BOB MATTHEWS SPORTS TALK
Weeknights 6:00PM - 8:00PM
on WHAM 1180
Email Bob here.
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.
TRADE FOR ALEX SMITH WAS A GREAT MOVE BY KANSAS CITY
WHY THE UNITED STATES SHOULD WIN THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
CHRIS KELSAY’S TOP CONTRIBUTION LATELY WAS RETIRING
CARTER-WILLIAMS AS A NAISMITH FINALIST IS A JOKE
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF JOBA GETS HIS WISH
The Kansas City Chiefs this week traded for San Francisco 49ers No. 2 quarterback Alex Smith.
REACTION: Great move by the Chiefs. They had an even worse QB situation than Buffalo last season. Smith will be a huge upgrade and I predict he’ll be a big reason why the Chiefs improve from 2-14 in 2012 to a playoff berth in 2013 or 2014.
Kansas City became a significantly better team today than it was Tuesday because it made a bold move to bolster by far the most important position on the field. Giving up the No. 34 pick in April’s draft and a conditional pick in 2014 is a more than reasonable price to pay for a soon-to-be 29-year-old above-average QB if he can be the difference in making the playoffs and provide decent performance and leadership for the next five years or so.
The underrated Chiefs now are poised to be one of the NFL’s surprise teams this season. They’ll be much tougher to beat with Alex Smith than they would’ve been with Matt Cassel.
Buffalo had a shot at trading for Smith but passed up the chance to significantly upgrade the team with bold one move. No risk, no reward?
Unless Bills general manager Buddy Nix is sitting on a plan to land a better QB than Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tarvaris Jackson and whichever QB he hopes to strike gold with in the draft, an “open competition” for the starting job is unlikely to stir season-ticket sales or send shivers down the spines of opponents.
ACTION: The third World Baseball Classic begins Saturday.
REACTION: The 16-nation tournament will consist of 39 games and culminate with the championship game Tuesday, May 19 in San Francisco.
The United States will play its first games Friday, March 8 vs. Mexico, Saturday, March 9 vs. Italy and Sunday, March 10 vs. Canada.
My pick to win this tournament is the United States for three big reasons: We have the best starting lineup, top-to-bottom; we have the deepest bullpen; and our players will be focused after disappointing performances in 2006 and 2009. Another indication that Team USA means business: Joe Torre is the coach (manager).
Four teams won medals in the two previous WBCs and the United States wasn’t among them: Japan 2 golds…South Korea 1 silver and 1 bronze, Cuba 1 silver, and Venezuela 1 bronze.
Japan isn’t likely to win its third straight WBC. There are no current major leaguers on the roster. The MVP of the two previous WBCs, Daisuke Matsuzaka ( a combined 6-0 record), is busy trying to extend his big-league career with the Cleveland Indians.
How’s this for a possible starting lineup for Team USA: CF Adam Jones, C Joe Mauer, LF Ryan Braun, 1B Mark Teixeira, RF Giancarlo Stanton, 3B David Wright, DH Ben Zobrist, 2B Brandon Phillips, SS Jimmy Rollins.
ACTION: Ten-year veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay announced his retirement from the Bills on Wednesday.
REACTION: It was time. He never was a star but he was a steady and durable player (at least for his first eight seasons). He had one year left on his contract but knew it was time to quit. He wanted to retire as a Bill and had nothing but good things to say about the organization on the way out. Very classy.
The most memorable play of his career was in a Monday Night Football game against visiting Dallas on Oct. 8, 2007. He tipped a Tony Romo pass to himself for an interception return for a TD. The Cowboys wound up winning the thriller 25-24.
Kelsay’s greatest contribution to the Bills since probably deciding to retire. The move frees up a reported $5.17 million in salary cap space.
ACTION: Syracuse sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams is among the 30 finalists for the Naismith Award (college basketball Player of the Year).
REACTION: What have the people who compiled that list been watching? Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche looked like one of the best college backcourts in the nation when SU was 17-1. But they’ve been extremely inconsistent since. If Carter-Williams doesn’t deserve to be All-Big East. That doesn’t mean he won’t be a lottery pick if he opts for entering this year’s NBA draft. He’s tall and athletic and has a bright future. But he still needs lots of work. He has to add some bulk, improve his shooting and learn to be more consistent and less flashy handling the ball.
