Niagara Gazette

March 10, 2014

MROZIAK: Notes from the desk

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — It’s been a while since I’ve cleared off the desk and as we collectively — and perhaps most desperately — look to the arrival of spring, I thought I’d get a hear start on spring cleaning by getting a few notes and thoughts off my desk.

• First, as we head into a new season of spring sports, including youth baseball, soccer, lacrosse, tryouts for next hockey season, etc., allow me to provide this reminder of how best to get your information to us. This also applies to leagues we’ve been covering, including bowling, hockey, basketball and bocce.

Email is always the easiest method. You can submit your scores, league registrations and other notes to 

If you are submitting a photo, you can also use that same email but please note: the larger the file size of your image, the better. Cell phone pics are OK, provided you use a high resolution and save it at a higher file size. While smaller sizes may seem more convenient and better for preserving memory on your device, small pictures do not enlarge well on print.

If you prefer to fax your scores, the number to use for the sports department is 693-0124.

• I enjoyed a brief phone chat with Ken Ruggiero this weekend. He’s still down in Florida for the winter months but it won’t be long before folks can use the golf clubs outside the local domes. I look forward to reading more of Ken’s insights on the game this coming season and hope you do, too.

• I received a letter in recent days from Bob Belkota, offering a mix of lament and hope for Niagara men’s basketball.

While the 1974 Niagara graduate recalled watching the Purple Eagles of old beat teams including U Conn, Georgetown and St. John’s, he writes “a lot has happened since last year and you can see it with the record.”

Indeed, Niagara is rebuilding and forcing Purple Eagle faithful to put up with some pain. However, Belkota remains among those who are keeping the faith.

He continued: “I miss the good old days, but, I am confident that NU can keep the high standards of the university and get the basketball program back on track.”

That will take patience, which I think coach Chris Casey deserves. Rome was not built in a day, as they say, and neither will a new and improved Niagara program. 

• I’ve always likened Doug Smith to the Cataract City’s version of Harry Caray. He’s a one-of-a-kind personality that made me look forward to covering Niagara Power baseball games last season. He’s a passionate lover of baseball.

He’s also passionate about theater. While the ballplayers he observes and covers are having their dress rehearsals down at Spring Training, Doug is currently rehearsing for an upcoming gig, performing in “Sunshine Boys” at Desiderio’s Dinner Theater in Lancaster, beginning April 10.

Seems fitting for a guy who loves covering the boys of summer. Break a leg, Doug. Just don’t do anything that requires Tommy John surgery.

Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at @MrozGazette.