Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Miami Marlins VS Detroit Tigers, Overview

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

There weren’t too many series that I would make a return trip to a city where there was a big event a couple weeks prior than this one between the Miami Marlins at Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park from May 13-15.

The 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit from April 25-27, is very fresh in my mind. There were a few good stories and some nice videos that will all be on our platform within the next seven days.

But covering the Marlins and Tigers was special because for 40 years, I covered the Tigers. 

I joined the Marlins in 2020 and have really found this working relationship enjoyable. I couldn’t think of a better manager to work with than my friend Don Mattingly and now Skip Schumaker.

It was great covering the entire three-game series. 

My camera phone captured photos of my colleagues in Detroit as well as those in Miami. On the Marlins side, it was great to see Jessica Blaylock, Kelly Saco, Coach Jody Reed, announcers Paul Severino and Rod Allen, who like myself, was a part of the Tigers.

On the Detroit side, it was nice meeting writer Dawn Klemish, new Tigers play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti, Craig Monroe, broadcaster John Keating, Jennifer Hammond, and Tigers legend Dan Petry, who was a key player on the Tigers 1984 World Series Championship team. It was great seeing my buddy Ted Kulfan, who is the Detroit Red Wings beat writer.

I have to admit that covering the three games in Detroit gave me an opportunity to see the development around Comerica Park which was tremendous. 

Taking a picture at the statue of Barry Sanders outside of Ford Field was awesome. Sanders is my all-time favorite running back. I covered the Lions at the Pontiac Silverdome when Sanders was rushing up the record books en route to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

What’s happened to Detroit having three sports venues under a half mile for all of their four teams is remarkable and other cities should take note. The pictures tell the story.

In addition to this series summary, I had the opportunity to interview Miami Marlins outfielder and former Tigers prospect Dane Myers and Petry. Those will be separate stories.

The Marlins entered this series with an 11-31 mark while Detroit was 20-20. On the surface, this series had a three-game sweep by Detroit all over it.

But that’s why you play the games.

All three games were close.

The Marlins had a 5-3 lead into the bottom half of the eighth. But the Tigers rallied for three runs and won the contest 6-5, thanks to a two run-homer by Spencer Torkelson. Matt Manning pitched 5.2 innings and gave up three runs and had a no-decision. 

The Tigers bullpen shut down the Marlins by getting solid performances by Alex Faedo who improved his record to 3-1 and Jason Foley notched his 10th save.

It’s hard to believe that after game one, the Tigers wouldn’t score another run in the series. But that’s what transpired in games two and three.

Game two seemed like yesteryear as we saw an old-fashioned pitchers duel.

Miami received a stellar performance by Ryan Weathers, who went eight scoreless innings, yielding three hits and striking out four, but would end up getting a no-decision.

Reese Olson was dynamite for Detroit as he went eight scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out six.

But this game went to the bullpens and Miami won 1-0 in 10 innings. 

The ghost runner Bryan De La Cruz scored the winning run for Miami, and Tanner Scott got the win improving his record to 2-4. AJ Puk earned his first save of the season.

Alex Lange’s record dropped to 0-3.

In the rubber game on Wednesday, May 15, this turned out to be an interesting pitching match-up.

Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers, who was an all-star in 2021 entered the game with an 0-6 record and a 6.57 ERA. But he didn’t pitch that way against the Tigers as he faced Casey Mize, (1-1, 3.58 ERA). Mize is one of the Tigers top young pitchers.

Unfortunately for Mize, the top two hitters in the Marlins batting order turned him into a loser (1-2). 

Jazz Chisholm singled to lead off the game and De La Cruz belted a two run homer in the bottom of the first inning giving Miami a 2-0 lead, which would become the final score. Rogers won his first game of the season improving to 1-6.

One big moment in this game was when Marlins outfielder Dane Myers, a one-time Tigers prospect who never made it to Detroit, made his debut in the Motor City as he went 0-2. 

You’re never going to meet a nicer young man than Dane as you’re going to find out in that story.

The Tigers ended this series by going scoreless in 18 innings. 

Meanwhile, Miami won its first road series of the season.

