Monday, June 30, 2014


We're counting down the days until the start of the 2014-15 High School Sports calendar on FOX Sports Radio 1230.  But you're wondering what games we're going to cover.

It's going to be an exciting season coming up, with a lot of good rivalries, new and old, featured during the 2014-15 High School Sports season.  And with this, we're planning some innovative ideas to help make the experience better for you.

The 2014 High School Football season kicks off on Saturday, September 6th.

But what games are we going to cover?  Well, that's going to be announced on Friday, July 11th in a special broadcast that will air at 6:00PM, prior to New York Mets baseball.  We'll detail all the games we're planning on covering, including some good Friday night and Saturday afternoon games on the schedule.

Plus we'll relive some of the highlights of the 2013-14 season.

If you miss out on this special, don't worry.  We'll have the complete schedule here on our blog. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Calgary Flames NHL Draft Results

The 2014 NHL Draft has concluded, with some new faces that will be coming soon.  Obviously since Calgary's draft picks could be seen in Glens Falls prior to making to Alberta, let's take a look at who Calgary selected during the 2014 NHL Draft.

#4 - Samuel Bennett (C) - Samuel Bennett hails from Kingston in the Ontario Hockey League.  He has played for Team Canada in the Under 18 World Championship, scoring 3 goals and 4 assists during his 7 teams with Team Canada.

With Kingston he accumulated 91 points in his 57 games during the 2013-14 season, scoring 36 goals and assisting in 55 more.  He was penalized for 118 total minutes during the season.

David Gregory notes that Bennett plays with a high-energy game on both sides of the rink.  And he's able to sustain that energy for the entire season which helped Kingston.  Gregory called Bennett a "top-notch player."

While his favorite NHL team was the Toronto Maple Leafs, perhaps because of the Doug Gilmour connection, it's likely he will change his colors to red and orange.  And he likes hitting the slopes, which could be good on an Adirondack Flames off-day, as he'd only be 10 minutes away from West Mountain.

#34 - Mason McDonald (G) - This Nova Scotia native had a 3.35 Goals Allowed Average and a .907 Save Percentage during his time with Charlottetown in the Quebec Majors-Juniors Hockey League.  During his time in the Majors Juniors he has put together one shutout, coming during his 2012-13 season with Acadie-Bathurst.

With Halifax in 2011-12, he went 14-1 with a 2.01 GAA as he helped push the Titans to a Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League Championship.

#54 - Hunter Smith (RW) - Hunter Smith was drafted three spots earlier than his uncle, Brad Smith, who was selected 57th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1978.  Brad Smith scored 62 total points in 222 games during his nine year NHL Career, which included some time with the Calgary Flames.

Hunter Smith comes from Oshawa and Windsor in the Ontario Hockey League, scoring 16 goals and 24 assists in his 64 games in 2013-14.  He finished third in the league's "most-improved" category.

According to Chris Edwards, Smith is a role-type player and is one of the more aggressive players on the ice, balancing that with puck-handling skills and good passing ability.

#64 - Brandon Hickey (D) - Brandon Hickey comes out of Spruce Grove, in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.  In 49 games with Spruce Grove in 2013-14 he assisted in 18 goals and netted four of them himself for a total of 22 points, better than tripling his offensive output from the 2012-13 season.

#175 - Adam Ollas Mattsson (D) - Mattsson is Calgary's only draft pick who doesn't hail from Canada, instead comes from Sweeden, where he played for Djurgarden in the Sweeden Jr. Hockey League.

He's not a big point scorer, only netting 20 points during his three years in the junior leagues.  He had 9 points in 33 games for Djurgarden in 2013-14, scoring one goal and assisting in eight others.

#184 - Austin Carroll (RW) - Carroll played 70 games for Victoria in the Western Hockey League in 2013-14.

Now, in hockey, these players are able to continue playing for their junior league teams, so they may not necessarily be with the Adirondack Flames for the 2014-15 season.  Some might have to start with the Alaska Aces in the ECHL and work their way up.  But the path to Calgary for most of these new Flames players will eventually end up through Glens Falls, to which we'll get to see these players grow and perhaps become household NHL names in the future.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mets: Bartolo Colon's Turnaround

On May 6th, Bartolo Colon allowed 3 runs on 8 hits as the Mets lost to the Miami Marlins 3-0.  His ERA ballooned up to 5.36 as his record lowered to 2-5 on the year.

His next start saw him give up 7 runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3rd innings against the Yankees, setting his ERA at a season-high 5.84.

Then Bartolo Colon settled down.  Since that start at Yankee Stadium, Bartolo Colon is 6-0, earning wins for his team in all but one game, a 5-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants that Colon was not responsible for.  His ERA during this seven game span is 1.58, which has helped lower his season's ERA down to a more respected 3.67.

