PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01: Sean Marshall #45 is pulled from the game by Manager Dusty Baker #12 of the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Rockies have talked to Reds about Marshall
The deal appeared close on Monday night, but is idling now. Marshall, a 6-foot-7, 225-pounder, was one of the National League’s most durable and effective relievers from 2010 through 2012, appearing in 231 games. However, he was limited to 16 games a year ago because of shoulder issues. Marshall, 31, is under contract for the next two seasons at $12 million. That’s a reasonable figure, if he’s healthy.
Listen to what Sean told me about his health on Friday night on Sportstalk from Redsfest
Hour 1: General Manager Walt Jocketty, Ryan Ludwick, Sean Marshall, David Holmberg, and Manny Parra.
Sheldon: Reds engage in talks, but no deals yet
Yankees have inquired aboutHomer Bailey
Latest Arroyo steam: Mets and Reds making strong pushes. No new #MNTwins steam. No offer made by Twins, I hear. Not sure on other two.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) December 10, 2013
Price embraces high expectations
Mark Sheldon, MLB.com
How does a team like the Reds take the next step? Price suggested first looking at the Red Sox and Cardinals, who reached the World Series this year. He liked how both teams grinded and did not take stretches of games off and understood the importance of every at-bat and opportunity.
The Reds also need to look within to find what was missing from their performances.
Price on Chapman/MLB Radio
Source tells me free agent pitcher Bronson Arroyo is very interested in #Pirates. I hear club is interested, too.— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) December 9, 2013
Rangers meet with Choo
Dallas Morning News
According to a major league source, the Rangers met with Choo’s representative, Scott Boras, for the second time this off-season Monday. But they also had an “amicable” meeting with Adam Katz, who represents Nelson Cruz. And there is always the possibility that Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be “posted” soon, which could completely overhaul the team’s priorities.
Brett Gardner could be tradedas Yankees try to fill holes
On this date:
Sunday afternoon, December 10, 1989
1989 NFL Week 14
Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) versus Seattle Seahawks (5-8)
From Steven Sharp:
The Bengals entered the game as 10.0-point favorites at home, but the visiting Seattle Seahawks had other plans, winning 24-17, on a snowy day in Cincinnati. During a drive, several fans began throwing snowballs toward Seahawks players prior to a play to be run near their goal line. Bengals head coach Sam Wyche ran across the field to Tom Kinder (the Bengals on-field public-address announcer) and used his microphone to admonish those fans by telling fans to point out anyone doing this so that the offenders could be expelled from the stadium. While Wyche's comments excited the fans in attendance, it wasn't enough to inspire his team to victory. The Seahawks scored a tie-breaking touchdown with 3:51 left in the fourth quarter, and the ensuing Bengals drive was stopped on fourth down, as the Seahawks won 24-17.
One week earlier, the Bengals went on the road and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 21-0. Perhaps the Dawg Pound at Cleveland Stadium was still on Sam Wyche's mind that afternoon. Cincinnati Bengals public address announcer Tom Kinder was one of the few public address announcers in the NFL (perhaps the only one) who worked from the sideline rather than from the pressbox. Tom Kinder passed away in April 2005, after serving as the Bengals P.A. announcer for the franchise's first 37 seasons.
As Seg would say, the Holy Grail Banks was "packed and stacked" Monday night for Bengals Line. We had a record breaking crowd. Thanks to our special guests: AJ Green and Devon Still.
Quotes of note:
Lap: AJ Green is the most humble superstar I've ever met.
AJ on blocking: I don't want to let guys down. I don't want them to say, 'don't run to his side, he won't make the block."
AJ: Some guys come into this league to be good, I want to put on that jacket, I want to be great.
Devon: "we have good players on the field, but they are even better people off the field."
Listen to podcast here:
Hour 1: Devon Still
Hour 2: Marvin Lewis, 7:05.....AJ Green 7:30
AJ arrived around 7:30. He took a group of kids shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods with Jermaine Gresham, BenJarus Green-Ellis and Carlos Dunlap.
Hour 3: AJ Green until 8:30
6:05, Reds Hot Stove
6:30, Xavier basketball vs Evansville
(Courtesty: Lokomotiv Kuban)
Former Xavier Musketeer Derrick Brown is playing in Russia.
