Chiefs cover the bases; Time turns 90

— Jason Smorol, the new Syracuse Chiefs general manager who lives in Liverpool, really seems to have the old International League ballclub swinging for the fences.

Just in time for the Christmas shopping rush, he forged a deal with Destiny USA to set up a Holiday Kiosk located in the New Canyon area by Cantina Laredo and The Melting Pot to sell season tickets and souvenirs.

Back before the snow started flying, Smorol lowered ticket prices, and he recently signed on with Cumulus Radio for live broadcast of all Chiefs baseball games on the Score 1260 AM. Last season, the games could be heard online only.

Then, last Wednesday, Dec. 18, Smorol stood alongside Washington Nationals General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo at the Crowne Plaza Hotel down city. The two baseball GMs jointly announce a four-year extension of the Syracuse-D.C. player-development contract.

Despite these early accomplishments, Smorol refuses to rest. “We’re going to continue to listen to our fans,” he said, “and we’re continuing to build partnerships.”

Rizzo reminded reporters that he had the utmost respect for the Chiefs’ previous management. He didn’t mention the Simone family name, but Rizzo said, “We certainly respected their professionalism.” Nevertheless, the major-league GM said the new management group headed by Chiefs President Bill Dutch has “strengthened the comfort level and confidence” Washington feels toward its Triple-A franchise.

Over the initial four years of the affiliation, the Nationals won their first-ever National League East Championship in 2012. That season, 34 former Chiefs suited up for the big-league club. Washington’s current 40-man roster includes 28 players who previously played for Syracuse.

Benetti back on radio

BTW, Chiefs’ broadcaster Jason Benetti also lives in Liverpool. He’s busy right now announcing American Athletic Conference basketball games on ESPNU radio, but in April he’ll be back behind the Score 1260 microphone at NBT Bank Stadium.

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