Say goodbye to Norman Sas, the inventor of Electric Football
Norman Sas, a former longtime resident of Alpine invented Electric Football in 1948 and introduced it a year later. But it wasn’t until 1967, when he signed a deal with NFL Properties, the National Football League’s product licensing division, that the plastic players represented actual NFL teams and Electric Football really took off.
Mr. Sas, who died June 28 at age 87, was "one of the real innovators of toy land," said Chris Byrne, content director of timetoplaymag.com, the toy review website.
Grade 'em at the break
Which players get which grades at the midway point of the season?
Also give Dusty a grade. What did each player do compared to your expectations?
*Votto: Do I really need to make a case?
*Cueto: 10-3 and has already topped '12 win total (9). 2 wins from tying career high.
*Chapman: Dominant for all but a handful of games
*Phillips: Moved to cleanup after injury has delivered 50 RBI...including 27 in 27 game stretch.
*Bruce: Leads team with 56 RBI, despite hitting .211 last 50 games
*Frazier: Where would they be without him?
*Cozart: Leads NL rookies multi hit games (24), runs (45), hits (81), extra base hits (31), doubles (21), T-HR (9), . Too bad he's had to bat leadoff.
*Hanigan: Performance has dipped of late, but still solid
*Ondrusek: Dominant early, probably overused, then hit a funk. Still only 3 of 32 inherited runners have scored.
*Arredondo: Seems like he walks 1st guy every game. But other than 3 runs in 2nd appearance of season has 1.29 ERA in 36 appearances.
*Bailey: Has stayed healthy. Did suffer 5 start funk around a really solid first half.
*Latos: Poor April seems a long time again.
*Arroyo: 10 QS in 17. So much better than '11.
*Leake: 0-5 first six starts 7.11, last 10 starts 3-1 2.55
*Marshall: Lost closers role, gave up 1 run in next 19 appearances, has allowed back breaking HRs. Allowed more HR (4) than previous two years combined (3).
*Ludwick: Really poor early, big lift since mid May. Hitting just .239, but 12 HR(3rd), 34 RBI(4th). Has .911 OPS since May 20.
*LeCure: Solid in a tough role
*Mesoraco: Tough to judge with limited playing time. Improving with pitchers. Thrown out 4 last 8 SBA. Big hits of late.
*Simon: Deserves higher but pitched in mostly losing games. Yet 1.23 ERA over last 18 appearances. 9x pitched 2 innings+.
*Heisey: Up and down: .214 April, .321 May, .228 June, .357 July. Power really dropped off: '11 SLG .487/'12 SLG .390. 4 for 9 as PH.
Valdez: Really poor early, but hit .300 in June (10 of 30), helped in CF
*Stubbs: Maddening. Has hit .191 since April 28. Still has 17 SB, good glove and got rolling in 2nd spot for a stretch.
*Rolen: Really poor
*Cairo: A duplicate part
Guided team around losses to Madson, Bray and Masset and early 4-8 start and five game deficit. Had team in first place for 41 straight days. Had best record in MLB for a 53 game stretch. Still shake my head over fan belief he's responsible for the losses and gets no credit for the wins. As scout told me, "have you looked at the roster? He had them in first, what do fans want?"
I'll refer to my fallback line. How do you argue the results?
Dusty has worked around no bench/LH bats. He continues to be handcuffed with short roster due to injuries. Some days he's using three rookies in starting lineup, including rookies at two most important positions on field.
He still frustrates with desire to ride cold bats to get them hot. Unless Jocketty upgrades the roster the Heisey/Frazier vs Stubbs/Rolen decision may decide the season. It's time to return Phillips to leadoff. BP hit .350 there over final 38 games of last season, did it in the spring, and did it in regular season prior to injury. If that means Frazier to cleanup then so be it.
Reds began the trip with a two game lead over St Louis and Pittsburgh
Reds end the trip one game back of Pittsburgh in second place.
