Sunday, July 7, 2024

July 4th With The Marlins and Red Sox

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The schedule makers have been great to me the past two years as the Miami Marlins have been home for July 4th.

In 2023, the Marlins crushed the St. Louis Cardinals 15-2 at LoanDepot Park to improve to 50-37, while the Cardinals dropped to 35-50. The line score was indicative of what July 4 fireworks should consist of. Miami scored 15 runs and had 19 hits, while the Cardinals had two runs and nine hits.

The Marlins proceeded to make the playoffs.

As we move the clock forward to 2024, the Marlins hosted the Boston Red Sox. 

Miami was 30-56 entering the game while Boston was 46-39. Boston won the first two games of this three game series by 8-3 and 7-2 scores.

What would occur in the final game of the series?

You couldn’t ask for a better media meal as there were hamburgers and hot dogs.

Boston starter Nick Pivetta pitched a sensational game by throwing no-hit baseball into the seventh inning. The right-handed hurler saw his no-hitter broken up as Jesus Sanchez tripled in the seventh inning, Pivetta went on to amass 10 strike outs of shutout baseball.

Meanwhile, for Miami, right-hander Kyle Tyler had a solid outing of his own by going 5.1 innings and gave up two runs. The Marlins trailed Boston 2-0 when Tyler departed the game.

Once both starters exited the game, the bullpens took over in a game that lasted 12 innings and Boston won 6-5.

What stood out in this game?

For Boston, David Hamilton and Tyler O’Neill had double steals on two occasions. They pulled the trick in the first inning and again in the sixth, Hamilton scored runs in those innings. By the end of the day, Hamilton’s stolen base total for the season hit 23.

The Red Sox led 2-0 until Miami erased the deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the contest at 2-2. The Marlins runs came via the walk.

The teams remained tied at 2-2 until the 11th inning when they would be tied at 4-4.

The Red Sox would score a pair in the 12th, while Miami countered with one run for what turned into an eventful 6-5 triumph for the Red Sox.

The major bright spot for Miami was the bat of Sanchez, who had a double, triple and home run, but needed a single to get the cycle. The Marlins amassed eight hits and Sanchez was responsible for three of them.

Both teams had eight hits apiece.

Marlins DH Jake Burger had a day that he would like to forget as he had five at bats, all were strikeouts.

Zack Kelly pitched two innings for Boston and improved his record to 3-1, while John Andriese was the losing hurler and saw his record drop to 0-1.

A crowd of 20,539 saw this game. Boston improved to 47-39, while Miami dropped to 30-57. The game took 3:36 to complete.

The Red Sox earned a three-game sweep.

At the gate, in the first game, 14,676, in the second, 20,285 and in the finale, 20,539 gave the Marlins decent numbers for the series.

A tale of two July 4th contests that took different twists and turns.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. 

You can see his broadcasts by subscribing at no charge to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

In addition, Scott’s Book, “Lessons From The Microphone” can be purchased through Amazon-Kindle and Barnes & Noble.




Sunday, June 23, 2024

Inter-Miami Press Tribune

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When you look at the title of this story, what goes through your mind?

Is it an internal publication for Inter-Miami?

One would think that but the reality is that it’s the overflow area for the media when the press box is full largely in part because of Lionel Messi’s presence. Inter-Miami’s Communication Staff does an exceptional job trying to accommodate all credential requests.

This season, I’ve sat in both places. I always know what I get accomplished in the air conditioning confines of the press box.

When Inter-Miami hosted the New York Red Bulls on May 4, I sat in the Press Tribune area. It was a totally different experience. There were two rows for us, but no tables. 

This game had a much different feeling as we sat amongst the crowd. All I could do in this particular situation was take notes from my clipboard and just soak in the atmosphere.

If there was ever a game to do this, it was against New York.

Inter-Miami whipped New York 6-2 and Messi broke an MLS record for most assists (5) recorded in a single match. Inter-Miami dominated Possession at 58% and outshot New York 16-15, (7-5 on goal).

But when you see the enthusiasm for Messi, it’s understandable as to why they’re excited to be moving next season to their new Miami Freedom Park Stadium next year. 

Miami Freedom Park will provide 58 acres of public parks and green space, a tech hub, restaurants and shops, soccer fields for the community, a 25,000 seat stadium for Inter-Miami and many more features.

You can rest assure the press box will be much bigger to ensure the media can do their job efficiently.

But on this night, Messi put on a show and the Red Bulls paid for it with the lopsided loss at Chase Field in Fort Lauderdale.

