Saturday, July 30, 2022

Sports Exchange Focus: Kyler Murray

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH 

On Wednesday’s Edition of the Sports Exchange, My Crew of JB Ellis, George Eichorn and Rick Curti began the show with a question, What athlete in the past 30 years would you want to meet?

The answers were interesting. Ellis wanted to meet Barry Bonds, Eichorn chose Tiger Woods the Curti decided to go deeper than 30 years with Lou Gehrig. I could have Curti to choose another player, but since it was Gehrig, I allowed this choice.

Gehrig played in what appeared to be an unbreakable record of 2,130 games and died at the age of 37 after a brave battle from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable neuromuscular illness: it’s now referred to as in North America as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

My choice was Bo Jackson the legendary two sport athlete who had successful careers in the NFL and MLB.

We discussed a lot of other interesting topics as you’re going to have a chance to view in this story, and we would appreciate it greatly if you subscribe to The South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

One topic that has become a huge storyline of the week was the Arizona Cardinals signing franchise QB Kyler Murray to a contract extension.

Why would I even want to talk about a contract extension and make it a major part of a show?

First of all, the deal is $46.1 Million per-year and the Oakland A’s 2022 payroll is $48.5 Million. Furthermore, Murray was a prospect in the A’s system before deciding to play for the Cardinals.

Here is where things get interesting with Murray.

In this contract, the Cardinals inserted an “Independent Study” Clause that would have required the QB to study at least four hours a week.

I’ve seen clauses which had weight attached to them and that’s no big deal because athletes tend to get out of shape and this become problematic in terms of performance.

This is the first time that I’ve ever seen an “Independent Study” Clause.

First of all, I have no idea why Murray would even sign this because that’s the equivalent to a person signing a non-compete clause that could jeopardize a chance to land another job. This clauses can cost a person a lot of money.

The agent should have discouraged Murray from signing it. 

If the Cardinals had any doubt about Murray’s work ethic, then they should have held off on the $230.5 Million Extension.

This turned out to be a bad look for both sides.

At a press conference, Murray responded to the backlash from Film Study Mandate in Contract, and said it was “Disrespectful” to Think He Doesn’t Prepare For Games.

The Arizona Cardinals responded, “After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract. It was clearly perceived in ways that were never intended. Our confidence in Kyler Murray is as high as it’s ever been and nothing demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”

The bottom line is we have a Public Relations debacle that was handled poorly on both sides.

If there is any silver lining in all of this is that it will light a fire for Murray to prove his critics and well as his organization wrong to have a great season.

It’s a lesson to all of us to be very thorough in what you sign or their could be negative consequences later.

I hope you enjoy the entire show because from time to time, I will summarize these broadcasts especially when there is an extraordinary topic or two that stands out.

Scott Morganroth can be can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, there is no charge to Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to see some timing and trending broadcasts in the pipeline.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Marlins Welcome Jacob Berry

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Despite limping into the All-Star Break losing a three-game series where they were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-0 and outscored 16-1, the Miami Marlins made a big splash in the 2022 MLB Draft by selecting infielder Jacob Berry as their top pick, sixth overall.

Before our Media Availability’s with Manager Don Mattingly and Berry, it was neat joking around with Berry about having been to a restaurant in Tucson, AZ when he played for the University of Arizona Wildcats. 

We also quipped that he transferred from Cactus Country in Arizona to Crawfish Haven as he played for the LSU Tigers.

It’s safe to say that this moved paid off for the 21-year-old as he embarks on a new chapter with the Miami Marlins. 

In 2021, Berry was named 2021 Collegiate Co-Freshman of the year. With the Wildcats, he hit .352 with 41 extra base hits, including 17 home runs, and 70 RBI in 63 games.

Berry was a member of the 2021 USA Baseball USA Baseball Collegiate National team, where he went 12x31 with four home runs.

There was plenty of Marlins talk during the All-Star Break and after it.

During the 2022 All-Star Game held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the Fish were well represented with pitcher Sandy Alcantara, outfielder Jazz Chisholm and infielder Garrett Cooper.

Former Marlin and current New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was named the MVP of the contest which happened to be held in his hometown of Los Angeles and grew up a Dodgers fan.

