By MICHAEL MROZIAK
Niagara Gazette — A few random thoughts as I clear off the desk and try to come up with a nice opening line that doesn’t rip off the late Larry Felser...
• Recently my work schedule and the weather finally cooperated, and I was able to personally staff some Niagara Power baseball games. Perhaps I’m a little biased because he’s a colleague, but I want to pay a compliment to Gazette colleague Doug Smith. When he’s not penning our Monday baseball column “Base Paths,” Smith is serving as the public address announcer at Power home games. To hear his often ad-libbed calls alone is worth the price of admission. I would even consider him the Cataract City’s own version of Harry Caray.
Some of the lines might make you groan, while others make you wish you weren’t taking a sip of your beverage at that very moment. But overall, it’s unique to the hometown team. It’s one of the things I find charming about lower level baseball. Keep it up, Doug.
• For the many reasons one can dislike New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, I think he did nothing wrong with sharing his excitement about some encouraging medical news on his Twitter account. Yankees GM Brian Cashman, on the other hand, was anything but professional when complaining about it to ESPN New York, even using a four-letter bomb when suggesting A-Rod should “shut the (bleep) up.”
I’m not aware if there are any protocols or team rules the Yankees have regarding social media usage. Perhaps in cases of medical conditions players must first speak with the front office before blabbing about it to everyone else. Still, considering the vast sums of money the Yankees invested in A-Rod, you’d think Cashman would be just a little more excited about what appears to be good news for A-Rod’s recovery after a lengthy injury layoff.
• Overshadowed by last week’s Game Seven of the NBA Finals was the historic performance of Rochester native Abby Wambach, who became the all-time goal scoring leader in international soccer play, passing retired U.S. women’s star Mia Hamm. Wambach, who also plays for the WNY Flash, tied and then broke the scoring record as part of an overall four-goal game. She has now scored 160 goals in international play (the leading men’s scorer has only 109 goals, the now retired Ali Daei of Iran).
I know many folks won’t care, but if you’re a soccer fan this story is quite possibly far from over. That’s because there could already be a contender to topple Wambach waiting in the wings across the border. Canada’s Christine Sinclair currently has 145 international goals. With a goals per game average of 0.73, she’s comparable to Wambach, whose average is 0.77. Sinclair has played in fewer matches (198 compared to Wambach’s 207 international caps) but is also three years younger than her American counterpart.
It may not be the McGwire-Sosa home run chase that thrilled American sports fans years ago, but I have more respect for this potential storyline than I do for any performance enhancing drug-fueled home run derby.
• I’ve noticed an interesting trend in the complaint calls I do get from time to time. Many of the callers identify themselves as Boston Bruins fans who complain we haven’t given them enough coverage.
Of course, I’d love to help them except for the fact that few ever actually identify themselves. But, they do have a point. Perhaps I’ve not given their beloved Bruins enough love lately. So, although late, I’ll make it up to you now with some bonus coverage.
“Bruins toss Stanley Cup away in just 17 seconds flat.”
Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at MrozGazette.Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at MrozGazette.