The last time the Marlins recorded consecutive shutouts of nine of more innings on the road was three consecutive in 2004 from April 13-15 at the Montreal Expos.

The three games were decided by four runs. 

It turned out to be an amazing series and homecoming for myself.

I found myself talking to George Eichorn and referring to the Tigers as you guys, while I was on the Marlins side. 

It felt weird, but that’s the way it is.

While I saw the Tigers take on the Marlins last year at Loan Depot Park last summer, this just felt much different. But with inter-league play where every team faces each other once, it’s time to get used to the new reality.

After the series, the Marlins went on to win 2-3 versus the Mets at home including an 8-0 shellacking on Friday Night. Miami went on to have a four-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, Detroit traveled to Arizona and took their frustrations out on the Diamondbacks winning their first contest 13-0 then hammered the snakes 8-3 on Saturday Night.

But at least I can see these two teams play every year.

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

To see his broadcasts, subscribe to the South Florida Tribune.

Scott wrote a book “Lessons From The Microphone” which talks about Old School Media Vs New School Media. It’s available on Amazon/Kindle and Barnes & Noble.








Monday, May 20, 2024

NFL Draft Overview

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When Detroit needed to come through in the clutch in order to send a message to the sports world that it was ready to host major events, the 2024 NFL Draft proved to be the right opportunity!

There would be no shortage of hotels when you factor in the suburbs. I stayed in my hometown of Farmington Hills and didn’t overpay. Despite more traffic, downtown was only 30 minutes from my hotel with minimal traffic.

But the numbers for this event were staggering. Day One of the NFL Draft set an attendance record of 275,000 + and people were turned away. On day two, the entry was paused again as the NFL Draft hit its max capacity for the second straight night. 

Going into day three, Commissioner Roger Goodell let the Detroit crowd know that they are 100,000 people away from setting the all-time attendance of over 600,000 which would get smashed on day three. 

When the event was over, Detroit set an all-time draft record of 775,000 + and I was talking to security people and officers and they said, the downtown and areas around the draft eclipsed over 3 Million. 

I’m not a math major to tell you how much revenue was generated for the Metro Detroit Area and won’t even attempt to come up with a figure.

But from an overall standpoint, for me covering the NFL Draft in My Hometown was a once in a lifetime experience. The NFL rotates the event every year and Green Bay is on the clock.

One tool that helped my coverage was before the Media Center opened at 3 PM, there was a private company that housed the Media. I was able to do a Radio Show from “The Lambert Draft Media Hospitality House” to promote my book, “Lessons From the Microphone” and this was an awesome place to work out of because it was quiet, plus they had good food.

The amount of work I got done here, saved a lot of stress.

During the first two days, I didn’t have the opportunity to walk around the stage area because I wanted to avoid the crowds.

But day three would be totally different. 

It was neat seeing the Stage Area where the players were introduced. I enjoyed walking around the entire area as the pictures will show you just talking to fans talking about football. 

There were Lions fans and it was neat talking to NFL Fans from around the country.

My photographer Candy Ebling and reporter Jeremy Ballreich joined me as we were interacting with fans and meeting new fans/followers.

With an event like this, meeting football fans is great, in addition to networking, plus digging for content.

There is no doubt that Metro Detroit sent a message to the NFL that it’s capable of holding an event of this magnitude and don’t be surprised if the draft comes sooner than 31 years.

My message to the NBA, NHL and NCAA is after Detroit’s latest Big Event, the Metro Area will have no trouble hosting your All-Star Games and another Final Four. I wouldn’t be surprised if Detroit gets another Super Bowl.

But when this city needed to step up to the plate, it hit a grand slam home run when it needed it as the numbers indicated!

The folks in Windsor Canada and casinos across the river give tourists an opportunity to hang out in two countries.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. Feel free to follow him on Twitter/X @TribuneSouth. You can see his broadcasts by subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Also, Scott wrote a book “Lessons From The Microphone” which talks about Old School Media VS New School Media. It’s available on Amazon/Kindle and Barnes & Noble.

