Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Marlins Swept In Doubleheader

The New York Mets took the second game of a doubleheader over the Florida Marlins 5-1 on Monday night. The game was a make-up for a postponed game on August 3. The Marlins lost both ends of a doubleheader at Citi Field. Mets pitcher Dillon Gee improved to 12-5 as he went six innings giving up one run on six hits. In the fourth inning, New York got a lead-off triple by Ruben Tejada and then he scored on the next at-bat by David Wright via a Greg Dobbs throwing error to first. The Marlins tied the game in the top of the sixth when Dobbs(6) hit a solo home run to right centerfield. The Mets responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame on RBI singles by Angel Pagan and Willie Harris and never relinquished the lead. New York added a run in the seventh as Jose Reyes scored from third on a two-out RBI double by Wright down the right field line. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco(9-10) was then replaced after giving up four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. Mike Nickeas singled to left in the eighth innning scoring Nick Evans. Bobby Parnell finished the final inning for the Mets in a non-save situation.

Marlins Lose First Game Of Doubleheader

The Florida Marlins lost the first game of a doubleheader to the New York Mets 2-1 at Citi Field on Monday afternoon. In the second inning, the Mets got a lead-off hit by Nick Evans followed by a Josh Thole walk. Justin Turner knocked in Evans on a base hit through the left side for the first run of the game. New York was able to have the bases loaded with one out in the third inning. Thole then smashed a ball to first base. Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez threw to second for the first part of the double play but couldn't find his footing by the first base bag as the ball came back to him from shortstop Emilio Bonifacio. Lucas Duda scored on the fielders choice as the Mets extended their lead to 2-0. Florida pitcher Anibal Sanchez(7-7) went six innings giving up two runs on seven hits. The Marlins left four men on base in the seventh and eighth innings. Mets starter R.A. Dickey(6-11) pitched seven innings and gave up seven hits and zero runs. The Marlins broke the shutout with one out in the ninth inning when Gaby Sanchez crushed an 0-2 pitch from Bobby Parnell over the centerfield wall for his 17th home run this season. Mike Cameron popped up to the catcher and Brett Hayes grounded out to second ending the game. The Mets won their first game of a homestand for the first time this year. They had tied a major league baseball record for starting a homestand winless(0-11). New York set the previous record at Shea Stadium in 1979.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Marlins In Late August

Things have not looked good for the Florida Marlins in late August. The Marlins finished a west coast road swing by getting swept in four games by the San Diego Padres. The team was able to see the retirement of reliever Trevor Hoffman's uniform number at Petco Park. Hoffman played briefly for Florida during their first season in 1993. The Marlins returned home to Sun Life Stadium for a brief three-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds. Florida's bullpen gave up four runs in the ninth inning and lost game one 8-6. Ricky Nolasco passed current Reds pitcher Dontrelle Willis as the Marlins all-time strikeout leader with 765. Outfielder Logan Morrison was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans following the game. Both teams split a doubleheader due to the threat of Hurricane Irene the following day. Philadelphia was the Marlins next stop where a three-game weekend series at Citizens Bank Park turned out to be a one game with two games postponed due to the impending appearance of Hurricane Irene in the Delaware Valley. Florida catcher John Buck hit a grand slam homer in the 6th inning following singles by Greg Dobbs, Mike Cameron and Gaby Sanchez to give the Marlins a 6-1 lead. Clay Hensley allowed three runs on three hits in 5 2-3 innings for the Florida 6-5 win over the Phillies. The Marlins have won 2 of their last 4 games but have gone 4-17 since August 4.