There was talk all week that Alcantara should have been the game’s starter, but the nod went to Clayton Kershaw, who is a nine time All-Star with the Dodgers, who has amassed three National League Cy Young Awards. 

He has also led the NL in wins for three seasons, along with winning a World Championship in 2020.

To say that Kershaw was going to start in his home ball park seemed like the right decision in Hollywood, CA. 

I truly believe that in any other ballpark besides Dodger Stadium, Alcantara could have gotten the nod elsewhere although it’s subject for debate in Anaheim, home of the LA Angels.

Nevertheless, this will give Alcantara something to have as a goal in the future and start a Mid-Summer Classic.

Kershaw did pitch a clean first inning and even picked-off LA Angeles superstar Shohei Ohtani catching him leaning. 

Who followed Kershaw?

You guessed it, it was Alcantara. 

Sandy pitched the second inning and recorded two strikeouts facing three hitters. 

He even impressed the Fox Broadcasters Joe Davis and John Smoltz, who don’t see the Marlins much because they’re not on National Television.

Due to a back injury, Jazz Chisholm Jr. was voted as a starter but was unable to play. 

Yet he was there enjoying his time as an All-Star. 

Garrett Cooper had two at bats and did strike out twice, however, no one will ever be able to take off the accomplishment that all three of these Marlins can say that they’re All-Stars.

The National League took an early 2-0 lead as Tampa Bay Rays starter Shane McClanahan was touched for two runs in the first inning. 

He yielded an RBI single to hometown favorite Mookie Bets and a solo home run to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

After Kershaw and Alcantara departed, the American League went on to defeat the National League 3-2, thanks to Stanton’s two run homer that tied the score 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning and Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton won it with a solo shot that amounted to being the game winner four pitches later.

During the Mattingly’s pre-game availability, there was a lot of talk about Alcantara. I also asked him a pair of questions with the first being about the Marlins trio of All-Stars and the second about the MLB Lockout which had Miami facing the Texas Rangers for a single game.

Check it out Mattingly’s comments before the Marlins 8-0 loss to the Texas Rangers.

As a result of the lockout, the Marlins and Rangers will face one another on Monday, September 12, as the clubs face each other in a doubleheader.

Just a footnote to the Texas Rangers, they used to hold Spring Training at the now demolished Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium (2008) from 1972-1986. 

Prior to that, the Washington Senators trained there from 1961-71 then relocated to Texas in 1972.

The second video in this story was on Berry and my main question to him was adjusting from the aluminum bat to wood as he transitions from college baseball to the pro level. 

He also talked about being a Marlin and how he’s ready to get to work. 

Berry and I also talked about the competitive difference between college ball and what it will be like transitioning to professional baseball.

There is no doubt that when you see this video, you’ll learn a lot about a future Marlin and his feelings about Mattingly.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, to see his broadcasts, there is no cost to Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel, which covers all kinds of subjects.



Marlins Keystone State Adventures

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Prior to the All-Star Break, the Miami Marlins saw plenty of the Keystone State (Pennsylvania) as the team hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Only in the National League will you see that since the Senior Circuit has both Pennsylvania teams.

How would the Marlins make out?

On Monday, July 11, the Pirates defeated the Fish, 5-1.

On Tuesday, July 12, Pittsburgh edged Miami, 3-2.

On Wednesday, July 13, the fans got to see extra baseball as Miami nipped the Pirates, 5-4 in 10 innings.

Could the Marlins split the final game of the series at Loan Depot Park on Thursday, July 14? 

You bet and the Marlins came away with a 3-2 triumph over the Pirates in 11 innings. 

More extra baseball.

Here are some of the things that stood out in this contest.

First, when Japanese players come to town, they bring media with them.

The Pirates clean-up hitter who is the designated hitter, was Yosi Tsutsugo. 

He had a single, scored a run in the 11th inning as a ghost runner, but also struck out three times.

This game was a pitcher’s duel as Marlins starter Braxton Garrett and Zach Thompson each went six innings.

Garrett went on to pitch six shutout innings to go along with his career high 11 strikeouts, yielding just two walks. He did receive a no-decision.