And that doesn't even consider the two hits that he has produced in the last two games, the first in St. Louis that has become a rally-starter that has now seen the Mets win 5 of their last 6 games, including Monday night's 10-1 win over the league-leading Oakland A's.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mets: d'Arnaud is back, Teagarden to DL

The New York Mets yesterday returned d'Arnaud to the big club.

Since his return from the Disabled List, Travis d'Arnaud has been hitting well with the Las Vegas 51's, batting .436 and belting out 6 home runs in his 15 games played in the minors.

d'Arnaud was sent to the minors after a rough go with the Mets, hitting .180.  Not helping matters was a head injury after getting hit on the follow-through of an Alfonso Soriano swing back in May that landed him on the 7 day concussion disabled list.

d'Arnaud has told reporters that he felt the problems with his swing was mental.

To clear d'Arnaud's spot on the roster, it was highly speculated that the Mets would send Anthony Recker to the minors and leave Taylor Teagarden with the big league club.  But, instead, Teagarden will be placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

The Mets face the Oakland A's in the start of a brief two game homestand at Citi Field tonight.  Bartolo Colon will get the start and will oppose the Mets 2002 1st round draft pick, Scott Kazmir.

Quick Hits: Tuesday, June 24th

The Toronto Blue Jays score six in the second inning, capped by Adam Lind's three-run home run, as they beat the New York Yankees 8-3.

Chase Whitley gave up all eight runs in only 3 1/3rd innings pitched, as he was dealt his first loss of the season.  Mark Teixeria had a solo home run in the fourth inning.

David Phelps will try to turn the tide tonight for the Yankees, who have lost three straight.  He'll opposite Mark Buehrle for the Blue Jays.

The Mets had a night off on Monday, but announced the return of Travis d'Arnaud.

d'Arnaud is expected to play tonight as the Mets begin a quick two-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics.  The A's come into town with the best record in baseball, and will have former Met 1st Round pick Scott Kazmir on the mound.

Kazmir has won the last three straight starts, including a seven inning affair on Thursday when he punched out eight Red Sox on the A's way to a 4-2 victory.

Bartolo Colon will take the mound for the Mets.  In his last start, Colon started what has become a part of the clubhouse culture for the Mets - the towel rally wave.  Mets players were seen waving those towels when Colon belted out a hit down the left field line in his last start in St. Louis for his first base hit since 2005.  He would later score the tying run that helped lift the Mets to victory over the Cardinals.

It will be Zack Wheeler on the mound for the Mets on Wednesday, facing $1 man Brad Mills for the A's.

Felix Hernandez gets the run support he needs as the Seattle Mariners explode to a 12-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.

The Mariners used a six-run fourth inning to take the lead from the Red Sox for good, chasing starter John Lackey from the game after 3 2/3rds.  He got tagged for seven runs, all earned, and Chris Capuano surrendered five runs.

Hernandez pitched seven innings, only giving up two runs while striking out six.

In case you missed it, the Adirondack Flames have a new coach.

Ryan Huska was announced during a press conference in Calgary on Monday to be the first leader of the Adirondack Flames.  Huska comes from the Kelowna Rockets, where he led them to a franchise best 57-11-4 record last year.

Read more about his hiring here.

Breaking this morning, LeBron James has opted out of his deal with the Miami Heat, making him a free agent.

And the Glens Falls Golden Eagles three game win streak is over after they fall to the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dogs 12-6.  They travel to Amsterdam tonight to face the league's hottest team, the Amsterdam Mohawks.  The Mohawks extended their win streak to nine last night, bouncing back from a 2-6 start.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ryan Huska named Adirondack Flames Head Coach

This piece was edited to correct some typographical errors and to add more information.

Ryan Huska has been hired to lead the Adirondack Flames in their inaugural season, Brad Treliving announced to the media on Monday during a Calgary Flames press conference.

Huska comes from the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Hockey League.  As head coach of the Rockets, he led them to the WHL Championship in 2009 before losing in the Memorial Cup finals. In seven seasons with the Rockets, Huska's record is 303-164-0-37, including a career best 57-11-0-4 last season.

Prior to Huska's venture as head coach, he was an assistant with the Rockets for five years, and have played in the American Hockey League with the Springfield Falcons and the Lowell Lock Monsters.

He played one game in the National Hockey League, with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1997-98 season.

Huska has also captured a bronze and silver medal as the assistant coach with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

"This is a significant hire for us," said Brad Treliving.  "I couldn't be more happy for having him join our organization."

Huska replaces Troy Ward, who coached the Abbotsford Heat for three seasons.  Troy Ward's squad in their last season in British Columbia made the playoffs after going 43-25-5-3, but lost in four games to Grand Rapids.  With the move from British Columbia to Glens Falls, and with the Flames under new management, Ward's contract was not renewed.