Brown was named MVP of the Russian Professional League for November.
"Brown finished as the Euroleague’s fourth-best scorer in November, with 18 points per game, while also contributing heavily on defense, posting 24 rebounds, 6 blocks and 5 steals. He did all of it with a true shooting percentage of 67.29%."
Brown was a 2nd round pick (40th overall) of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2009.
He appeared in 171 NBA games, averaging 5.2 points per game.
From Brad Moorhead: I made this 30 for 30 trailer for my C251 class at Indiana University.
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 08: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs for a touchdown during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Next three weeks are key for Bengals
Coley Harvey, ESPN.com
Playoff berths are on the line and other postseason prizes are at stake, too. If the Bengals win all of their final games games and end the regular season on a 6-0 winning streak, they have a strong chance at claiming the AFC's No. 2 playoff seeding -- along with the first-round bye and home-field advantage that would come along with it.
Terence Newman expected to miss 1-3 weeks
Reedy's report card
CBS: Texans should consider Mike Zimmer
Bengals depth pulls ranks
As the Bengals built their team in the offseason, the pundits insisted that head coach Marvin Lewis had the deepest of his 11 teams and that Cincinnati had one of the deepest depth charts in the NFL. Everyone now seems vindicated looking at the league stats heading into Week 15 that came out Monday morning with the Bengals and Saints the only teams ranked in the top 10 in both offense and defense in a week Cincinnati can clinch the AFC North title.
It’s difficult to single out any one performance on the Bengal offense with how many great ones there were; the O-line was sensational, Gio Bernard continues to make a case for offensive rookie of the year, but how about the play of Jermaine Gresham. The tight end had what may have been the best all-around game of his career, grading at +4.6, solid in all three phases on offense.
Dalton delivers another win
Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch
Three seasons and 28 victories into his NFL career, the daily debate about Andy Dalton shows no signs of dipping below hurricane force.
Sports Talk quotes of note from Friday Night's Redsfest
Here are things said during Sports Talk Friday night:
I tweeted these comments throughout the weekend, so pardon the limit of 140 characters.
*I truly hope Brandon's going to be as important to this team, this season, as he has in past.
*There was no concerted effort to place Brandon elsewhere.
*Brandon is a very integral part of our ballclub. Until that doesn't happen, that's the case.
*Castellini on Chapman role: I think Bryan has an open mind, and probably 85% of the decision is going to be Bryan's.
*My vision is to have Aroldis come in 5x at GABP w/ game tied 9th, K side, & then Billy Hamilton steal home to win it.
*On BP: "A couple of teams have inquired, but things didn't go very far"
*"Whether it's BP or another player, if a team comes to me with a proposal that makes us better, I have to consider it," Walt Jocketty:
*Does Cano signing impact this in any way? : "No, not at all, we weren't talking to either club,
*On Billy: Right now he's our CF.
*D & everything, else we know he do that and be a tremendous defensive CF for us.…
*Walt told me best option for bat is probably trade, "if we do sign a FA, it would be a lower level FA, not the huge $ we've seen.
*We'd love 2 have Choo. He'd like to come back. But he has to do what he has to do. It unfortunately may not work out for us
*The recent signings have put us behind, it's crazy the $ being spent. It would be difficult. We love to have him (Choo) back"
*Walt reached out 2 Homer's agent last week. Wants to sit down/work something out. Rep'd by tough group. Will do everyting can.
*On a Billy: right now he's our CF.
*On Billy: In next month-6 weeks we are going to have him work on perfecting his bunting. That is a huge tool.
*Walt got a call during our interview, he looked at phone and click ignore, said it was an agent.
*Getting healthy, stronger, feeling able to run/jump like I did before, is my biggest priority. I'm excited to come back.
*Votto asked me about Twitter, "it's really tempting, I have so many things I want to throw out there, but no, I'm not going to."
*Votto asked me about the terminology of Twitter, "would it be to Tweet?"
*Votto told me very poor baserunner/defense when drafted at 18. Took ton of pride in being very best. Last yr frustrating in both areas.
