Archive for the 'Other Sports' Category

Talking Haskell & American Pharoah

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015


Today, Monmouth Park hosts the biggest day in New Jersey racing history as Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will run in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational.

Tuesday, July 7th was Monmouth Park night at FirstEnergy Park as we ran the BlueClaws Haskell Preview Race (American Pharoah won as you can see above). We also had Monmouth Park track announcer Frank Mirahmadi on the air with us to talk about the horse, his race-calls of American Pharoah’s races from Oaklawn Park (in Arkansas) over the winter, and more.

It’s the perfect day to dust off this interview. Enjoy!

Click here to listen.

Note: In the photo above, on the left, American Pharoah won our Haskell Preview Race, beating Souper Colossal (who finished 2nd in the West Virginia Derby yesterday) and on the right, Buster lined up early to see American Pharoah. Those Buster Bobble-Bellys will be given to the first 1,500 fans on August 9th (one week from today).

NCAA Tournament, BlueClaws-Style

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Who are some of your favorite former BlueClaws rooting for (and picking) in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament?

#1 overall seed Louisville is represented by 2009 BlueClaws RHP BJ Rosenberg. They could square off in the Sweet 16 with Oklahoma State, the alma mater of John Urick (2006), Michael Dabbs (2010) and Jason Jaramillo (2005).

The bottom of the Midwest region includes Creighton, the alma mater of Darin Ruf (2010). Incidentally, Ruf is, I believe, the only BlueClaw alum to go to a Jesuit school (relevant with the election of the new Pope, a Jesuit).

Nick Evangelista (2004) went to Pittsburgh and they are in action today against Wichita State.That half of the bracket includes a 5/12 matchup between Wisconsin, alma mater of Chad Sidowski (2001) and Ole Miss, alma mater of Cooper Osteen (2006), Matt Maloney (2006), and Austin Wright (2011).

Jeremy Barnes went to Notre Dame, who takes on Iowa State in a West Region opener tomorrow.

Top seed Kansas will be supported by Gus Milner (2007), Mike Zagurski (2006), and Colton Murray (2012). Matt Payton (2010) went to Western Kentucky, their opponent. Jordan Ellis (2009) went to Villanova, a possible second round opponent for Kansas.

Also in the South Region, UCLA is the alma mater of Tyson Brummett (2008) and Garret Claypool (2010). A possible second round opponent for UCLA is Florida, alma mater of Matt Campbell (2012).

Troy Hanzawa (2009) and Quintin Berry (2007) went to San Diego State, who takes on Oklahoma, alma mater of Will Savage (2006) and Ryan Duke (2011-12).

Indiana, alma mater of BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini, is the #1 seed in the South.

Enjoy hoops!

Golf Night ClawCast With Mike Morvay

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Tuesdayis Golf Night at FirstEnergy Park, with a Carl Spackler Bucket Hat Giveaway for the first 2,000 fans thanks to the NJ Golf Foundation.

In honor of Golf Night, we wanted to sit down with BlueClaws Asst Groundskeeper Mike Mor

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vay, who is also the Asst Superintendent at Glenwood Country Club.

“We double-cut the grass here, in one direction and then back the other way,” he said. “On the golf course, we cut one direction because we have to stay ahead of the golfers. We start our day at 6:00 and have to have all of our spraying and greens cut by 7:00.”

He added “Satisfaction is when you go home and your course looks great and you’re not getting any complaints.”

Click here to listen or use the player below:

For more on golf night and to see a picture of the bucket hats, please click here.

BlueClaws, Devils PA-Announcer With Tony Graham

Thursday, May 31st, 2012


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Spring Means Ice For Claws PA-Announcer

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

April showers and May flowers normally mean baseball season. That’s no different this year, with the BlueClaws having already played 18 of their 70 home games. But one ballpark fixture has had somewhat of a lighter schedule thus far this season – PA announcer Kevin Clark, for whom April showers and May flowers have meant additional time at the ice-level.

Clark, as he has been since the Devils moved into the Prudential Center five years ago, is the Devils PA-announcer, and with their run into the Eastern Conference Finals, he’s been at fewer BlueClaws games so far.