They lost 3 in a row..scoring 1,1,1
They won 3 in a row to end the trip
Votto: 1 RBI on the (10 for 32 .313)
Phillips: 2 RBI on trip (9 for 41 .220)
Rolen: 0 for 11, 5K, 4 games
Frazier: 11 for 32 .344, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Stubbs: 3 for 40 .075, 2 RBI
Bruce: 10 for 37 .270, HR, 5 RBI
Mesoraco: 5 for 16 .313, HR, 5 RBI
Heisey: 5 for 15 .333, HR, 4 RBI
Cozart: 12 for 46 .261, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Fay: Baker bristles at Frazier question
Rolen needs to spend the next 4 days weighing the value of family time vs the risk of embarrassing himself.
He was 0 for 11, 5K, in 4 games on the trip and 0 for his last 19, 11 K overall.
It's uncomfortable watching him. The debate is not if he should play everyday, it should be if he can help as a bench player. The fact remains that with few options at AAA he's still their best option as a bench guy, late inning replacement, and spot starter for Todd Frazier.
As I watch Rolen I think of Mike Schmidt. He retired during the season, in May of 1989, at the age of 39.
Schmidt was struggling: .203-.297-.373-.668 with 6 HR, 28 RBI in 148 AB.
Rolen at the All-Star break: .178-.241-.302-.543 with 3 HR, 16 RBI in 129 AB
Rolen since Opening Day 2011: .203-.297-.373/.668 in 107 games.
Below is a look back at what Schmidt said at the time:
First half notes
Pace: 89.5 wins
5 games out on April 18
4 games up on June 15-17
1 game out at All-Star break
R 358 (17th)
BA .248 (20th
OBP .314 (20th)
RISP .236 (25th)
ERA 3.39 (4th)
Starters 3.64 (4th)
Bullpen 2.77 (3rd)
Todd Frazier: 9 HR, 29 RBI, 2nd on team in SLG/OPS. Didn't join team til April 17
JJ Hoover: Filled in well when Billy Bray went on DL. 17 games, 3.00 ERA
Scott Rolen: Difficult to watch
Drew Stubbs: Has suffered through 0-19 and 0-32 slumps
Walt's LH bats for bench: Harris 5 for 44, Costanzo 1 for 18.
Wilson Valdez started in CF three games with injuries to Stubbs/Heisey. Reds 3-0.
Mat Latos. April ERA of 5.97, ERA of 3.43 since. Has not lost since April 18. 7-2 overall.
Mike Leake: survived fan call for his demotion after 0-5 start.
Better than fans give credit:
Homer Bailey: 12 quality starts in 17 starts, 2nd on team
6 straight wins: May 19-May 24...2 vs Yankees, 4 game sweep Braves
6 straight wins: June 12-June 17: 3 vs Indians, 3 vs Mets (38-27 +11)
4-8 start to season...5 games out
Lost 5 of 6 June 18-June 22...swept at Cleveland, lost 2 of 3 vs Twins
Lost 3 row July 3-5.....losing 3-1, 4-1 at LA, 2-1 at SD
May 3 at GABP, down 3-0 to Cubs in 9th Reds rally to tie and then win in 10th on Rolen sac fly.
May 13 at GABP, Reds score 2 in 8th, 4 in 9th to beat Nationals. Votto walk off Grand Slam caps 3 HR day and ends rain delayed Mother's Day.
May 23 at GABP, Frazier walk off HR beats Braves 2-1
July 2 in LA, Reds beat Dodgers LA 8-2, playing without Votto, Rolen and losing Cozart after hit by pitch.
July 6 at SD, Arroyo tosses complete game shutout over Padres to snap 3-game skid on West Coast
April 18 at St Louis, 11-1 loss with Mat Latos on mound...dropped 5 games out
April 26 at GABP, Angel Pagan hits 3-run HR off Marshall in 9th to rally Giants to 6-5 win. Reds led 5-3 in 9th. Miss sweep of Giants.
June 10 at GABP, Tigers score 4 in 8th to rally and win 6-3 on ESPN Sunday night baseball.
June 19 at Cleveland, Asdrubal Cabrera homers off Chapman to beat Reds 3-2 10 innings.
July 1 at SF, Jay Bruce misplays Pagan fly ball. Giants win 4-3. Reds miss taking 3 of 4, settle for split.
