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.
GIANTS OVER CAROLINA IS THE “BEST BET”
BOB’S 2014 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ALL-STAR TEAM
NFL TARGET PRACTICE
The New York Giants are 0-2 and have 10 turnovers . They haven’t started 0-3 since 1996. They’re due for a top effort Sunday and Eli Manning figures to put up big numbers against host Carolina’s battered secondary.
The Panthers lost another close game last week in Buffalo. That’s been the pattern under coach Ron Rivera. They’re likely to lose by more than usual on the short end of this week’s “Best Bet”: New York Giants 37, CAROLINA (-1) 23.
Sunday’s other games
(home teams in CAPS)
NEW ORLEANS (- 7 ½) 35, Arizona 20 – The Saints have played surprisingly well on defense and have more weapons on offense.
Green Bay 28, CINCINNATI (+3) – I can’t see Andy Dalton outpitching Aaron Rodgers. The Bengals are pretty good. The Packers are better.
NEW ENGLAND (-7) 21, Tampa Bay 10 – New England’s defense has bailed out an offense that figures to improve soon. Tom Brady vs. struggling Josh Freeman is the QB mismatch.
TENNESSEE (-3) 24, San Diego 17 – I can’t see the inconsistent Chargers winning consecutive road games against Philadelphia and the Titans.
Detroit 28, WASHINGTON (- 1 ½) 24 – The Lions always have big potential on offense and seldom face a defense as lousy as the Redskins have looked in their 0-2 start (1,023 yards allowed).
Houston 27, BALTIMORE (+2 1/2) 20 – The Texans are the NFL’s only team ranked in the top 10 in both total offense (4th) and defense (4th). Ravens workhorse Ray Rice has been slowed by a strained hip flexor.
DALLAS (-4) 33, St. Louis 20 – TheCowboys have more talent than the Rams on both sides of the football. But who can figure this team?
MINNESOTA (-6 ½) 23, Cleveland 13 – Adrian Peterson alone gives the Vikings the advantage on offense over the puny Browns.
MIAMI (-2) 30, Atlanta 24 – The Dolphins opened with two road wins and Ryan Tannehill is looking good.
Buffalo Bills 21, NEW YORK JETS (-1 ½) – I give Buffalo’s EJ Manuel a significant edge over Geno Smith in this battle of rookie QBs.
SAN FRANCISCO (-10) 38, Indianapolis 17 – QB Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the 49ers figure to bounce back impressively from last week’s embarrassing 29-3 loss at Seattle.
SEATTLE (-19) 35, Jacksonville 7 – This would be a potential trap game for most good teams, but the Seahawks don’t often show mercy in front of their home fans.
Chicago 23, PITTSBURGH (+2 ½) – 10 – The Bears are legitimately good. The Steelers look legitimately bad.
Monday night’s game
DENVER (-15 ½) 42, Oakland 17 – The Broncos won’t be shy about showing off their awesome offense. They outscored the Raiders 63-19 in two games last season. Why not more of the same?
Thursday night’s pick was Kansas City by more than the 3-point spot over host Philadelphia. The Chiefs won 26-16.
Last week’s “Best Bets” results – 11-5 picking winning teams straight up (22-10 this season)...7-8-1 picking winners against the Las Vegas point spread (14-16-2 this season)...The “Best Best Bet” is 2-0 straight up and 1-1 against the point spread after Green Bay, picked to beat Washington by more than the 8-point spread, won by 18 points (38-20).
BOB’S 2014 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ALL-STAR TEAM
1B – Chris Davis (Baltimore)
2B – Robinson Cano (NY Yankees)
SS – Hanley Ramirez (LA Dodgers)
3B – Miguel Cabrera (Detroit)
OF – Mike Trout (LA Angels)
OF – Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh)
OF – Adam Jones (Baltimore)
C – Yadier Molina (St. Louis)
DH – David Ortiz (Boston)
RHP – Zack Greinke (LA Dodgers)
LHP – Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers)
Relief pitcher – Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta)
SECOND TEAM – 1B Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona)...2B Matt Carpenter (St. Louis)...SS Jean Segura (Milwaukee)...3B Josh Donaldson (Oakland)...OF Alfonso Soriano (Cubs/Yankees)...OF Michael Cuddyer (Colorado)...OF Jay Bruce (Cincinnati)...C—Buster Posey (San Francisco)...DH Victor Martinez (Detroit)...RHP Jose Fernandez (Miami)...LHP Cliff Lee (Philadelphia)...Relief pitcher—Greg Holland (Kansas City).
