Friday, May 26, 2023

Marlins Hanging Tough


The 2023 Season has definitely been a period of adjustment for the Miami Marlins.

Did anyone know what to expect when Skip Schumacher became the team’s skipper replacing Don Mattingly? 

This guy is a first time pilot so you never know what you’re going to inherit.

Schumacher did inherit Cy Young Award Winner Sandy Alcantara, eccentric outfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr and retained Pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyer Jr.

During the off-season, GM Kim Ng added 2022 American League Batting Champion Luis Arraez, the second basemen in a trade for hurler Pablo Lopez from the Minnesota Twins.

She added third baseman Jean Segura in free agency from the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Yuli Gurriel came in from the Houston Astros to play first base.

Miami was hoping that last years free agents Jorge Solar (Atlanta Braves) and Avisail Garcia (Milwaukee Brewers) would have bounce back years.

At the moment, Garcia is on the 10 day injured list due to back tightness.

During the season, a team is going to use a lot of pitchers, and the Marlins made a bold move by promoting top prospect Eury Perez from their AA Affiliate in Pensacola, FL.

Perez put himself into the record books with his first start at 20 years and 27 days.

Following Perez, was Jose Fernandez (20 and 250), Ryan Dempster (21 and 29), Joe Fontenot (21 and 64) and Brad Hand (21 and 79).

In three starts, Perez is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings with 16 strikeouts.

In the game we saw on Saturday, May 13 against the Cincinnati Reds, Alcantara had his hands full in 7.2 innings by giving up seven hits and six runs but amassed nine strikeouts throwing 106 pitches, 72 for strikes.

Reds left fielder Jake Fraley went 2-4 with a homer and four RBI’s. Right fielder Henry Ramos went 2-4 for another RBI.

On May 14, Mothers Day, Miami defeated the Reds 3-1 and avoided the three game sweep.

Miami would proceed to sweep the Washington Nationals from May 16-18. Then it was time to go West where the San Francisco Giants took two of three from the Fish from May 19-21.

Things didn’t get any better when Miami traveled to Denver and face the Rockies in the high altitude at Coors Field. The Marlins lost three of four from May 22-25. Miami’s only victory was 10-2 in Wednesday, May 24.

The final stop on this West Coast trip is the LA Angeles Angels where Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani await them this weekend.

On Tuesday, May 28-30, the San Diego Padres come to town and to round out the week, the Oakland A’s will make an appearance at LoanDepot Park.

For some reason, I’m intrigued with the A’s Series.

Oakland has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. 

They’re seeing crowns in the 2000-3000 range and it’s a foregone conclusion that they’re moving to Las Vegas after their lease expires at the Oakland Coliseum in 2024. 

They’ll most likely play the first couple of Season in the Las Vegas Ballpark. They’ll share that venue with their AAA team.

At the moment, the A’s are 10-42 while Miami is 25-26.

But what’s most intriguing about this game will be the attendance. It’s safe to say, the A’s will see attendance figures above 10,000 which is more than triple of what they’re seeing now.

Not that Miami is in the higher echelon of attendance, but the A’s are an absolute train wreck and there is no doubt that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred would like to get this train wreck completed and back on the right.

There is a lot of baseball to be played when Miami returns home next week, but when I plan to return to LoanDepot Park, it will be interesting to see where both teams stand at that time.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at and you can see his broadcasts by Subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel./

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Cubs VS Marlins, Definitely Entertaining


When the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs face each other for a pair of series every year, these series are Definitely Entertaining.

Let’s not forget that they’ve met a couple times in the playoffs, and Miami has emerged on the victorious side on both occasions, with the most recent meeting in 2020 when Don Mattingly piloted the team.

When you compare the venues, that’s worth a discussion in its own right.

Regardless of what the temperature is outside, the temperature is always 72 degrees inside in the retractable dome which is called Loan Depot Park. There are no rain checks as a result of rainouts.