With Garrett out of the game and the Marlins leading 1-0, the Pirates scored two runs on Miami’s bullpen, with one in the eighth and another in the 11th inning to take a 2-1 advantage.

Baseball is at it’s best when there are dramatics and that happened in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Jesus Aguilar was the Marlins ghost runner on second base and Avisail Garcia singled. This allowed Aguilar to move to third, thus there were runners at the corners.

This set the stage for Brian Anderson. 

Pirates hurler Will Crowe hit Anderson, but the Pirates challenged this saying the ball hit the edge of the bat. This loaded the bases, but the call was reversed and Anderson returned to the batters box.

Pittsburgh did win the challenge and Anderson took matters in his own hands with another chance to give the Marlins a win. 

He hit the game winning triple that allowed Aguilar and Garcia to score and the Marlins walked off with a dramatic 3-2 triumph. Miami did split the series, 2-2. 

After the win, Miami’s record improved to 43-45, while Pittsburgh dropped to 38-52.

Could the Marlins take this two game winning streak and win the final series before the All-Star Break against the Philadelphia Phillies?

The answer was no as Philadelphia went on to sweep the three-game series.

The Phillies won the opener on Friday, July 15, 2-1.

Saturday marked the debut for Marlins top pitching prospect Max Meyer and the Phillies put a five-spot on the rookie and rolled to a 10-0 win on Saturday, July 16th.

The game we attended was on Sunday, July 17th and the Marlins were on the final game of a stretch of 30 games in 31 days from June 17 to July 17 (start of the All-Star Break) in which they only had one day off on June 30) going 15-14. 

The final game against the Phillies saw the Fish play 17 straight days.

Miami threw hurler Trevor Rogers against the Phillies and he gave up four runs in the fourth frame. That was all Phillies needed as starter Aaron Nola was fantastic in a 4-0 win. This game took 2:38 minutes to complete.

Nola pitched 8.1 innings, yielded only four hits and stuck out 10 Marlins. 

If not for singles by Joey Wendle and Brian Anderson, this looked like a complete game but Jose Alvarado came in and notched his first save.

For Nola, this was his 25th career 10 strike out game. 

Nola would improve to 6-7 while Rogers dropped to 4-9.

Aguilar’s All-Star break would come early as he was ejected in the second game for arguing balls and strikes. There were plenty of Phillies fans wearing red and white cheering on the team that plays its games on I-95 North.

The Marlins limped into the All-Star Break being outscored by the Phillies in the three-game series 16-1.

Miami’s record going into the All-Star Break was 43-48. 

A crowd of 12,450 were on hand and another 464 dogs attended for Bark at the Park Day.

When the Marlins returned from the All-Star Break on Thursday July 21, the Fish hosted the Texas Rangers and lost an 8-0 decision and lost their fourth game in a row. 

But that streak came to an end on Friday on Friday, July 22 as the Fish saw their bats wake up and pummeled the Pirates 8-1 to improve their record to 44-49.

Garrett pitched six sharp innings and the Marlins ended their 37-inning scoreless streak.

Garrett (2-3) beat the Pirates for the second time in eight days by pitching one-run ball and allowing two hits. 

He struck out seven and walked one despite throwing 28 pitches in the first inning before settling in to give Miami a much needed win.

Miami can continue their winning ways against Pittsburgh today and tomorrow to complete the Keystone State pre and post All-Star Game part of their schedule.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can find him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

To see his broadcasts, you can Subscribe at No Cost to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. There are plenty of shows available covering a wide range of topics.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Inter-Miami Overcomes The Elements Again!

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH 

It was great returning the DRV-PNK Stadium Saturday Night as Inter-Miami took on one of MLS’s newest franchises, Charlotte FC.

I will admit that I’m superstitious and until Inter-Miami loses a match, I would continue to wear my lucky navy blue long sleeve shirt, which I have worn five times and the team has never lost. 

Some of my colleagues were glad to see me and one of them mentioned that I’m glad you wore the shirt.

During Saturday Night Games that we’ve attended, it ceases to amaze me that a few matches have been delayed as a result of rain and lightning in the area.