  

The Corner Ballpark

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The last time that I attended an event at the Corner of Michigan and Trumbull was on September 27, 1999 when the Detroit Tigers defeated the Kansas City Royals. It was the last game ever at Tiger Stadium and Robert Fick hit a grand slam for the ages which turned out to be the final home run ever at this iconic ballpark.

My long-time colleague George Eichorn covered that event and we returned for this one.

If there was ever a day that I could freeze in time, this day was it.

There was a time that I drove around Michigan and Trumbull and saw the stadium half demolished as Hall of Fame Broadcaster Ernie Harwell did everything possible to find ways to redevelop the stadium. Unfortunately for Ernie, none of his ideas never came to fruition.

For years, voluntary ground crews took care of the property and the right-field fence remained. 

When the Police Athletic League got involved, things changed for the better. In a combined redevelopment effort with the city of Detroit, the two parties worked together to build apartments around the newly constructed field and all of a sudden, this would be a great way to preserve sports history in the venue that was once home to the Tigers and Lions.

The pictures in this story say it all.

The NFL had an event that promoted youth football and there were flag football games. 

This would also turn out to be a great media opportunity for the media to interview some of the top prospects at the NFL Draft. Commissioner Roger Goodell was talking to the fans and even gave his jacket away to a fan that didn’t have a jacket.

I enjoyed walking around the park and seeing photos of the memories of the Tigers and the Lions. It was a really cold day at The Corner Ballpark. The memories I had overshadowed what turned out to be the coldest day of the seven that we were in town.

There is a precedent that when stadiums get torn down, they become parking lots.

But there are other cases when cities get them right and find a way continue the sports traditions.

When the city of Miami tore down the iconic Orange Bowl, they replaced it with the Marlins permanent home, Loan Depot Park.

I just acknowledged what happened in Detroit with The Corner Ballpark.

Milwaukee has done a nice job replacing County Stadium with a dynamite Little League Ballpark called Helfaer Field which is rented out for multiple uses.

The old Yankee Stadium was replaced by ball fields across of street from the new venue.

In Arlington, the former Texas Rangers Ballpark was renovated for the United Football League.

Finally, in Atlanta, Turner Field was the original stadium for the Summer Olympics, renovated for the Atlanta Braves and remodeled again for Georgia State Football.

With the newer stadiums, nobody wants to see tax dollars go to waste as stadiums get outdated quickly. It’s understandable that the older stadiums which can’t get preserved ultimately succumb to the wrecking ball or get imploded.

In the case of the Corner Ballpark, the city of Detroit got it right!

The venue where the Detroit Lions won four NFL Championships came to life on Wednesday, April 24 and it was great returning for another memory almost 25 years later. It was great to see the NFL return to its roots.

I’m sure that a lot of the newer generation wouldn’t know much about the past, but at least they had an opportunity to be a part of the 2024 NFL Draft Festivities.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. He can be reached on Twitter/X @TribuneSouth. Feel free to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel to see all of his broadcasts.

Also, Scott wrote a book called “Lessons From The Microphone” which mainly talks about Old School Media VS New School Media. It’s available on Amazon/Kindle and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Former Rams Linebacker Mel Owens A Winner On And Off The Field

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

During the next couple of weeks, expect to see more stories come from the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit held from April 25-27.

There are times when you have to hunt for stories and others when they fall into your lap.

I’ve covered the NFL Draft in four different ways.

First, in the early 1980’s, I covered the Miami Dolphins and worked with legendary coach Don Shula. For a young guy that was 19-years old, it was an unforgettable experience.

Second, later in the decade and into the 1990’s, I worked with the Detroit Lions and covered the draft many years under head coaches Wayne Fontes and Bobby Ross. I’ve never seen more press releases, bios, etc…than I did during these years. I can only imagine how many trees were cut down with the amount of paper that I read. The Lions PR Department did an outstanding job keeping us up to date, fed us great and there were plenty of interview opportunities.

Third, I had the opportunity to cover the Jacksonville Jaguars. I met a lot of great media people, the PR Staff was extremely hospitable, no shortage of food and there were good press conferences with key football people. By this time, a lot of the bios and press releases were online and not much paper.

This latest experience was my first time covering the event nationally. 