“People at work with and a few season ticket holders have asked about me, want to know if I’m OK,” Clark said. “They haven’t heard me. They’ve been asking if I quit or if I’m done. But with the hockey going on, that’s my focus now and the schedule hasn’t fallen the right way. And I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

This is the first time the Devils have won a playoff round since Clark started – and they’ve won two, beating the Panthers and Flyers in the first two rounds. Last night, they lost game one of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Rangers, 3-0, but don’t ask Clark how the game went.

“When they’re on the road, I can’t watch – I’m a nervous wreck. Whatever my wife wants to watch we’ll have on,” he said. “It’s like watching a scary movie under a blanket. Every so often you poke your head out.”

At home, as they will be this weekend, it’s far less stressful, even though he’s working. It’s also a lot different than a BlueClaws game.

“It’s night and day,” he said. “I’m down on the ice for the hockey games and you feel more removed in a baseball game. It’s so loud (hockey) and it’s crazier down there.” (Clark is in the top left in the photo with the off-ice officials)

One thing that makes baseball a bit easier – you don’t have too many of these: “If you get a Kovalchuck, Zubrus, Ponikarovsky goal announcement, I probably need a little oxygen.”

Clark will be back to FirstEnergy Park on a regular basis soon, and he’ll still do a handful of games as his schedule permits, but that’s up to the Devils (and the Rangers) right now.

“I want to be there but I hope this goes all the way into June,” he said. “It’s been an incredible ride.”

BlueClaws Bowl Guide

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

An annual tradition…as you sit down to watch the college football games this bowl season, here is a list of former BlueClaws and their connections to the various schools.

(Note – if a bowl game is not listed, we can’t find a connection – if you want to email any updates, please do: ggiombarrese @ blueclaws dot com).


MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (12/22) – Arizona State vs Boise State…Tuffy Gosewisch (2007) is a Sun Devil, the lone rooting interest we have in this game.

(UPDATE – Sean Houston, the voice of the Charleston RiverDogs and member of our broadcast and blogging team in 2011, calls in to remind us that all-time BlueClaw Travis Mattair, who is celebrating a birthday today, went to Boise State in 2010 walking on the basketball team, so he should certainly be added in here).

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (12/24) – Nevada vs Southern Miss…Ryan Frith (2005-06) went to Southern Miss. No Wolfpack alums.

AdvoCare V100 Independence (12/26) – Missouri vs North Carolina…2010 BlueClaw Jarred Cosart committed to Missouri out of high school but signed with the Phillies and 2009 BlueClaw Jason Knapp committed to North Carolina before signing with the Phillies.

Belk Bowl (12/27) – Louisville vs NC State…2009 BlueClaw BJ Rosenberg is a proud Louisville Cardinal.

Military Bowl (12/28) – Toledo vs Air Force…2008 BlueClaw Karl Bolt went to Air Force.

Holiday Bowl (12/28) – California vs Texas…2011 BlueClaws C Cameron Rupp was a three-year Texas Longhorn.

Champs Sports Bowl (12/29) – Florida State vs Notre Dame…Two Seminoles – Aaron Cheesman (2006) and Robby Read (2003)…The only Fighting Irish alum is 2010 BlueClaw Jeremy Barnes – though Brad Lidge, who rehabbed here this year, also went there.

Alamo Bowl (12/29) – Washington vs Baylor…2009-10 BlueClaw Trevor May committed to Washington before signing with the Phillies and 2003 BlueClaw Andre Marshall played there…Baylor alums are Anthony Hensley (2001) and Josh Scott (2002).

New Era Pinstripe Bowl (12/30) – Rutgers vs Iowa State…No players but good luck to the alma mater of BlueClaws AGM Brandon Marano.

Insight Bowl (12/30) – Iowa vs Oklahoma…Nathan Johnson (2005) is a Hawkeye, and legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas went here too…Two Sooners – Will Savage (2006) and Ryan Duke (2011).

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (12/31) – Texas A&M vs Northwestern…JA Happ (2005) and Dan Brauer (2006) went to Northwestern and Ryan Wardinsky (2003) went to Texas A&M.

