Saturday, July 30, 2016

Strikers Win Final Lockhart Stadium Game

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers showed up for the final game ever played at Lockhart Stadium and defeated the Jacksonville Armada FC 1-0 on Saturday night. The Strikers have called Lockhart Stadium their home field since 1977. The club will now play their home games at Central Broward Stadium as of August 20.
     Fort Lauderdale(1-4-1) extended their streak of not scoring in the first half for the sixth consecutive game. Jacksonville(1-4-1) surrendered the only goal during the 88th minute of play. Maicon Santos trapped the ball and then fired a left-footed half-volley shot from ten yards out following a corner kick from the left side by Adrianinho.

Chris Wojcik Leaves Florida Panthers

     Chris Wojcik left his position as the senior director of communications for the Florida Panthers on Friday. He has been with the organization since September 2015 when he replaces Justin Copertino. Wojcik will soon work in an unnamed position at the National Hockey League offices in New York City.
     He has been associated with NHL teams throughout this decade. Wojcik was with the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes as the director of media relations from 2011 until 2015.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Marlins Acquire Andrew Cashner

     The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitchers Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea and minor leaguer pitcher Tayron Guerrero from the San Diego Padres for pitchers Jarred Cosart and Carter Capps along with minor league players first baseman Josh Naylor and pitcher Luis Castillo.
     Cashner has a record of 4-7 with a 4.76 earned run average along 67 strikeouts in 79 innings of work this season. He has been with the Padres since 2012 when he was traded by the Chicago Cubs for Anthony Rizzo. Cashner was a staring pitcher with San Diego for five seasons and has a career record of 30-49 with a 3.73 earned run average.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dan Hellie To Announce Tennessee Titans

     Former South Florida sportscaster Dan Hellie has been named the preseason television play-by-play announcer of the Tennessee Titans. He will be joined by former Sun Sports college football analyst Charles Davis. Hellie, who is an University of Tennessee grad, currently is a studio host for NFL Network and joined that organization in July 2013.
     Hellie had a stint at WPTV-TV Channel 5 in West Palm Beach as the lead sports anchor from 2000 until 2003. He left for Orlando and had a three-year reign at WESH-TV as a sports director and sports anchor. Hellie moved onto WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. and worked as a sportscaster from July 2006 to July 2013.
     He began his television broadcasting career at Alexandria, Minnesota in 1997. Hellie then was employed at WPDE-TV in Florence, South Carolina from 1998 until 2000 as a sports director and sports anchor.

Marlins Blanked Twice

     The Miami Marlins were shut out in two consecutive home games. They lost 3-0 to the New York Mets on Sunday and were held to two hits by the Philadelphia Phillies as they fell 4-0 on Monday night. The Fish were shut out only three times during the first half of the season.
     The Marlins are currently on a ten-game homestand and everyone has been looking at the milestone of Ichiro reaching 3,000 career hits. He has appeared on four occasions as a pinch-hitter and has been unable to get a base hit as he remains at 2,996 hits.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Andrea D'Marco Promoted On WWE Roster

     Andrea D'Marco has added duties as a interviewer in World Wrestling Entertainment. She appeared during the WWE pay-per-view event Battleground on Sunday night. She has been a ring announcer and interviewer at NXT in Orlando for the last three months.
     D'Marco, who previously went by the name of Andrea Ocampo, was the game operations arena host with the Florida Panthers in Sunrise for four years and finished her stint in late April. She also was the game operations stadium host for Florida Atlantic University football games in Boca Raton.

Mike Piazza Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

      Former Miami Marlins catcher Mike Piazza was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, New York. He became just the second player in Marlins franchise history to receive the well-known plaque. Outfielder Andre Dawson was the first to get that honor in 2010.
     Piazza was with the Marlins for one week, played five games for them and batted .278 in his short stint. The Fish acquired him on May 15, 1998 from the Los Angeles Dodgers and traded him one week later on May 22 to the New York Mets.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Strikers Lose To Minnesota United FC