*Votto said base running/defense last yr more frustrating than his hitting, although fans thought it was about driving in more run.
*Votto quoted me his K looking stats I ask him about over a month ago, he remembered the stat better than I did.
*On Mesoraco: Much easier to be young catcher on a team transitioning. Very difficult to be young catcher on a veteran staff.
*Price said '13 growth of Mez was "huge". Added toughest thing to do is be 1st x catcher on a team that's expected to win.
*On Mesoraco: He came in during 2012 and told me he was 0-10 in games he'd caught. It really affected him
*Price mentioned LH facing RH, RH vs LH late: Say I take Sean out & bring in another arm, 2 guys are tired next day, instead of 1.
*On Chapman: There's going to be times we get the last 2 out of the 8th and we say, run the table in the 9th
*Me: If Opening Day was tomorrow, could you be this team's CF? Billy Hamilton: I am ready.
*Billy told me his teammates were really helpful in September, showing him ropes. Said BP took him in, like a little brother.
*Billy: I'm a good bunter, but there is always room to get better. I'm going to start working with some guys that bunt really well."
*Billy told me Reds want him to add weight. He's at 160lbs/would like to add 10-15 lbs.
*Billy told me he ate beans, rice, and chicken everyday in Puerto Rico for winter ball, trying to add weight.
*Cozart on why 0 SB '13, after going 30 of 32 AAA: "I wonder that as well. But you've got to get the green light steal."
*Graves said when 1st came to Reds, Lenny Harris asked him to make him a sandwich, thought he was clubhouse guy.
*Graves said knew had arrived as ESPN baseball broadcaster when Marty sent text, "nice job", during one of his games.
Sean said it got to 50/50 on surgery towards end of year....went with rehab. Fells good.
Ryank: fans will love Skip, he's a balls to the wall kind of guy. I call him Mighty Mouse.
I say it every year, there cannot be another organization that does what the Reds do with an event like Redsfest. Sure it snowed, sure it kept some fans away, but it was still a grand slam.
I marvel at the time, planning, commitment and execution required for an event like this.
I'm not sure fans fully appreciate that players leave their families, and travel in the middle of their offseason, to attend Redsfest. Many of those players turn right around and come back for the caravan. I enjoy our Friday night Sports Talk show more than any show of the year. I sat on a stage and talked to 15 players and members of the organization. Thanks to Reds Director Media Relations Rob Butcher and Seg for making the show a well oiled machine. I had a guest every segment of the show, no down time, no waiting. Thanks to all the listeners that gathered in our gallery to watch the show, some spent all three hours with us!
Well done, all the way around. I think Mr. Castellini told me they had 5,000 fans Friday night, down from a normal 10,000 or so. But I'll be honest, I kind of enjoyed the room to walk around. Friday was a perfect night for kids. At one point, there were four people in the Aroldis Chapman photo line and no waiting to hit wiffle-balls. I almost wonder if the Reds could/should make one of the two days a kids only? Or at least split Saturday in half, making it kids only 11am-2pm?
Did you attend Redsfest? What did you like? What would you change or add? Join the discussion below.
The scene Friday night at Redsfest.
This guy bought a base!
The Budweiser Bar had Willie's show on Friday afternoon!
Coolest thing I saw: The new season ticket holder lounge. A little funky on the eyes, but want a nice touch for season ticket holders.
More of the season ticket holder lounge on the second floor.
The scene at Redsfest Friday night.
Look who I ran into, Fullrock! David Fulcher had a booth! He told me he's lost 75 pounds.
Step right up, now waiting Friday night!
Click here: Photos from Redsfest 2013 Check out gallery of guests that joined us on Sports Talk
Sportstalk from Redsfest Hour 1:
Lance live from Redsfest speaks with General Manager Walt Jocketty, Ryan Ludwick, Sean Marshall, David Holmberg, and Manny Parra.
Sportstalk from Redsfest hour 2:
Lance live from Redsfest talks with Joe Oliver, Dmitri Young, Danny Graves, Joey Votto, J.J. Hoover, and Ron Oester.
Sports Talk from Redsfest Hour 3
Lance live from Redsfest talks with Zack Cozart, Owner and CEO Bob Castellini, Bryan Price, and Billy Hamilton.
