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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.
GIVING A-ROD CREDIT FOR A CLUTCH HOME RUN...BUT NOT FOR PLAYING
BILLS CAN MAKE TEAM HISTORY THIS WEEK
RED WINGS WORTH ESTIMATED $22 MILLION
MORE ON COLABELLO’S AMAZING SEASON
Boston’s Ryan Dempster, an average pitcher with above-average control, lost control of his emotions and his pitches to beleaguered New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in the second inning of Sunday night’s nationally-televised game at Fenway Park.
Dempster claimed he was “trying to pitch inside.” Sorry, not buying it.
The first pitch was behind A-Rod’s leg. The next two pitchers were inside. The 3-and-0 fourth pitch hit him flush on his left elbow pad.
I’m no fan of A-Rod. But I give him major props for keeping his cool after being plunked Sunday night and for crushing a long home run off Dempster in the sixth inning to spark a 9-6 Yankees victory.
I don’t think A-Rod he should’ve been playing Sunday night -- or in any game.
Under the circumstances – he has the legal right to play while appealing a 211-game suspension for alleged use of performance -- the Yankees had to put him on the 25-man roster. But the Yankees don’t have to play him.
The other dozen players involved in the latest PED scandal took their punishment. Only A-Rod appealed. Of course it was his right, but you won’t find many people who respect his decision.
A-Rod would’ve had a big edge over opposing pitchers had been clean. He didn’t need to cheat with PEDs, but he did.
If you believe in an equal playing field in sports, how can that PED use be condoned? If you think the drugs should be allowed – and some people do – consider this: Maybe we’ll see the day when chemists rule sports, appear in team pictures and have their own card series and earn playoff shares.
BILLS IN RARE PRESEASON AIR
Long-suffering Buffalo Bills fans were dealt another blow over the weekend with news that rookie quarterback hope EJ Manuel has a minor (we hope) knee injury that will sideline him for a few weeks. His status for Week 1 is “hopeful.”
But there is a reason for Buffalo fans to be excited. The Bills are off to a 2-0 start in the preseason for only the third time in 54 years:
1966 – Started preseason 3-0 (finished 3-1)...9-4-1 record in the regular season.
2005 – Started preseason 2-0 (finished 2-2)...5-11 record in the regular season.
The Bills never have had an undefeated preseason. They’ve had seven winless preseasons and are 91-149-3 overall.
RED WINGS 19TH MOST VALUABLE ON THIS LIST
The Rochester Red Wings are 19th on Fortune magazine’s list of the “20 Most Valuable Minor League Baseball Teams,” with an estimated value of $22 million (if for sale on the open market). Revenue for 2012 was $6.1 million. Operating income was $200,000.
160 teams were included in the survey. They were cut to the top 35 in attendance last season.
Of the top 20 teams, all are in Triple-A except the Frisco RoughRiders of the Double-A Texas League and the Dayton Dragons of the Single-A Midwest League.
Value included in-stadium revenues (ticket sales, concessions, advertising), stadium leases, money in the bank and stock assets.
International League teams rated above Rochester were Lehigh Valley (3rd; $33 million), Columbus and Indianapolis (t4th; $32 million); Louisville and Toledo (t8th; $29 million), Buffalo (13th; $26 million) and Durham (t15th; Durham $24 million).
The two most valuable minor league baseball teams are the Sacramento River Cats ($38 million) and the Round Rock Express ($35 million).
COLABELLO NEARS IL BATTING TITLE
The return of slugging first baseman Chris Colabello from the Minnesota Twins to Rochester over the weekend all but assures that he’ll be Rochester’s 16th International League batting champion since the franchise became the Red Wings in 1928.
A total of 388.8 plate appearances is required to win the IL batting title (an average of 2.7 plate appearances per 144-game schedule). Colabello entered Monday night with a total of 373 at-bats (330) and walks (43) with 14 games remaining.
Here are Colabello’s numbers compared to the IL’s current No. 2 player in batting average:
Colabello -- .355 (117x330)
Jeff Kobermus -- .323 (103x319)
Colabello ‘s current .355 batting average would be the highest by a Red Wing IL batting champion in 81 years:
1930 – Rip Collins .376
1932 – George Puccinelli .359
1943 – Red Schoendienst .337
1947 – Nippy Jones .337
1950 -- Don Richmond .333
1951 – Don Richmond .350
1954 – Bill Virdon .333
1960 – Jim Frey .317
1968 – Merv Rettenmund .331
1971 – Bobby Grich .336
1972 – Al Bumbry .345
1976 – Rich Dauer .336
1988 – Steve Finley .314
2004 – Jason Kubel .343
2008 – Randy Ruiz .320
I took my first trip ever to Saratoga on Sunday and the second race seemed like Finger Lakes Racetrack as trainer Chris Englehart’s first-time starter Broadway Music Gal romped at odds of 5-to-1.
Europe upset the United States in the Solheim Cup over the weekend. Wouldn’t the best LPGA international team competition be the United States and Europe versus Asia?
In college football on Saturday, Aug. 31, Penn State is a 7-point favorite over Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J., and Ohio State is favored by 36 points over visiting Buffalo.
Naming rights for Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial are up this year. Frontier Field naming rights are up in 2016. Any suggestions.