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.
Has Alex Rodriguez played his last Major League Baseball game?
I wouldn’t be surprised and I sort of hope so.
Would you miss him?
Has there ever been a less popular player in baseball history than A-Rod?
Who says great baseball nicknames are obsolete? A-Roid is perfect.
Few players have been as blessed with natural gifts to play the game, but many people believe Rodriguez ranks alongside Barry Bonds as the biggest cheater in the sport’s history.
We all know A-Rod used performance-enhancing drugs. He admitted he did. His feeble excuse was that he needed a boost because of the pressure of baseball’s all-time richest contract.
The only question is when did he start and when did he stop – if ever. I’m wondering how far off the answer “early years in Seattle-to-now” might be.
How long has he been lying? How dumb does he think we all are?
I wonder if A-Rod’s idol is Lance Armstrong.
The latest speculation (according to the New York Daily News) is that A-Rod’s lawyers could be working on a plea deal that would suspend him for up to 100-to-150 games.
A-Rod turns 38 this month. Sitting out 150 games probably would effectively end his playing career.
I wonder if even A-Rod has forgotten about padding his misbegotten baseball fortune by cashing a $3-million bonus each time he climbs a spot on the all-time HR chart. He has 647 career HRs and was closing in on Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762).
Now it looks like he’s more likely to add 0 HRs than the 14 HRs he needs to pass Mays.
Even sportswriters and sportscasters can have a least-favorite athlete.
Eliminating murderers from consideration, Alex Rodriguez is No. 1 on my list.
IS THE HOME RUN DERBY STRIKING OUT?
What do you think about Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby?
It was a terrific idea when it started in 1985. Sort of like the NBA’s Slam-Dunk Contest was when it began in 1984.
In the early years of the competitions, they were the “in thing” and the very best sluggers and dunkers were eager to participate. They loved the spotlight and their shoe and glove sponsors craved the exposure.
To say the recent fields were watered down is an understatement.
Home runs get boring, particularly when second- and third-line “sluggers” are hitting them. There are only so many clever dunks to unveil and what do you try when superstars have already done them?
Participants in the inaugural Home Run Derby included Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken Jr., Steve Garvey, Ryne Sandberg, Dale Murphy and Dave Parker.
Past Homer Run Derby champions include Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr.
Monday night’s participants are the worthy Chris Davis, Prince Fielder and Robinson Cano, plus (ho-hum) Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Cuddyer (my live long shot), Bryce Harper, Pedro Alvarez (the sleeper) and David Wright.
Past NBA Slam Dunk champions include Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, and Vince Carter. Last season’s field was Jeremy Evans, Chase Budinger, Paul George and Derrick Williams. Get the point.
The best way to restore the credibility of these exhibitions would be to have the very best athletes participate again. That’s not likely to happen.
JON JONES NEW UFC NO. 1 POUND –FOR-POUND... SILVA –WEIDMAN REMATCH SET
Rochester native Jon “Jones” Bones is the new No. 1 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
I wonder if Sheldon Silver is impressed. The King of Albany appears to be the main reason New York remains the only state in the United States (plus all of Canada) to not permit mixed-martial arts pro shows. But AMATEUR shows are OK. How illogical is that? Silver should step us and explain to us exactly why he continues to stonewall the sport in Jon Jones’ native state when so many people want to see it.
The UFC’s revised pound-for-pound top-five rankings:
1—Jon Jones (light heavyweight)
2—Georges St. Pierre (welterweight)
3—Jose Aldo (featherweight)
4—Anderson Silva (middleweight)
5—Chris Weidman (middleweight).
Silva plunged from 1st to 4th with his upset loss top Weidman July 6 at UFC 162.
Silva let his guard down to taunt Weidman in the second round and was knocked off with a left hook.
After that upset loss, the 38-year-old Silva claimed he would fulfill his latest 10-fight contract but not appear in another title fight.
He quickly changed his mind.