Huska's first game with the Adirondack Flames in Glens Falls will be on Saturday, October 11th.

Quick Hits: Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The first seven on the Mets batting order all had multi-hit games as the New York Mets defeat the Miami Marlins 11-5 to win the four game series three games to one.

Jonathon Niese pitched six innings, giving up three runs that came in a rough 6th inning that started with Curtis Granderson misplaying a fly ball that turned into a double.  Niese couldn't get a strike three call that turned into a walk.  And Daniel Murphy couldn't field a ball heading towards him, allowing the third run to score.

Finally Niese was able to settle down and got Derek Dietrich to strike out to end the inning.

The Mets are off before starting a two game interleague series against the Oakland A's on Tuesday.

The Baltimore Orioles spoiled the Yankees celebration on Old Timer's Day quickly as Jonathan Schoop homered to left to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning.

He would get another RBI as the O's won the rubber game 8-0.

It was only the 2nd loss for Mashiro Tanaka this season, giving up three runs in seven innings pitched as his earned run average blossomed to 2.11

The Yankees kick off a three game series at Toronto on Monday.

The Glens Falls Golden Eagles score 5 runs in the bottom 8th as they extend their win streak to three games after their 8-4 win over the Adirondack Trail Blazers

The Golden Eagles rally started after a Greg Wasikowski throwing error that allowed John Lynn to reach base with one out in the eighth.  He would take second on the error, and after a pair of walks loaded the bases, the Golden Eagles got their lead when Garrett Bernardo singled home two runs and Brennan Price brought home two more.

John Leiter gets credit for the win and Tyler Ehlers struck out two on his way to his first save.

The Golden Eagles have a chance to even up their record as they travel to Mohawk Valley tonight.

The U.S. Men's Soccer team was just seconds away from clinching their spot in the Knockout Stage, when Silvestre Varela headed in a Cristiano Rinaldo cross in the 95th minute, drawing even with the U.S..

It was the last hope for the Portuguese in the depth of the final minute of stoppage time, knowing that a loss would make them and Ghana ineligible for the Knockout Stage.

The four teams finish the 1st Round at Noon.  The U.S. face team Germany, and Portugal faces Ghana.

Schedules for the 2014-15 NHL season are out.  Here's the schedule for the Rangers, the Devils, the Islanders, the Buffalo Sabres, the Montreal Candiens and the Boston Bruins.  And for those new Calgary Flames fans here in Adirondack Flames country, here's their schedule.

And Carmello Anthony has opted out of his extra year with the New York Knicks, making him a free agent.

Tuesday - Oakland A's at NY Mets - 6:30PM (WMML 1230)
Wednesday - Oakland A's at NY Mets - 6:30PM (WMML 1230)
Thursday - NY Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates - 6:25PM (WMML 1230)
Friday - NY Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates - 6:25PM (WMML 1230)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adirondack Flames Press Conference Highlights

Here's some of the highlights that were discussed during this morning's Adirondack Flames press conference:

The biggest highlight is that the Adirondack Flames will be opening their 2014 home schedule on Saturday, October 11th as they debut "Saturday Night is Hockey Night in Glens Falls", a concept that they hope will result in all or most Saturday night games being played in front of a full Glens Falls Civic Center.

In addition, eight home dates, which includes the home-opener, has been guaranteed by the American Hockey League.  Seven of them will be on Saturdays, with the eight being played on a holiday that is a time-honored tradition in Glens Falls.

During the press conference, Brian Petrovek noted that time is his greatest opponent as the Flames are rebuilding their front office from the ground up.  He also noted that all usage of the Adirondack Flames "A" logo will require either "Adirondack" or "ADK" underneath the logo, due to the trademarks surrounding the old Atlanta logo.

Merchandise will go on sale, including jerseys and other products carrying the Adirondack Flames logo, in August.

In addition, Petrovek hinted once again about a possibility of the Flames having to face a Western Conference schedule.  He alluded to how it's not the ideal setup, but mentioned that fans would get to see a new variety of teams visiting the Glens Falls Civic Center.  The official announcement of the conference/division alignment for the American Hockey League will be announced during the American Hockey League Board of Governors meeting at Hilton Head, South Carolina just after Independence Day. While remarking about igniting a rivalry with the Utica Comets, affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, Petrovek noted that rivalries might require more than one season to fully develop.

He also wants to get more than the immediate Glens Falls area involved in Adirondack Flames hockey, reaching out to nearby Saratoga Springs and even Rutland, Vermont when it comes to newspaper, radio and television.  He quipped briefly about a radio network, although no radio broadcasting plans are in place at this time for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

More details about individual game tickets, flex packages, promotions, and front office staff will be coming in the near future.

