Thursday, September 3, 2009

Put me down for a save. Just Joshing

The retrospective on Rochester Red Wing broadcasters by my good friend, Jim Mandelaro, earlier this week in the Democrat and Chronicle brought back some fond memories, particularly of a young Josh Lewin, the current play-by-play man for both the Texas Rangers and San Diego Chargers.

I vividly remember giving him rides home from old Silver Stadium to Brighton after filing my stories for the newspaper in the mid-1980s. Josh was a young teenager at the time. He usually had his tape recorder with him, and he would tell me how he had practiced broadcasting that night's Wings game from the stands.

Back then, he had an audience of one.

Now, he has an audience in the hundreds of thousands. I’m not surprised he made it to the big-time, given his talent and work ethic.

I had nothing to do with the advancement of his broadcasting career, but I like to joke that I once saved his life.

The press box at old Silver was on the roof overlooking home plate and foul balls into the cramped room were a fairly common occurrence. One night, Josh was working as an intern, passing out press releases when a foul ball came zooming our way. Fortunately, I was paying attention to the game (yeah, I know, one of the few times) and I screamed for him to duck. The speeding spheroid barely missed his head and wound up splintering the wood panel fa├žade in front of the second row of seats.

I joked to official scorer Len Lustik that I wanted credit for a save in that night’s boxscore.

This ink-stained wretch also had an opportunity to do color one fall with Josh on University of Rochester football broadcasts. Somehow Josh's career survived the ordeal of having to carry me. Seriously, though, it was a lot of fun working with him. Good kid. Great to see his hard work rewarded.

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Probably won’t happen, but given the Bills offensive woes (three points in 15 possessions this preseason), I’d like to see the first-string out there long enough to at least produce a touchdown tonight against the Detroit Lions.

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Bills fans disappointed in Trent Edwards’ indecisiveness have begun calling him: Hesi-Trent.

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I thought the beleaguered and often gruff Charlie Weis had a good comeback when asked about that South Bend billboard reading: “BEST WISHES TO CHARLIE WEIS IN THE FIFTH YEAR OS HIS COLLEGE COACHING INTERNSHIP.

“Every thing was great until the last word,’’ the Notre Dame football coach quipped when asked about the advertisement.

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It’s impressive that the Bronx Bombers could have eight guys in their lineup finish with 20 or more home runs, but it’s still going to come down to pitching, defense and clutch hitting come October. That said, I think this team has the makeup to go the distance.

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I’d like to know who came up with these new Joba Rules for Joba Chamberlain. The guy is 23 years old and a horse at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, but the Yankees brass still wants to baby him by limiting him to just three innings for the remainder of his regular-season starts. Jeez! Give me a break.

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