Saturday proved to be no exception as the match was supposed to start at 8 PM but began at 9:22 PM. Thankfully, I was prepared and was able to get other work done because I was so busy during the daytime working on Social Media and preparing for an upcoming trip to Cooperstown, NY.

The good news about these delays is that every time one of these happens, I get good sound bites from either Inter-Miami Coach Phil Neville, or one of the players. 

In Saturday’s case, Heineken Man of the Match Gonzalo Higuain, was on the receiving end of the question, answered in Spanish and Director of Communications Director Rafael Cabrera translated the answer which you’re going to be able to watch in this story.

These teams met for the first time on May 7 in Charlotte and the team that plays in the Queen City earned a 1-0 triumph.

After the rain delay, it took all of 26 seconds for Charlotte to score its first goal and the visitors took a 1-0 lead. Quite the wake-up call for the home team which also lost a home tilt to the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, July 13, 2-1.

Inter-Miami dominated the rest of the first half as the hosts entered halftime with a 58% share of the possession and outshot the visitors 9-3. But Charlotte scored a late first half goal to take a 2-0 lead. 

Would my long sleeve navy blue shirt stay undefeated?

During the post-game press conference, Neville told us what he said to his team during halftime and answered my question about facing en expansion team. I asked him where his program compares to Charlotte. 

Check out the video in this story to see what he has to say.

Inter-Miami rebounded in the second half and took their coaches speech to heart by scoring three unanswered goals including the game winner late in the match.

Robert Taylor, Higuain and Emerson Rodriguez scored the goals. 

Higuain scored the tying goal and it was his second in as many matches and fourth of the season.

A crowd of 12,274 braved the elements and watched Inter-Miami dominate time of possession 59%-41% and also outshot Charlotte 15-4. 

Neville gleamed about this during my question.

I encourage you to watch these videos to get the full impact of what occurred on Saturday Night.

Inter-Miami improved its record to 7-9-4 and amassed three points for the triumph to increase to 25.

Meanwhile, Charlotte saw its record drop to 8-11-2 and stayed at 26 points.

Inter-Miami returned to action on Tuesday Night in a friendly to FC Barcelona. They were winners at the gate as a sellout crowd of over 18,000 watched Barcelona win 6-0.

Inter-Miami returns to MLS play on Saturday Night as it hits the road to face New York City FC at 7 PM in the Big Apple.

They’ll return home on Saturday, July 30 to face FC Cincinnati at 8 PM, and you guessed it, I’ll be wearing my navy blue long sleeve shirt.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, there is no cost to Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel where you’ll see all of his shows and videos with Inter-Miami. There are more entertaining shows in the pipeline.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

How The Marlins Used Baseball’s Changes To Their Advantage

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

During our last edition of the Sports Exchange, we did a broadcast that centered around South Florida Tribune Sports Correspondent JB Ellis’s story, Baseball, what am I looking at?

We addressed the following points:

*Relievers dealing with the three batter minimum, which I actually like because when I grew up, relievers used to pitch multiple innings.

*Ghost Runners in extra innings where a runner starts at second base. This is designed to shorten the game and protect pitching staffs.

*Seven Inning doubleheaders that were actually used during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic. They aren’t used now.

*Universal Designated Hitter.

*The use of the shift which is designed in many ways and will be taken out of next years game. With it, MLB is turning more into a Home Run game and there are more strikeouts. As a result, batting averages have plummeted. This is where an infield and shift to one side of the field especially if you’re dealing with a pull hitter. This will actually be eliminated in 2023.

*There is talk about adding a robot umpire or challenges on balls and strikes. Also, a pitch clock could be implemented in the game to shorten contests that exceed three hours. MLB inserted a four mound visit limit which I don’t think is a big deal and nobody is complaining about it.

The younger generation has lost its attention to a game that has a lot of strategy and chess.

All of these measures are designed to shorten the game.

During the Sports Exchange that you’re going to see in this story, Myself, JB Ellis and Rick Curti addressed all of these topics.

The following day, I attended the Miami Marlins vs the Pittsburgh Pirates at LoanDepot Park.

I thought about the Sports Exchange especially after seeing the Marlins defeat the Pirates, 3-2 in 11 innings.