Best pitcher's duel:
May 9, 2-1 win over Brewers. Cueto vs Grienke scoreless to 9th when Reds score twice. Chapman bailed out Marshall for save.
Most bizarre moment:
June 26 at GABP, Aroldis Chapman somersaults to celebrate save over Brewers.
Reds lead MLB with seven complete games. Reds only MLB team with a complete game from alll five starters.
Reds 30-2 when Drew Stubbs scores a run
Reds 11-5 when Wilson Valdez starts
Reds production at leadoff:
BA .203 (30th), OBP .247 (29th), .318 SLG (28th), OPS .555 (28th)
Bruce, Ludwick power Reds past Padres
San Diego, CA – Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning Sunday to power the Cincinnati Reds past the San Diego Padres, 4-2, in the finale of a four-game set.
Brandon Phillips added three hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Reds, who won the last three games of the series and head into the All-Star break in second place in the NL Central with a 47-38 record.
Cincinnati hit 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 12 man on base..
Hitting, hitting, hitting
Tigers hitting coach feeling heat for punchless Tigers offense
Cubs interim hitting coach Rowsom to get serious consideration for '13
What they are saying in Pittsburgh
Futures Game: Billy Hamilton
Observation: Why would MLB choose to showcase their rising minor league talent on a day with a full MLB schedule? I was trying to watch Billy Hamilton and had to keep flipping back and forth between Hamilton and the Reds. Why not put the Futures Game in the Sunday night ESPN MLB slot? The Yankees-Red Sox played Sunday night. Why play a Sunday night MLB game and delay the start of the All-Star break for two MLB teams?
Wall Street Journal: Billy Hamilton stealing the spotlight
CBS Sports: Hamilton gunning for Vince Coleman's record
Billy Hamilton 2009 Bowman Rookie Card
Saw this on eBay for $99
Futures Games players who could be dealt
Jim Bowden, ESPN
4. Kyle Lotzkar RHP
The Cincinnati Reds haven’t won a World Series since 1990 and haven’t been to the NLCS since 1995. In a very winnable NL Central and with two wild-card berths, it is likely that the Reds will go for it during this trade deadline. They first made the blockbuster trade for Mat Latos this past offseason, and after signing Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to long-term deals, the Reds have made it clear they are in it to win right now while still thinking about the team's future.
Remember that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has a history of successful trade deadline deals from his time with St. Louis that include All-Stars such as Mark McGwire and Larry Walker. Jocketty also is not afraid to trade away future stars such as catcher Yasmani Grandal and solid prospects Yonder Alonso and Brad Boxberger; he's done it before and won’t be scared to do it again. Lotzkar could be the piece they use at the deadline to get what they need. Lotzkar has a 3.97 ERA between high Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, and he’s punched out 95 in 81 2/3 innings pitched.
The Reds might decide to chase a package of Francisco Liriano and Josh Willingham or Carlos Quentin and Huston Street. If that is the case, Lotzkar will be a requisite of any deal.
From ESPN's Buster Olney:
@Buster_ESPN: As the Phillies prepare for possible sell-off, Juan Pierre drawing interest, including from the Cincinnati Reds.
.312/.349 with 20 SB in 234 AB
He has started 519 games in the OF since 2007: 492 in LF, 27 in CF
He has not played CF since October 4, 2009
2012: 59 appearances in LF/ 0 in CF
2011: 155 appearances in LF/ 0 in CF
2010: 149 appearances in LF/ 0 in CF
2009: 94 appearances in LF/ 15 appearances in CF
2008: 84 appearances in LF/ 18 appearances in CF
He's making $800,000 on a one year deal with Phillies
Last month Pierre became only the 30th player in MLB history to reach 1,000 runs scored, 2,000 hits and 500 stolen bases.
What a scene
Casey and Peyton kayak with Grandma and Grandpa
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Players ready for Monday AM Tee Off For Women’s Western Golf Association’s
86th National Junior Championship at Cincinnati Country Club
Cincinnati, Ohio – A full field of 96 contestants from 19 States and four foreign countries have assembled at historic Cincinnati Country Club to play in the Women’s Western Golf Association’s (WWGA) 86th National Junior Championship.