After the contest, Gerardo Martino was pleased with the teams’ effort led by his superstar Messi.

But for myself, I felt like I was a fan, but at least I didn’t have to spend the money to get into the game as well as parking.

Inter-Miami’s record is 12-3-5 and are in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Messi has 12 goals and nine assists and has taken 43 shots.

Luis Suarez has 12 goals and five assists to go along with 32 shots.

Leonardo Campana has five goals with one assist and has taken 18 shots.

In their last match on Wednesday, defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1 at Chase Stadium.

They return to action on Saturday as they travel to Nashville at 8:30 PM.

They’ll remain on the road for July 3 match at Charlotte, July 6 at Cincinnati then play a July 17th tilt at home vs Toronto.

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

To see his broadcasts, subscribe at no charge to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Also, Scott wrote a book, “Lessons From The Microphone” which can be purchased on Amazon-Kindle along with Barnes & Noble.


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Marlins Recent Series Struggles

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

As we approach the dog days of summer, the 2024 season has been a difficult one for the Marlins as their record currently stands at 22-42 leading into the final game of their series vs the Cleveland Guardians (41-22).

To summarize the recent challenges for the fish, all you have to do is look at the last three series. 

From May 27-29, Miami lost 2-3 games on the road to the San Diego Padres and they faced former teammate Luis Arraez. The Padres took the first two games of the series by successive 2-1 and 4-0 scores. Miami won the finale 9-1.

Would returning home change the fortunes of the Marlins?

Absolutely not.

From May 31-June 2, The World Champions Texas Rangers came to loanDepot Park and took 2-3 from Miami.

For the second straight night, the conclusion of the Padres series and beginning of the Rangers, Marlins bats came alive taking the opener 8-2. 

But things went down hill from there as the Marlins never scored another run in the Rangers series by dropping successive 7-0 and 6-0 decisions.

In the game we saw on June 2, Texas left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney entered the contest with a 1-6 record and a 4.47 ERA. Six innings later, he didn’t give up any runs and amassed seven strikeouts and yielded no walks. The Rangers bullpen shut down the Marlins with three clean innings and Heaney watched his record improve to 2-6.

Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien reached base all five times. He had one hit, a fielders choice and walked three times as Texas cruised to the easy win. 

Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers hurled six innings and gave up four runs on six hits as his record dropped to 1-7. The Marlins amassed only five hits in this contest.

The Tampa Bay Rays came to town from June 4-5 in the Sunshine Series but things looked gloomy for the Marlins as Rays won the series 2-0 with successive 9-5 and 5-3 outcomes.

As a result, Miami has lost three straight series.

Making a rare appearance to South Florida, the Cleveland Guardians came to town for a weekend three-game series vs the Fish from June 7-9.

Miami took the opener 3-2 in Friday Night, but lost the second contest 8-0 on Saturday.

This set the stage for the rubber game of the series which was Dontrelle Willis Bobblehead day. 

Sunday’s pitching match-up was Carlos Carrasco (2-5, 5.66 ERA) for Cleveland facing Trevor Rogers (1-7, 5.68 ERA for Miami.

Nobody will be able to blame Rogers’ for what occurred as he went five innings and yielding just one run and struck out four. 

Tough luck Trevor’s only run came off the bat of Guardians DH Gabriel Arias in the third inning that gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

The Marlins scored a run in the fourth and fifth innings and took a 2-1 lead. 

But in the sixth inning, the Marlins bullpen imploded by giving up three runs thanks to the bat of Cleveland center-fielder Tyler Freeman’s blast that the Guardians a 5-2 lead. AJ Puk gave up these runs and was the losing pitcher. He dropped to 0-7 in 2024.

Miami committed two errors in the game.

In the ninth inning, both teams scored runs as the final score was 6-3. Freeman also scored a run in the ninth inning. In the bottom of the frame, Jake Burger belted a round tripper that went approximately 383 feet to left field, his fifth homer of the season.

The Marlins have now lost four consecutive series and saw their record drop to 22-43. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s record improved to 42-22.

Earlier in the week, the Marlins moved on from a free agent during the Derek Jeter regime. They decided to eat the $23 million left on Avisail Garcia. The 32-year old has been plagued by injuries and below average play.

Meanwhile, the Marlins have Monday off and then travel to New York and play the Mets for a three-game series. They’ll also face the Washington Nationals in the Nations Capital for three more contests. We’ll see if they can finally win a series.

The Guardians, who rarely travel to South Florida, drew crowds of 10,718, 15,669 and 12,850.

