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.
After Yankee captain Derek Jeter broke his ankle awkwardly fielding a ground ball in game one of the ALCS, it really got me to thinking....is Jeter the best "ballplayer" the game has ever seen?
I think it is a valid question, and I am not a Yankee fan or a Jeter fan in particular. I never disliked Jeter, but I never loved him either. I do RESPECT Jeter though and all his amazing accomplishments.
When you think of a baseball player, an overall assessment of what he does, in all aspects of the game, I think Jeter has to be at the top of the list, or at least near it.
Ability to swing the bat, hit for average, hit for power, drive in runs, bunt, hit and run. Jeter does all of those as well or better than anyone who has ever played the game. Combine that with fielding, running the bases, leadership, clubhouse presence, leading by example and even relating to fans, and you could make an argument that Jeter is the best ever.
So I thought it was time for another top ten list, to analyze this lofty notion. I am going to do it not in reverse order though, but from best on down, in my opinion at least:
1. Pete Rose. yeah, another list that I believe Rose should top, which again makes it ridiculous that Rose is still banned from Hall of Fame consideration. Rose of course is first overall in hits, 7th all time in total bases and 9th in runs created. He won World Series with the Reds and Phillies and played on winning teams nearly every year of his career. His nickname of "Charlie Hustle" typified the type of player he was. He fielded his position, whether it was left field, third base or first base better than average. He was a sparkplug, and fired up teammates with his attitude and style of play. He exemplified the word "ballplayer" better than anyone who has ever played, even Jeter.
2. Eddie Collins. The second baseman is 10th on the all-time hits list, but is first by a HUGE margin in sacrifices (512 to 392 for 2nd place) so he could handle the bat and was unselfish. His career average is .333 and on base percentage is .424 for his career. Collins had better than average speed and fielding ability. His A's teams were often winners as well.
3. Ty Cobb. Cobb is higher than both Collins and Rose on most lists, be it average, runs, steals, OBP, runs created and so on, but what holds him back and puts him 3rd on the list was his selfishness and "me attitude" compared to those two guys. If Cobb wasn't such a jerk and more of a team player, he would easily be at the top of the list.
4. Stan Musial. Musial could do it all as a baseball player. He could hit for average, power, drive in runs, and he knew the strikezone, as evidenced by his 1599 to 696 walk to strikeout ratio. Stan "the Man" was 2nd all time in total bases, 3rd all time in runs created, and 3rd all time in extra base hits. He usually played on winners and was a hugely popular player, both with fans and opponents. He was a great fielder and a solid baserunner even though he didn't have great speed.
5. Derek Jeter. He doesn't have the gaudy poser numbers of Musial or the on base percentage or batting average numbers of Cobb, Collins or Rose, but Jeter did a little of everything as well or better than everyone else. Jeter 11th in hits and 13th in runs. He has a career stolen base percentage of 78.6 and runs the bases flawlessly. He has always been a better than average fielding shortstop. More than anything, Jeter is perhaps the best clutch hitter ever. No one has ever been better at getting on base to start a big inning or getting a clutch hit with men on base.
6. Tris Speaker. .345 career batting average, .425 career on base %. 10th all time in sacrifices. One of the best fielding outfielders during his whole career, 436 stolen bases and a success rate of 73.5%. His teaam usually won. Speaker could do it all in his era.
7. Hank Aaron. Baseball's all time home run king isn't often thought of as an all around great ballplayer, but he should be. He is in the top five on most career lists: homeruns, RBI, total bases, runs created etc. He could run like the wind, especially early in his career, hit for power, hit extra bases, won three gold gloves. His teams won more than not but he isn't known for championships or being a leader though, or he would be much higher on my list.
8. Carl Yastrzemski. Much like Aaron, Yaz could do it all. Top ten in most offensive career catagories, partly due to longevity. Was a top notch fielder with six gold glove awards. Not great speed but smart on the basepaths. Always played on winning teams. Synonymous with the Red Sox.
9. Lou Gehrig. Yeah he was a power hitter, but few could handle the bat like Gehrig. Could hit for average and power better than anyone who ever played with the exception of Babe Ruth. 3rd all time in OPS (on base percentage plus slugging). Was the heart of those great Yankee teams, moreso than Ruth. Rarely struck out. The best fielding first baseman of his era. Only lack of baserunning speed keeps him this low.
10. Willie Mays. Much like Aaron, could do it all, but had slightly less numbers. Perhaps a better baserunner than Aaron as well as being a better fielder. Had perhaps the best attitude about the game any player has ever had. Loved playing baseball and it showed. You can make a very good argument that he should be 7th on this list and Aaron 10th, but it's my list and I am going with numbers.
Alex Rodriguez would be on this list ahead of Ripken if not for steroids, as well as lack of leadership. Babe Ruth had better numbers than anybody, but you don't look at him like you do these guys. he was never a great leader. Ruth never really did the little things like these guys. He was never a hood fielder or runner, other than stealing home. Barry Bonds would be on the list numbers-wise, but no one would ever consider him a team player or a leader. Rickey Henderson would also be on the list numbers wise, but was never a team leader. Cal Ripken Jr. would be #11 if I went that far.
So, that's my list. What do YOU think?