Padres Retire Trevor Hoffman Number

The San Diego Padres retired relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman's number 51 this past Sunday against the Florida Marlins. Hoffman began his major league career in 1993 with the Marlins in their first year as a franchise. He set up Brian Harvey as a middle reliever and saved two games in 28 games pitched. In June he was traded to the San Diego Padres for third baseman Gary Sheffield in a five-player deal. Hoffman would accumulate 552 saves with the Padres from 1993 to 2008 on his way to becoming major league baseball's all-time saves leader with 601. During that time he and Tony Gwynn led San Diego to a National League championship in 1998. They were swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series. An AC/DC song Hells Bells would blast through the public address system whenever he would enter a ballgame from the bullpen during a home game. It's likely that he will be surpassed in the near future as the all-time saves leader by New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera who currently has 592 saves.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Majicjack Eliminated From WPS Playoffs

The Majicjack were shut down on the road and eliminated from the postseason Saturday afternoon by the Philadelphia Indepedence 2-0 in a second round match. Both squads had numerous opportunities combining for 18 shots in a scoreless first half. Philadelphia almost scored in the 34th minute when forward Tasha Kai lobbed an 18-yard shot from the right side barely over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Majicjack had a chance to the take the lead as forward Christen Press hit the left post on an eight-yard shot and was immediately followed by an Abby Wambach five-yard shot wide right. Philadelphia took charge at the beginning of the second half as the Majicjack were unable to clear the ball out of their penalty area. Kai placed a left foot 13-yard shot from the right side into the far side of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 46th minute. The Majicjack failed to tie the game in the next 35 minutes. Defender Christie Rampone hit a cross from the left side to the middle of the box in the 49th minute where Wambach chest-trapped, controled the ball with two defenders around her and blasted a 13-yard shot which was saved by Indepedence goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. Wambach also had a seven-yard header saved during the 66th minute on a left side cross by defender Lydia Vandenbergh. Philadelphia extended the lead to 2-0 in the 81th minute as forward Amy Rodriguez put in a 20-yard shot behind goalkeeper Jillian Loyden after a lead pass by forward Danesha Adams. The Majicjack end their first season in Florida while Philadelphia visits Rochester next Saturday to take on the Western New York Flash for the WPS Championship.

Griese Joins Dolphins Radio Network

Former Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese has been named a game analyst for the Miami Dolphins Radio Network. He replaces Jim Mandich who passed away earlier this year. Griese will join Jimmy Cefalo and Joe Rose in the broadcast booth on WINZ-AM & WBGG-FM. Both Cefalo and Rose have been announcing Miami Dolphins games since 2005. Griese was an NFL game analyst on NBC and a college football analyst on ABC and ESPN. He led the Miami Dolphins to consecutive Super Bowl titles back in the 1970's. For the second game of the preseason against the Carolina Panthers, Griese will work as a television game analyst for the Miami Dolphins as he has for the past ten years. Radio pregame and halftime studio host Jesse Agler will switch over to the radio play-by-play announcer position for the game while Cefalo and Rose will be his game analysts.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

WQAM Adds Late Night Show

WQAM-AM has added a football late night show. It will be hosted by Jon Linder from 11PM until midnight. He works as the Miami Dolphins reporter at the station and recently added duties as a weekend host several months ago. Linder was once a Sunday morning host & afternoon host at WWCN-AM in Fort Myers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Majicjack Advance To Second Round

In their final home appearance this season, forward Abby Wambach scored twice as the Majicjack cruised by the Boston Breakers 3-1 in a first round WPS playoff game at FAU on Wednesday night. The Majicjack showed their dominance throughout the match with scoring chances, shots on goal and ball control. In the sixth minute, a cross from the right side by midfielder Sarah Huffman was partially deflected by Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher when she came out six yards from her line, then Wambach volleyed the ball into the net from nine yards out for a Majicjack 1-0 lead. Boston executed a set play on a direct kick in the 31st minute as a ball to the right side of the box was redirected into the middle by Breakers midfielder Leslie Osbourne where midfielder Keelin Winters placed a 10-yard header into the top right corner of the net for a 1-1 tie. During the 57th minute, Huffman was tripped up in the middle of the penalty box by Boston defender Taryn Hemmings. Wambach would follow with a penalty kick goal into the low left corner. The Majicjack extended their lead to 3-1 three minutes later as midfielder Megan Rapinoe finshed off a give-and-go play with an eight-yard head ball from forward Christen Press. The Majicjack will travel and face the Philadelphia Indepedence in a second round playoff game on Saturday afternoon.

