Topics for discussion:
Reds: Does chemistry matter?
Bengals: Would you like to see the Bengals retire uniform numbers?
Soccer at GABP/PBS?: Would you attend a Premier League soccer game in Cincinnati?
Starting an NBA franchise: Check out who Phil Jackson says he'd pick. How about you?
Best records in MLB: 3 of top 4 in NL Central
1. Cardinals 30-16 (.652)
2. Rangers 30-17 (.638)
3. Reds 29-18 (.617)
3. Pirates 29-18 (.617)
Run differential: +/- runs scored vs runs allowed
(USA Today Sports Images)
We Are Family
Howard Medgal, Sports on Earth
"It's been pretty cool," Mesoraco said as we chatted in front of his locker. "It's kind of come in waves, Jay and Joey and Homer and those guys first, then me, Frazier and Cozart all came up together, pretty much. We were all drafted in '07, played a couple of years together. And I think if you play together, you're familiar with the way you play. Everybody knows each other's games."
X marks the spot
(The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II)
Xavier Paul seizes opportunity
John Fay, Enquirer
There’s nothing particularly flashy about Paul’s game. He has average speed, average power and an average arm.
But Paul does something that few on this Reds team do: He grinds out consistently good at-bats. Paul’s on-base percentage is .383. That’s third on the team behind Joey Votto and Shin-Soo Choo.
Enquirer: With great relish, Reds welcome new mustard
Who are they beating? What's it to you?
Maybe you've heard, the Reds are 6-13 vs teams with a winning record and 23-5 vs teams with a losing record. The 6-13 seems to be a big talking point for some.
Record by +.500 opponents:
But what about these talking points?
Reds beat Nationals 15-0, allowing just 5 H, pounding out 6 HR (most lopsided loss since return to DC in 2005
Beat Nationals/Stephen Straburg, pounding for 9 H, 6 R (season high/T-career high) in 5 IN
Beat Nationals 5-2, allowing just 5 hits, behind 11 K by Tony Cingrani
Rallied with 2 runs in bottom 8th and 2 runs in bottom 9th, before losing 7-6 (11) to Nats
Beat Cards 13-4, scoring 9 runs in the 9th
Beat Cards and Adam Wainright (2.38) 2-1
Beat Braves and Craig Kimbrel with back to back bottom 9th HR's
Lost 3-1 to Pirates on night Johnny Cueto was injured in 5th inning.
You can talk bad teams, but consider:
Beat Mets with Matt Harvey (1.51 entering game) allowing season high 9 H, 4 R in 6 innings
Beat Phillies in start by Cliff Lee (2.48) and two starts by Kyle Kenrick (2.82)
Beat Marlins twice in games started by hot-shot rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez
And, last, but not least, the Reds have climbed to 29-18 while losing Johnny Cueto (6 starts), Ryan Ludwick (Opening Day), Sean Marshall and Ryan Hanigan for stretches.
Flashback: In honor of Bronson starting tonight
Down on the Farm
Tony Cingrani dominated in his return to Triple-A Louisville last night:
“He came down here with the instructions to mix in a lot of off-speed stuff. He did that tonight,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “He mixed in his changeup and his slider with his fastball. He was a little frustrated. There were some ... balls that were just off the plate that he wasn’t getting. He got his pitch count up, but it was a good night.”
Hard to believe Reds have 5 better starters than Cingrani
Rick Bozich, WDRB
If the Cincinnati Reds have five better starting pitchers than Tony Cingrani, then I'm Derek Jeter. He is lean left-handed pitcher who wears his socks high and keeps his fastball low. Cingrani's delivery has the smooth, rhythmic flow of Barry Zito in his prime. His breaking ball is not as sharp as Zito's. But his fastball carries more sizzle. Cingrani is the type of pitching prospect that agents will be scrambling to represent.
Evidently somebody with the Cincinnati Reds does not agree – yet.
Cingrani at Triple-A: 19.1 IN, 5 H, 0 R, 6 BB, 31 K
Billy Hamilton: 2 for 6, 2 R, SB #24, hitting .318 last 10 games, .286 in May and up to .246 overall.
Q/A with Ted Power
Remember this guy?
(Michael Snyder, Enquirer)
Brandon Larson is 37 today. He was the Reds 1st round pick in 1997 (14th). Larson was the College World Series at LSU in 1997. He played parts of four MLB seasons (2001-04) for the Reds, hitting .179, 8 HR, 37 in 109 games. He was the Reds Opening Day 3B in 2003. The Houston Astros selected Lance Berkman with the 16th pick in 1997. He last played with the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League in 2008 where he hit .303 with 30 HR and 95 RBI.