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers dropped to last place as they fell to the Minnesota United FC 3-1 at NSC Stadium on Saturday night. Fort Lauderdale is now winless in their first five games of the NASL fall season. The Strikers next game will be their final home game ever held at Lockhart Stadium on July 30.
     Fort Lauderdale(0-4-1) continued the same pattern that has happened to the club throughout the entire month of July as they did not score in the first half for the sixth consecutive game and that included their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match against the Chicago Fire three nights ago.
     Minnesota United FC(3-1-0) picked up two goals in the first half as JC Banks scored in the 13th minute and Christian Ramirez followed in the 23rd minute.
     The Strikers closed the margin during the 54th minute of play when Paulo Jr. put in a tally. It was his first goal since he began his second stint with Fort Lauderdale. It was the first goal by the Strikers in over 400 minutes of all competitions and the last time they got on the scoreboard was against the Miami FC on July 2. The Loons extended their margin to 3-1 in the 70th minute with an Ismaila Jome goal.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chicago Fire Eliminate Strikers

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were eliminated by the Chicago Fire 3-0 in a quarterfinal of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Park on Wednesday night. The Strikers went further in the national club tournament than ever in franchise history as they defeated Major League Soccer clubs DC United and Orlando City SC in June.
     Chicago tallied two goals in the first half and pulled out to the lead. David Accam put in a penalty kick five minutes in and Michael de Leeuw scored from close range during the 30th minute. The Strikers surrendered another goal following a corner kick in the 51st minute as Khaly Thiam finished the play.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ethan J. Skolnick Leaves Miami Herald

     Ethan J. Skolnick has left his Miami Heat beat reporter position with the Miami Herald. He began his second stint with that newspaper in early October 2015. Skolnick was recently named as the new NBA writer for CBS Sports. He had been part of video presentations with the company on its website for several months.
     He will continue as the afternoon co-host at 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM. Skolnick has held that spot with the radio station since September 2015 when he co-hosted an afternoon program with Israel Gutierrez.
     Skolnick, a Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University grad, has been in the South Florida market for 20 years. He began as a sportswriter at the Palm Beach Post from 1996 to 2001 and then joined the Miami Herald for his first stint. He moved to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in the mid 2000s and was employed there as a sports columnist until July 2010.
     He ventured into writing about the NBA on a full-time basis when he was hired by the Palm Beach Post as the Miami Heat beat reporter. His tenure at that newspaper lasted until September 2013. Skolnick landed at Bleacher Report as an NBA writer and also became a contributor for Turner Sports along with NBA TV for two years.

Florida Panthers Remain On WQAM

     The Florida Panthers have signed a new multi-year agreement to remain on Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. Panthers game broadcasts have been heard on WQAM since October 2010. It was the original radio home of the franchise from 1993-94 until 2006-07. 
     There will be no changes in the announcing crew as play-by-play announcer Doug Plagens and game analyst Bill Lindsay will work together for the second straight season. WQAM evening host Alex Donno stays as the intermission and studio host for game broadcasts while Kevin Rogers is expected to fill-in for several games when Donno has a conflict to host University of Miami Hurricanes broadcasts.

Marlins Get By Phillies

     Christian Yelich drove in all the Marlins runs as Miami got by the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in ten innings on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. It was the second straight game that the Fish won in extra innings over the Phils after Jose Fernandez became the third fastest starting pitcher to reach 500 career strikeouts on Monday.
     Both teams scored during the fourth inning. Yelich hit a solo home run on a 0-2 pitch to right-center field for a Miami(51-42) lead. Tommy Joseph evened it up for Philadelphia(43-52) in the bottom of the frame as he smacked a solo homer down the left-field line on a 2-1 count.
     The contest went into extra innings and the Marlins retook the lead in the tenth inning when Yelich knocked in Adeiny Hechavarria with a base hit into left field for the go-ahead run.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Strikers Moving From Lockhart Stadium

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced on Tuesday that the team will be moving from Lockhart Stadium at the end of the month to Central Broward Stadium. The franchise has played their home games at Lockhart Stadium off Commercial Boulevard in several different leagues since 1977. The final game ever held there will be on July 30 against Jacksonville Armada FC.
     Central Broward Stadium is on the northeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and State Road 7 in Lauderhill. The Strikers will play their first home game at the new facility on August 20 when they take on Ottawa Fury FC.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Strikers Fall To Carolina

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers remained winless in the NASL fall season as they were shut out by the Carolina Railhawks 1-0 at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. Fort Lauderdale(0-3-1) now looks toward Wednesday when they travel to face the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer in a quarterfinal for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
     Carolina(2-1-0) would get the only tally of the game in the first half. Brian Shriver burned his former club with a goal during the 23rd minute.

