Originally "THE Italian Guy" from Brooklyn, came to Florida almost 30 years ago. He fancies himself as a Hard Core NEW YORK YANKEE FAN, a big GIANTS FAN, and a die hard ORLANDO MAGIC FAN, for which he is the Team Dentist.
We once thought that much of his passion for competition came from being a contestant on "SURVIVOR AFRICA" in the third season of the HIT CBS TV Show, as one of the SAMBURU TRIBE. The story was that "the Doc" left the show because he felt the "Tribe" was the farm team for the Cleveland Indians; as a YANKEE FAN he had to leave!
“The Doc” is also an aficionado of fine Italian food and wine; he will debate the best views in sports from Basketball to Bocce...which is why he and Ace are still talking...and talking...and talking...
Doc has challenged the best from Howard Stern to Regis and Kelly...who's next?
A native of outside Pittsburgh and a longtime resident of Central Florida. He remains a longtime fan of THE STEELERS...THE GATORS...and THE MAGIC.
He comes from a long line of avid and very opinionated Italian sports guys that love to watch and debate sports stuff over a very large bowl of pasta and a glass of non store bought wine.
After many years of his wife having to listen to all this commentary, she asked “Ace” if maybe he might better enjoy his discord with someone that "better understands" his opinions… and maybe the discussions would be better understood with some pasta and wine...
So Ace and the Doc began the discussion over some Italian food and wine...and they haven't shut up since. Want to know what they’re still talking about? Or better yet, want to discuss it with them? Well, tune in from 1-3PM on ESPN 1080 and join the debate.
In August, 16 year old Anthony Burruto, one of Central-Florida’s own, appeared on the cover of ESPN Magazine’s where he was featured for athletic ability with bionic advancements in sports, his 80 mile per hour fastball, and killer curve ball. The typical reader would picture the Dr. Philips High sophomore as an aspiring role model for the future generation of physically challenged athletes.
But Mike Bradley sees differently.
However, as of February, the overachieving amputee whose been pitching and winning since he was 8 years old was cut from Dr. Phillip’s 2nd day of varsity baseball tryouts by coach Mike Bradley who claimed the student couldn’t field bunts.
Mike Bianchi, of the Orlando Sentinel’s point, on February 11, 2011, was stated as, “There’s more to the makeup and mentality of a team than just (expected) athletic ability.”
He’s the only kid in the country playing high school baseball playing on prosthetic legs. Anthony’s had games with 3 grand slams and 6 homeruns. He matriculated in Florida Travel Ball and even excelled at junior varsity at Dr. Phillips, only to be halted at that level by Coach Mike Bradley.
Valerie Boey of MyFoxOrlando.com interviewed Anthony’s prosthesis, Stan Patterson, who claims that Burruto wasn’t even given the chance to cover bunts at the team’s tryout, which makes Mike Bradley’s call seem speculative, and insensitive.
Anthony sports a mean, almost unhittable fastball and curve, and hasn’t had a problem excelling at the sport in 6 years, so the call on his inability to perform on the 2nd day of tryouts is suspicious, regardless of whether 23 players were cut the same day or not.
Burruto was featured on the cover of ESPN Magazine for a reason. He’s been playing for around 6 years and no other coach has had an issue with his athletic ability- in fact, he’s been praised and has received dozens of awards, trophies, and accolades. If he’d had a problem, he’d have worked on it and adjusted his game around his ability- not his disability.
At this point, Bradley offered Burruto a position as equipment manager, which is an insult to his athleticism, tenacity, and dedication to overcome his challenge.
Dr. Phillip’s principal, Gene Trochinski told the Orlando Sentinel, “He (Anthony) was given the same opportunity as everyone else. Unfortunately he wasn’t the only one who did not make the team. There were 23 others who tried out and didn’t make it…. At this level you try to win ballgames.”
On February 9, 2011, George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel pointed out that, “cutting Burruto for his lack of immediate mobility off the mound misses any number of competitive and educational points. Considering the fact that this is a “high school” baseball team, both are germane (irrelevant).”
No coach with respect for the sport would be so obsessed with winning that he’d order every player to bunt while Anthony is pitching.
Burruto’s mom, Diane made a point to the Sentinel saying, “Bradley isn’t looking at him like he’s an athlete,” he’s looking at him like he’s a disabled person.” And if that’s the case Bradley is discriminating against Anthony rather than giving him an honest chance to prove himself on the mound. If Anthony got a chance and made a bad show then he’d have a solid reason to stop pitching him, but that’s not the case.
Anthony isn’t looking for sympathy, he simply says, “I want to earn my position on the team.”
As long as Bradley doesn’t give Burruto a chance he’s giving ammunition to the masses that feel he’s being an insensitive coach who feels his ability to win games by rejecting an athlete who can surely prove himself an asset who legitimately deserves a chance to compete.
In the view of federal funding, maybe Dr. Phillips could be protecting itself from an insurance standpoint? His parents are disturbed either way. Sports should be about teamwork, so the bunting argument is irrelevant. If you’ve ever heard of Jim Abbott, you know that a team is self-supporting? Anthony may have been preemptively cut, and not for his inability to field bunts, but for Mike Bradley’s concern about his ability to perform in a capacity that’s never been an issue before.