This game with the ghost runner took 4:13 to complete.

What the crowd of 13,612 fans saw was Marlins left-handed starting pitcher Braxton Garrett throw six innings and strike out a career high 11 batters. He got a no decision.

This was a game that saw numerous players get caught stealing and some inning ending double plays.

The Pirates left 12 men on base and the Marlins stranded 10.

I was also intrigued by Japanese DH Yoshi Tsutsugo, who attracted Japanese Media and the Press Box was nearly filled. The kid was hitting in the fourth spot in the Pirates batting order.

While Tsutsugo won’t draw the attention like Shohei Ohtani, I was still intrigued at how much media he attracted.

The majority of the game was tied at 1-1. 

The Pirates scored a run in the top of the 11th to take a 2-1 lead.

But the bottom of the 11th inning is what makes Baseball The Great American Pastime.

Jesus Aguilar was the ghost runner. He moved to third on a single by Avisail Garcia. The third man at the plate was Brian Anderson. During the at bat, Pirates pitcher Will Crowe hit Anderson with a pitch that would have loaded the bases. 

The Pirates elected to challenge the HBP and won it forcing Anderson to go back to the plate. 

This seemed like a logical, analytical move. 

Can’t fight the thought in todays game.

But this is Baseball. 

Like the true pro he is, Anderson took this in stride and boy did he make the Pirates pay!

He hit a walk off triple that scored Aguilar and Garcia and the Marlins won in walk off fashion, 3-2 and made a winner out of Richard Bleier, the sixth Marlins hurler. 

What makes baseball so great is that Garcia grounded out into two inning ending double plays. 

But when it mattered, he redeemed himself in the 11th inning.

The win enabled the Marlins to split their four game series 2-2 with Pittsburgh. 

Twenty four hours earlier, Miami defeated Pittsburgh 5-4 in 10 innings.

Yes, extra inning baseball, 2022 style with the ghost runner.

Now I can go on and one about what I think is right and wrong with baseball. 

But frankly, nobody is going to care what I have to say. 

During countless media availability’s, Marlins Manager Don Mattingly has said that we just have to adapt to the rule changes which baseball throws at us.

That’s what I’m doing and if you are interested what I or my crew have to say, then go ahead and watch the video then draw your own conclusions.

When you’re dealing with a sport which is not timed, there will always be the chess match from players, coaches, and managers. That’s what I have enjoyed about this game my entire life!

What I’m finding out as I go to more games is there are more analytics employees in the Press Box. One of the guys that I sit next to says the Marlins have a staff of 12 and seven were at the Pirates game.

There are other teams that employ 25-30 people. These analytics employees get paid well and also have benefits.

Nowadays, the minor league teams have numerous coaches, plus the manager at each level. That’s how much money is being paid throughout these organizations.

But there is no question that baseball isn’t the game it was when I was growing up.

There are less complete games, a quality start is five innings and guys are pitching every five games. There are five man rotations and relievers average about four innings per-game. 

Managers know that pitchers can’t be extended as much because the last thing they want to deal with are injuries that lead to arm troubles resulting in Tommy John Surgery. 

The stakes are too high and expensive which is why a manager like Billy Martin could never survive in this era.

I have mixed feelings on the designated hitter, but it’s my job to report on the game and seek opinions from the newsmakers. While the universal designated hitter takes away the strategic double switch, pitchers are less likely to get hurt running the bases. You won’t hear the phrase that a pitcher will help his own cause unless you’re a position player asked to hit during a lopsided game. 

Or of course you’re Shohei Ohtani, an athlete that will come around every 100 years.

But In the end, the goal is the same. 

If you survive Spring Training, 162 season which we know is a marathon and make it to the playoffs, you’re doing well. But the goal is to be visible in the Fall Classic and win the World Series!

Everybody has to play by the same rules so there is no sense complaining about it.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, if you haven’t already, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to see all of his broadcasts. We cover topics for every individual.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Shohei Ohtani Came As Advertised!

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

In 2018, I had the opportunity to cover the LA Angels in Spring Training in a contest vs the Seattle Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium and it was an incredible experience!