Hyundai Sun Bowl (12/31) – Georgia Tech vs Utah…Jeremy Slayden (2006) is a Yellow Jacket. 2007 BlueClaw Jarrod Freeman committed to Utah before signing with the Phillies.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (12/31) – Illinois vs UCLA…UCLA is the alma mater of 2008 BlueClaw Tyson Brummett and 2011 BlueClaw Garett Claypool (and Chase Utley).

Chick-Fil-A Bowl (12/31) – Virginia vs Auburn…Two Auburn alums: Javon Moran (2004) and Sean Gamble (2006). Michael Schwimer, a 2008 Phillies draftee, went to Virginia and skipped Lakewood.

TicketCity Bowl (1/2) – Houston vs Penn State…Rod Perry (2003) is the lone PSU alum.

Capital One Bowl (1/2) – Nebraska vs South Carolina…The BlueClaws have a pipeline to these schools. First, Nebraska: Luke Wertz (2009-10) and Trevor Bullock (2001) played here. Jacob Diekman (2008-10) committed here as did Tyler Cloyd (2009), though both signed with the Phillies. Cody Asche, drafted this year, went to Nebraska and he could be in Lakewood in 2012, as could 2010 draftee Matt Nesseth. Michael Floyd (2002), Andrew Cruse (2007), Mike Cisco (2008) and Aaron Rawl (2006-06) all went to South Carolina. Gator Bowl (1/2) – Ohio State vs Florida…No Buckeyes or Gators, though 2007 BlueClaw Adrian Cardenas committed to Florida before signing with the Phillies, as did 2010 BlueClaw Jiwan James. 2011 draftee Matt Campbell, who played for Williamsport, went to Florida and he could be here in 2012.

Rose Bowl (1/2) – Wisconsin vs Oregon…Chad Sidowsky (2001) went to Wisconsin. No Oregon alums though Jesse Biddle (2011) committed here before signing with the Phillies.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (1/2) – Stanford vs Oklahoma State…Big one here as Michael Taylor (2008) went to Stanford and three went to OSU: John Urick (2006), Michael Dabbs (2010), and Jason Jaramillo (2005).

Discover Orange Bowl (1/4) – West Virginia vs Clemson…Zac Cline (2004) went to WVU and Herm Demmink (2007) went to Clemson.

AT&T Cotton Bowl (1/6) – Kansas State vs Arkansas…Two Razorbacks: Chris Rhoads (2007) and Matt Riethmayer (2001).

BBVA Compass Bowl (1/7) – SMU vs Pittsburgh…Nick Evangelista (2004) went to Pittsburgh and Phillies broadcaster Scott Franzke went to SMU. Bowl (1/8) Arkansas State vs Northern Illinois…2007 BlueClaw Matt German went to NIU.

BCS Championship Game (1/9) – LSU vs Alabama…Austin Hyatt (2010) is a Crimson Tide alum. 2011 Williamsport LHP Adam Morgan went to Bama and he could be with the BlueClaws this year.

ClawCast: Karch Kiraly

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

During the rain delay on Friday, Sean Houston sat down with volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, in town for the Corona Light Wide Open to be held today and tomorrow in Seaside Heights.

Click here to listen to the full interview, or see below for a few snippets:

  • Beach volleyball had its birth in Southern California, but as the tour grew and one of the first places it went to was the coast of New Jersey. It turns out a lot of us players loved coming here. The fans are great, the beaches have great deep sand.
  • My dad came over from Hungary and met my mom at the University of Michigan. He gave me my start when I was six. He had never seen beach volleyball in Hungary and fell in love with it.
  • They should certainly expect to have a lot of fun. It’s a great family sport. People talk about how our country needs more exercise, and there’s no better way to do it. People tell us “I can’t even walk in this stuff. How do you jump 2 and a half or 3 feet…You have to be in tremendous condition.”
  • I got my start on the beach so that was my first love. When I got to high school I got to play indoors and played in two Olympics. But they added beach volleyball in Atlanta so I got to win the first ever gold medal in beach volleyball Olympics. There’s something special about being a part of a team of 15, but there’s also something special about being out there two on two with your partner. One of the great challenges is that if you are having a bad day, there are no substitutes. You have to work through it.
  • I was aware of some of the greats in beach volleyball, like Ron Von Hagen. One of best indoor players, a guy named Larry Rundle. When I was around 10 or 11 years old, Sports Illustrated did an article on him and said he entered his first adult tournament when he was 11. So I entered my first tournament when I was 11, with my first coach, my dad. I saw the fear in the eyes of my opponents, they didn’t want to lose to an 11 year old kid. That was one of the experiences that hooked me on the game.