ACTION: New York Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain says he’d like to be a starting pitcher again.
REACTION: He has a very good chance. I won’t be shocked if he’s in the team’s starting rotation by midseason…New York’s current rotation is much better on paper than it could be on the mound: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova. That’s a brittle bunch…Of course, judging by history, Chamberlain is an injury-waiting-to-happen himself.
ACTION: Police are investigating the theft of the $3,000 Italian Sausage costume used for the popular sausage races at Miller Park during Milwaukee Brewers games. It was stolen from a back room during a beer tasting and curling event Feb. 16.
REACTION: This had to be one of the all-time dumb thieves. What exactly did he or she plan to do with the sausage costume: Hold it for ransom? Wear it to a Brewers game, or anywhere else? I hope the police aren’t spending too many manpower hours trying to solve this case.
ACTION: Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Terrell Suggs says 31 NFL teams “hate” the New England Patriots, feel “they don’t respect anybody” and are “arrogant.”
REACTION: I wish a few NFL teams hated the Buffalo Bills for being so successful – any way they did it.
ACTION: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was voted Hickok Belt ProAathlete of the month for January.
REACTION: Obviously, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco was more deserving. He was near-perfect in three playoff games. Kaepernick was very good in his team’s two playoff games…But no major gripe here, assuming Flacco is the February Pro Athlete of the month for leading his team to victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl 47. It would be an injustice if Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson or LeBron James or anyone else beat him out.
The Premier Basketball League used to consist of the Rochester RazorSharks and the 7 Dwarfs (or 8 or 9, depending on the season).
Things are looking up. The season begins next week and there will be a PBL-record 17 teams: Eastern Division – RazorSharks, Albany Legends, Holland Dream, Indianapolis Diesels, Indiana Splash, Lake Michigan Admirals, Lansing Capitals, New Jersey G-Force, West Virginia Miners…Central Division – Bloomington Flex…Chicago Redline…Chicago Redline…Kanakee Soldiers…Lake County Stars…Sauk Valley Predators…Springfield Xpress…St. Louis Trotters, Wisconsin Ballers.
The New York Jets reportedly are interested in signing Brady Quinn. He’s one QB I hope the Jets beat the Bills to the punch.
April 6th will be the 40th anniversary of Major League Baseball’s first designated hitter going to the plate: Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees. Does anyone still prefer watching National League pitchers hit (or try to hit) for themselves? For the record, the World Baseball Classic – and every other baseball league (except one of the two Japanese major leagues – the Japanese love to copy MLB) -- uses the DH rule.
Update on former Syracuse star Kris Joseph (the Orange sure could use him now; Fab Melo, not so sure). He started this season with the NBA Development League Maine Red Claws. He was waived by the Boston Celtics Jan. 6, before the deadline for guaranteeing all contracts. He considered playing in Europe but decided to return to the NBA-D League, figuring it was his best chance to get to the NBA. He signed a D-League contract with the Springfield Armor and shortly thereafter was traded back to Maine. Through 20 games, he was averaging 19.5 points.
Update on Dion Waiters, the go-to player this season’s Orange lack: He scored 71 points in his last three games with the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s averaging 14.8 points for his rookie season. He even has 41 starts in his 50 games. That’s 41 more starts than he had last season for SU. Of course, coach Jim Boeheim had his reasons. I’m one of those ignorant observers who believe that if SU’s best player had been a starter last season, the team wouldn’t have been behind so early so often and he would’ve played more minutes. But I guess that’s not logical?
Entering Friday night, only 9 of the 30 NBA teams have winning records on the road: San Antonio 23-11…Clippers 19-12…Chicago 17-11 (only 16-14 at home)…Memphis 15-10…Miami 16-11…Oklahoma City 16-11…Brooklyn 14-12…Atlanta 15-13, New York Knicks 13-12.
Entering Friday night, the Buffalo Sabres rank 30th in the 30-team NHL in fewest shots allowed per game (33.9) and in faceoff percentage (45.8), 28th in point percentage (.405; 17 of 42 possible points in the standings) and power play percentage (12.3) and 27th in fewest goals allowed per game (3.19).