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.
We have reached the smack dab exact half way point in major league baseball. Most teams have played 81 games on their way to a full 162 game schedule, and the major league baseball All-star game is coming up next Tuesday. Therefore, I thought it was the perfect time for my first half awards. I will give them out by league and not all of baseball for two reasons. A, because it makes for MUCH tougher choices and two, because this blog would be far too short. So lets begin with the American League....
BEST TEAM: Texas Rangers. Not just because they have won the most games in the AL, by one over the Yankees, but because the Rangers are once again LOADED. They may not even win the division as the Angels are only 4 1/2 games back and are underperforming, but for now, the Rangers have it all. Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and on and on. There is not a weak spot in the lineup. Add in Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and now Roy Oswalt along with closer Joe Nathan, and the pitching can compete with anyone as well. The Angels can win this division, but it certainly won't be easy with this bunch.
MVP: Josh Hamilton. Shocking, a Ranger. Yeah, Hamilton is playing like a man possessed and has a shot at the triple crown. .318 average, 26 bombs, 74 RBI and slugging .650. Those numbers are Ruthian, especially in this post steroids era.
Biggest surprise team: Baltimore Orioles. Most experts picked the O's to finish last (again) in the AL east, but they are 44-37 and in second place behind the Yankees. Chris Davis and Adam Jones are really the only offensive players having great years. The Orioles are doing it with pitching! That was supposed to be the weak spot on this team. Japanese import Wei Yin Chen has been a wonderful surprise and Jason Hammel has been better than that coming over from the Rockies with an 8-4 record. Jim Johnson has been practically unhittable as their closer. Can they keep it up though? I highly doubt it.
Most surprising player: Edwin Encarnacion. The Blue Jay has always had a high upside, but had never realized it...until this year. .298 avg, 22 HR, 56 RBI, slugging at .569 and a .950 OPS. All this from a guy who had a .260 career average with a career high of 26 HR and 73 RBI.
Most disappointing team: Detroit Tigers. Many experts thought they would have the most wins in baseball after adding Prince Fielder to pair with Miggy Cabrera and Justin Verlander. Prince has been great, as has Cabrera and Austin Jackson is having a breakout year, but the Tigers have gotten NO pitching from guys they expected to be good. Everyone on their staff has been below career averages, and unless they turn it around, this team may flirt with .500 all year.
Most disappointing player: Eric Hosmer. So much was expected of the Kansas City first baseman. Many thought he was ready to have a breakout year. Instead, he has suffered from the sophomore slump hitting only .230 with 9 HR and 36 RBI. His slugging percentage is under .400. I would have said Albert Pujols if this were a month ago, but he has gotten hot. Jamile Weeks has been awful but not many fans even know who he is, and Carlos Pena is flirting with the Mendoza line, but he does that nearly every year. So I went with Hosmer.
Best Rookie: Mike Trout. He is playing so well, he might be considered for both Rookie of the year AND MVP if he keeps this up. Leading the league in hitting at .343 and very good power numbers. Trout is also one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. The kid can do it all.
BEST TEAM: Wahsington Nationals. Sure seems a long ways from "first in war, first in peace, and last in the league". That famous saying applied to Washington baseball teams for many many years. Not any more. The Nats have a great combination of hitting (Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Mike Morse, Ian Desmond) and pitching (Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Jordan Zimmerman). They are NOT a fluke and I look for them to continue to be the best in the NL all year.
MVP: R.A. Dickey. I hate to give a pitcher the MVP, even in just a half season, but the knuckleballer has been absolutely phenomenal. Dickey leads the league with 12 wins, is on pace for 24 and has won nearly a third of his teams total wins. His 2.40 ERA ranks third in the league, but he is easily first over the last two months. He has also struck out 116 batters in 113 innings.
Biggest surprise team: New York Mets. When the season started, I honestly thought the Mets had a good chance of being the worst team in baseball. They lost Jose Reyes, and had question marks at almost every position and a shaky pitching staff. Somehow, the Mets are 45-38 and only 4 and a half games behind the best team in the NL, the Nationals. Lucas Duda has been outstanding, Ike Davis is starting to hit and the pitching staff, led by Johan Santana (who pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history) and R.A. Dickey has been exceptional. Will they keep it up? Probably not but they have a better chance than the Orioles.
Most surprising player: Carlos Ruiz. This jouneyman catcher for the Phillies is among the league leaders with a .355 average, has hit 13 home runs and driven in 46. He has a .598 slugging percentage. This from a guy who had never hit double digit home runs and his career high in RBI is 54.
Most disappointing team: Philadelphia Phillies. Cliff Lee just got his first win. Roy Halladay has been hurt for a long stretch. Chase Utley is just getting back. Ryan Howard has been out for the year. Maybe it's not that disappointing. Still, this is the team that has been baseball's best for the past 4 or 5 seasons. Colorado is also surprisingly bad at 31-51. I thought they would compete for the NL west title. Not exactly.
Most disappointing player: Tim Lincicum. This guy seems to have lost it. 3-9 record, an over 6.00 ERA. More hits than innings. 49 walks in 93 innings. Truly surprising numbers for a perennial Cy Young award candidate.
Best rookie: Bryce Harper. I would actually like to say Lance Lynn, but I am not sure if he qualifies as a rookie, due to his 18 appearances and 34 innings last year. But Harper is obviously going to have the better career and now that he is up, he should make up for lost time over the first month and a half of the season and put up very good numbers to be the eventual ROY.
Well thats how I see it. I'd love to hear if you disagree. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.
to donate to clinical trials research for my blinding eye disease, go to www.curechm.org