Wrigley Field is another story. The elements come into play and you never know when the wind comes into play in the Windy City. This is an entirely different ballgame.

The Cubs made their lone appearance to South Florida from April 28-30 for a three-game series and all of these games were entertaining. The Marlins did sweep the series and all three contests were one-run affairs. 

Keep in mind that the NFL Draft took place during this weekend.

In the opener on Friday, April 28, the Marlins topped the Cubs 3-2 in front of 12,340.

On Saturday, April 29, Miami’s bats came alive as the Fish emerged with a 7-6 triumph in front of 14,994.

Finally, the game I covered was on Sunday, April 30 and Miami faced one of the Cubs top hurlers. Left-handed pitcher Justin Steele entered the contest with a 4-0 mark with a 1.19 ERA.

The Marlins scored three runs off of Steele and he yielded seven hits, but wound up with a no-decision. 

Off-season additions, Dansby Swanson, Cody Berlinger and Eric Hosmer made their presence in a losing effort for Chicago. 

Swanson had a pair of hits, Bellinger had a home run, while Hosmer also had a hit. Judging by what I saw, these guys have found a new home in the Midwest and could be a big factor in keeping the Cubs competitive in 2023.

Miami’s offense came from Jon Berti, who had a pair of hits and scored two runs. Luis Arraez reached base twice, Nick Fortes reached base twice and scored a run.

Right-hander Bryan Hoeing entered the game with an 0-1 record and a 9.82 ERA. 

He had a quality start by going five innings, yielding two runs with four strikeouts. He would have a no-decision, but kept his club in the game. 

Tanner Scott would pick up the win in relief to improve his record to 2-1 and AJ Puk earned his fifth save of the game.

The best news of the day is the crowd. The Marlins saw 20,345 fans walk through the turnstiles and it felt like Wrigley Field South, as the Cubs fans made their loud presence felt.

When these two teams met in the Windy City with the series starting on Friday May 5 and concluding on Sunday May 7, once again all of the games were close.

In the opener, the Cubs defeated the Marlins 4-1 in front of 31,181 fans.

On Saturday, Chicago managed a 4-2 victory as 36,418 fans attended this contest.

In the finale on Sunday, reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara was on the hill and he proved to the Windy City crowd as to why he earned the honor.

Alcantara pitched 8.1 innings, yielded two runs, struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. He would end up with a no-decision as this contest was decided in 14 innings. 

The crowd of 38,196 fans saw Miami get the win, 5-4 and the Marlins snapped a five game losing streak.

Every year, these two squads play each other quite competitive and in 2023 was no exception.

As I mentioned earlier, the major difference between these two teams are the ballparks they play in and it’s hard to debate that by the attendance figures, which venue is the hotter ticket.

You can hear my thoughts about these two teams as I appeared on two episodes of Cubfidential on Sideline Sports. These two shows are in this story and I hope you enjoy them with Myself and JB Ellis.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at and you can see his broadcasts by Subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Hockey Day In Tampa


For a city that is located just four hours away off-I-75 North, it was unbelievable that I hadn’t been there since 2019. 

But I can thank Covid-19 for preventing me from returning to Tampa, a town where I had a lot of great memories getting my undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida, in addition to working at the Tampa Tribune.

What provided the impetus for me to go there on April 12-13?

It was great seeing long-time friends, Mike Pantel, Gus Pantelides and retired colleague Tom Korun.

But the real reason I returned to the area was to see the Detroit Red Wings face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. 

The only person I didn’t see on this trip was my good friend Bill Wickett, who took a job with the Nashville Predators.

When the Detroit Red Wings travel, I make every attempt to see them. 

Past trips have included Phoenix, Arizona to see the Coyotes and Sunrise, FL when they take on the Panthers.

The list of individuals that I view as great friends include: Ken Kal, Paul Woods, Trevor Thompson and Mickey Redmond. 

I try to make at least one Red Wings game a season if my hectic schedule of running the South Florida Tribune permits it.

