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.
The Answer Man checks in for a final visit of the summer:
QUESTION: Which AFC EAST team is in worse shape at quarterback – the Buffalo Bills or the New York Jets?
ANSWER: Wow, that’s a tough one. When everyone is healthy, I’d give the Bills a slight edge, mainly because I prefer EJ Manuel over the Jets’ Geno Smith among the rookie QBs. Manuel looked pretty good in the preseason before a minor knee procedure (fingers crossed). Smith has been awful for the Jets...I slightly prefer Mark Sanchez over Kevin Kolb because he doesn’t get hurt as often. Now they’re both hurt...No team wants to use No. 3 or No. 4 QBs. The Bills have undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel and on Sunday hit the desperation QB list for Matt Leinart and Thaddeus Lewis. Good Luck...The QB situations can only improve for the Bills and the Jets ...Of course, AFC rivals New England and Miami also are one injury away from disasters at quarterback... Sad observation: Washington has four QBs and they might all be better than anyone in the QB stable for the Bills and Jets.
QUESTION: Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw have a chance to sweep the Cy Young/Most Valuable Player awards this season?
ANSWER: I hate to say it, but yes. I don’t think pitchers ever should be selected MVP. They have the Cy Young Award and it is as prestigious as MVP. The Cy Young is for pitchers. MVP should be for position players. I know most baseball fans and writers disagree with me.
Scherzer (19-1 record; 120 hits allowed in 178 1/3 innings; 2.73 ERA; 0.91 WHIP (walks+hits per inning); .190 batting average against) and Kershaw (13-7 record; would have a better record with better offensive support; 127 hits allowed in 198 1/3 innings; 1.72 ERA; 0.86 WHIP; .182 batting average against.
Since the Cy Yong Award began in 1956, only 10 pitchers have swept MVP/Cy Young honors in a season. Pitchers swept MVP/Cy Young in both leagues only once – Denny McLain (31 wins for AL Detroit) and Bob Gibson (1.12 ERA for St. Louis) in 1968.
The eight other pitchers who swept MVP/Cy Young awards: Don Newcombe (Brooklyn Dodgers NL 1956; only one Cy Young Award winner was picked)...Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles Dodgers NL 1963)...Vida Blue (Oakland AL 1971)...Rollie Fingers (Milwaukee AL 1981)....Willie Hernandez (Detroit AL 1984)...Roger Clemens (Boston 1986)...Dennis Eckersley (Oakland AL 1992)...Justin Verlander (Detroit AL 2011).
QUESTION: Should the New York Yankees retain Alfonso Soriano and /or Ichiro Suzuki for next season?
ANSWER: Not easy decisions. The Yankees need to get younger but they don’t have any hot-shot outfield prospects ready too step in....I’d definitely keep Soriano. His combined numbers with the Cubs and Yankees this season are more than decent: .258 batting average (122x111); 68 runs; 27 doubles; 1 trip0le; b26 HRs; 80 R BI; 117 strikeouts; 21 walks; 14x21 stolen bases. He turns 38 in January.... He ‘ll turn 38 in January but he’s in good condition. He can’t run like he used to but he still has OK speed and knows how to play. He isn’t a good left fielder but he isn‘t horrible...I’d bring back Ichiro only at a reasonable price. He’ll turn 40 Oct. 22. He could be a useful spare part with his defense and arm and still runs well enough to be a pinch-runner. His major deficiency is a low on-base percentage. You don’t get 4,000-plus hits by waiting out walks.
QUESTION: What did you think about Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M not being voted All-SEC preseason First Team quarterback in a poll of conference coaches?
ANSWER: I thought it was ridiculous.
If Manziel is suspended for a portion of the season or all of the season by the NCAA for allegedly receiving money for autographs, the SEC coaches will look smart for snubbing him. But nothing is settled yet. They’re judging him harshly for possible mistake off the field. That’s not fair.
Georgia senior Aaron Murray was voted No. 1 QB by the coaches. He’s a terrific player. He’s the first SEC QB to pass for 3,000-plus yards for three consecutive seasons. But Manziel deserved the nod based on his SEC-record 5,116 yards offense last season and accounting for 47 touchdowns.