UFC president Dana White announced that the Weidman-Silva rematch will headline UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas. The show figures to attract a huge pay-per-view audience. The co-main event will be the immensely popular Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate. Rousey is 7-0 and has won every fight via arm-bar submission in the first round.
RANDY ORTON WINS MONEY IN THE BANK MATCH ON WWE PAY-PER-VIEW
Randy Orton won Sunday night’s WWE Money in the Bank All-Star Ladder Match in Philadelphia. CM Punk was on the verge of winning a record third briefcase when his “best friend” – Paul Heyman – turned on him and battered him with a steel ladder. Orton seized the opportunity and won.
In other matches:
WWE champion John Cena defeated Mark Henry.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler via disqualification. Ziggler’s girl friend, Divas Champion AJ Lee, clubbed Del Rio from behind over the head right in front of the referee.
Ryback defeated Chris Jericho.
AJ Lee defended her Divas Championship over Kaitlyn.
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel defeated The Miz.
Damiein Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
WWE Tag Team champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated the Usos.
Home Run Derby odds (courtesy of sportsbook.com): Chris Davis 7x2...Prince Fielder 4x1...Robinson Cano 4x1...Bryce Harper 9x2...Yeonis Cespedes 5x1...Pedro Alvarez 11x2...David Wright 8x1...Michael Cuddyer 10x1.
The late addition of Grant Balfour (Oakland) makes it a remarkable EIGHT former Minnesota Twins (including five former Red Wings) on the rosters for Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The others: Jesse Crain (White Sox), Michael Cuddyer (Colorado), Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee), J.J. Hardy (Baltimore), Torii Hunter (Detroit), Joe Nathan (Texas) and David Ortiz (Boston).
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com attended Sunday’s Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field are wrote, “Ask any scout or baseball executive about the two best players (in the Futures Game) and they’ll give you the same answer – Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, and it’s not even close. Buxton and Sano – the Twins’ prized prospects – are simply a duo to be reckoned with.”
Aaron Hicks (Minnesota) hit a three-run HR to help the Twins beat the host Yankees Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to lift his batting average to .200 at the All-Star Game break. The 23-year-old center fielder, who bypassed Rochester en route to Minnesota this spring (save for a brief rehab stint), is hitting .197 (47x238) in 68 games, with 35 runs, 8 HRs and 24 RBI. But he has impressed the Twins with his speed, defense and power potential. Minnesota traded outfielders Denard Span (to Washington) and Ben Revere (Phillies) because the switch-hitting Hicks is younger (Span 29 and Revere 25) and the Twins believe he has a bigger upside and I agree. Span and Revere have combined for 0 HRs in 673 at-bats this season and have disappointing on-base percentages. No surprise there.
A Tale of Two Players: I admire Albert Pujols (Angels) for continuing to play despite extremely sore wheels, but this is pretty sad:
Pujols – 33 years old...batting .234 (89x357) with 19 doubles, 0 triples, 15 HRs, 57 RBI, .324 on-base percentage, .429 slugging percentage, .753 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage)...second year of a 10-year, $240 million contract.
Raul Ibanez (Seattle Mariners) – 41 years old...batting .267 (74x277) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 24 HRs, 56 RBI, .315 on-base percentage, .579 slugging percentage, .894 OPS...one-year contract worth $2.75 million.
MORE SHORT SHOTS
I’m trying to be more positive regarding the Buffalo Bills. I really am. But how demoralizing is having no discussions scheduled with Jairus Byrd on Monday, the deadline for sealing long-term deals with franchised players. How can a “rebuilding” team get better when it lets young players like Byrd and Andy Levitre get away?
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is engaged to Minnesota Lynx (WNBA) guard Monica Wright. Have the Texas Longhorns put in an early bid for the services of their first-born son or will he jump right into the NBA?
5Dimes sportsbook has posted over/under win totals for this season: Syracuse 4.5...Alabama tops at 11.5...Louisville very tempting at 10.5.