HONORABLE MENTION – 1B Allen Craig (St. Louis), Freddy Freeman (Atlanta), Joey Votto (Cincinnati), Adrian Gonzalez (LA Dodgers)...2B Justin Pedroia (Boston), Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati)...SS Jed Lowrie (Oakland), Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta)...3B Manny Machado (Baltimore), Arian Beltre (Texas)...OF Matt Holliday (St. Louis), Hunter Pence (San Francisco), Carlos Beltran (St. Louis), Domonic Brown (Philadelphia), Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee)...C Joe Mauer (Minnesota)...DH Billy Butler (Kansas City)...RHP Max Scherzer (Detroit), Matt Harvey (Mets)...LHP Chris Sale (White Sox)...Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (Cincinnati), Glenn Perkins (Minnesota), Mariano Rivera (Yankees).
STEVIE JOHNSON t39th ON NFL TARGET LIST
Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson ranks tied for 39th in targets this NFL season. A target is when a player is thrown to.
Here are the top 10 targets so far this season DeSean Jackson and Jamaal Charles have played in 3 games; all others have played in 2 games. Catches in parentheses):
DeSean Jackson PHL – 31 targets (19 catches)
Andre Johnson HOU –29 (20)
A.J. Green CIN – 28 (15)
Julian Edelman NENG – 27 (20)
Vincent Jackson TB – 24 (12)
Jamaal Charles KC – 24 (18)
Pierre Garcon WSH – 24 (15)
Julio Jones ATL – 24 (18)
Cecil Shorts (JAX) – 24 (11)
Brian Hartline (MIA) – 23 (124).
Here is Buffalo’s target list – Johnson 16 (11)...Fred Jackson 12 (9)...C.J. Spiller 10 (8)...Scott Chandler 12 (7)...Robert Woods 8 (5)...Frank Summers 2 (2)...Tashard Choice 1 (1)...T.J. Graham 1 (4)...Marquise Goodwin 1 (1).
Here is New England’s target list – Edelman 27 (20)...Danny Amendola 14 (10)...Shane Vereen 10 (7)...Kenbrell Thompkins 21 (6). Very bad. The main reason Tom Brady is frustrated...Aaron Dobson 10 (3)...Michael Hoomanwanui (1 (3)...James Develin 1 (1).
SOME QUICK BASEBALL TIDBITS (entering Friday)
Best home teams – Atlanta 52-22...Boston 51-27...Cincinnati 48-26
Best run differential – Boston +181...Detroit +168...St. Louis +162
Best in one-run games – Yankees 28-15 (+13)...Arizona 32-20 (+12)
Interleague records – American League 151-141...National League 141-151.
Baseball is not thriving everywhere. The “crowds” Thursday night in three cities with teams battling for playoff spots: Oakland 11,461...Cleveland 12,607...Tampa Bay 13,550.
Ken Norton, who died Wednesday at age 70, was ranked No. 22 on Ring Magazine’s list of the all-time greatest heavyweights. He more than held his own in a great era for heavyweight boxers.
(Photo Courtesy: abcnews.go.com)
Rochester native Jon “Bones” Jones is the first UFC fighter to sign an endorsement deal with Gatorade. He also was the first to have a deal with Nike...He threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Wednesday night’s Yankees at Toronto game. He’ll defend his UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday night against Alexander Gustafsson.
I believe it is safe to say that Joba Chamberlain won’t be pitching for the New York Yankees next season. He will be recalled as one of the team’s all-time busts. His career began going downhill when he was attacked by bugs during a playoff game in Cleveland.
(Photo Courtesy: www.nbcbaseball.com)
Johnny Manziel figures to boost his Heisman Trophy stock Saturday night, when Texas A&M hosts 28 ½-point underdog SMU. He’s already the frontrunner in several Heisman straw polls.
Todd Helton and Vladimir Guerrero announced their retirements from baseball this month. My take on their Hall of Fame prospects: Guerrero has a slight chance (I’d vote for him). Helton has no chance.
Rochester Knighthawks star Cody Jamieson’s trophy case is filling up. He has won two straight National Lacrosse League championship game MVP awards, this summer’s Ontario summer indoor lacrosse league playoffs MVP award and Mann Cup (Canada’s summer indoor championship) MVP playoffs award.
The Amerks open their season at home two weeks from Friday night.