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.
It's that time of year again. It sure creeps up on you doesn't it? It seems like just yesterday we were freezing our tookus off in January watching NFL playoff games. Here we are now and its April and flowers are blooming. That can only mean one thing....I am almost late for writing my major league baseball preview blog. Before I get caught again being too late, here it is, starting with my predictions for the American League East.....
1. New York Yankees: Russell Martin is one of the best catchers in the league and a good reason why Jesus Montero was expendable. Yankees infield is still great, albeit aging. There aren't many better than Texeiera, Cano, Jeter and A-Rod. The outfield is still a question mark to me. Gardiner is a two tools guy. A one dimensional singles hitter with speed. If he hit .320, he's be Mickey Rivers, but if he hits .270 again, he is Brett Gardiner, and doesn't add that much. Granderson is one the AL's best but Nick Swisher is still a huge question mark in RF to me. 25 homers and 80 RBI are nice but if he hits .230, his value is questionable to me.
The Yankees rotation is better than last year, and that is why I rank them first. Sabathia is a quality #1. Hiroki Kuroda is an innings eater who could thrive with better run support than he ever got in LA. Ivan Nova proved he is a worthy starter last year and Phil Hughes could be great IF he is healthy. Micheal Pineda has all the talent in the world and a young arm, but so far has been shaky and then injured. Yankee fans are having AJ Burnett and Ed Whitson flashbacks, but I think he will be all right. Pineda is a special talent. The bullpen is still deep and Mariano Rivera is still tough to hit, even in his last year.
2. Boston Red Sox: Jared Saltamacchia is decent, but he is just holding the position until Ryan Lavernway is ready around mid-season. If the Yankees infield is an A+, the Sox is an A. Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Aviles and Kevin Youkalis are pretty darn good. Their outfield might be even better than New York's if Carl Crawford regains his stroke from Tampa when he gets off the DL. With Ellsbury in center and Cody Ross also out there, the BoSox will score plenty of runs.
The Sox pitching could be better than the Yankees if they stay healthy, which is iffy. Jon Lester aside, most Sox starters have had long trips to the DL in their careers, but are very capable when NOT hurt. Clay Buchholz & Josh Beckett always seem to have some kinda problem, Dice-K is out until at least June and Daniel Bard is unproven. If all fals right, and it's a healthy summer, the Sox could beat the Yankees by 7-10 games, but with injury history and uncertainty, I doubt it. The Yankees pen is also much deeper and much more of a sure thing.
3. Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays sure do have great outfielders. Lots of 'em. Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus, Ben Francisco, Eric Thames, Rajai Davis, Travis Snider and so on. All young. All have upside. Some have speed, some have power. Other than that, too many question marks. Brett Lawrie is a rookie starter at third. Kelly Johnson is unproven so far and in his first year in the AL at second. Catcher JP Arencibia has to be hearing phenom Travis D'Arnaud's footsteps in AAA.
As for Blue Jays pitching, they really don't have a frontline starter. Ricky Romero and Brendan Morrow are a decent 1-2 punch but not overpowering. Then Brett Cecil, Henderson Alvarez and Dustin McGowen round out the rotation. WHO??? Middle relief actually isn't bad, but then former Red Wing Sergio Santos is an unproven closer and Francisco Cordero is a setup man who was a below average former closer.
4. Tampa Bay Rays: Pitching. That's what the Rays have. Lots of quality pitching. David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, phenom Matt Moore and Jeff Niemann. Now THAT's a rotation. Too bad they probably won't be able to hit their way out of a paper bag. Desmond Jennings and BJ Upton are strong and fast in the OF, and Even Longoria can hit the ball a long way and have a decent average. Ben Zobrist is one of the best hitting middle infielders in the bigs, but other than that, there are too many automatic outs in the lineup. Jose Molina and Sean Rodriguez? AAA players at best. And Carlos Pena had ONE good season in the last ten years.
5. Baltimore Orioles: As a former Oriole fan in my youth, it is sad to watch this team. I thought they were on their way a couple years ago with a ton of minor league pitchers who were bonafide studs. They rushed them all to the show too early, and ruined the confidence of all the baby birds. Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman....Jake Arrieta. They should all be 15 game winners who are pitching studs with confidence. Instead, they are with the Orioles and are fighting to save their careers. Instead, Rockies castoff Jason Hammel is their #2 starter. Japanese castoff Wei-Yin Chen is in their rotation, and other castoffs like Armando Gallaraga and Tommy Hunter are vying for rotation spots.
As for hitting, the O's biggest bat could is always a threat to strike out at a higher rate than his batting average. Mark Reynolds could hit 40 homers, but also hit only .210 with 211 strikeouts. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones are solid players but there isn't a lot of other firepower in this lineup.
Wow, that took a while. I guess I am going to have to do this division by division. Sorry. So stay tuned for the AL Central in my next blog.......