Here is a story about Larson from two years ago.
Bengals sign another draft pick
The Bengals today signed S Shawn Williams of Georgia, their third-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Williams (6-0, 213) saw action in 54 games at Georgia and earned a reputation as one of the college game’s elite run-stoppers in the secondary. He ranked second with 98 tackles on a 12-2 team last season, and he led a 10-4 club in tackles (72) in 2011. The team captain also contributed significantly on special teams, with 23 career stops. Also as a senior, he was graded by Georgia coaches as having allowed only 16 completions in 62 passes into his area.
The Bengals have now signed nine of their 10 selections from the 2013 draft.
The Chicago Bears announced they will retire the #89 of Mike Ditka during a Monday Night Football halftime ceremony this season. Ditka becomes the 14th Chicago Bear to have his number retired. The 14 players is most by a franchise in NFL history. The Boston Celtics lead the NBA with 21 and New York Yankees lead MLB with 15. I really wish the Bengals would recognize history like this.
On this date: 2008
From Don Helbig, Kings Island
Today marks the fifth anniversary of daredevil Robbie Knievel's stunning motorcycle jump over 24 Coke Zero trucks in the parking lot at Kings Island. Flames fired up in the air and the crowd cheered as Knievel soared over 200 feet off a ramp nearly three stories high. Knievel dedicated the jump to his late father, Evel Knievel, who made a jump in the same parking lot at the park in 1975, traveling over 115 feet over 14 buses.
This is cool
A Jack Bauer like escape?
How about last night at Busch Stadium?
Would you attend a soccer match at GABP or PBS? Comment below.
48,236 jammed Busch Stadium for an English Premier League soccer match between rivals Manchester City and Chelsea last night. It was the largest crowd ever for a sporting event at Busch Stadium.
The former Bulls/Lakers coach has a new book out. He was asked which player in NBA history he would pick to start a franchise with. Listen to his answer at the 2:30 mark of the interview.
Who would you pick? Comment below.
Topics for discussion today:
Worried?: Reds are 23-5 vs teams with losing records/6-13 vs teams with winning records
Which way?: Reds Way vs Cards Way...which is better?
Here are the 20 types of depressed sports fans. Which one are you?
Would you rather watch sports in person or on the couch? See what the survey says.
Are you really going to tell me NBA action is not fantastic after watching this?
Is Andy Dalton just your average NFL QB?
Reds Way vs Cards Way
Much is being written about the St Louis Cardinals, their "way" and the direction of the franchise. What I find interesting is the St Louis change in direction began with the Cardinals firing of Walt Jocketty and the Reds change in direction escalated with the hiring of Walt Jocketty. The belief inside the Cardinals organization was that Walt's model was not sustainable. There was a philosophical divide. Not enough emphasis was being placed on drafting and developing and too much emphasis was on trading for players and using free agency. Walt engineered trades to bring the likes of Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, Darryl Kile, Larry Walker, Mark Mulder, Woody Williams, Will Clark, Scott Rolen, Chuck Finley and Edgar Renteria to St Louis. There was also a split within the St Louis organization about Walt's old school scouting/stats approach vs new school sabermetrics.
The Cardinals have made major decisions, such as choosing not to go toe to toe with the Angels for Albert Pujols. They instead, allowed a franchise legend to leave and redistribute his money. Today, the Cardinals have the best record in the NL and the best rated farm system in baseball. Their model has allowed them to create organizational depth and cover their losses to injury this year with ML ready prospects. 19 of 30 players that have appeared on the roster this year are homegrown. Despite two starting pitchers, their SS, and closer being on the DL, the Cards are 30-16. They have 11 wins this year from rookie staring pitchers.
