BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
Onto one of the more interesting divisions in baseball. Not the best, but could be the most interesting. That's because it is very hard to forecast. The Brewers lost their Prince, while St. Louis lost their manager. The Cubs have a new beginning under Theo Epstein, while the Astros make their swan song as they move to the American League next year.
1. Cincinnati Reds. I just love this teams potential. It is unrealized so far, but the upside of the Reds is by far the scariest in the division. Joey Votto is one of the best players in the league if not in all baseball. Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce are monsters in the outfield, while Ryan Ludwich and Chris Heisey should combine for 30 plus homers and close to a hundred RBI. Scott Rolen is getting up there in age and is injury prone but can still hit pretty well for a third baseman and is a slick fielder. Brandon Phillips is one of the most dynamic second basemen in baseball and Zack Cozart is a rookie shortstop with a huge upside.
Their pitching is improved with Mat Latos coming over from San Diego. His numbers won't be as good as in pitcher friendly Petco Park, but he can pitch. He teams with Johnny Cueto to form a young, very good 1-2 punch. Bronson Arroyo is a huge question mark, but I like the chances of Mike Leake and Homer Bailey to break through and finally realize their immense potential. The bullpen could be awesome if Sean Marshall proves he can close successfully, but if he can't, Cuban import Aroldis Chapman is waiting in the wings along with Jose Arredondo.
2. Milwaikee Brewers. Sure they lost a huge run producer in Prince Fielder, but Mat Gamel has been waiting in the wings for a couple years now and it's his time to shine. I think he can and will. Ricky Weeks isn't far behind Phillips as a second baseman. Alex Gonzalez has pop at short, but doesn't hit for a great average, and Aramis Ramirez adds punch at the hot corner after coming over from the Windy city. Ryan Braun will put up numbers and hopefully can put the steroid scandal behind him, and Corey Hart is solid. Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez platoon in center and add speed and defense.
Yovani Gallardo is a nice ace with great stuff and Zack Greinke is inconsistent, but few are better when he is on. Shawn Marcum has a lot of upside, but so far it has been largely unrealized. Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson round out the rotation. John Axford is a lights out closer with a dynamite fastball, and K-Rod is one of the best setup men in baseball.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates. Andrew McCutcheon is one of the best players in baseball and is about to show it. Alex Presley and Jose Tabata are outstanding young talents who are primed for a breakout campaign and Nate McLouth provides excellent depth. Garrett Jones, the former Red Wing, is ready to put up solid numbers at first and has cut down on his strikeouts. Clint Barmes comes over to the Steel City and is an upgrade at short. Neil Walker could hit .300 with 15 homers and 70 RBI at second.. Pedro Alvarez has 30 homerun potential at third, but if he is still not ready, Casey McGahee comes over from Milwaukee to provide excellent corner depth for he and Jones. Rod Barajas is a capable veteran backstop.
The Pirates finally have the pitching to actually compete in the division. Erik Bedard comes over to be the staff ace and could be excellent if he stays healthy, which has been a problem. Jeff Karstens and James McDonald are a very unhealded young tandem. Kevin Correia has shown signs of being very good and Charlie Morton and A.J. Burnett are waiting in the wings while dealing with injuries. Burnett especially could benefit from getting out of the Big Apple spotlight. Joel Hanrahan is a very good closer and the middle men like Evan Meek, Juan Cruz and Jason Grilli are better than anyone gives them credit for.
4. St. Louis Cardinals. Anytime a team loses a player of the likes of Albert Pujols, it is difficult to replace, so there is going to be a drop-off. How much of a drop is what we will find out. The Cards still have some bashers, but will have to score many more runs by playing small ball. Matt Holliday is a nice anchor in the middle of the luneup. Carlos Beltran is a nice addition if he stays healthy and has anything left, but both of those are question marks. The Cards need Lance Berkman to have the same kind of year he had last year and World Series hero David Freese to get even better. Yadier Molina is one of the best catchers in the game both offensively and defensively, but St. Louis is weak in the middle infield spots.
The Cardinals could compete IF Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter come back from injuries and Jaime Garcia is as good as last year. Kyle Lohse needs to be good and he can be, and Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook need to be solid. Jason Motte can be a very good closer and the middle relief is solid. This team will only go as far as the pitching takes it.
5. Chicago Cubs. With new GM Theo Epstein, the Cubs finally have a plan for the future, but that future is still a couple years away. Anthony Rizzo will eventually be the first baseman for a decade, but isn't ready yet. Same for Brett Jackson, Wellington Castillo and Josh Vitters. For now, the Cubs will make due with Geovanny Soto hehind the plate, 29 year old rookie Sean LaHair at first, Rockies import Ian Stewart at third, and Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and David DeJesus in the outfield. None of them will be here when the Cubs eventually get good. Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney probably will be, as they are a very exciting middle infield to build around.
As for pitching, Matt Garza is decent as a number 2 starter, but Ryan Dempster as a staff ace is brutal. Jeff Samardzija has potential to be very good, but Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm are average at best and they round out the rotation. Carlos Marmol is an excellent closer, but might not have a lot of save chances with that rotation in front of him. There will be a lot of runs scored by opponents with the wind blowing out at Wrigley this summer.
6. Houston Astros. The 'stros long run in the National League comes to an end after this year, and they are a true rebuilding project. Most of the players starting on this team are guys you have never heard of, with the exception of Carlos Lee. JD Martinez is an excellent young hitter. Jordan Schafer has speed but will have trouble hitting for average and getting on base. Brian Bogusevic has gap power and hit for a decent average. Jed Lowrie comes over from Boston and gets a chance to play every day at shortstop, but is hurt, so Marwin Gonzalez starts at short, Chris Johnson at third, Jose Altuve at second, and Jason Castro behind the plate. 'Nuff said.
As for pitching, it doesn't get much better. Wandy Rodriguez isn't a terrible staff ace, but the rest of the rotation is comprised of other teams castoffs (JA Happ and Bud Norris) and guys you have never heard of (Lucas Harrell and Kyle Weiland). Brett Myers moves back to the bullpen to close games, but again like in Chicago won't get many chances.