I’ve covered four Super Bowls and am familiar with the big stage. 

During the week leading up to the event, I participated on Zoom Calls and on my podcasts, utilized all the information that I compiled. It was great covering it in my hometown!

When you’re covering a big event, there are some things that you can’t prepare for and that’s what your strategy is because you don’t know what individuals will be around.

I’ll go back to my favorite movie of all-time, Hoosiers and take a comment that actor Gene Hackman used when assessing his new job, “Let’s see what hand I’ve been dealt.”

During the Super Bowl, if you’re roaming around radio row, the media area or everywhere, there will be no shortage of interviews.

But in this case, I struck early on the first night.

Jeremy Ballreich was covering his first event for the South Florida Tribune. I told him to follow my lead and he’ll have a productive weekend. To ensure my credibility, I had to set a great example.

I wasted no time approaching former Michigan Wolverine and Los Angeles Rams Linebacker Mel Owens. 

On last nights edition of Inside The Pigskin, I found out from my panelist Mel Farr Jr. that he was a teammate of Owens with the Rams. Mel was impressed that I was able to talk to Owens on the first night.

Ballreich, one of my prize pupils was impressed with how I went about my business in a no-nonsense manner. I’m hoping as his time in this business continues, he’ll develop that same tenacity to think on his feet, although he has come a long way in the year we’ve worked together.

As far as Owens is concerned, he has the qualities that I look for in a guest, and he was more than happy to give me whatever time that I needed. We did the one-on-one in an area where there were no distractions.

Mel Owens was born on December 7, 1958. 

Ironically, he shares the same birthday as my late mother and he is just four years older than myself.

How much time did I have to prepare for this interview? 

None.

Owens played for the Michigan Wolverines and had a successful nine year career with the LA Rams.

After his NFL career, he’s a partner and attorney at Law for Namanny, Byrne & Owens, protecting players rights to receive Workers Compensation.

Owens brought a great balance of success on and off the field.

During our interview, we talked about the Michigan Wolverines National Championship, Jim Harbaugh, his playing career, what he’s doing now, etc…

Once you view this interview you’re going to learn about a man that defines the term, (Student Athlete) and has mastered it to perfection. 

When the interview for the Motor City Mad Mouth Show was completed, I gave Mel a signed copy of My Book, “Lessons From The Microphone.”

My goal is to stay in touch with him going forward and hopefully reunite him with Mel as well as have him on other shows.

Vanessa Williams had a song called “Save The Best For Last.”

In this case, I “Saved The Best For First” because what I learned about the NFL Draft is you better get as much done on the first day. As the draft continues, a lot of people come for the first day and leave for the last couple of days.

The National Networks are scattered all over the place so it’s hard to land those individuals where the Super Bowl is a huge candy store.

I’ve always felt that some of my favorite interviews were the ones that had no preparation. 

But the key to any good interview is have a lot of great core questions then make sure your follow up questions are strong. Before you know it, you’ve spent a sufficient amount of time with the individual and provided your fans great content.

When you have an intelligent individual like Owens and a 44-year veteran in Sports Media like myself, I know that’s a strong combination. 

Experience is priceless. You have to know when to capitalize on opportunities when they come your way and move quickly!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter/X @TribuneSouth. To see his broadcasts, subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Finally, Scott wrote a book, “Lessons From The Microphone” and you get purchase it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Monday, May 6, 2024

As The Marlins World Turns

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The last Miami Marlins game that I attended was on Sunday, April 14, 2024 when the Atlanta Braves scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to earn a 9-7 triumph.

What a difference a few weeks makes.

When you keep scoresheets, you never know the last time you’re going to see the player and my latest one will hit a frame and go into my office.

Why is that the case?

It’s simple. 

This was the last time that I saw last year’s National League Batting Champion Luis Arraez in the Miami line-up. During this game, he had one hit in five plate appearances.

This was a game that saw Jake Burger leave the contest with a left oblique injury and starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo was fortunate that despite giving up five runs, he got a no decision.

After this game, the Marlins dropped to 3-13.

