Friday, August 25, 2023

Florida Hockey Now

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

There is one thing that I’ve enjoyed about being in the media for over four decades. The relationships you meet with your colleagues, players, coaches and others is what keeps the fire burning.

I’ve interviewed a lot of my colleagues on different types of broadcasts and the one thing I’ve learned is when we start talking, you’re going to be entertained with tons of stories. The shows are longer because we’re never at a loss of words.

I’ve tried to emphasize to my team on the South Florida Tribune Broadcasting Network that it’s not how many clicks that you get with your videos, but the connections/contacts you make. With this generation, that’s a tough message to convey.

During the Fall, I had South Florida Sentinel University of Miami writer Adam Lichtenstein on Fire Up Florida. He was great! We see each other at Media Days along with Games. I plan on bringing him back this Fall.

A couple of weeks ago, I brought on another colleague that I met during the Covid-19 Season when I covered the Florida Panthers. 

He’s the owner of Florida Hockey Now. 

If you’re looking for a person that knows everything about the Florida Panthers, his name is George Richards. I recently saw him at a pair of Miami Marlins games and invited him to come on Fire Up Florida. George accepted and we had a great time!

The timing was great because even though George said he would gladly come on anytime I needed him, doing a show in August was a No-Brainer. This is the time of the year he had more time and the slow period for news with the Panthers. Things will start to ramp up in September with training camp and the regular season gets going in October.

We talked about the Panthers winning the Presidents Trophy a couple years ago. George told me that he didn’t feel the record for the Panthers would be as good, but they were a playoff team. He had his I told you so moment when we talked.

The Panthers did their talking when they made the playoffs on the last day of the season. Florida benefitted from the goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky as well as some key offensive performances. Florida upset the Presidents Cup Winner the Boston Bruins to begin its ride to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The thing that stood out to me on our show was when we talked about Lionel Messi joining Inter-Miami and Richards considered MLS Soccer as AA Minor League Soccer. 

As I analyzed what he said, I agreed with him. The MLS is supposed to help groom talent for the USA Men’s National Team for the World Cup. Unfortunately, in the last World Cup, the USA Men’s National team could only muster up four goals and underachieved again.

When you think of how popular soccer is around the world, then it’s easy to see why Richards takes his position. 

In the story, if you’re a Florida Panthers fan, I encourage you to watch Fire Up Florida in its entirety. We go into a lot of depth with the team and this will get you revved up for the 2023-24 Season.

As I said, the NHL Season on the Frozen Pond is just around the corner.

George Richards is just another example that not only do you cover events in the field, but he’s the latest colleague which has turned into a great friend!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and X, formerly Twitter @TribuneSouth. Also, by subscribing to the South Florida Tribune at no charge, you can see all of his broadcasts.


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Yankees Struggles Started In Miami

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When people talk about New York Yankees top rivals, they often refer to the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers.

If you’re looking for a Yankees nemesis, pencil in the Miami Marlins.

In 2003, the Marlins defeated the Yankees 4-2 to win its’ second World Series in franchise history. Jack McKeon out managed Yankees skipper Joe Torre.

To date, there have been five Hall of Famers that came out of this Fall Classic. Ivan Rodriguez came from the Marlins while Derek Jeter, Mike Messina, Mariano Rivera and Torre from the Bronx Bombers.

During the Covid-19 Season, the Marlins won key games to reach the post-season under former pilot Don Mattingly.

These two teams squared off again during the weekend of August 11-13 and the Marlins were winners in more ways than one. 

They lost to the Yankees 9-4 on Friday, August 11th.

But the objective of a season is to win series and that’s what the Marlins proceeded to do.

On Saturday, August 12th, Miami saw Sandy Alcantara throw a complete game shutout, yielding just five hits, two walks and amassing 10 strikeouts to defeat the Yankees 3-1. Alcantara improved his record to 5-10. The reigning Cy Young Award winner coaxed 11 groundouts before a season-best crowd of 33,980.

A two-run blast by Luis Arraez in the first inning that went 409 feet against Yankees starter Michael King  bounced off the first row of upper deck seats in right center. This homer was the longest round tripper of his career. King dropped to 3-5. He was lifted after two innings and 41 pitches.

In the rubber match on Sunday, August 13th, the game we saw on paper looked like a game the Yankees should have won. The Yankees were sending right-handed hurler Gerritt Cole (10-3, 2.75) to the hill against fellow right-hander and rookie Eury Perez (5-4, 2.79).

But games aren’t decided on paper. 

Cole did his part and showed why he’s an elite pitcher. 

He hurled six innings, yielded six hits, two runs and struck out six.

Perez had a rocky outing by tossing four innings, gave up four runs, four hits and walked a pair. He also amassed five strikeouts and was replaced by Huascar Brazoban. The Yankees scored a three runs off Brazoban in 2.2 innings and led 7-2 at the end of six innings.

But all-season long, the Marlins have shown no quit in them and that proved to be the case.

Newly acquired Jake Burger’s game ending single capped a five-run, ninth inning comeback against Clay Holmes and Tommy Kahnle giving the Marlins an incredible 8-7 win. This was the 31st comeback victory of the season for the season. At one point the Marlins trailed 7-1, thus had a six run deficit for the largest comeback of the season. Perez was fortunate enough to get a no-decision.

The Marlins bullpen tamed the Yankees in the latter innings.

AJ Puk worked 1.1 innings and stuck out four while newly acquired Jorge Lopez went one inning to pick up the win improving his record to 6-2.