Karch was going to throw out a first pitch at the game on Friday, but unfortunately the game never got going.

There is a double-header today that starts at 6:05. RHP Garett Claypool throws for Lakewood in game one against RHP Luis Noel (Friday’s starters) and game two features Lakewood RHP Lisalberto Bonilla and Delmarva LHP Cameron Roth.

Belmont Preview on Thursday

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

I’m sitting here in Greensboro watching live races at Monmouth Park and looking at some of the horses that will be running in next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, including both the Derby winner Animal Kingdom and the Preakness winner Shackelford.

I was reminded that the BlueClaws will be “previewing” the Belmont on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Park (a Thirsty Thursday, mind you).

Here is the stretch photo of the Preakness preview, with Mucho Macho Man running away to a win, from May 16th. Click the picture to enlarge and then scroll down for notes.


As you can see, we have circled three things. On the left, you can clearly see an anonymous Hagerstown reliever having thrown a cup of water onto the face of the leading horse. He has just been soaked and you can see that from the middle circle. Also, note some of the water having splashed up into the air (over the dirt below the word “Natural” in New Jersey Natural Gas). The third circle is of the second place horse Flashpoint, who even though he is being annihilated in the race, is amused by this water throwing incident.

I almost circled the kid with the blanket, because it was May 16th. But to be fair the game time temperature that day was 64 degrees and this was probably an hour or so after that. Take it for what that’s worth.

Who’s running in the Belmont?

On a more serious Thirsty Thursday note, you’ll be able to win tickets this week to see Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow at PNC Bank Arts Center (win tix at Thirsty Thursday, show is on July 12th). Sing along.

How’s This For Two Visits

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Last night, we ran our Kentucky Derby preview race at FirstEnergy Park, with Dialed In, who will likely be installed as the morning line favorite when the race is drawn later today,

Bill Brower of Tinton Falls correctly predicted Dialed In, wh

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o beat Mucho Macho Man by about half of a nose, and was then selected the grand prize winner, taking home a Haskell prize pack courtesy of Monmouth Park.

It was Bill’s second visit to FirstEnergy Park. Last year, he came out and proposed to his wife.

Beat that.

On a side note, we are going to preview the Preakness Stakes on May 16th (actual race May 21st) and the Belmont Stakes on June 10th (actual race June 12th). It will be quite similar to what we did last night. Photos below.


Here is Mr. Brower with Dialed In’s “rider” in a post-sixth-inning ceremony.


(click to enlarge) Dialed In (#4) commences his rally. He would nose out Mucho Macho Man (#7) on the wire with Watch Me Go (#16) finishing 3rd. Brilliant Speed (#2) made a big move to take the lead near the top of the stretch but faded. 2 year old champ Uncle Mo (#15) is in 5th and you can see the tiring Shackelford (#11) and ArchArchArch (#1). (Dave Schofield photo)

Tuesday: We Run the Derby

Friday, April 29th, 2011

derbyfullLast year, the BlueClaws re-enacted the Kentucky Derby (video below). This year, we’re running it for real. And if you pick the winner, you can win a Haskell Prize Pack from Monmouth Park. It’s all a part of our Kentucky Derby celebration this Tuesday at FirstEnergy Park.

What: A running of the Kentucky Derby (run for real next Saturday) between innings. The “riders” will be in their jockey silks and we’ll run the race.

How You Can Play: Simply sign up at the Monmouth Park table on the concourse. When you register, you can pick the winner. After the race, we’ll select one grand prize winner from everyone that picked the race winner, and that person will win a Haskell Prize Pack. The Haskell is a $1 million race run at Monmouth Park this year on July 31st.