This Arizona Cactus League venue was jammed and the Media Circus that surrounded Shohei Ohtani was indescribable. The Japanese/Asian Coverage surrounding this guy’s first year was the expected circus to cover a player that is a generational performer since he’s able to pitch and contribute offensively.

On Wednesday Night at LoanDepot Park, the South Florida Tribune was only approved for one credential as my photographer was denied because of “Severe Space Restrictions “ but this didn’t bother me one bit because of what I dealt with in Arizona. I even joked around about this on My Tuesday Podcast, 108 Stitches, Baseball Talk with Lou Landers, Eric Katz and Rick Curti.

This is one of those situations that I felt very fortunate to have been able to attend the game and didn’t mind being writer, photographer and videographer in one night.

Call it triple-tasking to the max but at least it was easy to stay entirely focused the entire game. 

Sometimes in Baseball, it’s easy to lose concentration and miss a play every so often when you’re keeping score. I have ways of finding those missing plays on MLB Game Day Live Websites.

When you see Shohei Ohtani, he’s an event!

In the Press Box, there was a lot of Asian/Japanese representation, in addition to the regular LA Angels media covering the squad. 

The Press Box was full! 

Between my local colleagues and the visitors, you can throw social distancing out the window.

It would have been a shame if Ohtani had come to Miami during the Covid-19 Pandemic and there were no fans and media on hand. 

The Baseball Gods didn’t let that happen!

There would be the pre-game Media Availability and Marlins Manager Don Mattingly was at his best not only talking about this game, but the main event of the evening. 

You guessed it, Shohei Ohtani and I certainly enjoyed talking about this player as well as other subjects as you’re going to see in the video.

As expected, the photo wells were packed in a major league ballpark as they were four years ago in Tempe. The field looked like a zoo with a lot of people and let’s not lose sight of the fact that in addition to Ohtani, Angels Superstar Mike Trout was on display. He was signing autographs before the game for kids. It was a great sight to see!

Going into this two-game series, the Angels led the all-time match-up 9-6. 

They played two previous series in Miami at Joe Robbie Stadium and LoanDepot Park, and LA held a 5-4 advantage.

In Tuesday’s opener vs the Angels, the Marlins defeated the Angels 2-1 behind an impressive outing by ace Sandy Alcantara, who tossed eight scoreless innings, yielded two hits and struck out 10 to improve his record to 9-3 in front of 13,338 fans.

Drawing the pitching assignment for Ohtani was All-Star Trevor Rogers, who entered the game with a 4-6 mark. 

Ohtani entered this game with a 7-4 mark with a 2.68 ERA.

Before the game on the field, I interviewed Marlins Announcer Tommy Hutton for My Show, “Fire Up Florida” which will be aired at a later date and talked about Ohtani along with other great topics.

When all the pre-game activities were complete, it was time to get back to the Press Box and multi-task. The digital camera was working well and I was keeping score staying in the game at all-times. When Ohtani pitching, you focus on the Marlins offensively as to how well they will or won’t do.

I sat next to a young Japanese female reporter who was writing her story which I couldn’t read on her computer while still taking pictures. Have to brush up on My Japanese.

This was a game that if you didn’t want to keep score, just watching Trout and Ohtani could keep one engaged. 

But I’m glad that I kept it anyways and plan to frame it and hang it in my office.

I grew up in an era of baseball where the phrase that a “pitcher helped his own cause” was used when they were hitting especially when they won the contest. Covering the National League the past couple seasons, gave me a taste of that writing about the Marlins.

But this year, the Universal Designated Hitter is a permanent part of the game.

Ohtani is the only way unless you see a position player pitch, then you’re going to see a hurler hit.

Ohtani pitched seven scoreless innings, his fastball was clocked at 101 MPH, had two RBI, scored a run and stole a base. According to CBS Sports, he’s the first player ever to record 10 strike outs, two RBI and a stolen base in a single game since RBI became official in 1920.

With the Angels 5-2 win over the Marlins on Wednesday Night, Ohtani improved his record to 8-4 and has won five straight starts. He has reached double-digit strikeouts in three straight starts to lower his season line to 2.44 ERA, 111 strikeouts, 20 walks in 81 innings.

Let us not forget the most important statistic of the night.

