Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Breaking news! Runway blog has confirmed: Mailbag on tap today

A few random thoughts and observations before some reader mail.

  • The recruiting websites have finally "confirmed" Sio Moore's commitment to UConn. Guess it's official now. I can't argue with the logic. After all, those direct quotes from Moore published in the New Haven Register and on the Runway saying he commited to Randy Edsall last week weren't quite concrete enough. We needed their stamp of approval, through third-party sources, mind you, not by speaking directly to Moore, to "confirm" he's headed to UConn. We can all rest a bit easier.

  • Anyone else catch "The Bronx is Burning" on ESPN last night? I didn't mind it. John Turturro really channeled Billy Martin. It was almost spooky. The guy playing Reggie Jackson does a fair job, too, aside from the ridiculous afro wig and fake moustache. I think Entourage's Vinny Chase used the same wardrobe man to become Pablo Escobar in "Medillin". Did they find Thurman Munson's twin brother to play the Yankee captain? That was really spooky. Liked that it was filmed in New Haven and Norwich, too, and they used a lot of local baseball players and coaches as extras and body doubles. East Hartford's Jimmy Gonzalez plays Chris Chambliss, Norwich's Roger LaFrancois is Bobby Cox, Milford's Jared Rohrig is Dave Kingman, etc. ... On the other hand, the director did a horrible job of making a real connection with the Son of Sam scenes, which didn't mesh well at all with the baseball story. But I'll watch it again.

Is this Thurman Munson, or the actor playing him on the Bronx is Burning?

  • How about Alex Rios in the Home Run Derby? I covered Rios during his remarkable 2003 season with the Double-A New Haven Ravens. Aside from Jose Reyes, he was the best player I saw in six or so years covering minor league baseball. He was a five-tool player who never got credit for his power despite the fact that he was probably the best power hitter in the Eastern League. He didn't hit a lot of homers back then (at age 21) because he was so good at keeping his hands back and driving frozen ropes into the gaps, the ball simply didn't get high enough off the ground to clear the fences. But if a pitcher left a fastball up and inside, he'd take it 500 feet. Get used to seeing him at the All-Star Game.
On to the mail bag.

Question: Hey Chip. How are you.....My name is Tito.I know you from Twilight baseball in West Haven a few years back. My question to you is....Is Uconn football heading in the right direction for the big time? I was under the assumption that that was the intention, but it doesn't seem that way. -- Tito Martinez

Answer: Hey Tito. I remember you from the Twilight League. You played a mean third base. I think the program has made the maneuvers to enter the big time. Rentschler Field and the new practice facilities are as good as any in the country, and certainly have them headed in the right direction. It's sort of a "If you build it, they will come" recruiting philosophy. Coach Edsall has said the quality of recruit will improve with first-rate facilities in place. Well, everything is complete now. The coaches aren't selling recruits on blue prints and construction sites anymore. The facilities are finally finished. Only time will tell if the quality of players increases. But landing types like Jerrell Miller and Zach Frazer, who come in highly touted, will help. Of course, hype only goes so far with recruits. They have to prove themselves on the field.

Q: Maybe i just missed it but why is there nothing by anybody at the Register about the Zach Frazier transfer. There is little to no news this time of year about football and you missed that? That is very sad. You know he was one the top 15 recruits in the nation according to some publications. Maybe i should write it for you. Stunning. -- Bill Shaw.

A: Yes, you missed it...them actually. But thanks for thinking of me. I assume you aren't a subscriber, so here's the standard schpiel. The Register doesn't publish every story from the print edition on our website. For example, the Frazer stories and Monday's Sio Moore story aren't available online. I guess they want to give the people who actually pay for their daily subscription a little bang for their buck. Seems reasonable. Yes, news is limited this time of year which is why I've kind of put the blog on hiatus the last few months. But when there's football news, it gets into the print edition. Leave your address or a fax number, and I'll send you all my Zach Frazer stories. You can put them in your scrap book.

Question: What else can you tell us about Sio Moore? Haven't seen much else about him. Will be be a linebacker or is UConn planning to use him elsewhere? Thanks. -- Jay.

A: UConn wants Sio as a linebacker, even though he hasn't played the position since he was a freshman in high school. He's big, strong and athletic, the perfect makeup for the position. He's obviously an under-the-radar type, but that's mainly because he spent last season as a fullback, blocking for a talented sophomore named Kevin Fogg, who rushed for 1,554 yards and 16 touchdowns. Moore had one game where he got carries, and went for 160 yards on 20 carries with a couple of TDs, and caught a 25-yard TD pass in another. But that was about it. UConn wasted no time with an offer after watching him at their camp, which says they must have been pretty impressed with where he is and what they think his potential might be.

Big East Media Day starts Monday in Newport, R.I. Got any questions? Send them to cmalafronte@nhregister.com.


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