Friday, July 15, 2016

305 Sports Talk Radio Network Launches

     There is a new forum in South Florida for local sports fans with the start of the 305 Sports Talk Radio Network which was announced on Friday. Two of their shows will be broadcast on Saturdays at 880 WZAB-AM beginning on July 30. The organization has lined up several on-air hosts that have been heard on Miami radio.
     It is headed by "The Amigo" Larry Milian who is the general manager and program director of the operation. Milian had previously co-hosted radio shows which consisted of evenings on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM. mornings on 640 Sports WMEN-AM and early afternoons at Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM. He also worked a weekly program on and a morning shift at Milian will co-host a two-hour late morning Saturday show with NBC6 WTVJ-TV sportscaster Stefano Fusaro.
     The Sports Brothers with Ed Freeman and Jeff Fox will also be part of the new lineup. Both had been associated with a weekend show on Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. They did have previous experience at several South Florida radio stations which included WTPS-AM, The Ticket and 640 Sports. Freeman and Fox are currently online at The Sports Brothers Radio Network.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Neil Rogers Elected To Radio Hall Of Fame

     Legendary South Florida talk show host Neil Rogers was elected to the National Radio Hall Of Fame earlier this week. The induction ceremony will be held on November 17 in Chicago.
     Rogers had a 35-year run on South Florida radio airwaves. He joined WJNO-AM in 1975 and that lasted only a few months. Rogers moved down to Miami in March 1976 and worked at WKAT-AM as an afternoon host for two years. His next stop was at WNWS-AM in April 1978 and stayed there for almost six years.
     He followed that with a midday show stint at WINZ-AM from March 1984 to early October 1987. Rogers was switched over to sister-station WZTA-FM and held the morning show post for one year. He moved to another station in the cluster as he became the midday host on WIOD-AM in November 1988 and stayed there until May 1997.
     Following a six-month non-compete clause in his contract to not appear on radio anywhere locally, Rogers showed up on WQAM-AM in late December 1997 which was his final organization in radio broadcasting. He handled the midday shift at that station until June 2009 when he was forced out and retired.

Indy Eleven Blitz Strikers

     The NASL spring season champion Indy Eleven pounded on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-0 on Wednesday night. The contest was delayed for three hours due to inclement weather.
     Fort Lauderdale(0-2-1) surrendered three goals in the first half and later played with ten players for the remainder of the game. Indy(2-0-1) began the barrage when Eamon Zayed scored ten minutes in. They got additional goals by Duke Lacroix during the 21st minute and Greg Janicki in the 26th minute.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Strikers Shut Out By FC Edmonton

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers remained winless in the NASL fall season as they were blanked by FC Edmonton 1-0 on Sunday at Clarke Stadium. Fort Lauderdale(0-1-1) gave up a goal during the 71st minute by Daryl Fordyce. The Strikers continue on the road this Wednesday and next face Indy Eleven who captured the NASL spring season title last month.

Jim Yelton Passes Away

     Longtime South Florida radio engineer James "Jim" Yelton passes away recently. He was known for his nickname Fix It because of his vast knowledge and fixing of studio equipment along with radio transmitters.
     Yelton had worked in the Miami market for numerous radio stations and operations since the 1970s. He was involved with Cox Radio when they owned WIOD-AM, WINZ-AM, WZTA-AM and WZTA-FM. Yelton then joined Sunshine Wireless Company during the 1980s and handled engineering for WQAM-AM. WKIS-FM and WPOW-FM. Yelton would be a part of those radio stations for over 20 years and when they were owned by Beasley Broadcasting.
     He moved on to Clear Channel in the early 2010s in the role of a technical engineer and left there in 2013. Yelton was always seen in the press box as a radio engineer at South Florida sporting events for over two decades. He coordinated visiting team radio game broadcasts of all Florida Panthers games played in Sunrise for almost ten years.