Meanwhile, Jocketty came to Cincinnati and added to a foundation laid by Dan O'Brien and Wayne Krivsky and engineered a turnaround of the franchise. The Reds broke a string of nine consecutive winning season and have now made the playoffs two of the last three seasons. Like in St Louis, Walt opted to parlay minor league prospects into major league pieces with deals for Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos, Sean Marshall and Jonathon Broxton. He's dipped his toe into the free agency waters with Ryan Ludwick and veteran pieces (Cairo, Hannahan). He's scrounged up pieces like Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson. The moves bolstered the ML roster, but depleted the depth from the minor league system. Injury replacements parts have ranged from Willie Harris, Mike Constanzo and Corky Miller on the low end to Donald Lutz and Tony Cingrani on the higher end. The system cupboard is not bare, it's just more of the talent sits lower in the system at the moment. Walt also expanded the organization scouting reach around the globe. Walt's biggest decisions include opting to spend $250-million to keep Joey Votto and nearly $70-million on Brandon Phillips. Tough questions and potential big dollars remain with players like Homer Bailey and Mat Latos and the futures of Shin-Soo Choo and Billy Hamilton.
Both organizations are having success.
Cards: 385-309 .555. (2009-2013)
3 playoff appearances
Won 2011 World Series
Lost in 2009 NLDS, lost in 2012 NLCS.
Reds: 374-321 .538 (2009-2013)
2 playoff appearances
Lost 2010 NLCS, lost 2012 NLCS
Is one way better than the other going forward?
Cards success starts at the top
Bernie Miklasz, St Louis Post-Dispatch
“From a strategic standpoint, the organization shifted gears,” Mozeliak said. “Bill was the one that was very aware that we did not have a sustainable model. He believed that for us to have success, we had to look at this more organically than just simply ‘free-agent market, trade market.’ So he changed it.”
Cards know how to fill in the gaps
Derrick Goold, St Louis Post Dispatch
“We have more flexibility today than we did five or six years ago in terms of how we operate,” Mozeliak said. “The reason is we’re having such success being able to bring players up. This organization’s way now of staying healthy is not being tied to those outside markets to fill needs. I feel like the way we’ve managed this to date has allowed us to be flexible in any way of thinking. … Having some young players step up like they are now gives us additional flexibility when we’re going to need it.”
Votto forges bond with Rose
"Early in my career, Pete kept an eye on me," Votto said, "and the one piece of advice he gave me was, 'When you get the second hit, get the third hit. And when you get the third hit, get the fourth hit. And when you get the fourth hit, get the fifth hit.' That really stuck with me, because it's a genuine challenge when you're tired, or you're sick, or the score is mismatched, or you're facing a tough pitcher, or you're not in a good mood that day. Whatever it is."
Mets may Choo fat next year
Choo said he hasn’t given much thought to where he could be next season. But when asked if he could see himself in Flushing next season, he didn’t rule it out.
“With New York, you never know. If I have a good opportunity, I’ll take it,” he said.
Arroyo's last stand
Matt Steinmann, MLBReports.com
Bronson Arroyo is in the final year of a contract with the Reds and Wily Mo Pena is in the Japanese League. With all the talk from fans for the team to sign Shin-Soo Choo to a long term deal, the name not being mentioned is Bronson Arroyo.
Wow: Heartbreaking and Heroic....46 photos of the tornado
We are in!
I'm taking Peyton to see the Columbus Crew vs Houston Dynamo next Saturday night.
Pick which of the 20 types of fan you are and comment below.
The 20 Types of Depressed Sports Fans
There’s no right or wrong way to react to the sight of your favorite team self-destructing on national television. But through the years, fans seemed to have developed a variety of methods for handling it. The next time you have to sit through a sports disaster for the ages, here are 20 different types of unhappy sports fans you might find yourself in the room with.
1. The fans who punches a wall
This guy (and it’s almost certainly going to be a guy) reacts to a devastating loss with physical violence. Usually that comes in the form of a wall-punch, though occasionally he’ll mix in a double-palmed coffee table slam or a pulverized remote control. This will be followed by an uncomfortable silence as everyone slowly inches away from him. Eventually, somebody may try to break the tension by offering him a drink or complimenting his Ed Hardy shirt.
20. The fan who manages to maintain perspective
Yes, this fan is disappointed in the outcome of the game. But he also understands that a game played by a collection of strangers is not going to have any impact on the truly important things in his life, like his health, his friendships and his family. Put simply, he understands that there are higher priorities in the world than who wins or loses a sporting event.
I’ve been watching sports for over 30 years and have never met this fan, but I suppose it’s theoretically possible that they could exist.
Which viewing venue do you prefer: At home or at the game?
What most keeps you from going to a game?
ESPN Sports Poll:52% of Americans now say they'd rather watch a sport on TV vs attend in person
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 15, 2013
POLL RESULTS: 12.6% say the main reason they don't see their team live is because home viewing is better http://sprts.bz/YJMxMY— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 15, 2013