The following series saw the San Francisco Giants win it 2-1 from April 15-17. The Marlins hit the road and played four contests on Chicago’s Northside and earned a 2-2 split with the Cubs from April 18-21. The Braves proceeded to sweep Miami (3-0) from April 22-24 in Georgia. 

The Washington Nationals are a team that Miami has fared well against in the past but this didn’t prove to be the case from April 26–29. The team based out of the Nations Capital earned a 4-0 sweep. 

But when you play a team that’s struggling as the Colorado Rockies are, you hope that you can find a few wins and Miami did just that earning a 3-0 sweep in a series that was played from April 30-May 2. The Marlins bats came alive as the Fish earned 7-6, 4-1 and 5-4 wins.

Could the Marlins keep the momentum going in their final series at the Oakland Coliseum vs the A’s? The answer was no as Oakland managed to win the series 2-1. Oakland mustered up a 3-1 and 20-4 wins while the Fish won the finale on Sunday 12-3.

During this series, for which the Marlins left the Bay Area with a 10-26 record, we found out very quickly whether the Marlins were going to be buyers or sellers.

Marlins President Peter Bendix went on record saying the team is unlikely to make the playoffs this year. He wasted  no time moving his best player as he sent Arraez to the San Diego Padres for outfielders Dillon Head (19) , and Jacob Marsee (23), reliever Woo-Suk Go and first baseman Nathan Martorella (23). 

The Marlins are paying Arraez’s contract down to the minimum in the deal, a source told ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. Arraez is making $10.6 Million this season and is arbitration-eligible in 2025.

So the question is, why would the Marlins make the trade in May instead of at the trade deadline?  According to Bendix, moving the 27-year old Arraez now instead of later in the campaign enabled him to get a bigger prospect package.

With Arraez hitting .354 last season, along with 43 extra base-hits in 147 games, this propelled the Marlins to get into the playoffs in 2023. He’s off to another productive start at the plate this year hitting .299 with eight doubles, and five RBIs in 137 at bats.

Through the years, the Padres have never been shy when it comes to spending in free agency. This time, they swung for the fences with this trade.

This move has paid early dividends for the Padres as Arraez wasted no time making history as he entered his new team’s record books with a dominant day against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He led off as the DH, became the first Padres player to record a four-hit game in his debut with his new team.

He went 4-6 with two runs scored and an RBI as the Padres slithered the snakes 13-1. His average improved to .315 through 34 games. For Arraez, he’s going to benefit by having a lot of protection around him with Fernando Tatis, Xander Bogaerts, Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado.

Could this protection lead to a third consecutive batting championship for Arraez? 

I wouldn’t bet against it. 

But the reality of the situation is will an early season move of this magnitude lead to perhaps another one by Bendix? 

I wouldn’t bet against this since if the President isn’t afraid to be a seller in May could be a bigger return, who knows what’s on the horizon?

But the reality is, this is a tough situation for Manager Skip Schumaker, who is in the third year option on his contract was voided by the club. Thus, the rebuild is on and the Miami fans have seen this drill after trips to the post-season. 

It will be interesting to see how these new players pan out and what guys in the organization will step up and become the core of this franchise.

While there will be no shortage of losses, there will be no shortage of intrigue as this season plays out as to what Bendix will do next.

Meanwhile, the Marlins next three series will be at the LA Dodgers, at home vs the Philadelphia Phillies and they’ll travel to Motown to face the Detroit Tigers from May 13-15.

It will be interesting to see what players will be on the next scorecard and see if the Padres can soar in the standings in the National League West, as Marlins fans will be scoreboard watching  to cheer for Arraez, whose time in South Florida was short and sweet. 

The man he was traded for, pitcher Pablo Lopez has found a home in Minnesota with the Twins.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter/X @TribuneSouth. To see his broadcasts, there is no cost to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. Also, his book, “Lessons From The Microphone” can be purchased on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Google.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Marlins Stunning Start

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

What a difference an off-season makes.

To say that I was surprised that former GM Kim Ng leaving the organization turned out to be a major a major understatement. 