Drew Goldfarb In West Virginia

     Former local sportscaster Drew Goldfarb has joined WOWK-TV in Charleston, West Virginia as sports director and sports anchor. He handled studio host duties alongside Bill Lindsay for Florida Panthers telecasts on Fox Sports Florida from October 2013 until April 2015. Goldfarb, a Broward County native, worked at WTPA-TV in Tupelo, Mississippi as a sports anchor prior to coming back down to South Florida.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Marlins Scrap Reds

     The Miami Marlins returned home following a nine-game road trip and topped the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 at Marlins Park on Friday night. The Fish have alternated wins and loses in their last seven games.
     Jose Fernandez took the mound for Miami(45-41) as he went seven innings, allowed one run on six hits and struck out eight. He improved his record this season to 11-4 for his final start prior to the All-Star Game break. Fernandez moved his career record at Marlins Park to 25-1 with a 1.43 earned run average.
     Cincinnati(32-55) gave up a run in the first inning when Christian Yelich socked a double into left field to score Martin Prado. The Reds tied it in the top of the fourth on a Adam Duvall two-out base hit to left which scored Billy Hamilton.
     The Marlins regained the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth as Derek Dietrich came through with a one-out single to left field and Yelich crossed the plate. Yelich later blasted a solo home run to center field during the sixth inning on a 1-0 pitch against Adam Straley. It was his seventh homer of the season.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dwyane Wade Leaving Miami Heat

     Dwyane Wade has decided to leave the Miami Heat after 13 seasons to join the Chicago Bulls. He has agreed to sign a two-year, $47 million deal with his hometown team.
     Wade helped the Miami Heat capture three NBA World Championships during his stay in South Florida with titles in 2006, 2012 and 2013. Miami also added two Eastern Conference titles in 2011 and 2014. The Heat won eight Southeast Division titles while he was there. Wade did win the NBA scoring title during the 2008-09 season.
     The Miami Heat drafted him in the first round and fifth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. Wade was the all-time leader in Heat franchise history in several categories as he compiled 20,221 points, 4,217 assists and 1,240 steals in 701 regular season games. He also held the franchise record with 6,137 field goals and 4,503 free throws made.

Miami Ratings June 2016

     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM finished for the sixth consecutive month as the top sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market. There was not that much change between the three local competitors in the month.
     The Ticket stayed the same with a 1.1 for the second straight month. They were able to remain stable with no game broadcasts along with no permanent status for either their early afternoon and evening programs.
     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM saw a positive bump for the second straight period as they went from a 0.9 to a 1.0 in the month of June. They got an increase due to a strong postseason run by the University of Miami Hurricanes baseball team that made it to the College World Series.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM remained flat for the third consecutive period with a 0.3 this month. The station has maintained consistent balance with their Miami Marlins broadcasts for the last several months.

Former Miami Sportscasters At Olympics

     Two former Miami sportscasters will be part of the announcing crew for NBC Sports at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil next month. They will include Jill Martin who will report from different sporting venues in Rio de Janeiro and Julie Donaldson who will announce sports updates for NBC Sports Digital.
     Martin started as a game operations arena host for Miami Heat games in the late 1990s. It led her to become a sports anchor and sports reporter in 2000 at WFOR-TV in Miami. She moved to New York City and joined MSG Network in 2007 as a sports anchor and later became a reporter for New York Knicks television broadcasts. Martin currently is a contributor for the Today Show on NBC.
     Donaldson began as a studio host of Miccosukee Sports Rap on Fox Sports Net Florida in the early 2000s. She landed in New York City and became a sports anchor at Sportsnet New York when that operation started in early 2006. She moved on to Boston in February 2008 and was a sportscaster on WHDH-TV. Donaldson joined Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic in Washington D.C. as a sports reporter in June 2010 and was promoted to a sports anchor capacity in September 2010.

Marlins In All-Star Game

     Four players from the Miami Marlins were named to the National League All-Star Team on Tuesday. The game will be held on July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego.
     Three of the four players are on the pitching staff. They included starter Jose Fernandez, closer A.J. Ramos and newly acquired along with former San Diego Padres relief pitcher Fernando Rodney. Center fielder Marcell Ozuna was selected as the only position player from Miami.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Marlins Top Braves At Fort Bragg

     The Miami Marlins were able to defeat the Atlanta Braves 5-2 at Fort Bragg Military Base outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina on Sunday night. It was the first time that any American major professional sports league had played a regular season game at a United States military facility.
     Adam Conley was credited with the win for Miami(43-39) as he pitched six scoreless innings and allowed four hits. J.T. Realmuto smashed a solo home run in the top of the ninth to give the Marlins a five-run cushion. Atlanta(28-54) broke the shutout with two runs in the bottom of the frame.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Reilly Smith Signs Extension With Panthers

     Forward Reilly Smith has signed a five-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers for $25 million on Sunday. He was acquired by the Panthers from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2015-16 season.
     Smith scored a career-high 25 goals along with 25 assists in 82 games for Florida last season. He led the Panthers in playoff scoring against the New York Islanders in the six-game series with four goals and four assists.