As I sat at the UC game last night, I found myself wondering what others seemed to be wondering: Where was everybody? The Bearcats played before a season low crowd of 5,113.
UC is averaging 6,140 per game, 46.5% capacity of 5th/3rd Arena. Mick Cronin even expressed alarm over UC's lack of ticket sales for the Crosstown Classic during his postgame last night, "we need to start selling our allotment."
UC basketball attendance this year:
6, 532 North Carolina Central
7,028 North Carolina State
6,194 Appalachian State
6,627 Kennesaw State
5,113 USC Upstate
I've attended four of seven games this season. Twice I sat court-side, as a member of the media, twice I bought tickets and sat in the upper level with Casey. During those four games I've taken notes and made observations about the team, crowd, arena, marketing/promotion, and the in-game experience at 5th/3rd arena. I've talked with alums, current and former season ticket holders and former players.
I believe UC's ticket and marketing departments have done a really nice job with their Radio/TV/billboard campaign, and offering affordable ticket packages.
Red & Black Pack: 9 conference home games including Louisville & Memphis in the Bearcat Lair (Upper Level Bleachers) for $125....an average of $13.88 per game.
Starting 5 Plan: Seats in the Upper Level Chairbacks for one (1) premium game (Memphis or Louisville) and any other four (4) home games for $125....an average of $25 per game.
I believe this team is fun to watch. The Bearcats are 7-0, with one of the best to ever play at UC in Sean Kilpatrick, a fun/emotional Justin Jackson, and a freshman class loaded with potential. The Bearcats are 81-32 (.717) in the last three plus seasons, with three trips to the NCAA tournament and a Sweet 16 appearance.
But the reality, not enough fans want to attend a UC game. That is not on the fans, that is on UC. It is up to the school to make fans want to attend games and experience UC basketball. In order to do that, UC basketball needs adjustments/improvements to the facility, schedule and in-game experience. Here is a list of ideas I've come up with:
Main points of emphasis: 5th/3rd Arena renovation, non-conference scheduling, TV package, ticket prices, in-game experience.
The place is a wreck from a design standpoint, with too much dead space and too many bad vantage points. Tear out the lower level seats and start over. Play at US Bank Arena while renovation is done. Make the lower level a bowl configuration, filling the wasted space in the V shaped open corners of the lower level with seats. Replace the seats in the upper level, they are hard and uncomfortable. The upper level seats without seat backs, need seat backs. Heck, I've paid for seats where I can't even see the other end of the court. Fans in most of the arena can't see the giant inflatable Bearcat the players run out of. We can debate what/how renovation should take place, I think all would agree renovation must happen.
I'm certainly open to US Bank Arena. As Athletic Director Whit Babcock told me, "If they built the Taj Mahal there, we've certainly have to consider it." I could see a marketing campaign of "Bearcats at The Banks!". I could see a Bearcats Happy Hour, involving Holy Grail and the other locations at The Banks.
Non-conference schedule: UC simply must upgrade the non-conference schedule. UC can't continue to schedule the likes of Campbell, Appalachian State, North Carolina Central, UMass-Lowell, Kennesaw State, USC Upstate, and Chicago State. Mick is correct when he called USC Upstate a quality opponent, quality in terms of an RPI win, but not quality in terms of fan perception. The schedule has already taken a big hit with the move from the Big East to the American Athletic Conference.
At the very least schedule area teams such as Dayton, Wright State, Western Kentucky, Indiana, Butler, Purdue, Ball State, Valpo, Indiana State, Evansville, Ohio. Fans of some of those teams might even travel to see the game.
Ticket prices: Drop the price of upper level seats with backs from $22 to $15/$10. Drop price of non seat backs to $7. Saturday we sat in section 206, Row 5 for Kennesaw State. I paid $50, including service fee. That price has to come down. Offer more in-game Red-Black Deals. During Saturday's game UC made a video board offer of $5 tickets for all remaining home games (excluding UL). Fantastic idea. Offer various future game ticket deals for fans in attendance, available for purchase during the game at the ticket office.
