Matthews: Baby Bombers Need To Wake Up


The New York Yankees “Baby Bombers” – Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge – are off to a slow start through three games. That’s a big reason why the team is 1-2.

The talented trio had better wake up soon because the Yankees begin a three-game weekend series Friday night at the hard-hitting Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees were baseball’s best team in spring training but the training wheels have been off for Sanchez, Bird and Judge:

Spring training – The trio combined to bat .382 (63-for-165), with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 16 HRs and 38 RBI.

Regular season – In three games, the trio has combined to bat .105 (4-for-38) with 0 HRs, 1 RBI and 11 strikeouts.

Obviously, it is much too early to panic. But Friday night would be a good time for the Baby Bombers to get untracked.


The Minnesota Twins started 0-9 last season and never recovered. They finished 59-103.

The Twins are 3-0 – their best start in a decade – after demolishing the visiting Kansas City Royals by a 21-5 margin.

The Twins start a six-game trip Friday night at the White Sox – three games in Chicago and then three games in Detroit.

I like Minnesota’s young talent in the field but the pitching staff remains the huge question mark.

Can starters Phil Hughes, Adalberto Mejia and Ervin Santana help keep the momentum going with decent efforts this weekend in Chicago?

I still think it is ridiculous to bat Brian Dozier (42 HRs last season) leadoff and Byron Buxton third, but manager Paul Molitor is looking like a genius so far.

Through three games, Dozier is hitting .231 (3-for-13) with 1 RBI and Buxton is hitting .071 (1-for-14) with 7 strikeouts. The most encouraging start is by Miguel Sano – 4-for-9 (.444) with 1 triple, 1 HR and 5 RBI. He has the potential to be a premier slugger for a long time.

The better the Twins are, the better the Rochester Red Wings figure to be with a more stable roster.


Believe It Or Not: The same two teams have never met in the NBA Finals more than two consecutive seasons – not even the Lakers vs. the Celtics.

The same teams met in back-to-back Finals 14 times – most recently Golden State vs. Cleveland in 2014-15 and 2015 -16.

The Warriors and Cavaliers appear on track for an unprecedented third straight Finals matchup in June.

On Wednesday night, Golden State won 120-111 in Phoenix. Three stars sat out for the Warriors – Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala were “rested” and Kevin Durant remained sidelined with a sprained knee (he is scheduled to return to action on Saturday).

Stephen Curry picked up the slack against the Suns. He wowed the Phoenix crowd with 23 of his game-high 42 points in the first quarter. The defending two-time league MVP won’t be First Team All-NBA this season because Russell Westbrook and James Harden have the two guard spots locked up, but Curry deservers Second Team status in a terrific season for guards (including Isaiah Thomas, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, John Wall, CJ McCollom, Kemba Walker, Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Mike Conley).

Golden State has clichéd home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the third straight season. The last team to do that was the Boston Celtics 1983-84 through 1985-86.

Celtics – 62-20 in 1983-84…63-19 in 1984-85...67-15 in 1985-56. Total: 192-54.

Warriors – 67-15 in 2014-15…73-9 in 2015-16...65-14 so far this season. Total: 205-38.

Also on Wednesday night, Cleveland embarrassed the host Boston Celtics 114-91 in a showdown for first place in the Eastern Conference. Cavaliers superstar LeBron James tried to downplay the importance of the game but home-court advantage in a possible East final could be the difference. Cleveland is 51-27 and Boston is 50-28. They each have four games remaining in the regular season.


The Rochester Knighthawks seem unlikely to make the National Lacrosse League playoffs this season – that doesn’t happen often – but owner/general manager Curt Styres is as savvy as ever.

Styres has traded a few solid veterans (for example Brad Self and Stehen Keogh, both cvurrently with the Colorado Mammoth) for draft picks.  Styres wanted his roster to get younger and traded some immediate assets for a brighter future.

Rochester will have three of the nine picks in the 2017 NLL entry draft in September. One of them could be the No. 1 overall pick. Styres and Jody Gage would know what to do with it.

One of Rochester’s young stars is Kyle Jackson. He could join Cory Bombarry (in 1998)  John Grant Jr. (in 2000) as the only rookies to lead the Knighthawks in scoring.

Veteran Dan Dawson missed last week’s home 11-9 loss to Calgary due to a one-game suspension for fighting in a game against New England. He might have been the difference.

The Knighthawks are 5-9 with four games remaining in the regular season: at Colorado April 15...home vs. New England April 22...home against Georgia April 28...and at Georgia April 29.


This is not shocking news – the Rochester Americans were shut out when the 2016-17 American Hockey League All-Star Game was announced Thursday.

Unfortunately, that has become customary.

The most recent Amerk to be selected AHL All-Star First Team was goalie Ryan Miller in 2004-05.

The most recent Amerk to make AHL ALL-Star Second Team was defenseman Clay Wilson in 2009-10.

The last non-goalie Amerk to make the AHL All-Star First Team was defenseman Terry Hollinger in 1996-97. It has been a 20-year drought since.

It wasn’t always this way. Cheers to the late Al Arbour, who was AHL All-Star First Team defenseman four straight seasons (192-63 through 1965-66).


Friday, April 7 – Suzann Pettersen (36)…Adrian Beltre (38)…Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber (42)…Ricky Watters (48)…Don Biggs (52)…Ted Nolan (59)…Tony Dorsett (63)…Clark Gilles (63)…Bobby Doerr (99…the oldest living ex-major-league baseball player). Russell Crowe (53), Jackie Chann (63) and Jerry Brown (79) are invited to the birthday party.

Saturday, April 8 – Jeremy Hellickson (30)…Felix Hernandez (31)…Carlos Santana (31)…Fred Smerlas (60)…Terry Porter (64)…Jim Lampley (68)…John Havlicek (77).

Sunday, April 9 – Ryan Kelly (26)…A.J. Ellis (36)…Jacques Villenueve (46)…Bo Kimble (51)…Helen Alfredsson (52)…Nate Colbert (71). Dennis Quad (63) and Hugh Hefner (91) are invited to the birthday party.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content