A crowd of 35,043 was the third highest crowd at LoanDepot Park. The game lasted 3:08 and the Marlins fans got their moneys worth, but can’t say the same for the many Yankees fans in attendance.

In addition, the Marlins were winners at the gate as a total of 100,001 was the largest crowd in Loan Depot Park History in a three-game series. There is no question that when the Yankees come to town, it’s easy to expect large crowds.

The Marlins won the series 2-1 and it would be a tough ride out of town for the Bronx Bombers.

New York proceeded to have an extended losing streak of nine games for the first time in 41 years.

The Atlanta Braves swept them in Georgia with 11-3, 5-0 and 2-0 wins from August 14-16. 

The Boston Red Sox added to the grief with successive 8-1, 6-5, and 2-1 triumphs from August 18-20. 

The Washington Nationals added to the streak as Tommy Kahnle allowed a go-ahead homer to CJ Abrams leading to New York’s nine consecutive defeat. In this contest, the Nationals won for the 13th time in 19 games and got their latest win after Manager Dave Martinez agreed to a new two-year contract.

The grief finally came to an end on Wednesday as the Yankees Aaron Judge homered three times and tied his career high with six RBIs, almost single handedly breaking the Yankees dreadful losing streak by shellacking the Nationals 9-1. 

However, The Nationals got the best of the Yankees by winning 6-5 on Thursday, taking the series 2-1.

This run support made a winner out of Luis Severino as he went 6.2 innings and blanking the Nationals. By the end of the evening, Judge’s homer total reached 27.

As of this post, the Yankees are in last place with a 61-66 record and are in last place in the AL East. Time is running out for the Bronx Bombers.

Meanwhile, Miami (65-63) returns home for a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, who are 59-69. The Marlins are two games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the final Wild-Card Playoff spot.

There is no question that this will be a pivotal weekend for the Yankees and Marlins.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can catch his broadcasts by Subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Marlins vs Tigers Series One To Remember

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The Miami Marlins should be very thankful that MLB reduced the amount of division games and increased inter-league contests.

If there was ever a series that paid huge dividends, it was when the Detroit Tigers came to Miami for a three-game series vs the Marlins from July 28-30. 

The Marlins promoted this is Miggy Weekend, as they celebrated the return of legend Miguel Cabrera, who was a vital contributor in the Fishs’ 2003 World Series Winning squad.

We attended two of the three games of the series, electing to take Saturday off.

From my standpoint, it was great seeing colleagues from my hometown working for the Tigers as I’ve covered the organization for 40 years. I came to the Marlins during the 2020 Covid-19 Season.

Tigers Radio Play-By-Play Announcer Dan Dickerson, Bally’s Sports On Field Reporter Johnny Kane and former Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe were the primary individuals that I enjoyed reminiscing with.

Former Tigers Broadcaster Rod Allen is a teammate of mine here in Miami and does the Marlins broadcasts for Ballys Sports. There was no doubt that Allen was going to be the color analyst for these three games.

In the past few years, injuries have hampered Cabrera. In Miguel’s final season, he’s been celebrated by all of the opponents and has managed to stay healthy.

Luck was on the Marlins side as Cabrera played in all three contests.

In the Friday game, Cabrera was hit by a pitch and reached by an error by third basemen Jean Segura. 

In Saturday’s contest, he had two hits and scored a run in four at bats.

During the finale on Sunday, Cabrera had one hit and drove in two runs in three at bats, before he was replaced by a pinch runner as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. He was replaced by a pinch runner twice in this series and the fans demonstrated their appreciation for the Future Hall of Famer.

The opening game saw the Marlins jump out to a 4-0 lead through three innings off of Tigers starter Reese Olson. The Tigers proceeded to score four unanswered runs and the game was tied at 4-4 until the bottom of the eighth inning.

That’s when the Marlins answered back with a pair off of reliever Jason Foley and took a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning. Detroit answered with a run, but the Tigers came up short as Foley dropped to 2-3. Detroit’s major downfall is it left 10 men on base and lost 6-5.

Akil Baddoo and Riley Greene homered, and five pitchers combined on a seven hitter as the Tigers beat Miami 5-0 on Saturday. Cabrera doubled and singled in four at bats in a game that was promoted as Venezuelan Heritage Day. Cabrera is a native Venezuelan and he didn’t let down his countrymen in front of a crowd of 32,936, the largest crowd for a Marlins game since April of 2017.

A lot of people wondered if Cabrera would take Sunday off. He didn’t let the crowd down by being productive in a Tigers 8-6 loss to the Marlins as I mentioned earlier. Once again, what doomed the Tigers was leaving 10 runners on base.

Before Garrett Cooper was traded to the San Diego Padres, he and Segura homered, newly acquired relievers Jorge Lopez and David Robertson played key roles in Miami’s win. Cooper’s two run shot gave Miami a 7-6 win and drove a 1-2 pitch from Tigers reliever Tyler Horton (0-2) over the left-field wall for his 13th homer of the season. The Marlins increased their lead to 8-6 with Segura’s shot in the eighth inning.

During the weekend, not only did the Marlins win the series, but they won at the gate.

Miami drew successive crowds of 15,918, 32,936 and 18,207 for a total of 67,061.

Before the game, Marlins Manager Skip Schumaker talked about Cabrera’s return and much more during the inserted video.

With Cabrera making this a memorable weekend, there is one last piece of business to be taken care. The Marlins need to make Cabrera the first jersey ever retired by the organization.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com or on Twitter @TribuneSouth. Also, to see his broadcasts, you can find them on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel and there is no cost to subscribe.

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, ...