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

To see his broadcast, there is no cost to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Finally, his book “Lessons From The Microphone” can be purchased on Amazon-Kindle and Barnes & Noble. The auto book is on the way.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Return To Maple Leaf Gardens

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

If there was ever a time that I needed a camera phone, it was on my 20th birthday that occurred on December 29, 1982.

I went with a friend to Toronto and we toured the city, but the sporting event that topped off the trip was watching the Maple Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens. This game occurred at Maple Leaf Gardens and we bought the tickets from a fan that had a pair. I told him to give us a break and it was my birthday. That fan was great and we bought those for $20.00 apiece.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Maple Leafs vs the Canadiens is the biggest rivalry in hockey and ranks among the best in Professional Sports.

For those of you that haven’t been to Toronto, it’s a must see. On our recent trip, I drove through China and Italy town. We covered the Blue Jays vs Kansas City Royals, went to the CN Tower and ate at the Spaghetti Factory.

Before she met me, my wife’s hockey team was the Milwaukee Admirals. Since we’ve been together, her NHL alliance is the Detroit Red Wings. We watch a lot of hockey together at home and she’s taken pictures covering the Florida Panthers and the Red Wings.

What she would experience in Toronto going to Maple Leaf Gardens was a hockey lesson that would give her insights about the NHL for over 100 years. Maple Leaf Gardens was built in 1912 and renovated in 2009.

Nowadays, when new stadiums are built, it’s automatic that the old ones get imploded or the wrecking ball. Maple Leaf Gardens is registered as a National Historic Site of Canada. It is a historic building located on the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street.

It’s been also called “MLG,” “The Carlton Street Cashbox,” “The Church of Hockey” and “The Shrine.”

When the Maple Leafs moved downtown, I talked to a person and he said the building was renovated for $80 Million. There is a grocery store on the ground floor and it’s marked with signs of what was on that level.

There is also an athletic complex that was named “Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens” and the ice rink is located on the sixth level, was named “Mattamy Home Ice.”

During the course of our visit, Candy was very busy taking picture of me at Maple Leaf Gardens and I enjoyed showing her all the history in that building. She was truly impressed with what she saw. I’ve been to the Hockey Hall of Fame which has now been moved to a different location. But I told her that the road to the Hall of Fame for many of these players came through Maple Leaf Gardens.

The photos in this story will give you a great feel for this venue and all the history connected with it.

The parking structure is below ground, level one is the grocery store and centre ice is in aisle 25, level two is a basketball court for the college, levels, three, four and five. 

At times in life, there aren’t any do overs. 

But that wasn’t the case here.

When we covered the NFL Draft from April 25-27 in Detroit, I had already made the decision to take Candy to Niagara Falls and Toronto. The two places are about an hour away from each other so it was a no-Brainer to hit them both on the same trip.

But I knew going back to Maple Leaf Gardens was my top priority! Thankfully, now I have the photos of what the use of the venue is, plus going to the Blue Jays vs the Royals enabled me to catch up with My friend Don Mattingly!

It doesn’t get any better than this!

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

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

Finally, Scott’s book, “Lessons From The Microphone” is available on Amazon-Kindle and Barnes & Noble.




Thursday, May 30, 2024

More Memories With Donnie Baseball

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When I covered the NFL Draft four weeks ago in Detroit, I wanted to make the most out of the 12 days in that part of the country.

I promised my significant other that I would take her to Niagara Falls and Toronto, CA. 

She had never been to either place and these were short drives.

I’ve always viewed Toronto as one of the best cities that I have been to. I’ve seen the Maple Leafs play at Maple Leaf Gardens, in addition to the Blue Jays playing at the old Exhibition Stadium, then moving to the Skydome. 

The Spaghetti Factory is an awesome place to eat and the CN Tower is great to see the entire area.

On April 30, 2024, I returned to the renamed Sky Dome, which is now the Rogers Center, and there was only one person that I wanted to see.

My friend Don Mattingly is in his second season as a coach of the Toronto Blue Jays. 

We developed a great friendship when he was the manager of the Miami Marlins. 

He made the most of the limited resources he had in Miami.

Mattingly led the Marlins during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic season and had to deal with some of the most unusual circumstances that a skipper was faced with. Yet, he took it all in stride and it was neat getting to know him on Zoom. The Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs.

When the Media returned to LoanDepot Park, Mattingly’s Media Availability’s not only consisted of game updates, but I would ask him general baseball questions. There has never been a manager that I’ve worked with where I learned as much from than Mattingly.

His media sessions drew a lot of views on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. 

That’s how big of a following he has worldwide knowing that he played his entire MLB Career with the New York Yankees.