Schnellenberger Resigns As FAU Coach

Last week Howard Schnellenberger announced that 2011 would be his final season as head football coach for Florida Atlantic University. He is the only person to coach the Owls program since its inception in 2001. He joined FAU as director of football operations in 1998 and led the team to two bowl victories, the New Orleans Bowl in 2007 and the Motor City Bowl in 2008. Schnellenberger is most known for his five years as head coach at the University of Miami from 1979 to 1983. In his final season, the Hurricanes won the national championship as they defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 31-30 in the 1984 Orange Bowl. He has a 6-0 record in college bowl games, the most by any coach without a loss. Florida Atlantic University will open their new 30,000-seat football stadium on October 15 against Western Kentucky. It would be no surprise if FAU would rename the facility Howard Schnellenberger Stadium in the near future.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Majicjack Win Final Regular Season Game

Forward Lisa DeVanna scored two goals as the Majicjack defeated the Philadelphia Independence 2-1 in the regular season finale at Florida Atlantic University on Sunday afternoon. Both teams decided to rest several starters with no chance of any change in the standings and the prevention of injuries before entering the postseason. Majicjack player-coach Abby Wambach and midfielder Megan Rapinoe didn't enter the game while midfielder Shannon Boxx only played in the first half. The Majicjack struck ten minutes into the game as a lead pass by forward Ella Masar to the top of the penalty area was one-timed by a charging DeVanna into the low right corner from 11 yards out past Independence goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. Play was stopped in the 57th minute due to a lightning weather delay and was resumed one hour later. History repeated itself in the 68th minute as Masar assisted on DeVanna's second goal of the game and third of the season. Majicjack goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc could not hold on to the shutout as Philadelphia forward Amy Rodriguez put in a 14-yard shot during the 79th minute. The third-place Majicjack will host the fourth-place Boston Breakers in a first round one-game playoff this Wednesday night at FAU. The winner of that the game will travel to take on the second-place Philadelphia Independence in a one-game second round game on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Logan Morrison Demoted

Marlins leftfielder Logan Morrison has been demoted by the Florida Marlins to their Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans. Morrison, who had started on Saturday against the San Francisco Giants, had played in 95 games this season hitting .249 with 19 home runs, 60 runs batted in, a .464 slugging percentage and a .791 OPS. He made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2010. In addition, Florida released third baseman Wes Helms after four seasons with the team. He had only two base hits in his last 21 at-bats since July 3 and was hitting .191 with 6 RBI. Helms was purchased from the Philadelphia Phillies in April 2008.

Lincecum Shuts Down Marlins

Giants pitchers Tim Lincecum, Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson combined for a three-hit shutout as San Francisco defeated the Marlins 3-0 on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium. Two batters into the game recently acquired second baseman Jeff Keppinger smashed a solo home run down the left field line in the first inning off Marlins pitcher Javier Vasquez to give the Giants the early lead. It was his fifth homer of the season as San Francisco extended its major league record of 21 consecutive solo home runs. Vasquez(7-10) retired the next 11 Giants batters on his way to a seven inning, five hit, ten strikeout performance. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum(11-9) hurled a great game giving up two hits and striking out ten Marlins in seven innings of work. Giants rightfielder Nate Schierholtz began the fifth inning with a double to deep left field and advanced to third when a Logan Morrison throw handcuff second baseman Alfredo Amezaga at the bag. Schierholtz would score on a wild pitch two batters later. After a leadoff single by Giants leftfielder Cody Ross in the sixth inning, first baseman Aubrey Huff sliced a pop up down the left field line that was barely out of the reach of Morrison, scoring Ross for a 3-0 lead. Giants reliever Brian Wilson picked up his 35th save of the season after the Marlins left two runners on base with one out in the ninth inning. The Marlins are now 1-8 on the current homestand.

