Ron Moshier - Sports

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A call to (many) arms

Calling all arms, calling all arms. That’s what it is going to take to win the District V American Legion baseball title this week.


Now that games are nine innings, not seven, from here on out, pitching quality and quantity will be put to the test. As for quality, Rome’s Smith Post has two NCAA Division I arms in righty Joe Melioris and lefty Garrett Baker, and good luck trying to find another No. 3 starter as good as Kyle Richardson.


Nine-inning games, however, put more of an emphasis on quantity, and when it comes to strength in numbers, New Hartford Post – runner-up to Smith in the Oneida County tournament last week – may have the edge there. Armed with lefties Erik Sheridan, Eric Verbickas, Alex Giovannone and Tyler Porter and right-handers Chandler Evans, Dan Nelson and Pat Derrane, New Hartford has seven pitchers who have thrown at least 12 innings this season – Smith Post has the aforementioned Big Three.


That should add up to an interesting week of baseball at Rome’s DeLutis Field.  



Monday, July 28, 2008

Legion tourney a bit thin?

The District V American Legion baseball tournament begins Wednesday, with Oneida County champion Smith Post of Rome as the clear favorite.

This year, only one other Oneida County team, runner-up New Hartford, has a shot at winning the district title and earning that coveted berth in next week’s state championship tournament in Newburgh.

Ilion and Sackets Harbor are the other teams in a best-of-3 style tournament that would carry even more weight (and generate even more local interest) if Oneida County had at least two more representatives. At least six of the other 11 Oneida County teams -- Whitestown, Utica, Adrean, Sherrill, Roberts and Love Post – would be worthy additions to this year’s districts.

Maybe next year, Oneida County will get more than two title shots. Let’s hope so! We deserve it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Boilermaker is Utica's baby

That road race that has put Utica, N.Y., on the map is the Utica Boilermaker Road Race. It always has been referred to as Utica’s race, and it always should be.


Some have suggested a more regional approach to marketing the event, but the fact is, the Boilermaker was born and raised in Utica. It begins in Utica, it runs through Utica, and it ends in Utica.


Tim Reed, the Executive Director of the race, has said he wants it to be an event “that is open to everybody.” But it already is that, and much more.


For 31 years now, most have referred to the 15K as the Utica Boilermaker. There’s no need for a name change now.     



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gas prices to threaten auto racing?

Gentlemen, don’t start your engines!!!

If you’re an auto racing fan of any kind, be it NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, or a Sunday night regular at the little dirt track down the road – in our case here, that would be Utica-Rome Speedway -- those aren’t the words you want to hear.

With gas prices still on the rise, however, and a gas crisis a scary but real possibility, the future of auto racing could be in jeopardy.

Race tracks around the country are reporting smaller crowds, presumably because of the rising gas prices. Could it be only a matter of time before somebody with plenty of political pull starts calling for a crackdown on the use of fuel for racing purposes altogether?



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Year for year, Humphrey best Boilermaker local

Looking for a local runner to root for in this Sunday’s Utica Boilermaker 15K Road Race? Look no further than Deerfield’s Paul Humphrey.

He won’t be the leader of the pack, but he won’t be far off that pace. You can count on it.

Humphrey, who turned 41 on July 4, has been a frontrunner for years. If boxers are ranked pound-for-pound and runners are ranked year-for-year, he should rank as this area’s best Boilermaker runner because few (if anybody) has been this good for this long.

For the record, Sunday’s race will be his 21st consecutive Boilermaker, and the father of five has run the last 19 of them in less than 60 minutes. A year ago, he finished in 54 minutes, 44 seconds (54:44).

Not since his very first Boilermaker, way back in 1988 when he ran it in 1:13:36, has Humphrey needed more than an hour to finish the 9.3-mile race.

Look for his bib number in this year’s entries. Cheer him on this Sunday. He deserves it.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Boilermaker runners should use their heads

Running Sunday’s Boilermaker 15K Road Race? Running it for the health of it?

Then use your head.

The advance forecast, unfortunately for most of us, is calling for more heat and humidity. In other words, Boilermaker runners beware!

For most of us, finishing Utica’s great race with a smile should be your goal. So if that forecast holds true, leave your watch at home and have a nice day.

In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.