Also: We’ll give out Monmouth Park free admission passes at the Monmouth table on Tuesday.

Here is a list of probable Derby starters.

Here is the link to order tickets to Tuesday’s game. And below is last year’s race.

Claws Top Monmouth and Other Notes

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Anthony Hewitt homered tonight to lead the BlueClaws to a 3-0 win over Monmouth at FirstEnergy Park.

You can read the entire recap here.

Hewitt hit 11 home runs last season.

Chris Truby’s lineup was as follows: Altherr 8, Collier 7, Barnes 5, Murphy 3, Santana 9, Rupp 2, Hewitt DH, Perdomo 4, Duran 6

Taped an interview with Zach Collier today and we’ll have that up here tomorrow.

Pick of a copy of the Asbury Park Press tomorrow for the BlueClaws preview.

Monmouth new basketball coach King Rice threw out the ceremonial first pitch.


See you tomorrow.

Sweet 16

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

What former BlueClaws went to schools playing in the Sweet 16 (aka who should you root for)?

San Diego State: Quintin Berry (07), Troy Hanzawa (09)

Arizona: Jason Donald (07), John Hardy (06), Anthony Gose (09-committed but signed w/ Phillies)

Wisconsin: Chad Sidowsky (2001, an original BlueClaw)

North Carolina: Jason Knapp (09-committed but signed w/ Phillies)

Kansas: Mike Zagurski (06), Gus Milner (07)

Florida: Aaron Cheesman (06), Robby Read (03)

I’m pretty sure that’s it. If not, leave in the comments and we’ll update.

Congrats to Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

hacksaw-blog1Congratulations go out to Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who last night, it was announced, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania on April 2nd.

Hacksaw was at FirstEnergy Park in June of 2009 to sign autographs and pose for pictures, such as the one shown on the right (I think you could sneak a fastball buy him on the inside corner, but that’s just me).

He joins a line of wrestlers that have appeared at FirstEnergy Park:

King Kong Bundy
Mick Foley
Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase
Jerry “The King” Lawler
Sergeant Slaughter

George “The Animal” Steele

Those noted in bold are already the Hall of Fame and King Kong Bondy and Mick Foley figure to be certain entries.

This year, we’ll have the Iron Sheik and Nickolai Volkoff on June 11th.

On a side note, here is a hilarious interview given by the Million Dollar Man on the Shore Sports Network last year. And below is Hacksaw’s entrance music.

Schrenk and Team to “Fight the Floods”

Friday, January 14th, 2011

schrenk-canberraBlueClaws pitching coach Steve Schrenk is spending his winter (summer) in Australia managing the Canberra Calvary in the Australian Baseball League.

Canberra, located about 175 miles southwest of Sydney, in the southeast portion of Australia, has not been affected by the flooding in Queensland, a few hundred miles to the north.

But Schrenk’s team will play a “Fight the Floods” charity game on Sunday to help raise money for flood victims.

“The situation in Queensland is horrible,” Head Coach Steve Schrenk said.

“Our guys wanted to do something and we thought holding a game like this would be the best way to help raise money for the cause.

“The series in Brisbane was officially postponed late yesterday and the ACT Government has been great in helping us organise something at such short notice.

Schrenk said the proposed ‘All Star’ team will be competitive and eager to put up on a good show against the men in orange.

“There will be an interesting mix in this ‘All Star’ team,” Schrenk said.

“I think we’ll see a few ACT Academy of Sport kids out there. Some of the younger guys will be treating this as a try-out for the 2011 Cavalry squad so it will be an exciting game to watch.

“Last weekend we saw an average crowd of 1,300 Cavalry fans at each of our games. We hope to get the same numbers this week so we can raise a sizeable amount for the people of Queensland.”

Former BlueClaws like Kevin Jordan (coach), Alan Schoenberger,  Drew Naylor and Joel Naughton all live in the affected area, but fortunately they are fine because they live on high ground.

Fans can donate to the relief efforts online by clicking here.