A crowd of 18,741 fans used their digital cameras and had a memorable evening knowing that “Shohei Ohtani Came As Advertised.”

I’ve had a lot of great memories being around this sport for close to 60 years, and I have to admit, this one ranks at the top. Who knows when I’ll see him again. 

Spring Training gave me a taste of Ohtani four years ago. 

This game gave me nine non-stop innings of this generational player that won’t ever be duplicated to this level that draws comparisons to Babe Ruth.

As much as I hate comparing players from different eras, it’s easy to make an exception this time!

This game wasn’t as much about whether the Marlins or Angels won the game. 

The real winners were those that attended the game inside LoanDepot Park watching an incredible player, plus seeing a match-up that you wouldn’t ordinarily see without inter-league play.

These two teams will never see each other in Spring Training since the Marlins are in Florida and Angels in Arizona.

What made this night even more special for me was seeing My good friend, Adam Chodzko, who is the Angels Director of Communications. 

We spent time together in 2018 and I hung out with him and former Angels Vice President Tim Mead, who has been one of my best friends and is currently retired.

Indeed, this was a night for myself that I’ll never forget, and as I get set to go on vacation to Cooperstown, NY with my wife in early August to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, I’m thinking, Ohtani and Trout could be enshrined there one day.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, to see his broadcasts, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at no cost.


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Inter-Miami, Recap Before International Break

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

This is the time of the year in sports where we begin to hit that slower period where the NBA Finals are complete, the NHL is close to crowning it’s champion while the NFL is getting ready to restart games in August.

During the dog days of summer, in South Florida, the Miami Marlins and Inter-Miami of the MLS are the primary entertainment on the sports scene.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Inter-Miami took on a team that resides in a area predominantly known for rain, the Portland Timbers.

The irony of the contest on Saturday, May 28 at DRV PNK Stadium is their match vs the Timbers was delayed by 27 minutes and began at 8:27 PM because of rain.

The delay didn’t phase Inter-Miami as the team raced out to a 2-0 lead. The team came out of the gate blazing with energy and it showed.

During the course of the season, Inter-Miami is truly establishing a home field advantage at DRV PNK Stadium.

On May 22, Inter-Miami defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0. The Red Bulls are No.5 in the Eastern Conference.

On May 18, Inter-Miami went on the road and battled to a 0-0 draw against the top team in the East, Philadelphia.

What made the win vs Portland significant was Inter-Miami gained three points going into the International Break. 

Through 14 games, Inter-Miami has a 5-6-3 record with 18 points. 

They’re currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

The 2-1 win over Portland did give the team an opportunity to get some rest and momentum. 

During the game vs Portland, Miami was outshot 16-15, but held the possession advantage 52.7%-47.3%.

They got goals from forward Leonardo Campana “Heineken Man Of The Match” who has now tallied eight for the season and midfielder Robert Taylor, who netted his second of the year.

But this was a game that Inter-Miami needed to win. 

First of all, Portland is struggling in 2022 with a 3-6-6 mark and 15 points. 

They are 12th in the Western Conference.

Good teams defeat squads that have comparable records.

A crowd of 11,161 fans saw the home team take care of business.

After the win, Coach Phil Neville and Campana talked about how important defeating Portland meant a lot to the team’s confidence, plus what they were going to do with the break as you’re going to see in the videos in this story. 

When the game was over, Miami occupied the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference that would have made it playoff eligible.

Both individuals also talked about the team’s success at home. 

Inter-Miami has won two straight and is unbeaten at DRV PNK Stadium across all competitions to six.

Inter-Miami is back in action on Sunday as they travel to Georgia and face Atlanta at 3 PM.

Once again, another game vs a comparable opponent. 

Atlanta is currently 11th in the conference with a 4-5-4 mark with 16 points in 13 games.

On April 24, Miami defeated Atlanta 2-1 in Fort Lauderdale in a nationally televised game.

It’s time to repeat that performance and get back on track as the dog days of summer are upon us.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

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Sports Exchange Focus: Kyler Murray

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH  On Wednesday’s Edition of the Sports Exchange, My Crew of JB Ellis, George Eichorn and Rick Curti began the show with ...