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. 


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.

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, ...