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.
IS BASEBALL SLIPPING TO NO. 3?
COLABELLO KEEPS ROLLING
MIGUEL CABRERA IS RIDICULOUS
EARLY NFL WEEEK 1 BETTING LINES
I’m worried about the future of baseball.
For most of my life, baseball was my favorite spectator sport. By far. Nothing else was close.
Baseball was America’s Pastime. I thought it always would be.
But about 15 years ago, things changed. I became a convert to the NFL. Baseball dropped to No. 2. Football (mainly the NFL, but combined with college football) was No. 2 for me – and I had lots of company.
I don’t know exactly when football passed baseball for America’s No.1 spectator sport. I just know that it did. I don’t envision baseball making a comeback. In fact, I’m afraid baseball is in more trouble now.
Why? Because baseball has not kept pace with the times and takes too much time to play. The game is too slow. Too long between pitches. Too much adjusting batting gloves. Too many pitching changes. Too much time between innings.
No wonder the games are so long. And the people running baseball aren’t doing enough to adjust in an attempt to turn the tide.
Football and basketball come across much better on TV and you know pretty much what you’re getting in both sports. Three hours for a football game. 2 ½ hours for a basketball game.
Too many baseball games last three-plus hours. Too many fans are streaming out of games after the seventh inning to get back home at a reasonable time.
I project further trending will hurt baseball.
I believe basketball is destined to pass baseball as America’s No. 2 spectator sport – if it hasn’t already.
Here are my projected rankings for America’s top spectator sports within 10 years (I’ve added soccer to the traditional list of four sports):
Baseball still is way ahead of soccer, but I think the trend favors soccer. More kids are playing and parents are watching them. More top-level soccer is being shown on TV.
Which sports do you think I’m selling short?
COLABELLO THE FAVORITE FOR INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE MVP
Ho-hum. Just another night for Red Wings first baseman Chris Colabello Thursday in Pawtucket: 2-for-5 with a home run and 2 RBI.
Here’s how Colabello ranks in the 14-team IL in assorted categories entering Friday night:
Batting average -- .358 (1st)
Hits – 111 (1st)
Total bases – 205 (1st)
Slugging percentage -- .661 (1st)
OPS (on-base percentage+slugging percentage) – 1.096 (1st)
On-base percentage -- .435 (2nd)
Home runs – 24 (t2nd...Mauro Gomez BUFF has 25).
Colabello has played in 82 of Rochester’s 96 games; missed others on recalls to Minnesota).
Assuming Colabello isn’t promoted to Minnesota for good (he figures to be if Justin Morneau is traded), he looks like the probable IL Most Valuable Player.
MIGUEL CABRERA BELONGS IN A HIGHER LEAGUE
I thought Mike Trout (Angels) had a strong case to edge Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) for American League Most Valuable Player last season. So far in 2013, there is absolutely no doubt that Cabrera is the runaway pacesetter for Major League Player of the Year.
On Thursday night, Cabrera hit his 30th HR of the season and became the first player ever to have at least 30 HRs and at least 90 RBI before the All-Star Game break.
Here’s how he measures up for a repeat American League Triple Crown:
.366 batting average (1st)...No. 2 David Ortiz (Boston) is .327
94 RBI (1st)...No. 2 Chris Davis (Baltimore) has 86
30 HRs (2nd)...No. 1 Chris Davis has 34.
Cabrera’s home stadium (Comerica Park) favors pitchers and Davis’ home stadium (Camden Yards) favors hitters.
NFL WEEK 1 EARLY LINES: PATRIOTS -7 ½ AT BUFFALO
Here are earliest odds I’ve seen for NFL Week 1:
Thursday, Sept. 5
Baltimore at Denver (-8.5)
Sunday, Sept. 8
New England at Buffalo (+7.5)...over/under 52 points...oddsmaker Kevin Roberts picks the patriots 40-27
Tennessee at Pittsburgh (-6.5)
Atlanta at New Orleans (-2.5)
Tampa Bay at New York Jets (+3)
Kansas City at Jacksonville (+3)...love the Chiefs in this spot
Cincinnati at Chicago (-3.5)
Miami at Cleveland (+1)
Seattle at Carolina (+3.5)
Minnesota at Detroit (-3)
Oakland at Indianapolis (-7)
Arizona at St. Louis (-5)...the Rams are a trendy pick this season
Green Bay at San Francisco (5.5)
New York Giants at Dallas (-3)
Monday, Sept. 9
Philadelphia at Washington (4.5)
Houston at San Diego (+3)
British Open favorites (from sportsbook.ag):
Tiger Wood 15x2...Adam Scott 20x1...Rory McIlroy 20x1...Justin Rose 20x1...Lee Westwood 25x1...Luke Donald 25x1...Phil Mickelson 25x1...Graeme McDowell 25x1...Jason Day 25x1...Ernie Els 25x1.
Yet another reason why using the outcome of the All-Star Game to determine home-field advantage in the World Series: The Los Angeles Dodgers might well represent the National League in the World Series, but the two players most responsible for the team’s surge in recent weeks won’t be in the All-Star Game. Here are their stats (they’ve each appeared in 36 games): Hanley Ramirez .402 batting average (47x117); 10 doubles; 2 triples; 8 HRs; 24 RBI...Yasiel Puig .397 batting average (35x146) ; 8 doubles; 1 triple; 8 HRs; 19 RBI.
Buffalo Sabres assistant general manager Kevin Devine says he’s looking for one more scoring forward for the Rochester Americans. That might be what he’s looking for but I figure it is about 25 percent of what the Amerks need.
I can’t get really excited about the renewal of Rochester’s AHL rivalry with Utica. Call me old fashioned, but I sure do miss the old Amerks-Hershey Bears days.
For the record: Derek Jeter (Yankees) led Major Leaguer Baseball in his last season (216). Believe It Not: Four players on the current 40-man Yankees roster have led the American League in runs a total of 11 times: Ichrio Suzuki 7 times, Jeter (2), Alex Rodriguez (1) and Vernon Wells (1). Alfonso Soriano led the AL in hits as a Yankee in 2002.
A veteran Twin Cities sports columnist this week suggested that the Minnesota Twins fire manager Ron Gardenhire to save him from the misery of this season. I disagree. Gardenhire is an excellent manager who was saddled by terrible teams in recent seasons. The Twins have one of baseball’s two- or three highest-rated farm systems and figure to be very good in a very few years. He’s the best man to lead them back to prominence.
The Rochester Red Wings haven’t had an International League Postseason All-Star Team member since 2007 (P Kevin Slowey and C Jose Morales). The Wings have two top candidates this season: Colabello at 1B and SS Doug Bernier.