Judging by the voting, a majority of SEC coaches will be rooting against Manziel against Alabama Sept. 14 – if he plays. Assuming he does, he’s sure to the embarrassing snub as added incentive.
A FEW NOTES ON LEINART/LEWIS
Here’s a quick look at the two new quarterbacks for the Bills:
Matt Leinart – Heisman Trophy 2004...Started at USC for three seasons...Drafted No. 10 overall in 2006 by Arizona Cardinals...Scouting reports were good size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) and weak arm...Held out and wound up with 6-year, $51-million contract...Season-injuring injuries in 2006, 2007 and 2011...History of brittleness (including broken collarbone twice) obviously a concern as he attempts to revive his NFL career in Buffalo...Backed up USC predecessor Carson Palmer at Oakland...Was unemployed when Bills phoned over the weekend...NFL career: 29 games; 70.8 passer rating; .571 completion percentage; 14 TD passes; 20 INTs; 46x90 with 2 TDs rushing...Not much mobility, brittle, weak arm. Doesn’t seem like the complete package to rescue the Bills in this time of need.
Thaddeus Lewis – Four-year starter at Duke, so he must be smart...Set career passing records at Duke, not exactly a football factory...86 rushes for 48 yasrds at Duke. In other words, he’s not a big scrambler...Signed by St. Louis Rams as undrafted free agent in 2010...Has played in one NFL game, a start for Cleveland in the final game of the 2012 season: 22x32 for 204 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT, in a 24-10 loss to Pittsburgh...Waived by the Browns May 22, 2013...Signed by Detroit to compete for No. 3 QB with Kellen Moore (behind Matt Stafford and Shaun Hill).
BASEBALL’S BEST AND WORST IN THE CLUTCH
For most baseball teams, winning the close ones and extra-inning games often is the difference between a very good and a very bad season.
Here are baseball’s best and worst teams in the clutch this season:
One-run games – Best: Arizona 27-17...Yankees 23-14...Cleveland 24-15...Oakland 24-16...Dodgers 19-12...Atlanta 20-14...San Diego 22-17. Worst: Houston 16-26...Angels 15-24...Cubs 17-27...Baltimore 14-23...Toronto 16-22...White Sox 20-27...Miami 18-25...Milwaukee 15-20...Detroit 14-19.
Extra-inning games – Best: Cleveland 9-2...Arizona 14-5...Atlanta 11-5...Kansas City 8-4...Dodgers 8-4...Boston 8-5. Worst: Texas 2-7...Detroit 5-11...Miami 5-11...Seattle 6-10...Colorado 5-8...San Francisco 6-9.
The Baltimore Orioles were 29-9 in one-run games in 2012 (14-23 this season) and 20-2 in extra innings in 2012 (6-5 this season).
“America’s Line” odds on the WBA/WBC super welterweight title fight Sept. 14 in Las Vegas: Floyd Mayweather Jr. , bet $260 ton wein $1200...Saul Alvarez bet $100 to win $220.
The oddsmakers don’t project much competition for the favorites in the U.S. Open tennis: Men: Rafael Nadal 3x2...Novak Djokovic 2x1...Andy Murray 7x2...Roger Federer 10x1...Juan Martin Potro 12x1...Women: Serena Williams 1x2...Victoria Azarenka 3x1...Agnieska Radwanska 12x1...Na Li 15x1...Petra Kvitora 20x1.
Joel Rosario, who leads the North American jockeys with purse earnings of $16,713,440 this year, is sidelined for at least six weeks with a broken left foot.
Minnesota Twins power-hitting phenom Miguel Sano hit 2 HRs and had 4 RBI for the Double-A (Eastern League) New Britain Rock Cats in a 7-4 road victory over Bowie. In 116 total games in Advanced Single-A (57) and Double-A, he has 33 HRs and 99 RBI, with 58 walks, 132 strikeouts and 11 stolen bases.