Vincent Trocheck Resigns With Panthers

     The Florida Panthers have resigned forward Vincent Trocheck to a six-year, $28.5 million contract. His status with the club was as a restricted free agent following the 2015-16 season.
     Trocheck helped the Panthers win the Atlantic Division title last season. He had 25 goals and 28 assists in 76 games during his third season with Florida.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Strikers Tie Miami FC

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers began the NASL fall season with a 1-1 tie against Miami FC at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night. The Strikers had come off an upset of Orlando City SC in the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup three days ago.
     Miami FC(0-0-1) was awarded a penalty kick during the 18th minute and Dario Cvitanich converted it for a 1-0 margin. Fort Lauderdale(0-0-1) waited until the second half to tie the contest as Gale Agbossoumonde scored in the 53rd minute.

Jason Demers Joins Panthers

     Defenseman Jason Demers has signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Florida Panthers. He joins a defensive core that includes Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle who both signed long-term deals recently with the club.
     Demers comes from the Dallas Stars where he had seven goals and 16 assists in 62 games last season. He has been in the NHL for seven seasons and compiled 28 goals and 115 assists in 423 career games.

Panthers Lose Purcell And Howden

     Two forwards left the Florida Panthers organization on Friday and went to two different Western Conference teams. Right wing Teddy Purcell signed a one-year contract for $1.6 million with the Los Angeles Kings. He joined the Panthers prior to the trade deadline from the Edmonton Oilers and compiled three goals along with eight assists in 15 games.
     The Panthers also saw left wing Quinton Howden leave the team and agreed to a one-year, $650,000 deal with the Winnipeg Jets. He was a first round and 25th overall pick by Florida in the 2010 NHL Draft. Howden played three seasons with the Panthers as he had six goals and five assists in 58 games with the club last season.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Al Montoya Heads To Habs

     Florida Panthers backup goalie Al Montoya has signed a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens. He played the last two seasons with the Panthers. Montoya helped the club win the Atlantic Division title last season and went 12-7 with a 2.18 goals against average along with a .919 save percentage.

Panthers Sign Sceviour And Marchessault

     The Florida Panthers have signed forward Colton Sceviour to a two-year contract. Sceviour played the last five seasons with the Dallas Stars. He had his best season last year with the Stars as he compiled 12 goals and 13 assists in 71 games played.
     The Panthers also signed another forward as they picked up Jonathan Marchessault. He played 45 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season and had 11 goals along with 18 assists.

James Reimer Signs With Panthers

     Goaltender Jason Reimer has signed a five-year, $17 million contract with the Florida Panthers on Friday. He played with the Toronto Maple Leafs for five seasons and has a career record of 91-78 with 12 shutouts, .914 save percentage and a 2.78 goals against average.
     Reimer was acquired by the San Jose Sharks during the 2015-16 season and helped the club win their first Western Conference title. They eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.

Brian Campbell Leaves Panthers For Chicago

     Former Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell has signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. It is a return for Campbell to a team that he won a Stanley Cup title with in the 2009-10 season.
     Campbell played five seasons with the Panthers and won two division titles with the club in 2011-12 and 2015-16. He had 28 goals and 147 assists in 376 games and never missed a contest in five years with the Cats. Campbell put together six goals along with 25 assists last season and helped Florida win the Atlantic Division title.

Panthers Resign Aaron Ekblad

     The Florida Panthers resigned defenseman Aaron Ekblad to an eight-year, $60 million contract extension. He is signed with the club through the 2024-25 season. The team now have a core of players that include Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Keith Yandle and Roberto Luongo signed for at least the next five years.
     Ekblad helped the Panthers win the Atlantic Division title in 2015-16 and their second division title in franchise history. He had 15 goals and 21 assists in 78 games last season. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as a rookie in 2014-15 when he compiled 12 goals and 27 assists in 81 games played.