You talk about taking things down to the wire, this season I did just that.

It took the final game of the 2022-23 season to see the team I grew up watching then began covering.

The Red Wings entered this game with a 35-36-10 record with 80 points. The man leading the team these days is former Tampa Bay Lightning Assistant Coach Derek Lalonde. He replaced Jeff Blashill now an assistant coach on Jon Cooper’s staff in Tampa.

Meanwhile, the Lightning came into the finale with a 45-30-6 mark for 96 points and their seeding for the NHL Playoffs Divisional Round was third.

Detroit was looking to reach the .500 mark.

There was one curve ball thrown at me when I returned to Tampa. 

Due to a Taylor Swift Concert at Raymond James Stadium, I normally stay at the Extended Stay near that venue. But the room rates were expensive because of Swift.

But when you’ve lived in an area before, the saying that “Knowledge Is Power” made a difference in terms with familiarity with the town. 

Getting around Tampa is never easy because the traffic is crazy. When I was eating with Pantel, Pantelides and Korun, I saw a neat photo of an automobile boat that was neat on Tampa Bay.

I did wind up staying at an Extended Stay but this one was near my alma-mater, the University of South Florida.

In the past, when I have gone to games in Tampa, there have been a lot of red and white jerseys throughout the arena. But thanks to the popularity of the sport and a few Stanley Cups, Tampa has indeed become a Lightning town.

To add a little intrigue to the trip, the Tampa Bay Rays started the season on a blazing note. 

During the day, the Rays, who play in St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field, defeated the Boston Red Sox 9-3 to win its 13th consecutive game. That total tied for the modern mark.

For the Red Wings, three of them Moritz Seider, David Perron and Andrew Copp played in their 82nd game.

Before the game, I asked Woods if the Red Wings fans were more sympathetic toward the Red Wings seven year playoff drought. 

He definitely said they were because of the team’s 25 year consecutive playoff run that resulted in four Stanley Cup Titles.

Two playoff streaks came to an end. 

The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins saw their eight and 16-year runs end.

The Lightning didn’t rest their players as Cooper allowed some players to go after individual accomplishments. Braydon Point would hit the 50 goal plateau.

The Lightning would defeat the Red Wings 5-0 as their playoff match-up with the Toronto Maple Leafs would be on deck.

I’ve always believed that the Stanley Cup is the toughest Championship to win in sports. A team has to win 16 games, the sport is physical and there are no shootouts. I’ve seen games that went into six overtimes.

It’s the nature of the beast.

How would the Tampa Bay Lightning do against the Maple Leafs?

Toronto won it’s first playoff series since 2004 by knocking off the Lightning 4-2 to go onto the next round and face the Florida Panthers. 

The Panthers pulled off a  monumental upset by defeating the President Cup Trophy winners, Boston Bruins.

But I have to tell you, that returning to Tampa is always great because it’s just a place where I have established roots and have a great history.

I told Red Wings PR Guy Todd Beam that it’s difficult for me to get to Sunrise these days because of my brutal schedule. Tampa is much easier and it’s an opportunity to relax a little but and visit people.

I was telling Beam to expect to see me at more road games and judging by his body language, he seemed more than happy to oblige.

Amazingly enough, when you break things down, the Lightning only played just six more games than the Red Wings, which now a days seems weird that they’re not making a deep run into the playoffs.

But that’s how it is and I’ll tell you, it was great returning to Tampa. I can assure you, that I don’t expect to take a four year hiatus returning to the area.

This trip to Tampa would be the beginning of what would be a wild weekend.

The next day, I traveled back to Fort Lauderdale to see the Miami Hurricanes Spring Game on Friday, the FAU Owls Spring Game in Boca Raton on Saturday.

Finally, on Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Miami Marlins 5-0 to conclude this four day frenzy.

But it was great to see some old friends again.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at

To see his broadcasts, Subscribe at No Charge to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.

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...