The Press Box, presented by the Genesee Brew House, airing September 15/16, 2018. Hosted by Bill Pucko, with guests Mike Catalana (13 WHAM Sports), Pat Duffy (WCMF Breakroom) and Josh Whetzel, the voice of the Rochester Red Wings.
Josh made his 1st appearance with us on March 10, 2013… and generally has appeared at least once each season. In addition to the Red Wings, Josh is the voice of the University of Buffalo Bulls Basketball team. Here’s Josh from an April 2016 appearance talking about the Bulls and their, at the time, 2nd straight NCAA tournament appearance…
We kick off the show in Josh’s wheelhouse… discussing the 2018 Red Wings season. It was a difficult year for the Wings, going 64 – 76. The pitching was great, but the offense took a lot of games off this year. Kennys Vargas led the team in most categories – a team triple crown winner at .240, 21 HR and 73 RBI. Never a good thing when your top average hitter is at .240. But, like Josh and the guys say, most of the fans attending Frontier Field are happy – the food is great, and the fireworks are aplenty.
Next, we talk the Bills.
Pat is a Bills season-ticket holder. You won’t find many fans more die-hard than Pat Duffy. This week, he was an angry mess. The Ravens dismantled the Bills – and even the most optimistic of fans, has to wonder what this season is going to look like.
The news for the week 1 NFL Picks is in… and it’s as bad as the Bills were.
Bob Bleier, and the other guests that are featured each week, are not in the competition for picking the games, though, it should be noted thanks to the Browns tie(and the 5.5 points they were given by Pittsburgh), that Bob is 1 – 1 for the year. This week, the Bills game will be a big deciding factor, with Duffy being the only panelist to pick against them.
Up Next is Like it or Not… and Serena Williams at the US Open is the main topic. At this point in the show, we were running extremely long (sound familiar?) and we had to shorten the discussions a bit. The Serena topic could have, and maybe should have, gotten more time. IMO, her “outburst” was pale in comparison to the type of stuff John McEnroe did on a daily basis.
The next topic for Like it or Not involves the surprising season of the Tampa Bay Rays. Josh Whetzel gives a brief response, as time for the segment was running out… The Rays success this year is a boon for advanced statistical analysis. Their use of the “Opener”, as well as their roster construction, were all signs – from a baseball tradition standpoint – of a team that was going to lose 100 games. They haven’t. Thinking outside the box has worked wonders for Tampa, and now other teams around the league are utilizing an ‘opener’ – including the Dodgers and Twins.
Pat kicks off Unfinished Business talking about the Buffalo Bills. There’s been a common thread running throughout the Press Box for the last year and a half – Mike supports the idea of the Bills front office (‘Trust the Process’) and Pat thinks it’s horse-doodie. Pat brings it all to the forefront this week, wondering ultimately, how long a leash will Sean McDermott have, especially if the Bills are a disaster this year.
Josh Whetzel is next, and he is just starting his baseball off-season, which looks a little like this …
In other words, the glamorous life of a Triple A baseball play-by-play guy is maybe not as glamorous as you think… although those are some sweet sneaks. And Nike too!
Mike wraps up the show with his Unfinished Business, and it’s one of our favorite topics… Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitz has been an incredible story, as time and time again, just when it looks like his career is over, he re-surfaces and makes a big splash. Last week, throwing for big yards and beating New Orleans. Mike wonders if having Fitz back in Buffalo could have saved them a lot of QB troubles/headaches.
That’s how it went down thanks again to Josh Whetzel for joining us , and don’t forget to listen to Josh call the UB Bulls this season.
Tune in to the Press Box every Sunday – we are now on the CW Rochester for the fall, same day- Sunday, and time- 10:30am, and check local listings for other airings. You can always catch the latest episodes on the Classy Wolf Media youtube page, which you should definitely subscribe to.