On a Zoom Call, I asked Mattingly during the Covid-19 Season, what he thought of too many no-hitters being thrown early in the season? He said it was bad for baseball. 

Craig Mish, who has covered the Marlins for years, was able to use my question and posted it on his twitter page, and it went viral as 392,000 people viewed it with my voice talking to the skipper.

But Don Mattingly cares about people. 

When I began having some medical issues, we would talk privately and he was always giving me moral support to stay positive. He said just to work through them. 

I had some concussion issues and he was telling me stories about players dealing with head trauma. He continued to remind me that I have to be patient how to deal with these head injuries. Then again, what would you expect a friend to say to a friend.

Fortunately, we always took some great pictures together and he’s in my book, “Lessons From The Microphone” as I had some great stories about a guy that truly belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

As we hung out in front of the Blue Jays dugout, I decided this time that seeing Mattingly was enough for me. 

I put my cell phone in my pocket and we just talked. 

We talked about his time in Miami and he said that he has the utmost respect for his successor Skip Schumaker and the struggles that the Marlins are experiencing.

But I could tell that by viewing his body language and voice that Mattingly is enjoying life in Toronto. He doesn’t worry about wins and losses as much as his focus is on teaching the game he knows to his current players. 

He didn’t seem like he was in a hurry to manage again, although knowing him like I do, he’ll lead a team if the right situation came along.

Moreover, he told me that he walks to Rogers Center because he lives across the street. We stayed five minutes away and it was pleasant because I didn’t have to worry about finding parking in an area that I didn’t know.

The best part about the Media Industry is the amount of friends that lead to great relationships through the years. I’ve been fortunate to have met a lot of great people especially in baseball.

The Blue Jays lost to the Kansas City Royals 4-1 on this night. The game took 2:19 to complete in front of 27,189 fans. 

There is no question that Toronto has some of the best fans in North America.

Toronto’s communications staff treated us great! I look forward to the day I return.

But on this night, it was all about Don Mattingly and I having more memories together! 

This is the one instance that I enjoyed not having to record a conversation. It was about handshakes and hugs and he told me that he always enjoys seeing me. 

That meant everything to me because life is too short and it’s important to create the memories while I’m able to. Our pictures together are priceless!

Covering a game at Rogers Center was a totally different experience as the press box is located a long the left-field line next to foul territory. 

The only place I’ve sat in the press box is behind home plate, but the Blue Jays decided to build suites instead to create another revenue stream. I can’t blame them for that.

One day, I would like to stay in the hotel at Rogers Center. Can you imagine not leaving the stadium to cover a game?

Unlike LoanDepot Park in Miami, there are plenty of restaurants and sports bars to hang out before and after the game.

But this was definitely a memorable night hanging out with “Donnie Baseball” North of the Border.

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

To see Scott’s broadcasts, you can subscribe to the South Florida Tribune YouTube Channel at no cost.

Finally, Scott’s book, “Lessons From The Microphone” can be purchased on Amazon-Kindle along with Barnes & Noble.


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tigers Legend Dan Petry Talks About 1984 Championship Team

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Throughout the years, I’ve been very fortunate to interview some of the all-time great Detroit Tigers.

Some of the players that come to mind on the 1968 World Championship team include: Al Kaline, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton and Jim Price.

When the Tigers made the playoffs in 1972, I crossed paths with Billy Martin, Duke Sims and Joe Coleman.

Who can forget the 1984 World Championship squad? 

I have good memories with Sparky Anderson, Alan Trammell, Lance Parrish, Kirk Gibson and Dan Petry.

As the Tigers get set for their 40th anniversary celebrating the 1984 team in August, I had the opportunity to spend time with Petry as you’re going to see in the video which is inserted in this story when I covered the Miami Marlins series vs Detroit a couple weeks ago in Comerica Park.

It was great reminiscing with Petry about the 1984 team, plus the 1987 Tigers playoff team that lost to the Minnesota Twins.

We talked about players that should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame from the 1968 and 1984 squads. When I approached Petry about talking about the 1984 Tigers, he smiled and was glad to talk about the memories and teammates on that squad.

The 65-year old native of Palo Alto, CA., compiled a 125-104 record with a 3.95 ERA and 1,063 strikeouts in a career that began in 1979 and ended 1991. Petry pitched in 370 games, 300 as a starter, threw for 2,080.1 innings, and amassed 52 complete games. 

He had two stints with the Tigers. His first was from 1979-1987 and was an All-Star in 1985, in addition to winning the World Series in 1984.