The field of 96 girls aged 18 and under consists of 23 – 2012 high school graduates, all of whom will be playing collegiate golf this fall, and three from the class of 2013 have made verbal commitments to colleges for next year. Twenty six participants carry a 2.0 handicap index or less. There are five pairs of sisters, including one set of twins. The youngest competitor is 11 year old Jennifer Wang of Solon, Ohio.
Two 18-hole qualifying rounds will take place Monday and Tuesday. At the conclusion of these rounds, players will be placed in Flights based on their qualifying total score. The low 32 players will vie for the Championship title, while the remaining players will compete in subsequent Flights. Single elimination Match Play will begin Wednesday and Consolation Rounds will take place Thursday for those defeated. The Championship Final Match of 18 holes will take place Friday afternoon. The public is invited to attend free of charge.
Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine/Western & Southern Open-Team Up to Host High School Day
CINCINNATI, OH, July, 2012, Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, a long time supporter of the Western & Southern Open professional tennis tournament, continues their partnership and commitment to athletes of all ages by hosting High School Day on Sunday, August 12th.
Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine provides medical services for the professional tennis players throughout the tournament. The 2012 High School Day will feature hands on exhibitions by tennis professionals and Wellington trainers will be on hand to give tips on stretching, preventing injury and the exercise secrets of world-class athletes. Teens are invited to participate on their own or attend with their team.
"Wellington has been a friend and partner to the tournament for many years," said tournament CEO Elaine Bruening, this year’s Wellington High School Day will once again provide a chance for young people from all over the city to learn important tips on fitness, hone their game and meet new friends.”
Gail Maundrell, of the Turpin High School Tennis Program adds, “The Turpin Tennis Team enjoyed the 2011 Wellington High School Day. Working drills with the players as well as getting up close and watching them compete. Lunch was spent having the opportunity to meet the pros and take advantage of the signing of autographs by Venus Williams. The instructional talks by the Wellington team were informative. The general tennis atmosphere of the day got them ready for the upcoming tennis season. We plan to go back again this year.”
For over 50 years, Wellington is proud to serve and to celebrate its long standing history as leaders in orthopaedic innovation and unmatched patient care. 2 of Wellington’s physicians, Dr. Rhoad and Dr. Favorito have personally held the role of official tournament physicians since 2004. Dr. Rhoad joined the tournament in 1999, Dr. Favorito began in 2004. Prior to that, Wellington was involved since the early 1990’s with Dr. S. Michael Lawhon serving as tournament physician, officially as Chairperson of Player Medical. During that time, many of the Wellington Orthopaedic Fellows participated in assisting Dr. Lawhon and continue to do so under Dr’sRhoad and Favorito. Additionally, Wellington Athletic Trainers have provided support to the Tour Medical Staff since 2004.
Dr. Rhoad and Dr. Favorito were selected by the ATP World Tour and WTA as tournament physicians based on their extensive orthopaedic knowledge combined with a wide range of treatment experience making them a perfect fit for understanding and providing treatment of injuries of any degree. Because of this wide range of experience, they were selected to provide care for the world’s best tennis players.
The ATP World Tour and WTA medical services are the group of tournament physicians and trainers from across the country who consult and treat at the various events on the tours. As local members of the ATP World Tour and WTA medical services team, Wellington Drs. are invited to attend international meetings and conferences to discuss and present on topics critical to tennis and sports medicine.
Dr. Rhoad states, "We are proud to provide world class care to the reknowned Cincinnati tradition that is the Western & Southern Open."
This prestigious event allows the community to get together and be involved in something that is good for their health. High School Day and other events like this also allow Wellington to generate awareness to the many benefits of exercise, injury prevention and athletics in a fun environment for high school aged children.
"This event gives high schoolers incredible on-court experience with some of the tournament's top personnel. It's a thrill to see Cincinnati teens have this one of a kind interaction with the pros" Dr. Rhoad continued.
For more information about Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine High School Day please visit