TV package: Do whatever it takes to get non-conference games on TV. The reality is that fans perceive a game not on TV to be a game that doesn't matter. It is difficult to get exposure for your product, create early season interest and grow a fan base when games are not on TV or stuck on ESPN3.
Upgrade in-game experience: No offense, but the dance team, delivering a pizza to the stands and t-shirt tosses don't cut it.
Consider the following……
Bearcat Happy Hour: Add pre-game activities that run one hour prior to tipoff, until tipoff. Included food/drink specials, bring in former Bearcats for photos/autographs on concourse, invite and rotate area bands to perform on concourse before weekend games. Make it a party.
Halftime entertainment: Bring in acts from the Zooperstars to frisbee catching dogs, Kyrstal Liu and the Red Panda Acrobats, the Jesse White Tumblers, and have youth basketball teams play games.
Giveaways: People like free stuff. I love the Keg of Nails giveaway for UC football Thursday night. Introduce a line of Bearcat Bobble-heads that include great players of the past, toss in UC schedule magnets, team photo posters, Bearcat Rally Towels, team cards commemorating various UC basketball teams of the past.
Grab and grow Bearcats:
*If you can get a child hooked on UC basketball today, you've got a shot at a fan for life.
*Bearcats GameStop Kids Zone: Create a hangout for kids with pop-a-shot and NBA2K video games. Let kids meet and get photos with Mr. Bearcat.
*Post-game Sign and Swish: After every weekend game, invite kids to shoot post-game free throws on the court and get autographs with selected UC players.
*Invite 10-20 area youth basketball teams to each game. Provide players with a free ticket and offer discount prices for parents/family. Mention the players on the scoreboard.
*Meijer High Five Club: Two youth teams get to form lines and high five UC starters during introductions. The two youth teams then play at halftime.
*Take A Kid to the Game: Bring a child (12 years or younger) to game and purchase general admission tickets for only $5.
*Kids make noise, that arena could use some noise.
*Add more video boards and add simple, fun stuff to get fans involved.
*Provide more scoring updates: NCAA, NFL, NBA, plus headlines.
*Improve/expand in-game scoreboard on end of courts. Instead of just listing the player jersey number/points/fouls, include players name, points, rebounds, fouls and assists.
*Phone trivia/contest: Every notice how many fans are looking at their phone during a game? Post UC trivia/games on the video board. Have fans answer on Twitter @GoBearcats or text to win prizes.
*Skyline 80 point Promotion: Fans get voucher for free cheese coney when Bearcats score 80 points.
*Skyline Chili contest: Which basketball is the 3-way under? Correct answer by fan means free Skyline for the row.
*Fan Struggle for the Steak: Fans in attendance text how many points UC will score prior to tipoff. Fan that guesses correctly gets dinner at Jeff Ruby's.
*Guess the Attendance: Fan text their guess of how many fans are in attendance and win a Bearcats prize pack and four tickets to a future game.
*Video board Player Q/A: 30-second recorded video bits with players answering funny questions to reveal things about themselves.
*Video board Coach Speak: :30 recorded videos bits with various UC coaches inviting fans to attend their upcoming game/answering fun Q/A about themselves.
In-game host: Hire an in-game host, (Xavier-Lindsay Patterson), to run contests/and do special guest interviews during timeouts. Kevin Youkiis was at Saturday's game. He was recognized by the PA announcer. Talk to him.
Dubois Bookstore Bearcat Book It: During timeouts, a UC student gets 30-seconds to shoot from various spots on floor. Each mat on the floor designates a $ amount. All winnings go towards books/supplies at Dubois bookstore.
Let's Move Down ticket app: Allow fans to bid on better seats and move down during game.
"Air Shuttle Paper Skies": During timeouts, drop coupons from ceiling of 5th/3rd. Fans grab for free stuff/discount coupons from UC sponsors.
The Staples Stat Pack: The media gets stat sheet updates throughout the game and have running stats available on laptops/iPdads. Give stat access to fans. Have ushers hand out complimentary pre-game, halftime and post-game stats or at least make them available at a designated spots in arena.
Montgomery Inn Bearcats Baseline Buffet Open the upper level dining area to all fans. Offer a pre-game/in-game buffet. It's sad to look up there during games and see it empty, sometimes dark.