The team just came off an 84-78 record which landed them an NL Wild Card Berth, but owner Bruce Sherman elected to restructure the front office, and she’d have no part of it. The Marlins hired Peter Bendix to lead their baseball operation from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Last season, Miami was 33-14 (.702) in one-run games. With all the stats in baseball, this is the one that you can gauge a successful year because the main reason is attributed to the bullpen doing its job especially in the late innings.

Going into the season, the Marlins knew they would be without the services of Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara. But there would be more injuries to come on the pitching staff with the most impactful one coming to Eury Perez, who will also miss the 2024 campaign.

A couple notable subtractions from this years roster include slugger Jorge Solar, who departed as a free agent to the San Francisco Giants, and the Fish traded speedy infielder Jon Berti to the New York Yankees before Opening Day.

The Marlins opening week couldn’t have started any worse. 

They were swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game series during Opening Day Weekend, then the Los Angeles Angels tacked on three more losses leaving the Fish with a franchise record 0-7 start. 

For Pittsburgh, the four-game opening weekend sweep was the first time they had accomplished this since 1903.

There is nothing worse than starting out 0-7 and sending your fans a message that this could be a tough season. Miami put themselves in the record for all the wrong reasons as the Marlins became the first team in MLB History to start 0-7 coming off a playoff year.

With that said, how long would that losing streak continue as Miami hit the road to face the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees?

It would reach 0-9 and on Sunday, April 7, the Marlins would finally get a “W” thanks to Jazz Chisholm and Nick Gordon Jr. who hit three-run homers in a six-run first inning as they trounced the St. Louis Cardinals 10-3.

Miami had been the first team to start 0-9 since Atlanta and Minnesota in 2016. The Marlins avoided becoming the first team to lose its first 10 games since the 2002 Chicago White Sox began 0-11.

Their stopper in this game was Max Meyer (1-0), a 25-year old right-hander, who got his first major league win in his fourth start and appearance. 

Meyer allowed one-run and three hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one. 

He had Tommy John Surgery on August 9, 2022 and returned to the mound on April 1, when he pitched five innings without a decision against the Los Angeles Angels. Meyer retired his first 13 batters.

With this streak lifted off of their shoulders, it was time to travel to the Bronx for a three-game series with the New York Yankees.

Things didn’t start out well for Miami as the Marlins dropped back-to-back decisions by 7-0 and 3-2 scores. 

But on Wednesday Night, Miami took a 5-2 win back to South Florida as it got a much needed day off on Thursday as they’ll host the Atlanta Braves this weekend.

The game we attended was the finale against Pittsburgh on March 31, 2024 as the Marlins jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the Pirates scoring all of the runs in the first inning. Chisholm hit a grand-slam homer. Trevor Rogers pitched five solid innings, giving up seven hits and striking out six.

But things would go down hill from there as the bullpen was unable to hold the lead and the Marlins lost 9-7 in 10 innings.

By no means this isn’t the time of the year to play the blame game yet. 

The Marlins did void the club option on Manager Skip Schumaker for the 2025 season as it was reported that he was upset with the departure of Ng. Time will tell if management will let him continue to pilot the club if the team continues to lose.

On Monday’s edition of 108 Stitches, Baseball Talk which you’re going to find in this story, one of my analysts Mark Maradei offered some insights about the Marlins slow start. You’re going to find his comments to be very insightful.

To say this weekend’s series vs division rival Atlanta is important is once again a major understatement, especially since Miami went winless in the opening home stand. For the Marlins, they’re 0-7 at Loan Depot Park. The last thing they want is another long streak lingering over them. But that’s where we’re at.

After Atlanta, the San Francisco Giants come to town. So we’ll find out whether this home stand provides good home cooking or time to continue the head scratching early in this campaign.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on X @TribuneSouth and to see his broadcasts, Subscribe to The South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Finally, Scott’s book “Lessons From The Microphone” can be purchased at Amazon, Kindle and Barnes & Noble.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

A New First For This Media Man

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

In a year where everything I write is likely heading to the second part of “Lessons From The Microphone,” what happened on Saturday April 6, 2024 at Chase Stadium was a First For Me.

During the pandemic in 2020, when I started covering the Miami Marlins, I used to kick myself in the rear-end because I regretted not taking Spanish in High School or College. The Media Availability was broken down into two parts, English and Spanish.