Majicjack Clinch Playoff Spot

The Majicjack defeated Sky Blue FC 3-2 on Wednesday at Florida Atlantic University to clinch third place and a playoff spot in the Womens Professional Soccer league playoffs. They will meet either Sky Blue FC or the Boston Breakers in the first round in the playoffs at FAU next Wednesday between the third and fourth place teams. USA forward Abby Wambach put in a 13-yard shot just ten minutes into the game to give the Majicjack the early lead. Sky Blue FC tied the game in 55th minute as England forward Eniola Aluko blasted a right foot shot from 15 yards into the left side of the net. Both teams had great scoring opportunities ove the next 20 minutes. In the 77th minute, a lead pass by midfielder Sophie Schmidt to an open area beyond midfield was volleyed by Wambach over the head of goalkeeper Kristin Arnold who was already 16 yards off her line to give them a 2-1 lead. Aluko responded back with a ten-yard score after dribbling by two defenders in the 84th minute. Just one minute later midfielder Lisa DeVanna crossed a ball from the right side into the middle of the box where USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe redirected a head ball from six yards out into the left side of the net to clinch the victory. The Majicjack finish the regular season on Sunday afternoon as they host the second place Philadelphia Independence at FAU.

Early August Media Notes

Veteran sportswriter Chris Perkins has been added to co-host the Armando and The Amigo morning drive show on WMEN-AM. Perkins is currently a sportswriter for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, NBA.com and Fox Sports Florida.com and at one time was the Miami Heat beat reporter for the Palm Beach Post. He will join Miami Herald sports columnist Armando Salguero and Larry Milian on the show.
A change has been made by WQAM-AM as Curtis Stevenson joins the Michael Irvin midday show as a sidekick. He replaces Kevin Kiley, who has left the station to rejoin his former Fox Sports Radio afternoon co-host Chuck Booms as the morning team on WKRK-FM in Cleveland. In the past four years Kiley has dropped working in market size from KSPN-AM(#2), KESN-FM(#5), WQAM-AM(#12) and WKRK-FM(#29). Stevenson, a WQAM weekend host, will have the same role as he did when he was on the Jim Mandich show. He had been given an opportunity to host his own weekday show from February to August in 2010.

FIU And FAU Change Radio Broadcast

Two local colleges have changed their broadcast crews. Florida International University have signed Tony Calatayud and Rick Sanchez as their new radio broadcasters. Sanchez, who will announce sports for the first time as a game analyst, had previously worked as a news anchor for WSVN-TV, MSNBC, WTVJ-TV and CNN. Calatayud has been a general manager at WKAT-AM, WZAB-AM and WAFN-AM along with being a sports anchor at WPBF-TV. Jeremy Marks-Peltz and Jorge Sedano were not renewed by FIU. Sedano will remain the morning drive host for WAXY-AM and weekend sports anchor at WFOR-TV while Marks-Peltz continues as evening host at WEFL-AM.
Florida Atlantic University promotes Ken LaVicka from part-time to full-time radio play-by-play announcer for the Owls replacing Dave Lamont. LaVicka is currently a sports reporter and weekend host for WEFL-AM and was once the radio voice of Valiparaiso University. Lamont will continue broadcasting games for ABC Sports and ESPN.

Recent Miami Dolphins Transactions

Since the NFL lockout ended on August 1, the Dolphins have made numerous decisions in player personnel. Their two starting running backs over the last five years both became free agents. Ronnie Brown joined the Philadelphia Eagles while Ricky Williams went to the Baltimore Ravens. Jason Taylor signed as a free agent and will begin his third stint with the Dolphins. Taylor, who is currently the NFL active leader in all-time sacks with 132, will be placed as a linebacker on the depth chart instead of a defensive end where he has played his entire career. Linebacker Channing Crowder was released after six seasons with the team and announced his retirement last week on the Sid Rosenberg show. Crowder will join 560 WQAM in an on-air talent role.