His second stint with the Tigers occurred from 1990-91. He also had stops with the California Angels (1988-1989), Atlanta Braves (1991) and Boston Red Sox (1991).

During our conversation, he talked about Jack Morris, Frank Tanana and Milt Wilcox among others.

Petry is currently a studio analyst for the Tigers on Ballys Sports Detroit.

In addition to talking about the past, we also talked about today’s game which consists of new rule changes to speed up the game, Tommy John surgeries, as well as the lack of complete games.

There is no doubt that once you view this video, you’re going to be much more knowledgeable about the two different eras. First, the one he played in and second, the once he’s analyzing.

When an opportunity comes to talk to former Tigers, there is no doubt that I will pounce on it.

Petry is a Tigers legend and a very important part of the teams’ history.

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

You can see his broadcasts by subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at no cost.

Finally, 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.


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Dane Myers Road To The Miami Marlins

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

If there was ever a story that came full circle, it occurred during the Miami Marlins series vs the Detroit Tigers May 13-15 at Comerica Park.

I’m very thankful that Marlins Luis Dorante Jr. of the Marlins Communications Department steered me in this direction.

It’s easy to go after the bigger name players and get some good sound bites. Those are also good stories.

Since I’ve covered minor league baseball in the past, I like to go after stories that most reporters won’t think of. I like going after the “Hidden Hems” or the underdogs.

I’ll never forget the time when I used Chad Crunk of the Detroit Tigers as a resource often and asked him is there a player that he wanted to promote. We kidded around about this when I was at Comerica Park. He came up with some good players, but the one that stood out was Tigers catcher Jake Rogers. Jake was one of the players that the Tigers acquired when they traded Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros.

Before going to Comerica Park, I didn’t even know Dorante Jr. 

In Detroit, Dorante Jr., he introduced himself to me in front of the Marlins dugout. We talked about players and landed on outfielder Dane Myers.

If there was ever a story that was ideal, this was it.

Myers (28), who played college baseball for the Rice Owls, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, 185th overall. He bats and throws right.

I’m not going to get into his minor league history too much with the Tigers.

Myers didn’t play a game in 2020 do to the cancellation of the Minor League season being cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

He began his professional career as a pitcher but was converted to an outfielder prior to the 2021 Season in the Tigers organization.

Myers found a new home on December 7, 2022 as he was selected by the Miami Marlins in the Minor League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He spent time between Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp to begin the year.

On July 3, 2023, Myers was selected to the Marlins 40-Man Roster for the first time. During his rookie season he hit .269 with one homer, and nine RBI.

At the moment, the Marlins are 18-34 and are in fifth place in the National League Eastern Division. They’ve been decimated by injuries to their pitching staff as well as under performance. 

Earlier in the year, the Marlins traded NL Batting Champion Luis Arraez to the San Diego Padres for prospects.

When teams struggle, this is an opportunity for other players to make the most of their opportunity.

That’s exactly what Myers is doing. 

To date, he’s currently hitting .269 with two home runs and 16 RBI. He’s playing third base and outfield.

Because of his strong arm, this gives the Marlins another option at the hot corner.

If there was ever a guy that you’d want to pull for, it’s Myers. 

We talked for nine minutes before the second game of the Tigers contest vs the Marlins. As you watch this interview, there is no doubt that you’re going to find yourself rooting for Myers.

The Columbus, Texas., native and I talked about his time with the Tigers, changing positions and his fresh start with the Marlins.

He would make his Comerica Park debut in the final contest of the three-game series. He went 0-2 but finally got to play in a stadium that he yearned to make his regular home when he was drafted.

Before the final game of the Marlins three-game series vs the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, I asked Miami Manager Ship Schumaker about what Myers role is with the team and what he thinks of his future with the club.

Once again, check out the video to get the skippers answer. 

You’re going to get the same impression that I did and the future is bright.

If there was ever a story that was a natural idea being a native from Detroit, this was it.

After the interview, I felt like I made a friend for life with Myers and you can be rest assured, that I’ll be a fan of this guy and monitor his career.

There is nothing NOT to like about Dane Myers and it’s only fitting that his Road To The Miami Marlins came via the Detroit Tigers.

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

If you want to see his broadcasts as well as his other interviews, there is no cost to subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Finally, Scott’s book “Lessons From The Microphone” talks about Old School Media vs New School Media and anybody can benefit from it. It’s available on Amazon-Kindle and Barnes & Noble. 


July 4th With The Marlins and Red Sox

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH The schedule makers have been great to me the past two years as the Miami Marlins have been home for July 4th. In 2023, ...