I’m thinking, geez, how much good information am I missing because I don’t understand Spanish?

Well if I had another reason to satirize myself for this very reason, then my return to covering Inter-Miami Football Club of MLS topped the Marlins act. It wasn’t even close to the first time.

It’s one thing to be shut out because there isn’t enough time to ask the newsmaker a question. 

On this night, I was shut out for a much different reason. 

Senior Manager of Communications Rafael Cabrera is one of the fairest people that I’ve ever worked with. 

Due to medical reasons, I wasn’t around this team but what made my return on April 6th, Cabrera and VP of Communications Molly Dreska welcomed Myself and photographer Candy Ebling back with open arms. It’s always nice to be where you are wanted!

What has changed since I covered the team?

There has been a lot of roster turnover, a coaching change and more importantly, Inter-Miami landed Soccer Legend Lionel Messi. 

They’re able to charge their fans more money because of this generational player. They’re making a lot of money off concessions and merchandise sales. The team will be moving into their new soccer specific stadium that holds 25,000 in Miami at the start of the 2025 season. Also, landing Chase as a sponsor is huge.

Messi made his return to the line-up after spending time on the injured list due to a hamstring injury.

He made his return during the second half vs the Colorado Rapids, a match that turned out to be a 2-2 draw.

Messi’s impact was felt immediately as he scored a goal just 12 minutes into his return as Inter-Miami tied the contest 1-1. He would be involved in the go ahead goal that gave the team a 2-1 lead.

Colorado scored a goal late in the game and came out of South Florida with some points.

Inter-Miami’s record is now 3-2-3 (12 points) in the Eastern Conference while Colorado is 2-2-3 (nine points) in the Western Conference.

But back to the post-game interview with Coach Gerardo Martino.

Inter-Miami beat writer Michelle Kaufman, also, a professor at the University of Miami, brought a lot of her students to cover the game. What she told he students was something I was unaware of.

The entire Press Conference was going to be in Spanish and the Zoom Availability was going to be translated in English.

As I kept attempting to get a question but getting shunned by my colleagues, I’m thinking, I wanted to ask the coach a question about his squad facing Colorado for the first time, how did they prepare and train for this opponent? That opportunity never came.

Afterwards, I asked Cabrera about this and he told me what had taken place and then I quipped with him, I guess after being away for a year and a half, things have changed. We both smiled and took a picture together. It was a light-hearted moment with a guy that’s one of the nicest people in our business.

This guy has a tough job especially since Messi has arrived. 

Inter-Miami is getting with tons of publicity, and media credential requests that it could never have imagined. 

I can only imagine how many e-mails that he’s unable to return these days. But he takes it all in stride and makes the best of it.

As for myself, to have an All-Spanish Press Conference, I couldn’t have ever anticipated that I would ever see in my lifetime. But it goes to show you that when you cover events in the field, anything can happen. And boy did it on this night.

There were two fans that ran on the field to meet Messi, and were arrested and taken into custody. On our way out, Messi had a police escort to leave Chase Stadium.

As for myself, this reminded me of Spring Training and I’ll know this the next time. If this happens again, I’ll have a Plan B so in case this happens again, I’ll be better prepared for it.

In the meantime, it was great to laugh at myself for not taking Spanish in school because when you live in South Florida, you’re in deep trouble without it.

During past press conferences when both languages were used with a player that didn’t know English, Cabrera was there to bail me out. There was no bailing out or an English question to be asked. 

I did accomplish one thing. This will be another story for part two, of “Lessons From The Microphone.”

It’s not all that bad.

I took everything in stride and as a result, the lesson to be learned is turn a negative into a positive.

The coaches Spanish Press Conference is also in this story so check it out.

Who knows what the next First For This Media Man will be. Stay tuned.

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

If you want to see his broadcasts, the there is no cost to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune YouTube Channel.

Also, his book, “Lessons From The Microphone” is available at Amazon, Kindle and Barnes & Noble.


Miami Marlins VS Detroit Tigers, Overview

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH There weren’t too many series that I would make a return trip to a city where there was a big event a couple weeks prior...