Adirondack Flames Home-Opener October 11th

The beginning of a new era for the Calgary Flames top farm team as well as the City of Glens Falls begins on Saturday, October 11th as the Adirondack Flames make their home debut at the Glens Falls Civic Center at 7PM.  The opponent will be announced at a later time.

"We are, obviously, planning a big night for the beginning of our season," said Adirondack Flames President Brian Petrovek said at a press conference Thursday.

The Flames also announced that they have received seven more guaranteed dates, six of which are on Saturday, and one that falls on a "very popular" holiday date "when one year ends and another one begins."  Those dates will be revealed and released to the public at a later date.

In addition, the Adirondack Flames are hoping to build upon the success of prior Adirondack teams on Saturday nights, and thus will brand those games as "Saturday Night is Hockey Night in Glens Falls".  Petrovek hopes that the additional branding and promotion will lead to more sellouts on Saturday nights, spilling over to Friday night home games and then to Sunday afternoon games.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rick's Riled Up: Issue 1

DISCLAIMER: The contents within are the thoughts and expressions of the author, and does not necessarily represent those of FOX Sports Radio 1230, its management, sponsors or other hosts.

Welcome to a new feature of this blog, where I will offer my two cents on topics both locally and nationally on a regular basis.  I'm open to debate, so if you have thoughts of your own, post them in the comments below or tweet them @WMML1230.

Issue 1: Chrome Dome
California Chrome is like other horses we've seen come and go through the years.  The American public watches as they make their way through the Kentucky Derby, become the heavy favorite for the Preakness, and when they win, we wonder if this horse will be the one to end the drought.

We saw it with Funny Cide.  With Big Brown.  With Real Quiet.  Even I'll Have Another before he was scratched from the Belmont and ultimately retired from racing.

California Chrome fought hard throughout the race.  But when encouraged to give that extra kick to take the lead, he had nothing to offer and finished in a dead heat for fourth.  Part of that could be fatigue from the grueling stretch of three races in five weeks, but it also could be Victor Espinoza's inexperience with the long surface that is Belmont Park.

Especially when California Chrome was forced five-wide through the final turn.

But Calfornia Chrome's result continues, and perhaps adds fuel, the debate on whether or not racing officials need to restructure the Triple Crown so that it's better suited for today's horses.  Thoroughbred horses these days do not regularly race fewer than 3 to 4 weeks in between races, and horses aren't bred to race longer distances like they used to.

It'd be very hard to find any of the Triple Crown distances in any Racing Secretary's condition book.  While the 1-1/4 mile distance of the Kentucky Derby is more common, you usually only see that distance used in stakes competition opposed to in allowance conditioning.  The Preakness is an uncommon distance of 1-3/16 miles, and most tracks shy away from the Belmont's 1-1/2 mile run.

One of the biggest calls for changes in the Triple Crown is to change the spacing between races.  While the Triple Crown hasn't always been a 5 week spectacle -- in fact, only three have won the current configuration, the three who won the Triple Crown in the 1970's.  But a longer Triple Crown could lower the casual fan's interest in the series, bringing them with a feeling of "who cares" by the time the horses enter the gate for the Belmont.

This isn't even getting into the debate about what horses should be allowed to run in the Preakness or the Belmont, an issue that was raised when Steve Coburn complained post-race about the presence of fresher horses who hadn't raced in either the Preakness or the Kentucky Derby.

As long as these are stakes races, and not invitation-only, you really cannot force horses and their owners who are interested in racing one race of the three out of running.  Of the things that have changed with the times in horse racing, the allowing of fresher horses to run in the other legs of the Triple Crown isn't one of them.  Even Sir Barton had to face fresher legs when he made his way to the Belmont to complete the first ever Triple Crown sweep.

To change that rule would be to dilute the product, and to manufacture Triple Crown wins.  It wouldn't do horse racing a service.  And winning the Triple Crown would have less significance because Racing Secretaries made it easier for horses to win all three legs.

This whole argument reminds me about the feat that City Zip pulled off in 2000, when he completed the Saratoga Juvenile Triple.  City Zip won the Sanford, the Saratoga Special and the Hopeful in a span of only 37 days.

Unfortunately, City Zip finished 9th in the Florida Derby, thus bringing his Triple Crown path to an end.  City Zip won four of his five starts at Saratoga, and was in the money for all five.

It would be nice to see Saratoga Race Course, and the New York Racing Association honor that by naming a race in his honor.  Preferably a 2 year old or 3 year old race, because that's when he excelled at Saratoga.

NEXT ISSUE: The New York Rangers are hanging by a very thin thread, one that might be snapped when Game 4 is played on Wednesday.  But unless you have cable, you're not going to see it.