if the Bills pick two of them….Linebackers on the radar: Arthur Brown (Kansas State), Jamie Collins (Southern Mississippi), Sean Porter (Texas A&M)…and wide receivers Terrance Williams (Baylor), Aaron Dobson (Marshall) and Markus Wheaton (Oregon).
The University of Rochester is No. 1 in free-throw shooting percentage among the nation’s 1,038 NCAA basketball teams (345 in Division I, 286 in Division II and 407 in Division III): Division I Davidson 79.9…Division II St. Louis (Mo.) 80.4…Division III Rochester 81.2 (250x308)…UR also is 2nd in Division III in 3-point field-goal percentage: 44.3 (148x334).
The New York Yankees made a strong showing when ESPN.com’s Buster Olney listed his 10 best lineups in baseball history: 1931 Yankees…1995 Cleveland…1936 Yankees…1953 Brooklyn Dodgers…1950 Boston Red Sox…1998 Yankees…1996 Seattle Mariners…1927 Yankees…1996 Colorado Rockies…1930 St. Louis Cardinals.
The 12 “injury” defections from Sunday’s Pro Bowl include five members of the New England Patriots and all three NFC quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Robert Griffin III replaced by Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Russell Wilson).
Believe It Or Not: The Baltimore Ravens will enter Super Bowl XLVII with the best postseason record (13-7; .650) in NFL history.
Updated odds on the UFC 159 (April 27) light-heavyweight title fight in Newark, N.J.: champion Jon “Bones” Jones bet $900 to win $100…Chael Sonnen bet $100 to win $550.
Former NFL quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick flop JaMarcus Russell plans to make a comeback in the NFL next season. All he needs to find is a team willing to take a shot. He was paid $39 million for his three seasons with Oakland. In 25 starts, he was 7-18, with 18 TD passes, 23 INTs, 15 lost fumbles and a 65.2 passer rating. Maybe he plans to come back as a lineman. He reportedly weighs 308 pounds, down from 320 last fall.
Rachel Nichols: ESPN to CNN/Turner Sports, starting with the Super Bowl.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton, who set can organized baseball record with 155 stolen bases, will begin this season with the International League Louisville Bats.
Some things Syracuse’s men’s basketball team is doing well (ranking in Division I in parentheses): 20.1 average scoring margin (3rd)…35.7 field-goal defense (4th)…+8.7 average rebound margin (9th)…78.5 scoring average (17th)…58.4 scoring defense (t27th)…winning – 18-1 record entering Saturday, 11 a.m., at Villanova.